Indie Comics Showcase #148: Mavrics, Butch Cleaver & Octopus Cowboy

 

 

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!

 

MAVRICS: Origins v1
by Aaron Neff

Check out the campaign here!

 

Chris Braly: Tell our readers your elevator pitch for Mavrics – Briefly tell our readers the pitch.

Aaron Neff: MAVRICS: Origins is a near-future sci-fi military action thriller set in an approximation of our world that’s been ravaged by a series of ecological and geopolitical disasters dubbed the Cascade. With the world still reeling in the wake of the Cascade, the Unification of Zhongguo sets out to bring peace and stability to neighboring countries by way of benevolent invasion. Using newly developed walking war machines – the Unification begins conquering all of Asia. The only thing standing in their way is the Northern Continental Alliance’s Armored Corps – elite pilots in futuristic combat suits called MAVRICS. Now, six brave pilots on a seemingly routine mission to rescue a group of refugees from the heart of a war-torn city will encounter more than they bargained for and uncover a dangerous secret that could change their world – if they live long enough to see it.

 

MAVRICS: Origins Vol 1 Animated Trailer

 

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?

AN: I started writing MAVRICS while I was in film school with the intent of turning it into a stand-alone motion picture, but it quickly evolved into an expansive story that would need to be more than one film. I told that story to my buddy Garrett, and he thought it would be better expressed through sequential art. We began working together to develop the first book and I decided to crowdfund Volume 1 because I want to grow an audience of people who want to see the complete series brought to life.

 

 

CB: What kind of comic fans do you expect this comic will entertain the most?

AN: MAVRICS is for sci-fi fans who also like war stories. It’ll appeal to Mecha enthusiasts – anyone who enjoys franchises like MechWarrior, Gundam and Front Mission will get a kick out of the setting. It also captures the dramatic storytelling of military themed action films like Black Hawk Down and Extraction, so it’ll appeal to a more mature audience interested in complex characters and situations. It pairs the high tension of a dynamic war story with the excitement of big stompy robots. If you get excited when I say, “Steel Battalion,” “Colonial Marines” or “Exo-Squad” then this is the book for you.

 

 

CB: Let’s get into the creative and production side a little. Tell us a bit about your creative team that have contributed to this project?

AN: I’m the writer/creator. My buddy, Garrett Gabbey is the artist. Eric Weathers did the letters and Jake Thomas is our editor. My wife, Kim, handles the logistical side of things and will make sure we stay on track for fulfillment. We have six variant cover artists and colorists as well as no less than twenty guest artists contributing additional material to the campaign. It’s a lot of moving parts, but we’re so excited and very grateful that all these wonderful creators wanted to participate in our book’s inception.

 

 


CB: Tell us a bit about Global Frequency Studios.

AN: I founded Global Frequency Studios as a publishing incubator for independent creators back in 2016 and we’ve been helping amateur artists work to become professionals ever since. We have a decentralized network of people all working together to make fun and interesting original content without relying on mainstream publishers to get their work out there.

 

 

CB: What’s the workflow like? How do you like to work?

AN: Garrett and I work pretty closely. I’ll write a script and hand it off to him for thumbnailing, then he’ll come back and show me what it looks like on the page. Sometimes he’ll make changes to the panel count, which usually enhances the readability of a page, and we’ll arrive at a consensus before he begins his linework in earnest. Garrett also does the color, so although it takes him a little longer to finish a page, we have the benefit of finishing all the art in house. We usually send “chunks” to Jake – maybe 10 pages at a time and make changes based on his feedback while he’s editing the next 10 pages. Once we have something ready to be finished, we send it over to Eric and voila – a comic book is born.

 

 

CB: What have you been learning from crowdfunding and creating through this process?

AN: I’ve been studying crowdfunding pretty thoroughly for the past year, and there are definitely things all the successful campaigns have in common. I’ve also had the benefit of assessing what those campaigns delivered once they fulfilled, so I feel we’ve done our homework on what works and what doesn’t. As for what I’ve learned – it’s all about paying attention to your backers and delivering something that will appeal to a broad audience. Crowdfunding should bring people together – most people just want something good to enjoy, so if you make something that appeals to a wide range of people despite their differences, they’ll want it. Treat the backers like they matter, and they’ll also want to be a part of it.

