Indie Comics Showcase #15

Hey all, first I want to say thank  you to my friends at Bleeding Fool and to all my followers on @Indie_Comics for all the well wishes, patience and help as I recovered from a really messed up case of the flu that’s been going around my area.

For this week’s issue, I wanted to try and little something different. I wanted to do some of my first interviews, while also showcasing some new and really exceptional comics. I usually try and have a mix of both Kickstarter campaigns and Indiegogo, but several of these are either ending in just a few days or have just launched, so it kind of turned into an Indiegogo exclusive. I plan to have more next week.

As per usual you can follow me on Twitter on @Indie_Comics for even more indie comics news. I have learned that a couple of brand new indie comic projects have launched on Kickstarter this week and they have both already been fully funded. So, I think it’s safe to say that the indie slump is now over.

My first interview is with Josh Howard

_____T-BIRD & THROTTLE #2______

It’s the story of a disgraced superhero facing off against a sinister conspiracy as he seeks to revive his crime-fighting career.

Book One was reviewed here on Bleeding Fool by our boy Spike Valentine this past summer. It’s a fantastic, vibrant comic full of heart and great energy. Now Book Two is being funded via Indiegogo and you can get both books this time around.

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/t-bird-throttle-a-new-comic-by-josh-howard/x/18537415#/

John: What was your inspiration for creating T-Bird & Throttle and how did you come up with the characters?

Josh: It started out as kind of a joke. I was trying to think of a motif (like a spider or a bat) that hadn’t been taken by a superhero. I thought a car would be interesting, so I merged Optimus prime with Batman and the result was T-Bird. But the more I drew him the more I liked him and began to create stories, an origin, and villains. And then it wasn’t a joke anymore!

John: How about for the story? What’s your process Like?

Josh: Well it was developed over the course of nearly 20 years. It’s had different iterations, but the heart of it always remained the same. So I’ve written several different versions, and they all reflected where I was as a person and what was going on in the world in a thematic sense. The final version that I’m working on now I wrote in late 2016/early 2017. I sat down and wrote all four (60-page) books over the course of about 2 months, pouring over & compiling 20 years of notes & sketches.

John: One of the first things that jumped out at me was of course the art style, how did you come by selecting that particular style? To me it’s really reminiscent of cartoons like Ben Ten, not just in the style but the family dynamic.

Josh: It’s hard to say how much of an artist’s personal style is natural and how much is choice. As a kid I was mimicking all my favorites at the time – Jim Lee, Frank Miller, Rob Liefeld, Erik Larsen, Mike Mongolia, etc. But I was drawn to certain aspects of their work, and once I saw Bruce Tim’s designs for Batman The Animated Series, it kind of all clicked. The angular, distinct shapes and strong design sense of his characters summed up everything I had been chasing. So that was a big turning point for me. So yes, animation in general has been just as big an influence on me as comics.

John: Bruce Tim. That is in my opinion the ‘Quintessential Style’ and feel for super heroes. It’s just so classic and timeless.

Josh: Agreed.

John: …it definitely helped add that feel to T-Bird & Throttle.

 Josh: Thank you.

John: You are welcome!

John: The comic has a really great cast of characters, which has been your favorite to write for so far?

Josh: Mitch/T-Bird for sure. As I’ve gotten older I’ve been able to put more life experience into the character – I’m glad it took me this long to get this story out – I think it’s made everything better. As for other characters, I love the villain as well, who you only get a tease for in book 1. He’s got an interesting past and perspective that, once revealed, will add some extra layers to the story as seen thus far.

John: I think that pretty much sums it up, is there anything you want to say in closing?

Josh: Just want to tell everyone thanks for all the support. I can’t wait to continue this story.

John: Great. Well Josh Thank you and best of luck with the campaign. I’m sure it will be fully funded, if there is anything else I can to do help just let me know.

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Next up is my interview with creator Keung Lee who is crowdfunding…

_____Battle Maiden Knuckle Bomb____

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It’s being described as

Superhero Comic meets Battle Manga – A throwback to ’90s action comics with unapologetic sex appeal!

And it’s now being funded via Indiegogo.

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/battle-maiden-knuckle-bomb–2/x/18537415#/

This is another Amazing Manga/ Comic Hybrid that I am just completely blown away by.

John: What was your initial inspiration for creating Battle Maiden Knuckle Bomb?

Lee: Knuckle Bomb was a character I created back in 2004 when I started playing the MMORPG City of Heroes. I drew the character based on the character I had created using the character creation suite in the game, so there really wasn’t much outside influence. I just wanted to create a martial arts-based superheroine.

