In the Jackpot: Royal Flush episode, you got to meet Jackie’s ex-boyfriend, William aka “Wild Card”, played by Brad Hamelin. If you have seen the episode, you know that things did not end too well for him and a portion of his face. In this design by Christopher Yao, we get to see the final look the man will have as he will rise to power in the underbelly of Montreal and become the owner of an underground casino…
What happened between the episode and this new look will be covered in a comic book titled Wild Card: Face Off, which will be found in the New Beginnings Trade Paperback. And Wild Card’s brand new look and anger towards Jackie (now turned Jackpot) will be in full display in an upcoming episode…
￼Hi ya there folks! How are you all doing? We sincerely hope you are well. Sit down and brace yourselves. This is going to be a LONG one!
Most of you are probably aware that we are about to launch our second Season. We have great things in store for this season and we cannot wait for you all to discover them!
First things first, to celebrate the launch of the second Season, we have decided to do a complete overhaul of the website. We wanted to simplify and focus things a little more, make things easier to find and see. And we think we have achieved that goal. If you have not already, please visit www.heroesofthenorth.com and let us know what you think!
Another thing we decided to do is put our best foot forward - that means showcasing one of our strongest asset: the fantastic visuals we have accumulated over the years, be it photographs or illustrations. That is the reason behind the magnificent slide show you will find on almost every pages of the menu. On the lower left of every pages, there is a minus sign which allows you to hide the menu so you can watch the pictures in all their splendour. To get the menu back, just press the plus button. What is not to like?
The STORE was the most complex part of the revamp, besides the Members section. By the way, we found two Hornet figurines cleaning up the warehouse. They had fallen behind a shelf! We put them up in the store today and one already sold barely an hour after the update! So there is one left for some lucky visitor! There is also one Fleur-de-Lys left! Grab them while you still can! You will also notice that we have put Black Terror, Madame Doom and the Canadian Shield figurines back for preorder - we should receive them VERY soon so we feel confident to put them back up there. Oh! And Nordik is on sale at 50% off!
Another new thing available from every pages is the small red Members Login button on the right. That’s right, we finally got around to do that darned Members section.
Now that is something we have struggled with for a long time. We always wanted to keep the show free as much as possible. But it is just not realistically possible. We tried to raise funds through Indiegogo - several of you actually contributed and did a fantastic job of spreading the word. But it just was not enough in the end. That meant we had to find the funds somewhere else. And those funds have a cost.
The show manages to finance itself somewhat with the merchandising sales and especially the conventions. Conventions get so crazy sometimes that we wish there was one every weekend - the show would never have cash flow issues and we could improve the production values to near Hollywood levels. But reality is otherwise and while we do thrive in the spring and fall, winter and summer are harsher periods. If we hope to repay the funders monthly interests, we need to generate a consistent income. Hence the membership idea.
We made three plans, the description and advantages can be found in the MEMBERS section of the site. They basically break down like this:
BRONZE - $4.95 a month: Lets you watch all the videos and read all the comics, full screen, no ads. You also get to join the community forum in the members section. You can unsubscribe anytime. There is a button to that effect at the bottom left of the MEMBERS section.
SILVER - $9.95 a month: same privileges as Bronze plus a few added bonuses and access to behind the scenes materials.
GOLD: $14.95 a month: This is the whole enchilada! It is like buying the super duper limited edition Director’s cut DVD! You will get all the nitty gritty and behind the scenes information. You also get a copy of the DVD at the end of Season at no charge (as long as you remained subscribed for the duration of the season, of course!).
For those who want to only watch episodes or read comics, we also created a $2.99 a month VIDEO PASS that will allow you to watch all the episodes of Season 2, with no ads either on the video or on the site itself - a privilege for all subscribers. For those who only come to read the comics but want to read them on site, not download them, there is also a $1.99 per month subscription that allows you to read all our comics online, again with no ads. Both plans also allow you to join the Members community but with limited access.
The videos themselves will be Pay-per-view outside of membership: .99 cents for the minisodes and $2.99 for the ten longer official Season 2 episodes, allowing viewing for a 24 hours period. It allows people to give it a whirl and decide if they want to subscribe or not.
We think that these amounts are reasonable and that there is sufficient choices for all budgets and interests. Please let us know if you think there should be more or less options.
There will still be free content along the road, tagged with ads on the public side of the site and always without ads in the Members section, regardless of the plan taken.
We know that some of you will not be happy with the changes. We tried hard but we did not meet our goals. We want to do the best show we can and move forward, not backwards. We have already given away tens of thousands of dollars of free content. And we will continue to give some of it away. But in order to secure a future for a show we love to do, we have no other choice but to take this road for now. That being said, if someone has a better idea, please manifest yourself. We are ALWAYS open to suggestions.
Let us know if you think we have failed or not with the redesign or with the membership concept. We love to get your input.
Like you all, we are looking forward to a fantastic year 2014! And we hope to see lots of you online this Friday night for the launch of our first minisode, JACKPOT: ROYAL FLUSH introducing Dominique Arganese as the titular character. Can't wait for you all to discover the newest femme fatale of the Heroes of the North Universe!
Enjoy the Second Season!
The Heroes of the North Team
Here is the inked version of the cover of our third trade paperback, coming out this summer, called New Beginnings. The cover is illustrated by Christopher Yao, who designed most of the Season 2 costumes. This trade will feature stories about all the new characters we created for Season 2. We can’t wait to see it in full colours. Can you?
Here is the costume design for Iron Ore, protector of Labrador. Design by Christopher Yao.
This superb piece was created by Lyle Dunlop.
