Welcome back to another installment of Indie Comics Showcase! All I have to say this week is “support indie comics” as I aim to direct you to some most excellent choices every week! This week is no exception!
Now let’s dive in!
A WW1 Tale
By Joshua Plack
EUDAIMONIA is a graphic mini-series about World War 1, featuring a series of seemingly disparate characters whose experiences with and overcoming the effects of the tragic war form an interlocking narrative. Part historical drama, part classic Philosophy, and supported by the amazing art of Emi Utrera, EUDAIMONIA will be a book like no other.
Chris Braly: What is the ‘elevator pitch’ for Eudaimonia #1? Briefly tell our readers what it’s about and give us some background on it.
JP Plack: Eudaimonia is a graphic miniseries about WW1 and the effect it has on its 4 protagonists. Their respective stories form an inter-connecting narrative about people dealing with the trauma of the war in search of their Eudaimonia, which comes from Greek philosophy and means ‘The good life.’
CB: Can you let us in on who or what inspired you to tell this story and how long you’ve been working on this?
JP: This story was inspired by everything from great WW1 literature and poetry by Remarque and Wilfred Owen, to classical Greek philosophy, to a long drive across the USA. I’m a city slicker, so when I drove across the country and saw middle America I kept thinking to myself, “What if there was a secret out here?” How would it travel in all this open space. That got me interested in writing about how we all handle the inevitable pains of living, how they can boil up from within us, how they transmit between us, and what we use to make life worth living. The more I studied WW1 and saw how plainly that was written about by the most damaged of that generation, the more I wanted to write something that was in conversation with it. I saw that a lot of these guys, and gals, were writing about their pain and trauma, and they were all using classical verse. So I picked up the pen around 2015 and found a lot more success as a poet than a traditional prose writer.
CB: Tell us why you felt this should be told in comic book form. Are you a fan of the medium?
JP: I’m a fan of odd stories and outlandish art, Kirby’s F4, Gaiman, Sam Keith, a lot of animated shows like Aeon Flux and the Venture Brothers. This story being in comics form was sort of an accident. I was pitching it to some artists, most of whom thought it was too weird, and the few that tried gave me samples that were too conventional and just didn’t feel right. I was about to give up when Emi Utrera sent me his sample and I was like, “Yep, this dude get it.” We don’t even speak the same language, but we understand each other through a profound love for both comics and what’s considered traditional literature. I think this needs to be in comic form because his art supports my narrative and vice-versa. With the use of multiple perspective, there are pivotal moments that you will see more than once, but will look completely different. So the goal is to create art that doesn’t just dazzle the eyes, but makes the reader question if they can trust what they are seeing.
CB: What are some similar comics readers may be familiar with that will find Eudaimonia appealing?
JP: Well for the writing I don’t think there are any third-person verse narration comics that I can think of, and I think WW1 is criminally overlooked for contemporary war literature. As far as the art goes I’m really digging Murder Falcon right now. I’m always a big fan of thin frames and thick lines, it just makes everything pop. There’s some good war stories in the Fables series from Vertigo, oh and you can’t go wrong with Seekers.
CB: Tell us a bit about your creative team and what other creators (if any) have contributed to this volume?
JP: It’s always been just Emi and I. I write, design the page layout, and let him do his thing. If I put this book out and everyone tells me it sucks, that will be totally fine as long as more people see just how talented Emi Utrera is. Our first stretch goal is going to unlock a variant cover done by another artist. I won’t say who but, as you can see, they have their work cut out for him.
CB: What else can you share about the project? And do you have any final words for our readers?
JP: This book is about war and fighting and people getting their shit kicked in by life. Nobody wastes words validating each other, it’s about people getting their lives wrecked by war and them clawing and fighting to carve out an existence that is worth continuing. Some people don’t, just like some people we know won’t, but a good journey will be worth the price of admission.
CB: Thanks for chatting with us JP! Good luck and we are rooting for you!
JP: Thanks so much for the willing ear, brother.
