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!
The Devil from Talonflats
by Richard Embree
Check out the campaign here!
Chris Braly: Welcome to Indie Comics Showcase! Tell our readers about The Devil from Talonflats.
Richard Embree: Thank you for having me. The Devil from Talonflats is about a wounded bounty hunter that inherits the enemies of a widow that nursed him back to health. A gritty western story told in a graphic novel.
CB: What was the genesis for this project, Richard? What was behind your decision to take it to Kickstarter?
RE: I’ve always been a Western fan growing up and I came up with a story that I felt can work really well in a western setting. The story has been influenced by two of my favorite westerns, Unforgiven and Tombstone. Of course it does have some other influences, but I feel those two are the biggest. I decided to bring The Devil from Talonflats to crowdfunding because my last campaign, The Last Good-Bye was a success and well received. I wanted to see if I could follow that momentum.
CB: What kind of comic fans do you expect this comic to entertain the most?
RE: I feel that this would entertain any comic book fan that really likes to read a great story with characters that display heart. I wanted to present a story that was grounded in reality and bring out the human side of characters. I wanted to make a story with relatable characters that don’t have to rely on cheap pandering that you see in the mainstream. With that said, it’s a Western, and there will be violence.
CB: Tell us a bit about your creative team for this project.
RE: With this project I was fortunate to finally work with Mark Savona. We have had a couple of false starts with working on projects and I’m glad we are going to see this project though. Mark is a very talented artist and I feel that his art is a great fit for the story. On colors I added Bryan Afrel Magnaye. I feel that he did an amazing job on The Last Good-Bye, and he was working on a time limit a lot of the time. I love having him on this project. Last but not least I added Vince Moore as an editor. I feel that he has a ton of knowledge and experience that can make this graphic novel even better.
CB: What’s your creative process like? How do you like to work?
RE: I write the script and send it to Vince. Vince makes some corrections and suggestions. After the script is ready it’s handed to Mark who puts down the light pencils and we make corrections before going to inks. Once the page is inked it gets sent to Bryan for colors. I’m grateful that I have a wonderful team to make this project and all are really easy to work with.
CB: What have you been learning from crowdfunding and creating through this process?
RE: This is my second campaign. You definitely learn a lot every time you run one. The indie comic book crowdfunding scene is constantly changing and I’m trying to learn on the fly to get books completed and to service my customers. I’m constantly listening to feedback, even if it isn’t directed towards me, and making adjustments.
CB: Are there more stories to tell in this universe?
RE: As a creator I just get this itch to tell a story. I really need to do something creative. The Devil from Talonflats story would haunt me if I wasn’t in the process of making it. I think stories like this need to be told. I take pride in being a storyteller and providing entertainment and escapism. It’s definitely needed in the times we’re in.
CB: Thanks for chatting with us, Richard! Good luck and we are rooting for you!
RE: Thank you so much for having me and thank you for reaching out to independent creators. Go check The Devil from Talonflats!
Check out the Devil from Talonflats campaign here!
Shark of War: Ready to
by Ben Lacey
Check out the campaign here
Chris Braly: Welcome back to Indie Comics Showcase! Tell our readers your elevator pitch for Shark of War!
Ben Lacy: Shark of War is Jaws meets Robocop. It’s Jaws if the shark were the hero. It’s Robocop if the cop were a shark. He’s an escaped US Military experiment on the loose in the Gulf of Mexico enforcing the law as he sees fit.
CB: What was the genesis for SoW?
BL: It was not long after the movie The Meg came out. I noticed that in all these movies the shark was the villain or the monster to be stopped. I thought, what if there were a story where the shark was the hero? And I went from there. I decided to crowd fund since it’s an unconventional story that isn’t going to find a path with a traditional publisher.
CB: What kind of comic fans do you expect this comic will entertain the most?
BL: Anyone who likes shark movies will like Shark of War. Anyone who likes monster comics will like it. And anyone who likes harder sci-fi. While Shark of War has its over the top moments, deep down, it’s also hard sci-fi where the question of how a cyborg shark could be built is explored and explained in some detail – (especially if you read the Science of the Shark of War features in each of the deluxe digital editions that accompany each book).
CB: You mentioned in a previous interview that you wanted to tell this story, but didn’t feel you had the necessary art skills, but you overcame that. Tell our readers how.
BL: I can’t draw a straight line and when I started, I didn’t know any artists. I am good with computers though so I started using 3D models combined with digital art programs to create the look I wanted and illustrate the story to get it as close as possible to how it appeared in my head.
CB: What makes sharks so cool? Particularly when you attach munitions to them?
BL: I think it’s because sharks are real. Unlike Godzilla, King Kong, or Cthulhu, sharks actually exist, they can kill people (though rarely and even more rarely with intent to do so). And they look as cool and dangerous as they can be. More people die from cows trampling them than sharks eating them, but what’s scary or cool about a cow accidentally running over someone?
