Indie Comics Showcase #156: Cobblestone Chronicles, Nosfero & Infinitale


 

 

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!

 

Infinitale: Chronicles – The War of the Trees
by Chris Fisk

 

Check out the campaign here!

 

Chris Braly: Tell our readers your elevator pitch for Infinitale: Chronicles – The War of the Trees #1.

Chris Fisk: Infinitale: Chronicles is a high fantasy graphic novella series that hearkens back to the Saturday morning cartoons and Anime of the 1980s & 90s…with a bit of the old “Ultra Violence” tossed in for good measure. This first series focuses on the origins of the Aelvar people — on their home world of Esperia.

 

 

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?

CF: Initially, “Infinitale” (Infinite Tale) was developed as a table-top role-playing game system that I had started as an alternative to Dungeons & Dragons (2nd Edition) back in the early 1990s. The game system has a heavy focus on narrative construction and collaborative storytelling. These “Chronicles” represent the recorded sessions of those games.

The stories were inspired from countless hours of research in various folklore & myths from a variety of ancient cultures. Since this research began before the Internet was really a thing, I poured over the many books of the Pelham Public Library in my hometown of Pelham, NH throughout my teenage years.

 

 

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

CF: Fans of adventure comics will enjoy these multi-generational stories as the ensemble cast of characters aren’t your overwrought clichés of “Roided Up Quip-Slinger #917842” or “Hardened Female Badass in a Bikini #866351.” If you’ve enjoyed anything from ElfQuest and Dragonlance to Elric of Melniboné and Prince Valiant, Infinitale: Chronicles will be right at home in your collection.

 

 

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?

CF: Sometime in 2017, I approached Zen (from High Concept Media Properties – HCMP) to help me assemble a team for producing this first book. He reached out to some very talented Portuguese artists to complete the team: Antónió Brandáo came aboard as our penciler/inker & Alzir Alves joined as our inker. Zen fulfilled lettering duties and I was the writer, contributing graphic designer/artist, and creator of the series.

Prior to the start of the project, I was working with an Australian artist, ZedEdge, to help develop the overall art direction and design for the Infinitale fantasy role-playing game rules books. When we began the work on Infinitale: Chronicles, ZedEdge’s talents were leveraged to help flesh out the initial concepts of the character designs.

 

 

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

CF: I was fortunate enough to have already created the entire story from the game chronicles about three decades ago, so the story was composed from prose to a screenplay format long before I contacted Zen.

While working on adapting those scripts into the graphic novella format, I reached out to a handful of proofreaders to get early feedback. This helped immensely in distilling down the writing into an optimal story for the medium — “Failing Quickly” is a must. I’d revise the scripts (based on the feedback) and draft up some rough thumbnails for Zen & Antonio to start creating pages. After we’ve reached something that was “ready for the readers”, Alzir was provided the inked pages to add his colour.

Unfortunately, some things occasionally slip through and make it into the coloured drafts. These are usually found in our “advance copies” provided to early readers (see: beta testers). Changes at this stage can be costly — but often necessary. This multi-stage feedback approach helps us better refine our book. Ultimately, the proof will be in the product we release to determine the efficacy of these methods.

 

 

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

CF: The biggest lesson I’ve learned would be about socializing your book BEFORE you launch your crowdfunding campaign. The backers need to know all about you and your product if you expect them to invest. Crowdfunded products don’t sell themselves. Independent creators (especially new/unproven ones) really need to reach out to as many promotional opportunities as possible before starting that countdown on a live campaign. Networking is imperative to a successful campaign (in addition to having a solid product worth backing).

 

 

CB: What is your purpose for telling this story and what are your plans beyond this book? How many issues do you have planned if this is a success?

CF: The main purpose for telling The War of the Trees saga is to generate audience interest in the Infinitale universe. This first collection of tales is a proof of concept for the viability of the Infinitale fantasy role-playing game’s storycrafting capabilities. Infinitale: Chronicles serve as a window into the universe and are an historical primer for it. 10 books are planned for The War of the Trees saga (already written & their production is contingent upon audience/backer interest). If there is enough interest in these stories, there are plans for releasing a second saga. Eventually, we plan to crowdfund the table top role-playing game rules books — giving the audience a chance to craft their own tales within this universe.

 

CB: Thanks for chatting with us! Good luck and we are rooting for you!

CF: Thanks for reaching out to me! I definitely appreciate the support we’ve received for this project! It’s been very encouraging and motivational!

 

Check out the campaign here!

Infinitale: Chronicles - The War of the Trees - Book 1 Announcement

 

 

 

 

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Nosfero: The Crypt Walker
by Shanth Enjeti 

Check out the campaign here

 

Chris Braly: Tell our readers your elevator pitch for Nosfero: The Crypt Walker – Briefly tell our readers synopsis.

Shanth Enjeti: First, Thank you for the opportunity to tell your readers about “Nosfero: The Crypt Walker!” This is the first volume and it is full of character first appearances and their origins. The comic book is a gothic pulp-horror comic that tells the story of Nosfero, meaning ‘iron-nose’, a soldier in the war against a Lovecraftian deathcult whose sole ambition is to bring about the end of life on Earth.