Actress/Model: Sandra Belrose
Character: Wild Rose
Photographer: Vincent Cadoret
Costume Design: Christopher Yao
Costume Created: Polymorphe
Editing for the Jackpot: Royal Flush, the first minisode of Season 2 is in progress - in fact it is almost done and the episode should head out for sound design and mix next week, which means it should be ready on time for its anticipated release date at the end of the month! The story is written by Michel Brouillette and stars Dominique Arganese as Jackpot. It details the tragic origins of the character. You can watch the teaser for this minisode right below:
Production on Season 2 is underway. A big change for the second season will be the use of considerably more CGI, including virtual sets and props. Things are progressing quite a bit on this front, with several set pieces already done ahead of the actual live action shooting that will take place in April and May 2014. Here is a sneak peak of the work in progress for the landing pad of the Medusa Arctic base that will be feature prominently in Episode 2. Who says landing pad automatically says flying vehicle to land on it! So here is a rough sketch for a Medusa VTOL type of vehicle… Both elements are being handled by ZED VFX.
For those who are still wondering - it apparently was not clear at the end of the teaser because of the Grindhouse style titles - the second Season will begin on January 30, 2014 with the Jackpot: Royal Flush episode.
Here is the synopsis:
Jackie Pothier just lost everything. Her pride and joy, her martial arts school, has been foreclosed, thanks to her self-centered gambling boyfriend, William Carter.
Trying to regain what he lost, William plays against Irish mob leader Ray O’Flynn. Things do not go as planned and Ray shows up at Jackie’s to collect his due. Things degenerate quickly and Jackie finds a new strength and a dark side of herself as she tries to survive this night of violence, pain and murder...
This episode will be followed by:
WILD ROSE: TRIAL AND TRIBULATIONS (February 28, 2014)
MANTIS: A WING AND A PRAYER (March 30, 2014)
SASKANA: SEED OF WRATH (April 30, 2014)
BOREALIS: CROSSING OVER (May 30, 2014)
We just completed shooting for the first of five Origins minisodes. This one stars Dominique Arganese as Jackpot, a former martial arts instructor pushed to the dark side by sinister events.
Christopher Yao knocks another one out of the park with his stunning costume design of Terra Nova, protector of Newfoundland!
Prep is well underway for shooting the first Origins minisode next week - JACKPOT: Royal Flush, written by Michel Brouillette. Auditions on Monday. Props pick up on Tuesday, Fight training, costume fitting and photoshoot on Wednesday, second unit shooting on Thursday and All out brawling on Friday! Busy week ahead! It will be also the time to fulfill several of the shooting related IndieGogo perks.
We start shooting a first batch of Origins Episodes next week. That was not the original plan - we had to switch everything around due to a series of unfortunate circumstances that made several actors unavailable for a long period. And then winter came... So we will be shooting Season 2 in the spring instead, which is good because we have several scenes set in the spring!
However, that does not mean you will have to wait that long for your fix of HOTN episodes! We will shoot a series of 5 Origins minisodes (around 10 minutes each) which we will premiere starting at the end of January, releasing one a month until May. By then, Season 2 will have been shot and we will be releasing a 20 minutes episode every month from June until March 2014.
The first episode to go under the camera will be a spectacular Jackpot origins episode called Royal Flush, possibly one of the best episode of the series so far, written by Michel Brouillette. It will be up at the end of January.
A little less than two weeks ago, we launched our first ever crowdfunding campaign in order to raise funds for our second Season. Today, we received this email from IndieGogo:
Our fans and supporters have been so generous in sharing the campaign! This is for them! Help us make Season 2 a reality and support the campaign!
Following in the footsteps of Bianca Beauchamp, we are happy to confirm the return of Edith Labelle as the Province of Quebec’s very own superheroine, Fleur-de-Lys… Welcome back Edith, we missed you!
We are happy to announce that Bianca Beauchamp who played the deadly assassin known as Crimson will be back for the second Season of the adventures of the Heroes of the North!
More casting announcements and confirmations in the days to come!
We are preparing for Season 2 and there is a whole range of new characters that will appear in that series. One of them is a University of Ontario physician that will become the superhero known as Nano. Here’s a look at the spiffy logo deigned by André St-Amour who also illustrated the first Nano introduction comic, which will be available as part of the Season One trade paperback. We cannot wait until you discover all the wonders we have cooked up for you, the fans!
Last weekend we shot the first scene of Heroes of the North Season 2! You can view the results on our Facebook page. It was a cold day and a tough shoot because it was raining heavily, especially in the afternoon. But everyone involved had a lot of fun! Let us know what you think in the comments below!
Casting has begun for Season 2 of Heroes of the North - episodes shooting will be spread out throughout the year. But we are starting this very weekend with a really fun bit of action set during the Vietnam War. Trying to escape the Viet Congs, a soldier and his pregnant wife are trying to cross the jungle in the hopes of reaching the borders of neighbouring Cambodia. We won’t tell you what happens next but let’s just say that the events of this episode will see the rise of two new villains, Black Mantis and Iron Panther, both of whom will bring many woes to 8 Ball down the road. The astute amongst you will remember Iron Panther being mentioned during the fight between Steel Tiger and 8 Ball in Episode 7… How is that for foreshadowing? We told you we had a plan all along!
In the meantime, we want to welcome the lovely Uni Park to the Heroes of the North family. She will play the mother of Black Mantis as Napalm and agent Orange will drop around her this very weekend...
Here is the costume design by Anderson Bradshaw for Black Mantis, a new character from the Heroes of the North universe, that will make its appearance in Season 2. She is a villain with intimates ties to Medusa and even more disturbingly, 8 Ball and the lethal Iron Panther, who will also make his ominous debut in Season 2.