Welcome back to another installment of Indie Comics Showcase, the weekly blog where we signal boost a few truly independent comics that are currently crowdfunding their projects, crowdsourcing their funding in some way, or just completely self-publishing on their own. Every little bit of support for these creators matters, from a single dollar pledge to the twenty-five dollar bundle, and of course the higher tiers are usually fun too! Even if you can’t back a campaign or buy a book, you can share or tweet about these projects to your friends and followers.
On Indie Comics Showcase, we interview the creators, show off some art, and tell you how you can check out the product for yourself. Below we have some outstanding crowdfunding campaigns this week for you to learn about, enjoy, and hopefully support by backing one or more of them! Thanks for checking these out and for being the best part of Indie Comics Showcase. Let’s jump in!
TWISTED FAIRY TALES
by Jacobus Gotex
Check out the campaign here!
Chris Braly: Welcome to Indie Comics Showcase no.147, Jacobus! Tell our readers about the comics anthology project you’re working on!
Jacobus Gotex: Twisted Fairy Tales is a Comic Anthology for comic book fans, by comic book fans [NOT SUITABLE FOR CHILDREN]. The book contains 14 individual short stories by a whopping 20+ different creators with each story having a twist that you won’t be expecting. You may think you know the tale of Snow White, you may think you know the tale of The Gingerbread Man… But you don’t know OUR tales of these characters.
CB: What was the genesis for this project, where did the idea for this comic come from, and what led to you deciding to crowdfund it?
JG: Having been a huge fan of comics since I was little I was always shocked that there was nothing out there to help get new creators published and provide them with that vital first step into their dreams. I was lucky enough to put in touch with Dave Hingley who helped bring a short 3 page script to life and that was essentially the foundation for the book. It was a parody of The Princess and the Frog, just 3 pages, with a twisted joke to drastically change the ending of the story so I put it to The Bargain Bin (The best UK based comic youtube channel) and we decided to create an Anthology which would feature brand new creators and have some established talent to help support the newbies. Crowdfunding the book was always the plan as with indie books that’s the way to go, it gives a great opportunity to interact with other creators and that vital link to the customer which is super important.
CB: What kind of comic fans do you expect this comic will entertain the most?
JG: I’d like to think Twisted Fairy Tales has something for everyone as that was the aim with the team assembled for the book, however in today’s world I would say it’s not for the easily offended. This is an Adult book which should not be given to children.
CB: Tell us a bit about your creative team that have contributed to this project.
JG: The creative team involved in this book is immense and I’m super proud to be working with everyone involved, I was slightly concerned about the logistics and behind the scenes side of things with such a big team, and containing some unpublished creators who may not have the discipline for deadlines and such but I was completely wrong, everyone involved has been super dedicated and disciplined meaning there are no delays with this book so far, we’re on track and looking good.
So the whole team of the book is as follows: Jacobus Gotex, Mrs Gotex, Aria Black, Mrs Black, Rob G Price, Jake Price, Bristolian Dave, Dave Hingley, Erik Eppic, Shane O Sullivan, Commi3 Mark, Charlies London , Stencil Artist Yan, Demon Vizarack, Piper, Mike Jimmy, Jake Tvister, Graphic Goose, Rabbi from another planet, ET Madness, and Lewis Michael. So yeah, big big team and a great team, though I should also mention the members of CGUK, because although some are not directly involved in the book, they have all been so helpful with tips and explanations, this book could not happen without those great people.
CB: What’s the workflow like?
JG: The workflow from everyone has been an eye opener, because different people like to work to different paces and that’s fine, I myself like to try and get things finished as soon as possible but there are a good number of people involved who are running their solo books, have day jobs, family commitments not everyone can hammer away due to life, but everyone has been on track, committed and communicated any issues, one of the great things about this team, is if someone needs help with anything, there is a bunch of us who are more than happy to chip in and help people out in any way we can.
CB: What have you been learning from crowdfunding and creating through this?
JG: Crowdfunding and making comics are two very different things. You have to be good at both and put an equal amount of time and effort into both. Crowdfunding seems to have a high reliance on networking and marketing which can be a challenge for anyone but the more you do, the better off you will be, and it should make it easier the next time around.
CB: Are there more stories to tell?
JG: The purpose of Twisted Fairy Tales was to provide a gateway for new creators to really show off their work and showcase their abilities, not just Artists and Colourists, adding the mandatory twist into each story is a great way for writers to showcase themselves as well. Due to the success of Twisted Fairy Tales we will definitely be doing more Anthologies focused around new creators, I hope in the future people will look to The Bargain Bin as a great starting position in making comics. We at The Bargain Bin also have a super secret project that isn’t a comic and will hopefully be launching after Twisted Fairy Tales has been fulfilled, so keep your eyes out.
CB: Thanks for chatting with us! Good luck and we are rooting for you
JG: Thank you for having me and giving us your time.
Check out the campaign here!
