Indie Comics Showcase #157: Creepsters, Thin Blue Line, Spells & Superheroes


 

 

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!

 

Spells & Superheroes
by Markk Mulgrave

 

Check out the campaign page here!

 

Chris Braly: Welcome to Indie Comics Showcase, Tell our readers your elevator pitch for Spells & Superheroes!

Markk Mulgrave: Hey Chris, thanks for reaching out! Spells & Superheroes is a superhero-action-fantasy that mashes together beloved caped crusaders and the classic tabletop RPG Dungeons & Dragons!  Our pitch is:  “a deranged Game Master has captured 4 of Earth’s bravest heroes and he wants to play a game…a game for their lives! Can YOU survive game night?”

 

CB: Where did the idea for this comic come from, and what led to you deciding to crowdfund it?

MM:  Spells & Superheroes was born very organically, meaning the book is a wonderful combination of all my favorite things growing up. Superhero comics, D&D and role playing games, and there is a sprinkle of horror with the villain Game Master forcing our team to play a game that may cost them dearly.  I funded the project myself and the pencils & inks are completed and the book is being colored now. The idea to put the book on Indiegogo made sense to me because I felt the book would resonate with the IGG crowd and the book was fully funded in just under three weeks so I’m stoked that we were able to make it so quickly! 

 

 

CB: Who do you think this comic will appeal to?

MM: The book takes place in two different settings. The “real” world and the “fantasy” world. The real world version of the characters is their superhero forms. The fantasy version has the team placed as different RPG classes and races and I think readers will love that reveal because it made me laugh pretty good myself!

 

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?

MM:  Absolutely! The pencil & inker is the Jacob “Thunder from Down Under”(he demands I call him this) Whittingham. We have the colors done by Anthony Gambino, Anthony is a writer/artist in his own right and recently had a sketchbook out on Indiegogo. Last but not least, the letters are done by Keith Gleason. Keith is the writer/creator of the comic book The Mighty Mascots! I chose Keith because I felt his tone with Mighty Mascots perfectly fit what we are doing with Spells & Superheroes.

 

CB: Tell us about your Patchwork Comics. How did that come about?

MM:  That’s a tricky one! Patchwork Comics has gone through a few iterations before our debut of Spells & Superheroes. We wanted to make sure we delivered a fantastic first book and a great backer experience. It’s all about making sure the backers get their books in a timely manner, so that next time we release a campaign people know that we are serious professionals at Patchwork Comics! We love comics and telling great stories is our mission.

 

CB: Are there more stories to tell?

MM: YES! We are heading full speed into the Spells & Superheroes universe with the release of Foxman #1 next year! I expect the prelaunch to go up for that around July/August 2022. I can’t say too much but I have hired an editor to make sure the readers get the best book I can do! Jacob is coming back to draw Foxman and he is very excited to flesh out more of the character he designed almost a year ago now! The purpose of this book is to tell the type of story I have always wanted to see. There are elements of everything that I love in other media in this book Spells & Superheroes.  

 

CB: What have you learned from crowdfunding through this process?

MM:   The moment I launched the campaign and looked at the page I had a “click” moment where I saw some perk structuring I could have done differently, for example. It was just a small thing but it was immediately after hitting the button. The learning experience is almost the entire ride, but it’s been a great rollercoaster and I can’t wait to get back on and do it again!
   
CB: Thanks for chatting with us, Markk! Good luck and we are rooting for you!

MM:  Thanks for reaching out, Chris! You rock, bro! Thanks to all the backers so far! You rock, too!

 

Check out the campaign page here!

Spells & Superheroes! Trailer

 

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Thin Blue Line
by Mike Baron

Check out the campaign page here!

 

Chris Braly: Mike, tell our readers your elevator pitch for Thin Blue Line.

Mike Baron: Two cops fight to survive a night of riots in a large Midwest City. Assigned to guard the mayor, they are attacked “activists” as they try to hustle the mayor out of the danger zone. Val Baca is a single mom who joined the blue to serve her community. When the mob kills her partner, she teams up with rogue cop Three Jays, trying to protect the mayor.

 

 

CB: Where did the idea for this comic come from?

MB: Obviously inspired by the events of summer 2020 and the rise of the “defund the police” movement. You can’t have civilization without civilized people. You’re either for the rule of law or you’re not.

 

CB: You first came to prominence writing the Punisher for Marvel. Do you expect fans of those kinds of comics will be entertained the most by Thin Blue Line?

MB: Absolutely. In fact, the various Punisher groups on Facebook are very excited about this project. Frank Castle has goals similar to police, but isn’t constrained by the law.

 

 

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’ve known Joe Arnold and Jeff Slemons for years through our comics meet-up groups. I’ve watched Joe mature as an artist and thought that as a working policeman, this would be right up his alley. And I was right. Joe’s also an experienced martial artists which shows in scenes of hand-to-hand combat.

 

 

CB: Do you expect there to be some political pushback from media or publishers with the top of this comic being a police officer? What has the response been so far?

MB: As you know, every publisher we approached turned us down. Big surprise. They’re more interested in pushing an agenda than in entertainment. Our first goal is to entertain. Thin Blue Line will enthrall readers from the first page. There is no preaching.