Check out the campaign page here!
by Paul Wines
Mona Midnight. It’s a story of Smokey clubs, moonshine, good music. passion, violence and naked ambition, all set in 1920’s America. The music and ambition are provided by Mona, a beautiful young girl with an amazing voice, who is desperately looking for a break!
Check out the campaign here!
Paul Wines: Mona Midnight is set in 1920’s America against a background of Prohibition. It’s a story of a young girl with an amazing voice who would love to see her name in lights. Living in a small town near New Orleans there isn’t much opportunity! Her father Daddy G , the local moonshiner calls in a favour with the owner of the nearby road house, and Mona finally gets her break!
CB: Tell us about your creative team members – who is doing what and how did you end up coming together for this project?
PW: At the moment there are three of us creating Mona. I have written the story, I have a project manager who is also an artist in his own right and one Artist. We might be expanding the team soon depending on the way things progress. I will also have to bring in a letterer later on. I have a publisher lined up in the US, Chris Brown foolsentertainment. I worked with my team on the first project, liked working with then and decided to create my second comic with them.
CB: What has the creative process been like? What tasks are you handling for this campaign? What does the workflow look like?
PW: Creatively much of the work has been done by the art deco period. This background make for some beautiful panels, elegant cars, beautiful women and gangsters so thanks 1920’s. Costumes are researched, which is why I hope that they look authentic, we even looked at the jewellery the women wear.
We work through trello which we all find easy and everyone can see clearly where we are, and what needs to be done. I’m trying to do everything except for the artwork! Marketing, networking, etc, It’s something that I have never been done before, so I am finding it difficult and fun both at the same time.
CB: The pages I reviewed on your crowdfunding page were all black & white. Will that be the finished format for this book, or is color in your plans?
Check out the Mona Midnight campaign here!
by Juan Carlos Real
An Epic Adventure Comic Inspired by Mythology and Folklore.
Check out the campaign page here!
John Lemus: Juan, welcome and thank you for being a part of Indie Comics Showcase! I’m thrilled to discuss your Indie Comic Titanomachy with you today.
Juan Carlos: Thank you for allowing me this opportunity!
JL: Before we get started I was hoping you could tell us a little bit about yourself.
JC: Well, my name is Juan Carlos Del Real and I’m a comic book creator. I am a self-taught artist and writer. I suffer from dyslexia, so when I discovered comic books, I felt like they were made for me. I immediately fell in love with them, I discovered something about myself I never thought possible before: I love storytelling. I decided to make my own comic, however; I sucked at drawing and writing. I became disillusioned with the fact that making comic books was hard. Eventually, I made peace that this was probably not going to pan out, I went to college, started pursuing a carrier in engineering. During this time discover Anime, and once again I was amazed by what storytellers can do. I decided to start my story back up, but this time it was different, I was ok with my comic being a side project. But this whole thing backfired on me when I fell in love with making comics. Now, with Titanomachy, I have decided to go all-in, and pursue this carrier as hard as I can.
JL: Without giving away too much, what can you tell us about Titanomachy? Where it’s been, and where it’s going?
JC: Titanomachy takes my love for mythology and folklore and comics and allows me to create very unique and epic stories. Titanomachy takes place in the world of Pandora. Pandora is full of magical creatures, scary beast, and terrible monsters. When they become a threat to average citizens bounty hunters are called upon to take care of them. That’s where our three main characters come into place.
Perseus a young and inexperienced bounty hunter, who is not aware of how difficult the life of a bounty hunter could be. He came to be a bounty hunter by a tragic incident in his life and he must pay a large sum of money to make things right. Becoming a bounty hunter seemed to be the best way for him to earn money. Atlas and Siris are experienced bounty hunters who Perseus looks up to. Perseus will have to team up with them in order to fulfill his goals and do right by those he owes.
Vol 1. of Titanomachy will takes us to the town of Kulle-vra where kids seem to be going missing. The King of Nezal (the country where Kulle-vra is found) has placed a bounty on the head of Medusa a Gorgon who is known for turning children into terrible monsters. After making a promise Atlas, Siris and Perseus find themselves teaming up in order to take down Medusa.