 

 

CB: What is your purpose for telling this story and what are your plans beyond this book? Are there more stories to tell?

AN: MAVRICS is a pretty ambitious project – but I’m confident in our ability to produce and fulfill it. Origins is just the first arc in a much larger story, and Volume 1 is only the first book in that arc. There’s a lot of work to do, but it’s something all of us are passionate about and I think that shows. We intend to continue listening to our backers, give them our very best, and grow our fanbase because it’s a property worth investing time and money in.

CB: Thanks for chatting with us!

AN: Thanks for the interview – and thank you, dear readers, for sticking with us all the way to the end!

 

 

Check out the MAVRICS: Origins campaign here!

 

 

_________

Octopus Cowboy
by Jason Orfalas

 

Check out the campaign here!

 

 

Chris Braly: Tell our readers your elevator pitch for Octopus Cowboy! Briefly tell our readers the pitch.

Jason Orfalas: Resurrected and transformed by the sea only to wash ashore and be captured by man, Slade struggles to survive on land as he’s made to fight other animals in a brutal bloodsport.

 

 

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?

JO: I haven’t drawn comics for quite some time, but since I’ve been doing a lot of writing I thought I’d come up with a character for a friend of mine when lo and be-hold Octopus Cowboy popped into my head. I said to myself, “I had to do it.” I decided to crowdfund so I could keep total creative control and place the future of the project directly in the hands of comic book fans with no middleman.

 

CB: What kind of comic fans do you expect this comic will entertain the most?

JO: I think there’s a lot in this book to entertain any comic fan. If anything, the concept alone invites curiosity. Below the surface though, I hope readers can see the craft that went into the story and art. I want everyone to enjoy it knowing there was no compromise in quality.

 

CB: Let’s get into the creative and production side a little. Tell us a bit about your creative team that have contributed to this project?

JO: Right now, it’s just me. It’s a lot of work but I’m comfortable with my experience since I started drawing comics professionally way back in the 90s with Crusade Comics. I’ve also freelanced for DC Comics as penciller and inker and I have a co-creator owned project with Image that I did many years ago named Retro Rocket.

 

 

CB: What’s the workflow like? How do you like to work?

JO: At this stage, the story is already written and the pages are all roughed out digitally with the lettering in place. I print out the roughs and use a light box to do tight pencils on 11”x17” Bristol paper. Afterwards, I scan it back to the computer and ink digitally.

 

 

CB: You’ve hit your initial goals. What have you been learning from crowdfunding and creating through this process? And when do you expect to begin fulfillment?

JO: Yes! Thanks to the backers and to everyone who helped spread the word. Crowdfunding is exhilarating. It’s a joy to interact directly with comic fans who are excited about your project and are eager to see you succeed. Also, being accessible keeps you grounded and accountable. Even now, I could feel the pressure of my backers’ expectations pushing me harder.

The official fulfillment schedule is May of next year, but I’m working very hard to deliver earlier.

 

 

CB: What was your purpose for telling this story and what are your plans beyond this book? Are there more stories to tell?

JO: I believe that Octopus Cowboy has to be out there so much that I’m driven to do something I hadn’t planned on and actively resisted for quite some time, that is, doing comics again after fourteen years.

For some reason, I have become the custodian for this wild and crazy idea and I want to do right by it. For that purpose I did the necessary work to give Octopus Cowboy the story he deserves. This is an ongoing series. The second book is al-ready roughed out and I have a solid roadmap ahead.

 

 

CB: Thanks for chatting with us, Jason! Good luck with Octopus Cowboy!

JO: It’s a pleasure chatting with you. Thank you for opening up your platform to independent creators like myself.

 

Check out the campaign here!

OCTOPUS COWBOY New Trailer: An Indiegogo Campaign Launching Soon!

 

_________

BUTCH CLEAVER 2
by Matt Burke

Check out the campaign here!

Chris Braly: Tell our readers your elevator pitch for Butch Cleaver 2 – Briefly tell our readers the pitch and get us caught up.