John: What have been some artist and writers that have influenced you while working on Battle Maiden Knuckle Bomb

Lee: As far as the most influential artists in my life, at the moment my top artists are Tsukasa Hojo, Takeshi Obata, Shun Saeki, Shunya Yamashita, Frank Cho and Adam Hughes. Oda Non and Tsukasa Jun too, but be careful Googling their work lol

John: That’s a fair warning, one many of my readers may just end up ignoring.

Lee: Lol

Lee: Not many comic writers have had much of an influence on me honestly, but two authors that have are George Orwell and Brandon Sanderson.

John: Orwell I know really well, Sanderson not as much as I would like to, what works of his do you like best?

Lee: Actually, I’m more familiar with Sanderson as an instructor than an author.

He teaches in Utah and his classes have been very helpful with my writing.

John: That sounds like a great segue to get into your writing and drawing process.

Lee: As far as writing process goes, I’m an outliner for sure but I delve into some discovery writing when developing the script.

Usually when crafting the dialogue the characters themselves will kinda steer me in new directions and I love that, it’s also reminiscent of my years of running Dungeons and Dragons campaigns as a DM.

I outline major story arcs, supplement them with some minor arcs that still contribute to the overall story, and from there I start coming up with the key events that need to happen to really drive the story forward.

Battle Maiden Knuckle Bomb is going to be heavily character driven, each character has a story to be told and will have their own significant contributions to the overall narrative.

When it comes time to creating the comic, I actually work in the manga style drafting a manuscript called the Name.

The reason it’s called the Name is simply because the lettering is taken care of prior to the art – I take a blank canvas and create a very rough composition of the panel layout and what each panel will contain.

But before I go into details, I start laying down the text and dialogue boxes and balloons. Once that process is done with I start laying down the art.

It’s the reverse process that most domestic comic creators are used to, but it really helps with creating a harmonious composition between the art and the storytelling.

John: Are you going to have it published like a Manga, much like how Udon publishes their line up of comics like Street Fighter and Megaman?

Lee: I haven’t read the Megaman comics, but the Street FIghter comics that Udon produces are done like domestic comics, pages bound on the left

But they have brought over some manga from Japan, and those are the ones that are bound on the right

John: The Megaman reads like traditional Manga but it looks very much like an American comic.

Lee: Ah, I see. BMKB will be a standard sized western comic, saddle stitched and bound on the left

John: The Megaman series is called The Megaman Mastermix if you want to look it up, it’s a thing of beauty.

Lee: Will do!

John: I think that pretty much covers everything I wanted to know. Is there anything you want to say in closing to our readers?

Lee: There’s an awful lot of vitriol out there right now, so now more than ever we need compassion, kindness and tolerance but that doesn’t mean you should roll over and submit – that’s one of the reasons I’m doing BMKB with unapologetic sex appeal

There is nothing wrong with a sexy superheroine, what’s important is that she is a hero that inspires and encourages the good in people. And that’s what I hope to achieve with Knuckle Bomb

John: Thank you so much for your time, you have been fantastic! I know readers are going to love this.

Lee: I hope so, lol, but you’ve been an awesome interviewer, thanks so much.

I gotta go find something to eat now, haven’t eaten all day lmao, take care!!

John: Thank you! I actually have to do the same. I’m rather hungry. I hope you enjoy your meal.

Lee: You too

John: You have a Youtube Channel Correct

Lee: Correct, let me get the link for you

.https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCycTm4LC8tTgIrR0htMLb3w

John: Awesome.


For my final interview, I’m chatting with with Narwhal Books!

____Earthbound Graphic Novel____

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The Story of two Headhunters converging on Earth to recruit 5 deadly warriors for the Galactic Grand Prix.

Now being funded via Indiegogo.

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/earthbound-graphic-novel/x/18537415#/

This is a comic I saw in it’s very early stages and was immediately hooked by. I love the art the way it conveys movement and emotion. I also love the story.

John: Can you give our readers a rundown of what Earthbound is about?

Narwhal: Sure, Earthbound centers on two headhunters sent to Earth to recruit the Sirens of Violence, four deadly warriors hiding out.  Whoever recruits more of the four shall earn their freedom.  In the case of a split tie, Wiz Kid, their ex-partner, will be the tie breaker.  None of the targets will come willingly, luckily the headhunters are armed with special weaponry that jacks the targets free will, all they have to do is get a clear shot.  But they’ll both have to build a small army to even have a chance of getting close to the Sirens.  A good way to have fun on Earth.

John: What was some of your inspiration, your influenced when writing Earthbound

Narwhal: Earthbound’s biggest influence is Battle Royale by Kenji Fukusaku, 2001.  In Battle Royale, a deadly game plays out, and the strategy is the story, nothing more.  We get to focus on the characters and the decisions they make, the alliances, betrayals, friendships, romance, the gambits, the sacrifice, the memories.  I like these kinds of stories more than overly plotted stories, and to me when I’m creating a story like this it will often feel like it’s writing itself.  I love that feeling and try to recapture it whenever I can.

