Rain of the Ghosts: The Audio Play by Jerry Whitworth
Greg Weisman, the force behind Gargoyles, Spectacular Spider-Man, and Young Justice, released the first novel in a new young adult series over a year ago called Rain of the Ghosts (followed quickly by the series’ next book Spirits of Ash and Foam). Following the adventures of Rain Cacique, a young lady living on an island in the Prospero Keys off the edge of the Bermuda Triangle working at her parents’ bed and breakfast, the heroine inherits her grandfather’s armband which allows her to see and communicate with ghosts and spirits. This artifact unfolds a series of events where Rain and her friends Charlie and Miranda must travel the islands, known to locals as the Ghost Keys, to uncover mysteries and go on adventures exploring the myths and legends of the Taino, its ancient indigenous people. Originally, Rain of the Ghosts was an animated series created by Weisman at Dreamworks Animation and sold to Nickelodeon. However, the deal fell through and the project was returned to Weisman for his own use. Recently, it was revealed the first book is being made into an audio play (rather than audiobook) and is being crowdfunded on Kickstarter in order to complete the undertaking.
When a book reaches a certain level of popularity, it’s not uncommon for it to be recorded for an audiobook. However, Greg Weisman wanted to take it a step further and instead create an audio play. Using his connections in the world of animation, Weisman assembled over a dozen voice actors and cast them in parts of Rain of the Ghosts and had them record an unabridged four hour reading of the work. Actors like Steve Blum (Wolverine, Cowboy Bebop), Jim Cummings (Winnie the Pooh, Darkwing Duck), Marina Sirtis (Star Trek: The Next Generation, Gargoyles), Brent Spiner (Star Trek: The Next Generation, Gargoyles), Ed Asner (Up, Gargoyles), Vanessa Marshall (Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, Spectacular Spider-Man), Thom Adcox (Falcon Crest, Gargoyles), Jeff Bennett (Johnny Bravo, The Man With the Yellow Hat), Josh Keaton (Spectacular Spider-Man, Green Lantern: The Animated Series), Joel Swetow (various Star Trek characters), and more have laid down tracks for the book as the crowdfunding is being made for its post-production. For this, Advantage Audio (Gravity Falls, Transformers: Robots in Disguise) will produce sound and foley effects as Dynamic Music Partners (Batman: The Brave and the Bold, Young Justice) will compose a full musical score. In this ambitious venture, the work needs to raise $43,000 but has already raised almost half of that in its first week. A number of pledge levels are available such as simply downloading the finished product to getting signed physical copies on CD autographed by several of the actors to receiving a voicemail message from one of the actors (Steve Blum, Jim Cummings, Vanessa Marshall, and Thom Adcox have already sold out, twice). The Kickstarter will run until Wednesday afternoon on April 29, 2015.