Matt Burke: BUTCH CLEAVER is a gothic western about a resurrected butcher with the power to control and weaponize bone. He is trying to control his powers, solve his murder and battle a bounty hunter in the process. In BUTCH CLEAVER 2 his quest for clues continues as we do a deep dive into his past and find out a little more lore about the town of Oubliette and what makes Butch Cleaver tick. However, Butch will need to face off against a cabal of villains in a crucible, he will fight tooth and claw or bone and brawl to get to the Voodoo Doll for answers.

 

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?

MB: I am a big fan of comics, MAD, horror, movies and metal. I never seen a skeletal anti-hero with distorted-amorphs bone anatomy set in a gothic-Victoriana-Western with the power to control and weaponize bone, chalked full of a town with cowboys, Vikings, pirates, ninjas, monsters etc.. I thought I might be onto something. I know some butcher’s and my grandma was a teenaged butcher in old Detroit when they had saw dust on the floors, and my Grandpa was a Detroit cop back in the day and he had stories too, so maybe that had some influence. Strangely Butch and his world just crept into my brain and in some ways the story tells itself, I just write it, draw it and ink it down on paper. I love this world and for me to share it the way I want to, it would have to be through crowdfunding. Years back I discovered the CG movement and network and BUTCH CLEAVER found a home and the rest was history.

 

CB: What kind of comic fans do you expect this comic will entertain the most?

MB: I think fans of horror, metal, westerns, 90’s comics, period fantasy and Sam Raimi flicks will get a kick out of this. For mature readers, respectively.

 

 

CB: Let’s get into the creative and production side a little. Tell us a bit about your creative team that have contributed to this project?

MB: I am basically the creative team. I do everything. I write a script, then I type it up after that I move into doodle thumbnail’s then into pencil’s on bristol. Next is India ink, scanning the pages and cleaning up the black and whites in photoshop. Finally I put down flats, colors, letters, edits, and pre-press.

 

CB: What’s the workflow like? How do you like to work?

MB: I work a 9-5 job, when I get home I try to dedicated 4 hours to comic book creating. Every day is a different monster, it may be pencils, layouts, colors flatting, writing or what-have-you, it just really depends on which flame is the largest that needs to be extinguished first.

 

 

CB: What have you been learning from crowdfunding and creating through this process?

MB: Give yourself time, whatever ETA you give, double it, don’t be late you need room for errors because they will ALWAYS happen, big time or small time creators it will happen especially if you go it alone. Make sure your calculations are correct this world changes rapidly and new taxes rise like the tide. Have that book 75% complete and start your pre-launch 3 months before launch rather then 6 months to keep peak awareness. It is paramount that you have an audience either through Youtube, Instagram etc.. The more engaged and entertaining you are with your audience the more willing they will be there to support your creations. You have to your backers and audience, if they read your book and give you criticism that is a gift that needs to be acted on, especially if they are consistently giving similar critiques.

 

 

CB: What is your purpose for telling this story and what are your plans beyond this book? Are there more stories to tell? And can backers get the first issue during this newest campaign?

MB: I love this character and I need to share it but most importantly I hope people will be entertained by it, my dream would be to get this into as many hands as possible. I have one more story left in this arch and many more BUTCH CLEAVER stories to tell if I am given the opportunity I will do so. Backers can pick up the first book on this campaign to catch up if they like.

 

CB: Thanks for chatting with us! 

MB: Thanks for the time, and remember… ROLL THE BONES, TO KNOW YOUR ROLE

 

BUTCH CLEAVER 2 TRAILER

Check out the campaign here!

 

 

_________

 

 

 

That’s it for this installment! Support indie comics!!!

 

 


Follow Indie Comics Showcase on Twitter at @Indie_Comics and reach out to them if you want us to consider featuring YOUR crowdfunding comic project!

 

Chris Braly

I'm a collector, a speculator, and one opinionated, based geek. My friends call me Braly, but those who know me within the hobby generally refer to me as Bralinator. I can be heard monthly on the Comic Book Page Previews Spotlight podcast with several other comic book nerds. Follow me on Twitter @ChrisBraly

JUST KEEPING THE LIGHTS ON