When our story begins, this war is at a stalemate, and that’s when he meets Laurel. Nosfero has been absorbed in a cosmic struggle his entire life with only the tools of his enemies at his disposal: hatred, dedication, and a will to win. However, what his enemies possess and what he lacks is a driving reason. His purpose as a man is to be against their purpose, which is evil and ugliness. Evil and ugliness are all he’s known his entire life (which we will see in the story). In spite of that, his innate moral compass gave him an awareness that there was an alternative. Something better existed and he has lived with faith in that belief. When he meets Laurel, he beholds beauty and goodness for the first time. He finds his “why” and because of that, the stalemate will be broken. That’s all I can say for now.

 

 

CB: What was the genesis for this project, where did the idea for this comic come from and what led to you deciding to crowdfunding?

 

SE: This project is the result of a lifetime of drawing, creating and loving comic books and pulp art. The idea for this comic came while I was creating paintings for my second crowdfunded art book.  Starting in 2019, I created enough new artwork of original concepts that I was able to create two art books. These weren’t retrospectives or anything with old work, I was just producing great work and really in a groove. I grew a huge audience on social media out of nowhere when I started sharing it and that led to the books. I had been backing a lot of CG books and I was active in the community making videos for EVS, and after crowdfunding my first two books I realized that I had both the skill and the production experience to make comics the way I’ve always wanted, just like my art books: No compromises and maximum creativity. 

 

I’m here to create monsters, paint sexy women, tell gothic pulp stories, and make beautiful books. There is nothing more satisfying than opening a box of my books, fresh from the printer, and seeing those glossy-cover, square-bound books on the slightly heavier, “super smooth uncoated” paper stock and getting ready to ship them. And because even the biggest campaigns on IndieGoGo only have around 12,000 backers, every campaign creates a very limited edition comic book. Each copy of my books has a signature page and every copy will be signed or signed with a head sketch if you back at that tier.

 


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

SE: Fans of Frank Frazetta, Batman 1989, Dave Stevens’ The Rocketeer, Hammer Horror films, H.P. Lovecraft, Arthur Conan Doyle, Rick Baker’s and Jack Pierce creature designs, Nosferatu, and classic pulp stories will enjoy it. I know that’s a lot, but I can get more specific, too.

Anyone who knows the excitement of waiting in line for The Haunted Mansion or the Pirates of the Caribbean ride at Disney World, and the gothic atmosphere or the echoing sounds of pirate caves will like it too. So will people who remember the excitement of waiting for Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” to play on MTV. If your heart skipped a beat when Mathilda May appeared on screen in “Lifeforce”, you’ll get it. If you felt the look that Uncas and Alice exchanged in Michael Mann’s “The Last of the Mohicans” you’ll understand the book’s soul. This comic book is going to be beautiful, creepy, sexy, and filled with imaginative imagery.

 

 

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

SE: I love to work with movies or YouTube live streams playing. Anything that inspires me. I collect Blu-rays and I love watching bonus features. I’ve been rewatching the “Joseph Campbell and The Power of Myth” series this week. When it comes to making the artwork, I create my layouts on toned grey sketch paper in pen and opaque watercolor and then I sketch them out on large sheets of 300lb Cold Press watercolor paper.

From there I use Faber-Castell PITT Artist Pens, Pelikan Opaque Watercolor Paint Set, 24 Colors, a tube of Zinc White gouache, and white Sakura Gelly Roll gel pens on 300lb, Cold Press, Strathmore 500 Series Watercolor Paper. I had to build a lower desk because I like to work in my lap, but for double page spreads that became a bit ridiculous. 

 


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

SE:  The workflow for IndieGoGo campaigns is unique because there are a lot of aspects to the book’s marketing that I have to keep in mind. Before a launch, there is a lot of art that has to be made so that people understand what they are backing.

Because I do everything, that means designing the logo, making art, selecting trailer music and sound effects, and designing the pans over the artwork.Then there are all the images for every perk tier and deciding what those perks are going to be and how many of each there will be. This is my third IndieGoGo campaign, and my advice to anyone would be to do your homework and prepare as best you can. I watch a lot of CG streams where successful creators share a lot of helpful tips. 

But there is something I learned this time out: I’ve never had the support of peers like I do as a member of CG. I became fast friends with a creator named Michael Bancroft, creator of the highly successful “The Lucent” series, and he launched my book on his YouTube channel. I’ve never had anyone else’s help before with my campaigns. The day of the launch, he even offered to look over the campaign as an extra set of eyes. I also want to give a shout out to Pete Simeti. When I was $5 shy of my first funding goal, I went on Pete’s popular Open Mic Monday show and he was so invested in getting the book funded on his stream that he gave me extra time and turned it into an event.