TEEN BEETLE / SWITCHBLADE
by Roland Mann
Check out the campaign here!
Chris Braly: Welcome back to Indie Comics Showcase, Roland! Give our readers tell our readers about your latest crowdfunding comics double feature!
Roland Mann: We” start with BEAH: When The Kid goes missing from the playroom, most of the inhabitants think he’s dead. Not Beah, a stuffed bear. He tells everyone The Kid is coming back to get them and take them to the Big House where’s he working on a new room for them. Problem is, no one believes Beah, and chaos and lawlessness erupts, leaving Beah to try to stop it.
SILVERLINE TEAM-UP: The Champion’s personal life is totally shot, and while he continually puts his life at risk as a firefighter, he seems to be growing physically stronger. He seeks help from his friend and phsyician who suggests he get away and invites him to go to New Orleans with him. He does, but he is found by Ms. Fury (based off the public domain character Miss Fury)…and the troubles that followed him there, namely, the nefarious duo Pistol and Nym!
CB: Where did the idea for this comic originate, and why was crowdfunding the best approach to fulfillment?
RM: The idea for BEAH was born several years ago when my kids were much younger and we watched a LOT of animation in my home. As I looked at their toys, I wondered how they felt when the kids grow up and leave them. The Champion idea has been bouncing around in my brain in various iterations since Champion was first introduced in CAT & MOUSE back in the early 90s. I’ve always wanted to do more with him and this was the perfect opportunity to get to do so.
I’ve become a big believer in crowdfunding and the opportunities it gives creators to go straight to fans/readers to help them get projects made. Fans/readers get to participate in a way they don’t otherwise. To some of them--that’s important. And to the creators they help--it’s VERY important. We couldn’t do what we do without their support.
CB: Do you have a preference of Kickstarter over Indiegogo?
RM: No preference, no…but currently we’ve only done Kickstarters. I think that’s because we started there and just got comfortable there. And we started there because there was a bigger comic audience at that time. IGG has really grown and it’s a completely different audience, so we’re actually planning to start running both IGG and KS in the near future…that’s just a LOT of work! 🙂
CB: What sort of comic readers do you expect will enjoy this most?
RM: I know a lot of creators say this, but these comics are geared for all audiences…but they are two very different comics. SILVERLINE TEAM-UP featuring CHAMPION AND MS FURY is a pretty straightforward lighthearted superhero action story. If you enjoyed Marvel Comics in the 70s, 80s and 90s, you’ll probably like it. BEAH is an anthropomorphic tale--the cast is made up of toys who do stuff. It has humor but no “super-hero” action. But both stories are suitable for readers of all sorts!
CB: Tell us a bit about your creative team.
RM: BEAH is written by me and the art is done by relative newcomer Haley Martin. Haley did a webtoons series she collected into a trade called HEROIC SHENANIGANS, but this is her first time collaborating with anyone else. Her style is perfect for BEAH! SILVERLINE TEAM-UP featuring CHAMPION AND MS FURY is also written by me and also features work by a relative newcomer in penciller Peter Clinton. Peter is a 2020 graduate of the Kubert School and trust me--he’s going to be making some waves. Dude’s got chops! Peter is inked by industry veteran inker Thomas Florimonte (Marvel, DC, others), and colored by Roberta Conroy, who was part of the groundbreaking coloring crew of Malibu Comics from back in the 1990s. These are two very good looking comics!
CB: This isn’t your first crowdfunding project. What is the single biggest aspect about crowdfunding you’ve learned?
RM: You can’t assume that those who support one campaign will support the next, so each campaign has to be treated uniquely. Obviously, you HOPE you get carry-over, but it doesn’t necessarily work that way. You’ll have your core that you learn you can count on…the rest is up to you to go and get!
CB: Good advice. Thanks for chatting with us again, Roland!
RM: Thank you for talking with me!
PURE INTENT #1
by Isaac Fox
Please visit the campaign here.
John Lemus: Welcome to Indie Comics Showcase, Isaac! Before we get started, could you introduce yourself to our readers?
Isaac Fox: Sure! I write comics based out of Jacksonville, Florida. I’ve been a journalist, a technical writer, and an English teacher at university level. I write comics ranging from serious tales of PTSD and alcoholism to ecchi romps with plenty of bountiful visuals. In every book I do, I try to deliver a positive message of some type. My aim, and that of my team, is to make the world better one book at a time.
JL: How did you first get into comics, as a hobby and then creating your own?
IF: Batman the Animated series hooked me on them. I loved the stories so much the show wasn’t enough. Before long, I was reading the comics, too. This transitioned into Superman, Wonder Woman, X-Men, and eventually, various manga. I was always a reader and a fan, of course. Manga and anime resonated more with me, but I love a good issue of Batman or, in more recent times, Saga. Originally, I wanted to tell the story of Cremisi – a tale of PTSD and overcoming our demons. I started wanting to do animation but found it was vastly too time-consuming and expensive. After a few trials, I decided a manga-inspired comic was the best method.