 

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

MB: The purpose of the story is to entertain. However, as John Gardner points out in his book On Moral Fiction, the reader feels cheated if there is a cosmic imbalance. The reader does not want to see virtue punished and evil rewarded. I envisioned this as a one shot but if the reaction merits, I would be happy to write further adventures for Valeria and Three Jays.

 

CB: This isn’t the first time you’ve self-published and crowdfunded. What have you been learning from crowdfunding and creating through this process?

MB: Comic fans love superheroes! I do too, but the graphic medium is perfect for this story. Just look at the pages.

CB: Thanks for chatting with us, Mike! Good luck and godspeed, sir.

MB: Thanks, Chris!

 

 

Check out the campaign page here!

Thin Blue Line | The Graphic Novel

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Creepsters
by Nasser Rabadi

Check out the campaign page here!

 

Chris Braly: Welcome back to Indie Comics Showcase, Nasser. Give me your elevator pitch for Creepsters!

Nasser Rabadi: Max must save his sister Emma from the sinister CREEPSTERS that wreak havoc on the seaside town of Perdida Cove!

 

CB: Where did the idea for this comic come from, and what led to you deciding to crowdfund it?

NR:  A comic I thought I was about to crowdfund was canceled because the artist had health issues. Therefore I needed a new idea, and already had a “tiny monster horror novel” idea, which I decided would make a better comic book. I sat down and wrote the first draft under the title “Creepozoids”, but after my friend and editor Roy Guntherson read it, he came up with a much better name: CREEPSTERS. Working with Roy was the best experience I ever had creatively.

 

 

Toy company Super Asia Fun Toy approached me and asked to read the script, so I sent it their way. They loved it, so we signed a licensing deal and they invested money up front into making the plush toys featured on our campaign. They are great and high quality and shipping immediately (for international backers) after the campaign goes InDemand.

CB: What kind of comic fans do you expect this comic will entertain the most? Where does it land on the genre spectrum?

NR: It’s roughly PG13. There’s gore and violence but also comedic moments. If you’d let your kid watch Gremlins, this book would be fine for them. It’s pretty YA, the art is manga-inspired, and it’s got something for everybody.

 

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?

NR:  I wrote it and brought it to my editor Roy, who worked countless hours with me to help me fully realize my ideas and help me to make this book the best thing I’ve ever written. If you read my books in order, this is the one where you’ll see the biggest level up.

John Dillard did our main cover, and he’s also drawing the ashcan. The main interior artist is remaining anonymous at this time, because I’ve had people try to interfere with my comic book artists before, so we are making the reveal after the campaign is over. Criss Madd did our awesome horror variant cover, and we’ve got an awesome painter working on the mystery variant cover.

 

 

Soy Rage is the Creepsters wrangler. He has been a huge help promoting the campaign, getting us new supporters, and helped us to make the glow in the dark wristbands.

Super Asia Fun Toy made the toy from John Dillard’s design of Chomper—the main Creepster in the book, the one who befriends our main character Max to help him defeat Chomper’s evil brothers. They did an incredible job making this, and making the custom mailer, and I couldn’t be happier with how amazing it turned out. Super Asia Fun Toy makes the best toys!

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

NR: I like just sitting down and writing. While that’s a great way to get all your ideas down, it’s also a good way to accidentally write down a bunch of bad scenes too. That’s why working with Roy was such a blessing: he helped me to understand what was important, what was not important, and how to show the reader what was in my head, because a lot of my ideas were in my head but not fully conveyed to the audience.

 

 

Art is a shared experience. Art can only be great if it gets a reaction from an audience and the audience’s reaction is “This comic is great.” So to fully have the shared experience with the audience, I needed to learn how to show my ideas. The best way anyone can express that is to ask “Why does this character do X” or “Why does X happen”, because if you ask those questions, you’ll either realize you had no reasoning (and thus will figure one out), or you will find the best way to show your reasoning, because your reasoning might not already be on the page. 

 

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

NR:  I wanted to tell a fun story about family and friendship. I wanted to tell something that I’d like to read. I wanted to write something that was my magnum opus, or something I could be “all about.” Everyone has their flagship, and I wanted to find something that I could tell a lot of stories about. Some ideas are very finite or limited, and would only be good for an issue, possibly two. CREEPSTERS is great for dozens and dozens of stories.

 

 

Beyond this book I have at least 2 sequels planned to continue this story (even though book 1 has a solid conclusion and ending and could stand alone with no sequels), and will feature Max and Chomper. There’ll definitely be spinoffs and tie-ins, like TALES OF THE CREEPSTERS, the ashcan that John Dillard is drawing and is available on this campaign.

CB: You’ve been crowdfunding comics for a few years now. What have you been learning from crowdfunding and creating through this process? Any tips for indie creators who want to do the same?

NR:  Have fun, make friends, give it your best effort and then give even more. Give your everything to your book first and foremost, make sure you have an incredible script, work with great people who deliver, and have a great time promoting your book. Do YouTube livestreams and have fun on them.

Most importantly: Be kind, be amazing.

 


CB: Thanks for chatting with us! Good luck Nasser!

NR:  Thank you very much! Thank you for the interview, and I know everybody is gonna love Creepsters and the awesome plush toy!

Check out the campaign page here!

Creepsters trailer!!!

 

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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, or email us at contact@bleedingfool.com, if you want us to feature 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