The story that is occurring in the web comic Lighter than Heir takes place a fictional Germanic fantasy world, and revolves around a young girl named Zeppelin Von Schultheiss, who is the daughter of her country’s greatest war hero, Hemmel Von Schultheiss. All of her life, Zeppelin was surrounded by the love and adoration from both the public and the media due to her father’s great accomplishments, however, her own efforts have always been overlooked. So now, with a small amount of resentment for her father as well as an inflated ego, she signs up for the military on her 19th birthday in the hopes to outshine her dad’s accomplishments. Little does she realize that the military is absolutely the last place a self-centered brat wants to be found.
Written and illustrated by Melissa Albinoy, the comic is loosely based on a novella that she wrote in college entitled The Fantastic Von Schultheiss. However, the name really didn’t really ring so well for a comic, and it eventually evolved into its current Lighter than Heir. Melissa — or “Nalem” as she prefer to be called — is a college graduate originally from New York City who moved out west in 2006 receiving her BFA from Thomas More College in the Spring of 2011.
Back to Zeppelin Von Schultheiss; she is so tired of living in the shadow of her father (so what if he was a war hero, and who cares if everyone loves him? Love is for people without true ambition! And it’s not like it’s a big deal that he could fly, but Zeppelin can fly too! And unlike her beloved war hero father, she isn’t dead). Well, that sort of brings us up to date, as we join Zeppelin on her personal quest for praise and glory. Unfortunately, military boot camp is so not going to be the cakewalk she seems to expect it to be, especially for someone this headstrong and arrogant.
With a couple of years of the online comic under her belt, Nalem is now getting ready to issue a bound, print edition that collects contain the first six chapters (224 pages) of the comic with not only revised art but a never before seen bonus epilogue chapter detailing the final days of Zeppelin’s basic training. Additional supplemental materials includes early character sketches as well as rare behind the scenes insights, and will be will be presented in full glorious color in a 6”x9” paperback book.
There are numerous very cool rewards being offered based on backers’ level of commitment, including (if a backer is willing to “die” for the comic, there is even a pledge level that will have a likeness of the is sure to die a horrible death. Imagine, being immortalized forever with a unique reward that ironically will forever showcase the evidence of your mortality. For a slightly higher pledge, Nalem will draw a one page comic written by the contributor. (Seriously, how cool is that?) For more on the various reward levels, check out her Kickstarter page.
This project will only be funded if at least $13,000 is pledged by Friday Dec 20, 2013.
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.