JL: Without giving away any spoilers, what can you tell us about Pure Intent?
IF: Pure Intent takes place in the same universe as my breakout series, Cremisi. However, it stands on its own. The story follows a young human boy named Koru who’s been enslaved by a brutal clan of pirates. These pirates force youngsters to fight to the death for the entertainment and gambling of the crowd. Koru has been blessed (or cursed) with an affinity for a sort of magical power unique to humans. Because of this, the pirates use him as a spectacle and make him execute the loser of these fights. Despite this horrible situation, Koru holds on to hope and believes he can save not only his fellow enslaved youngsters, but the universe itself. Koru’s intentions are noble, heroic, and pure. But… you know what they say about pure intentions.
JL: How did you come up with story and characters?
IF: After Cremisi 4 outdid all my other books, my greatest advisor, an associate of Artgerm, told me I should expand my stories to build more on my success and name. I had ideas for more stories within an already-established universe, but I wasn’t sure where to start. After looking at Cremisi as a whole, I came up with an idea. I wanted to tell a brutal story about the horrors of reality to build a certain kind of empathetic understanding in a reader. To paint a situation and a universe so dark, so horrific, we as a reader would forgive and understand any retaliatory acts committed by the afflicted party, regardless as to how far these retaliatory acts went. From there, I wanted to make readers question themselves and their own sense of morality through the lense of Pure Intent. In doing so, the entire 3 issue story of Koru and Pure Intent was born.
IF: As for the characters, I wanted to experiment with a human as my leading role. Most of my stories involve humans, but the primary focus is on alien, demonic, or fantastical races. I feel this offers a more interesting perspective, but in Pure Intent I wanted readers to fully understand the main character. Therefore, Koru has to be human. Other primary characters such as Temaki, a fellow enslaved youngster, came into play because I wanted to create a female character who could embody the “pure” side of Pure Intent. Manzano, our second leading male, embodies the “intent” side of things. For our primary villain who appears on several covers, Meilin, I wanted to again create a character to test my reader’s morality. We often forgive or overlook things if someone is attractive. Therefore, I wanted to create a truly evil bitch with subtle implications to just how far this evil really goes. From there, I made her extremely attractive and sexy in an attempt to create conflicting feelings within a reader. Just how pure is their intent?
JL: I really like your creative style, could you share how you developed it?
IF: I think I’m just crazy overall. You have to be to want to do this. My style is born out of a desire. When I was younger and life was significantly more violent for me, an experience from which my body carries a handful of scars, comics and the shows of Toonami offered an escape. What’s more, they gave me hope. Watching justice prevail in Batman or seeing the adventures of Gene Starwind aboard the Outlaw Star made me think things could be better one day. It was this which gave me the strength to go on. I had a talent for writing from a young age, or so I’m told, so I decided to use this ability to try and do for someone else what those shows and comics did for me.
As far as my process goes, this has changed over time. A few years ago I read “Manga in Theory and Practice” by Hirohiko Araki – author of Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure. This changed my processes quite a bit. Now, I write out the ideas for my story and edit it over time. I also create long character sheets detailing everything about my characters from their favorite foods to which eye is dominant.
JL: What do you want your readers to take away from (PURE INTENT #1)?
IF: In Pure Intent #1, I want my readers to feel hopeful and happy. I want them to be actively cheering for Koru with pom-poms raised high. At the end of the book, I want them to feel satisfied and warm. Maybe a little vengeful, too. This plays into the later two issues.
I hope Pure Intent dethrones Cremisi #1 REBIRTH as the highest-funded comic in Jacksonville’s Kickstarter history. It’s well on the way, but only time will tell. In the long run, once all 3 issues are completed, I hope to expand Pure Intent beyond my own reach and use it as a gateway for new readers to get into Cremisi and Isaac Fox comics.
JL: What do you think is most important when working on a comic?
IF: I think this answer varies from which perspective we look at a comic from. To me, the most important aspect is honesty. If you want to write a comic about a character who’s new neighbor is a centaur girl he/she is strangely attracted to, do it! Just be honest about what you’re doing and have fun with it. Readers can feel the emotion of those involved when they look at a page.
JL: Are there any comic creators who have inspired or influenced you, if so, how?
IF: Many. The incredibly human writing of Paul Dini. The clever yet easily-followed writing of Brian K. Vaughan. The dark, overbearing yet somehow hopeful world of Kentaro Miura. The absolute love Tite Kubo pours into his characters. The hard-hitting and cold realites presented by Yoshiyuki Tomino. The insane energy and drive Brian Pulido brings to the table. Dan Mendoza looks like he’s having a blast with everything he does – it’s infectious. All of these amazing creators have been inspirations and examples to follow for me.
JL: Is there anything else you would like to share with our readers before we sign off?
IF: Support Indie creators!
That’s it for this installment! Support indie comics!!!
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