Welcome to the table,
Cystic fibrosis, or CF, is a genetic condition that causes difficulties with a vital protein in your body. Basically, if you have CF, that protein is faulty and it wreaks havoc on your cells, tissues, and the glands responsible for making mucus and sweat. Normally, mucus acts as the slippery protector for your airways, digestive tract, and other important parts of your body. But if you have cystic fibrosis, that mucus becomes thick and sticky. It starts building up and causing all sorts of difficulties, like blockages, damage, and infections in the affected organs. It’s not just the mucus, though. Inflammation is another feature of CF that can start damaging organs like the lungs and pancreas.
Cystic fibrosis can show up differently in different people. Some people might not have many symptoms or even notice anything’s wrong, while others can experience really severe symptoms or even life-threatening complications. It all depends on which organs are affected and how serious the condition is.
While many body systems are affected, the most common and serious issues with cystic fibrosis happen in the lungs. Serious lung infections can be a real challenge for people with CF. And if that was not enough many people with cystic fibrosis also struggle to get the nutrition they need from food. Their bodies have a tough time absorbing all those important minerals and vitamins they always told us were important on the food pyramid leading to them having adapted diets to try and get ahead of growth delays and other nutrition-related problems.
EchoVerse Comics, a nonprofit publisher, has taken aim at CF, and is set to make an impact not only in the Indy comic book scene, but also in the fight against cystic fibrosis.
Led by founder Eric Cluck, the organization has announced the release of their new series, beginning with issue zero of The Ballistic Boyz, titled “And so it begins…”
The Ballistic Boyz introduces readers to Guns and Ammo, a formidable duo of genius scientists named Dr. Tom Callaghan and Dr. Carmen Hacker, who are the masterminds behind their creation. Additionally, readers are briefly introduced to Bridget Maxwell, a remarkable individual burdened with the genetic disease cystic fibrosis, who will later emerge as the valiant hero BrazFraz.
Reflecting on the origins of The Ballistic Boyz, Eric Cluck shares, “I initially created these characters as a fun hobby back in college, never envisioning their journey beyond that. However, when my best friend Bridget Maxwell tragically passed away due to complications related to cystic fibrosis, I felt compelled to tell her story—a tale of resilience and unwavering determination. Thus, I resurrected The Ballistic Boyz and seamlessly integrated Bridget into their narrative. This issue serves as their introduction, not quite an origin story, but rather a glimpse into their world—a tribute to Bridget’s memory.”
To bring this story to life, EchoVerse Comics joined forces with artist Caio Majado. Caio’s artistic talents have garnered him two prestigious HQ Mix awards for Best Group Publication in Brazil. While his focus has recently shifted toward Marvel projects, his involvement in The Ballistic Boyz marks a highly anticipated collaboration. Accompanying Caio’s striking visuals, the colors for the comic were handled by Vinicius Townsend, and the lettering of this project were done by Zen.
Eric expresses his delight with the creative team’s contributions, stating, “When embarking on this journey, I sought an artist who could effectively convey a captivating story through their panels. Caio embraced my ideas, understood the essence of the narrative, and brought it to life in an extraordinary manner. His visual storytelling is truly remarkable. Additionally, having worked with Vinicius in the past on character designs and scenes, I was well aware of his incredible talent with colors. But mere words cannot do justice to the astonishing work he has accomplished with The Ballistic Boyz. His vibrant colors truly make the comic come alive. I couldn’t be more ecstatic with the final result.”
While EchoVerse Comics aims to establish a strong presence within the comic book industry, its mission extends beyond entertainment. Proceeds generated from the sale of their comics will be dedicated to supporting children and families facing the challenges of cystic fibrosis.
Eric elaborates on their altruistic approach, stating, “EchoVerse Comics strives to raise awareness about cystic fibrosis through the medium of traditional superhero comics. Think Professor X or Daredevil but with the added impact of contributing to the well-being of those affected by this condition. Approximately 70-80% of our proceeds will go toward CF children and their families. The remaining will go towards the next comic in our two-story crossover event. We are looking forward to a great following and a great opening day.”
The story, published as a 28-page comic with bonus art and a certificate of authenticity, will be available for crowdfunding soon. Stay tuned for more details.
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