Do you believe in ghosts? Well it doesn’t actually matter, Tara Normal does, and she is here to protect us from these actually dead spirits that simply won’t wander off this plane of existence. If you have never heard of Tara, you needn’t worry about that either, as Howie Noel has been chronicling her adventures online since 2009, and wants to bring them to print for you all. That’s right, currently Tara Normal is a web comic, but Noel wants to make it into a print graphic and he has launched a Kickstarter to do just that. The premise of the story is that Tara a female paranormal investigator with supernatural powers who is fighting for her late mother’s soul.
For Tara, every day is Halloween, as she can not only talk to ghosts and she can also punch them if they get too fresh. Noel is an illustrator as well as a comicbook writer and artist. Since 2009, he’s been creating comic mystery stories online starring Tara Normal. She is out to solve the mysterious death of her famous novelist mother, Sarah Normal, and now she must defeat all of the demons, ghouls, werewolves, aliens, rogue government agents and other monsters that stand in her way. In addition to his writing and illustrating, Noel is also something of a paranormal investigator. His years of research in the paranormal field add an extra level of realism to the extraordinary adventures in the book. At the beginning of this story, Tara has already proven that ghosts exist. The graphic novel goes on to explores how her revelation affects the world in which she lives as well as the lives of those closest to her. According to Noel, this will be the first in a series of Tara Normal books.
This first graphic novel explores St. Catherine of Siena — the most haunted place on the planet. The stars of the struggling paranormal reality TV show, Ghost Soldiers, get trapped in the abandoned mental hospital and it’s up to Tara to save them. There are no friendly ghosts in this series, as all ghosts are dangerous putting Tara’s courage and abilities to the test. In order to save the Ghost Soldiers, Tara must travel through the asylum in order to discover precisely what actually happened to her late mother. Special guest star and real life paranormal celebrity Chip Coffey (Paranormal State, Psychic Kids) also shows up in order to assist Tara. Ao yes, the story involves real ghost hunting technology (but with a science fiction twist). As an avid ghost hunter, Noel uses real-life paranormal research to add a new spin to the genre.
Tara Normal is the official comic of TAPS Paramagazine and both she and Noel have joined the TAPS crew on several ghost hunts. Noel has brought Tara to Kickstarter so as to gain support and complete this epic artistic adventure: so he can see his vision in glorious color on the printed page. The funding will assist Noel cover the printing costs, as well as copyrighting and ISBN fees. Stretch goals are intended to cover distribution fees, marketing and advertising for the title’s release. According to Noel, creating the book is only one part of its success and that distribution and marketing are also extremely important, so he wants the book to be ready for a debut at Awesome Con in Washington, DC on April 19th, 2014 (which is also Noel’s birthday).
To help him achieve his goal, he has set up numerous cool rewards for supporters, including owning a copy of the graphic novel, a Skype session with him while he illustrates your caricature, or becoming the lead villain in the next Tara Normal book. Yep, you read that correctly: You could become the main bad guy in the 2nd Tara Normal graphic novel. The book will also include several pages of extras like sketches, the 1st ever drawing of Tara Normal, and a pin-up gallery from some of Noel’s talented artist friends, plus he’ll not only sign every book but he’ll draw a custom ghoul sketch in the front.
One of the cool things about Kickstarter is being able to help a creator reach his goals and make something. Noel wants to offer each supporter the chance to actually be a part of his very unique project and star in his comicbooks. As a professional caricaturist, he draws people all the time, and now he’d like to draw you and stick you in this cool graphic novel. You get to actually become a comicbook character. To make sure this book gets finished, he does need your help. “Together we can make this dream a reality,” Noel said. “I am focused on telling Tara’s story for years to come and sharing her mysteries with you and a whole new audience of readers. Thank you for taking the time to hear about my project and supporting independent artists.”
Robert J. Sodaro has been reviewing comicbooks for some 30 years. During that time, his reviews and articles have appeared in numerous print publications, as well as on the web. Subscribe to receive regular comicbook articles and reviews.