John: What artistic influences?

Narwhal: My artistic style is heavily influenced by animation, including anime, but especially European comics.  My two favorite artists are Bengal, who is French, and LRNZ, who is Italian. 

John: How long have you been working on Earthbound and where would you like to see it go?

Narwhal: As I’ve worked on Earthbound, it’s been over 3 years, I’ve realized the world supports quite a bit of stories, not just the one I’m telling now.  It loosely parallels the Sports world on Earth, where owners jockey for dominance, and whole economies boom and bust based on personalities and championships.  Multiple roles and classes are supported in a hierarchy, ownership, sponsorship, administrative, field agents, players, trainers, commentators, even fans.  Despite how broad and well structured the world systems are, Spanning the galaxy, this story itself is very small and focused on Earth.  This story is Earthbound.

John: Is there anything you want to say to our readers in closing?

Narwhal: Thanks for having a look!  My last little pitch is that this book has garnered a reputation for being very unique with strong writing and interesting high-energy art.  I look forward to sharing it, and digging deeper!  Thanks!


I’ve got two more crowdfunded indie comics I want to mention because basically, they look like they kick ass and they end in just a few short days!

____Black and White – Remastered____

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In world where law and order are often blurred to grey, justice can only be . . . Black & White!

Now being funded Via Indiegogo.

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/black-and-white-remastered/x/18537415#/

Legendary artist, Art Thibert‘s Black and White – Remastered is the original story which has been re-crafted with new updated story, additional pages, remastered artwork and colors. In 1994, under his Hack Shack Studios, Art published the first issues of the Black & White series through Image Comics. The story is a cross between super-heroics and James Bond-style adventures, telling the tales of Whitney Samsung and Reed Blackett, who was hired to defend Whitney and thereafter cast into the role of bodyguard/guardian as she refuses to listen to reason and throws herself headlong into trouble. Whitney is obsessed with seeking vengeance against the company that killed her father. Art Thibert’s drawing is better than average, with lots of attention to detail.

Art’s new co-writer, Taylor Grosso, and he have updated the storyline and script. Art’s own wife, Pamela, is on board as Editor-in-Chief; together they have updated and brought this project into the 21st century.

This campaign basically relaunches Black & White as a 48-page graphic novel and will be part one of a two-part remastering of the origin story of the vigilante team known as Black and White! As a 30-year vet of the comic book industry, Art Thibert has worked on some of the hottest titles for DC, Marvel and Image Comics. 

With the help of  you, the Indiegogo backers, Black and White will be given new life and a chance to return to the reader’s hands as a two part epic adventure.  The readers have spoken, and the creators have listened!  Because Art is taking a step out of the mainstream industry, he hopes you will support the Black and White team with the first of many independent projects they have planned for you.

This campaign ends in 4 days!!

 

________Stealing Solo: A Captain’s Parody________

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The pitch? A group of fans kidnap a famous actor and force him to remake a movie in their basement. You ever wonder what you would do if the thing you loved most in the world betrayed you? Four men answer that question in a very funny, yet very illegal way in Stealing Solo: A Captain’s Parody. Stealing Solo is the best way to help laugh off the pain that is Disney Star Wars all while retaining the true true spirit of the franchise in a satirical way.

 

Now being funded via Indiegogo.

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/stealing-solo-a-captain-s-parody/x/18537415#/

It’s here! Welcome to the first WorldClassBS Indiegogo project, Stealing Solo: A Captain’s ParodyStealing Solo . The story is simple: A group of men, after the utter disappointment that was Episode VII, decide to kidnap Harrison Ford and force him to remake the movie in their basement. Stealing Solo started out as a joke on the podcast and now it is going to become a full fledged comic book, but the ambition doesn’t stop there. Ultimately, Stealing Solo is destined to become a film that embraces the absurdity of the situation and celebrates the true spirit of Star Wars, but that’s only possible if we work together as a community.

This campaign ends in only 3 days!!

I want to say thank you to everyone who helped bring this installment together, my fellow Bleeding Fools and the creators I interviewed; Josh Howard,  Keung Lee, and Narwhal Books! You were all phenomena!. Thank you again for your time and for sharing with your goals and plans with us!

We’re rooting for you!

As per usual you can follow me on Twitter on @Indie_Comics for even more indie comics news!

John Lemus

John Lemus

I'm a 35 year-old Cuban who works in Hialeah, FL. I'm really into comic books and comic book culture and I have a particular fondness for independent comics. Which is why I started the Indie Comics Showcase. Follow me on Twitter @indie_comics!

JUST KEEPING THE LIGHTS ON