Graphic Novel Kickstarter 'Barry Carter' Gives the Wizarding World the Cincinnati Treatment

A Kickstarter campaign aims to raise funds for a graphic novel centered on a group of young wizards and their journey to uncover Cincinnati's age-old mysteries

click to enlarge Cover concept art for "Barry Carter and the Trail of the Copper Train" - Photo: Kickstarter
Photo: Kickstarter
Cover concept art for "Barry Carter and the Trail of the Copper Train"

The wizarding world will get the Queen City treatment in Barry Carter and the Copper Train, a graphic novel by Boluwatife Oriowo and Brandon Reynolds currently seeking crowdfunding on Kickstarter.

Barry Carter does not have any magical powers. That is, unless you count his stage-magic tricks. But he has lots of questions, like, “Who are those kids flying their brooms over the West End?” and “What secrets are hiding in the forgotten tunnels beneath the city?” 

Desperately wanting to be a part of the magical universe that surrounds his human world, Barry won’t be getting a letter from Hogwarts on his 11th birthday — or any birthday for that matter. So he’ll just have to make his own way into Cincinnati's mystical side.  

The tale of Barry Carter and the Copper Train follows adventurous, non-mage Barry and his tag team of magical friends — including the awkward but well-meaning Amy and ambitious twins Julius and Juno — as they team up to search for a magical copper train buried beneath the city. (The train isn’t purely fiction, either. For decades, local historians and urban legend enthusiasts have searched for a locomotive engine buried beneath Roll Hill in a collapsed railway tunnel constructed by the Cincinnati Western Railroad in the mid-1850s.)

To bring their graphic novel concept to fruition, Oriowo and Reynolds are aiming to raise $10,000 for Barry Carter by Nov. 30 to support costs for needs including art production, marketing and legal fees. At the time of this article's publication, the fundraiser has amassed $991 since it first kicked off Nov. 1.

The Kickstarter page reads: 

“Have you ever wondered why Cincinnati's abandoned subway system was never finished? Or why its history is filled with tales of witchcraft and magical remedies? Is there really an underground copper train that lies buried on the West Side? Well, to be completely honest, we don't know all of the answers yet. However, to explore the possibilities, we decided to create the world of Barry Carter, a graphic novel centered on a group of young wizards and their journey to explore many of the age-old mysteries that surround Cincinnati's weird, supernatural past.”

Barry Carter will tie in “the weirder side of Cincinnati history” to celebrate the city's magic — be it real or imagined.

“A year ago, I approached my good friend Boluwatife Oriowo about creating a story that shed light onto Cincinnati's weird history through the lens of magic; a story that inspired others to pursue their dreams — despite all opposition; a story that pushed people to discover the treasures lying in their own backyards,” Reynolds wrote on Facebook. “A few hours later, Barry Carter was born. Now we just need your help to make this book real. Please support our journey on Kickstarter so that we can bring magic to the Queen City, together!”

Oriowo and Reynolds expect to finish the project by the summer of 2020. 

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