JL: How the characters and story first conceptualized?
JC: Titanomachy is not my first attempt at storytelling, I had started posting a webcomic on Webtoon called Atlas. Titanomachy is heavily influenced by Folklore and Mythologies from around the world. As for the Characters themselves, I recently realized that all 3 of the main characters are different iterations of how I see myself.
JL: What are some of your early comics you remember reading?
JC: I grew up in a small town in Mexico, so comics were not something I knew much about. I would have never touched a comic if it wasn’t for my High School English teacher. After he noticed that I had a problem reading when asked to, he offered to let me borrow a comic book. The comic I chose to borrow was Marvel’s Civil War. After that, I just fell in love with the medium.
JL: What are some of the comics that have made the biggest impact on you?
JC: The comic that made me decide to write my own was World War Hulk event in Marvel Comics. I was amazed by the amount of interconnecting threats that could be a part of a comic. After letting my dream of writing my own comic, what got me back was the One Piece manga by Eiichiro Oda.
JL: What does Titanomachy mean to you, what about it makes it a story you want to tell?
JC: At this point in my life Titanomachy is at least 70% of what I think about no matter what I’m doing. I think it’s safe to say Titanomachy is the most important project of my life. I want to be able to have people relate to my fictional characters and be able to overcome their own real-life problems by doing so.
JL: What are some of the things that get your creative juices flowing when working on Titanomachy? Do you read anything, watch any shows, listen to music as you work?
JC: I really enjoy listening to audio books on mythologies. It gets the gears turning in my head on how I can adapt parts of it into Titanomachy. I also enjoy riding my bike or skateboard but some music on and let ideas marinate in my head. While I draw, I listen to music or podcast, I find that it helps me get into a flow state. I have tried watching shows while I draw, I find that I get too distracted by them.
JL: Can you tell us a bit about your creative process?
JC: I treat creativity as a muse, I invite creativity into my mind, and as you do when someone refuses an invitation to your home, I often just accept it and move on. When creativity does not strike, I just work through it no matter what I’m doing. If I draw or draw something, I’m not happy with, I just finish it and move on. In my opinion, you cannot draw good drawing or write good scripts if you don’t own the bad ones. The funny thing about writing bad scripts I have found myself revisiting them and mind small parts that are good and recycle them. I much rather have 3 bad drawings than 1 good one, it just means I drew more. If I’m not mistaken, I got this approach to my work from Steven Pressfield, in his book “The War of Art.”
JL: What have some of your influences been over the years and how have they affected your work?
JC: Most of my influences for making my comic I find don’t come from the comic book industry. I find myself being inspired by a lot of people in the comedy world. I love storytelling, but mostly I appreciate hard work, and comedians are people who live in a constant “grind” mindset. Some of these influences include men like Joey Diaz, Theo Von, and Bobby Lee. Other than that Japanese Manga’s style of storytelling has been a great influence when it comes to the way I approach my storytelling style; I like to think that’s noticeable.
JL: What are your hopes for Titanomachy for the future?
JC: I have lots of hopes for Titanomachy, but mainly I hope to one day make a living writing and drawing Titanomachy. I have two fantasies for this endeavor: First I would love to see someone cosplay as one of my characters and to make a pilot for a TV series based on my work on Titanomachy.
JL: Is there anything else you want to share with us before we sign off?
JC: If anyone is interested in helping me out on my mission to tell stories through comics, please take a look at our Kickstarter!
JL: Once again Juan Carlos, I would like to say thank you for being a part of indie comics showcase. We wish you the best of luck on this campaign and all future projects.
JC: Thank you for lending me your platform and the chance to spread the word about my work. What you are doing here I think is pretty awesome!
Check out the Titanomachy campaign page here!
CHECK OUT THIS WEEK’S FEATURED BOOKS!
That’s it for this installment everyone! Thank you all once again for being the best part of Indie Comics Showcase, and Remember, support indie comics!!!
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