 

 

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

SE:  My purpose is to do my part to bring beauty and inspiration into this world any way I can. For me, that means creating pulp escapism. As a character, Nosfero does battle with vampires and eldritch gods, but this story is about reminding the reader that the outer darkness of the world need not stain our spirit. We can choose heroism. We can begin a noble life governed by the better angels of our nature no matter how jaded we’ve become. We just have to do our own work to get there. This first book is about the origins of a spiritual marriage between two souls that fate has brought together.

If this book’s funding period is successful enough, the second book will be about the creation of a new lifeform and introduce Nosfero to my take on Frankenstein’s monster and a “mummy”. If you back the three book package that contains my first two art books (or you have them already) you have a lot of clues to what I mean by that.

 

 


CB: Thanks for chatting with us! Good luck and congrats on already reaching your funding goal – keep it going!

SE:  Thank you Chris, and thank you to everyone at Bleeding Fool, in CG, and all of the backers supporting independent comics. We want to pass the success of our previous campaigns. That means getting over 140 backers and five figures. I hope your readers will check out the campaign, back it, and help get the word out! I’m on YouTube, Instagram, and Twitter, where you can see my process videos and lots of art.

Check out the campaign here

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The Cobblestone Chronicles
Michael Versus the Babysitters
by David Baron

 

Check out the campaign page here!

 

Chris Braly: Welcome to Indie Comics Showcase! Tell our readers your elevator pitch for The Cobblestone Chronicles: Michael Versus The Babysitters.

David Baron: Elevator pitch: In the small town Michael is like any other 6th grader, except his parents STILL leave him at home with a babysitter. But Michael knows they’re up to no-good and he is going to prove it! The bit longer pitch can be read on the kickstarter page, but my favorite part of it reads: The good news is Michael has been training his whole life for this moment. All the ninja, spy, and super-hero cartoons he’s been watching has made his whole life one big training session. Why else would his dad make him kick all those soccer balls, or his mom make him chop all those onions? It all makes sense now. IT WAS FOR THIS MOMENT!

 

 

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?

DB: The idea came from having dinner with my Wife and Son during the early stages of the pandemic when almost everything was on lockdown and people were buying way too much toilet paper. We were eating dinner and talking when we asked my son what he missed most during the lockdown. He said of all things, “Babysitters.” We got to talking about what and why, and then we all agreed that my son only liked babysitters because he got to tell them what do to do. Boardgames, done. Movies, okay. Extra chocolate on his ice cream, sounds yummy! Not to mention that he would play fight with them in ways that his parents just didn’t want to do. It really was Michael versus the babysitters. That snowballed in a concept, which snowballed into a full story.

I immediately called my friend, and extremely talented artist, Elisa Wikey to pitch her on the book. She loved it and instantly started coming up with more ideas that fit the project perfectly. And crowdfunding? Well, we spent over 6 months with publishers, getting great feedback and tons of love. But ultimately we didn’t get picked up and felt crowdfunding was the next best option to get our project that we are so proud of out into the world.

 

CB: What kind of comic fans do you expect this comic will entertain the most? Is it all-ages?

DB: It is all ages. If you’re a fan of Diary Of Wimpy Kid, Captain Underpants, or Dogman, you’re going to love this book. We have had so many people preview it, from ages 8 to adult and they all loved it for different reasons. There is nothing better than seeing a 30-something burly man laughing out loud at a “kids book.”

 

 

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?

DB: The project is written by me, with amazing artwork by Elisa Wikey. I finish the project doing the color, lettering, and design. Elisa’s art is something special, and something that sets this book apart from all the others out there. Her art is laugh at loud funny. Hysterical artwork on EVERY page.

 

 

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

DB: I wrote the whole book before Elisa picked up her pencil. I like to make sure the artists I work with know the whole story so they can then add to it with their art in anyway they feel will produce the best book. From there, Elisa took over, creating the wonderful world that we call The Cobblestone Chronicles.

 

 

CB: This appears to be your first crowdfund campaign, is that accurate? (If not, feel free to mention others you ran). But you have a noteworthy experience in making comics. Tell our readers about some of your work.

DB: This both mine and Elisa’s first crowdfund campaign. I have spent decades working with some of the best publishers in the world, and on some of the best characters ever created in the world. Now it is Elisa’s and my time to create and publish something on our own. It is extremely thrilling to bring something that is important to us and put it out there for people to help fund.

 

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

DB: This book sole purpose is to give you something to simply enjoy. To relax, have fun, and most importantly, laugh. And the best part, we have more stories planned. And even better, the second book is already written, with Elisa working on pages as we speak.

CB: Thanks for chatting with us! Good luck and we are rooting for you!

DB: Thank you so taking the time to share our project with your audience, we greatly appreciate the support.

 

Check out the campaign page here!

The Cobblestone Chronicles: Michael Versus The Babysitters

 

 

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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 try to steer this tiny ship and can often be heard monthly on the Comic Book Page Previews Spotlight podcast with several low-level, other comic book nerds. Follow me on Twitter @ChrisBraly

JUST KEEPING THE LIGHTS ON