CB: This is issue #4 for the series. Tell us what you’ve been learning from crowdfunding and creating through this process.
BL: You can’t rely on Kickstarter to bring you an audience. You have to work on building it on your on. I’ve spent a lot of my spare time building my social media and email lists to get people to check it out. Anything you can do to improve your reach helps. One thing I’m also doing more is bring in outside artists for variant covers. This time I have a terrific ‘Death of Quint’ Jaws cover by Amanda Rachels and an awesome ‘Marisa Rides the Shark of War’ cover by Brian Dawson for fans of Jaws and really good artwork.
CB: Is there an issue #5 coming? Or a collected edition?
BL: Issue #5 is the epic conclusion of Shark of War. There may be the possibility of more stories depending on what happens, but #5 will provide a clear conclusion to the story. After issue 5, I do plan on putting it together in one volume, hopefully with a lot of the bonus material I’ve created along the way.
CB: Thanks for your time. Good luck, Ben! We’re rooting for you!
BL: Thank you. I hope your readers will check it out at SOW.BitingComics.com. I have some awesome stretch goals that with your readers help, will really make this an even bigger and better book.
Check out the Shark of War campaign here
by Casey Bowker
Check out the campaign here
Chris Braly: Welcome to Indie Comics Showcase, Casey. Briefly tell our readers your pitch for Inferi.
Casey Bowker: Inferi follows the adventures of three Quantico students and their professor who travel the globe stopping mythological creatures.
Chris: Where did the idea for Inferi originate, and what led to you deciding to crowdfund it?
Casey: Ruben Romero approached me about a project he called ’52’. It involved 52 cards in a deck that were related to an unsolved case at the FBI. I took that idea and tweaked it and the two of us finally arrived on what is now Inferi. The students are still solving cases but we honed in on the crimes being committed by mythological creatures that exist in all of society’s folklore and tall tales. We decided to go with crowdfunding to bring it to life because its a space we’re both familiar with as we’ve now funded a dozen or so Kickstarters between the two of us.
Chris: What audience is this book going to appeal to the most?
Casey: I think Inferi appeals to anyone who is a fan of properties like Supernatural, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and even Indiana Jones. It’s a blending of horror and adventure.
Chris: Introduce us to your creative team and tell our readers how you and Ruben Romero hooked up.
Casey: Ruben and I actually met at a New York Comic Con 7 years ago. He was selling his comic book, The Agency, and I ended up buying and enjoying it. After that, we kept in contact and would talk about other projects he was working on. When I went to start my first comic, Hollowed, I ended up using Ruben as a resource. We’ve become best friends throughout the years and when he came up with his ’52’ idea, he pitched it to me as something we could both work on. Its been one of the best collaborations I’ve ever had and since then we’ve worked on a handful of other projects together.
Chris: Tell us how all this comes together. Can you describe your workflow?
Casey: Ruben usually lays the groundwork for a project. He’ll have an idea and present it to me and then I deconstruct it a bit and twist things around. Most of the times we align on an idea. We have had one disagreement that actually came up during the production of Inferi Issue #2 where we took it to a vote with our friends and family to decide whose direction we’d go with in the issue. Luckily, we’re both pretty chilled individual and didn’t get upset about it, just found a solution that worked for the both of us.
Chris: Is this campaign for the first two issues? How many are planned?
Casey: This campaign will cover Inferi Issues #1-#2 but we have many more planned. We’re working on at least 8 for the stories of these central characters. It’s a big world that we’ve created and this is just a small part of it. In issue 2 we tell the story as a flashback and learn more about how Professor Able is turned into the man the students meet. We’re very excited for everyone to go on this journey with us!
Chris: What have you been learning from crowdfunding through all this?
Casey: Crowdfunding is an emotional rollercoaster to be honest. You start off at such a high and then the campaign will hit a lull and you’re worried you won’t make it and then at the end it goes up again as more people pledge to see your project come to life. At the end you just breathe and wipe the sweat from your brow and I wouldn’t have it any other way. We’ve built a community of loyal fans and its great connecting to people virtually through the crowdfunding platform.
Chris: What made this a story you wanted to tell and what does the future hold for Inferi?
Casey: Inferi is a story that we wanted to tell because we all like peeking behind that curtain to find out whats going bump in the night. These folktales and legends that are passed down each generation have to be based in truth right? Well, what happens when these monsters get organized? Who would be so bold as to bring them all together and bump BACK against humanity? Its something we find very intriguing. We’ve been fortunate to sign a publishing deal with Second Sight Publishing for release to comic stores in 2022. If the response goes well with the book then we have many more tales to tell inside the world of Inferi.
Chris: Very cool! Thanks for chatting with us, Casey!
Casey: Appreciate everything you do at Bleeding Fool to give us indie creators a platform and forum to connect with your faithful followers. Thanks again and see you at the finish line of the campaign!
Check out the Inferi campaign here
That’s it for this installment! Support indie comics!!!
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