‘Area 51: The Helix Project’ Now Live On Kickstarter From Pocket Watch Press

by Brendan M. Allen

Pocket Watch Press has launched Area 51: The Helix Project on Kickstarter. The sci-fi tale is created and written by Trevor Fernandes-Lenkiewicz, with art by Marcelo Salaza and Samuel Iwunze, colors by Marcio Luis Freire, and letters by Taylor Esposito.

This book brings an academic background in Molecular & Cellular Biology to this very personal story about finding strength, solace in self-identity, and reconciling it with memory, mental health, and loss.  

The half-breed son of an extraterrestrial who masqueraded as human for decades witnesses his father’s death after saving a human child—a selfless act that resulted in the exposure of his father’s alien physiology. Tortured by the loss, the son, Kent, spends 15 years struggling to pick up the pieces until he’s mysteriously confronted by someone claiming to have been there on that fateful day and that they have a means of getting his dead father back. 

Driven to uncover the circumstances surrounding his father’s murder, and struggling to reconcile his dueling sense of identity, Kent is dropped into the jaws of a Cold War genetics conspiracy; what’s left of him is forced to confront a twisted ghost from his past as it plunges a dagger into everything he’s come to know about himself and what it means to be human.

“When it comes down to it, stories need to be entertaining, yes, but they’re an expression of experience and thought when you boil it all down,” said Trevor Fernandes-Lenkiewicz. “We all struggle to find comfort in identity, and even further, to be proud of who we are in a world that is constantly trying to tell us otherwise. What thoughts and emotions could I express with my platform?

“Exactly that. At the end of the day, this story came down to me trying to work through the insecurity of pursuing my passion and my dream to create comics despite the world telling me that I needed to spend my days cooped up in a lab for the sake of financial and social security. This world is not safe, and in some regards—particularly when it comes to the pursuit of passion, dreams, and identity—it never will be. Why does this story exist? Because I know that I’m not the only one that feels this way—neither are you—and I think we both need something to remind us of that.”

“I was enchanted by the project from the moment Trevor mentioned that it would have aliens, spaceships, and fiction with a good dose of action and suspense,” added Marcelo Salaza. “The character’s emotional conflicts, anguish, and a good dose of noir. Yes, that captivated me! It has been a beautiful experience capturing those grand things and yet, present the humanity beneath it all.”

Digital copies of the book kick in at the $5 backer tier. Six bucks will get you a physical copy. There are catch up bundles at the $22 level, and at higher tiers, you can pick up art prints, script/art portfolio reviews, cameos, and meet and greets with the creative talent. Check out the campaign here.

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