Indie Comics Showcase #159: Dragon Lord Saga, Clay-Man & Aslan the Awakening



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!



by Adjanu Bouzi

Check out the campaign page here!


Chris Braly: Welcome to Indie Comics Showcase, Adjanu! Briefly give our readers your elevator pitch for Aslan the Awakening.

Adjanu Bouzi: Heavy is the head who wears the crown…but this one…is worth it. In the faraway land of Margo, a battle rages for control of the fabled Crown of Power, for whoever has it…will rule the land. HOW they rule is up to them…do they rule with love? Or Fear…Humanity’s only hope lies in the hands of FIVE humans who were given extraordinary powers…But before they can win the battle for the crown, they must learn to defeat the demons within.


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?

AB: I am a migrant from Haiti and I remember it was very difficult for me to fit in when I first came. In the story the main character goes through the same thing. He wants to fit in but because of his difference others don’t accept him. And I decided to crowdfund it mainly for financial reasons but also to see how many people would be interested in the story.



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

AB: If you like Star Wars, Dragon Ball Z, or Naruto then this is the story 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?

AB: My team is mainly me and my amazing artist Jacob Noble. I also got the book edited by Clara Noble.



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

AB: I like to put on some epic soundtracks while I am driving and just put myself in one of my characters shoes and see where the music takes me. I love listening two steps from hell and Carlos Estelle. I feel the music heightens my emotions. When I get home then I will just expand on what I thought about during the drive.



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

AB: I learned crowdfunding is NOT easy, unless you have a team working for you it’s going to be a very stressful experience. Thankfully there are people like you that’s help me in the process.



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

AB: I want my readers to understand the most important thing is self love. I want them to look at the characters Journey in the story and get motivated.

My plan is to create a universe with all sorts of characters. I have plenty more stories to tell, stay tuned.


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

AB: Thanks Chris!

Check out the campaign page here!




The Dragon Lord Saga
by Jonny Jimison

Check out the project here!


Chris Braly: Tell our readers your elevator pitch for The Dragon Lord Saga – bring our readers up to speed.

Jonny Jimison: Epic fantasy meets cartoon humor in The Dragon Lord Saga! A pair of brothers named Martin and Marco encounter wild adventures, cursed relics, and a talking horse in their march to face the dragons of the East!


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

JJ: I’ve always needed stories to frame my own experiences, and the journey of discovery that runs through fantasy stories led me to create a world in my own mind, seeing my experiences growing up, discovering my identity, and learning about the world through the lens of a Hobbit-style adventure. Originally I tried to write the thing as a prose novel, but my formative artistic influences are classic newspaper comics like Calvin and Hobbes and Pogo, as well as classic animation like the Looney Tunes cartoons of the 1940s. When I attempted to turn the story into a comic book, it morphed from a super-serious fantasy epic into something much more like myself – playful, earnest, and unapologetically silly.



As far as taking the story to Patreon – there were two reasons for taking that plunge. The first was the simple need to make some income on this project that was absorbing so much of my time and energy, and my Patreon backers have been loyally supporting me in that since launch. The other reason had to do with workflow. As an artist, I want every panel and every page to be pitch-perfect.. but comics take so long to create. If I don’t set some deadlines that force me to finish a page and move on, it would be every five years between volumes, not every two years. So the commitment to supply two pages per week to my Patreon backers is accountability for me. Just before a book goes to print, I dig back in and polish it for presentation, but each week the pages need to get finished and get posted, which keeps me from endlessly obsessing over them!



CB: What kind of readers do you expect this will appeal to and entertain the most?

JJ: The books are targeted for a middle-grade audience, and 8-12 year-olds will find much to explore and delight in, from the humor to the creatures to the freewheeling adventure. But there’s plenty here for all ages, particularly those with an appreciation for cartoon humor, heroic questing, and character-centric storytelling. I’m always surprised and delighted to see what people connect to in this story!



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? Or are you handling it all yourself?

JJ: The Dragon Lord Saga has been a passion project of mine for a decade now, and all the art, story and production has been my own work. But that doesn’t mean I’ve been working alone. The Rabbit Room is a nonprofit organization that I’ve been involved with for years, and the Rabbit Room community embraced this story in its early stages and helped fund two Kickstarter campaigns, printing the first two books in black and white. When I decided to go back and re-draw those volumes in color, Rabbit Room Press agreed to become the publisher of the new editions. The support of the Rabbit Room community has been invaluable, not only in keeping the story going, but in helping to shape future volumes with their thoughtful feedback.



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

JJ: Most of the writing happens in my head, and with over a decade of working on this story, I have a pretty firm idea in my head of who the characters are (including ones we haven’t met yet) and the story that needs to happen in each volume. When it’s time to draw a scene, I’ll draw some quick thumbnails in my sketchbook to layout the panels and pace the story, and then I work digitally to build the page, draw some rough pencils, draw the final inks, and add color. The finished pages go straight to Patreon when they’re complete, and when it’s time to send a finished volume to the publisher for print, I’ll revisit all 180-200 pages, tweaking drawings, adjusting dialogue, and generally dressing up the book for print. The best moment is getting to hold that finished book in my hands, that represents years of many types of work!



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

JJ: When I began working on this series, all I knew was that I had a story in me that needed to get out, and I was looking for the means to do that. I was surprised and humbled to find so many people engaging with the story, the art and the ideas in their own way, finding things in the story that excited them, engaged them, and resonated with them. I have been overwhelmed by the loyalty and generosity of my fans – those connections, however brief, make the process beautiful as well as possible. I couldn’t do this without them.



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

JJ: When I translated my original prose novel into comics, the page count ballooned, and I realized I couldn’t do this all in a single book. There will be five volumes altogether, with a definite beginning, middle and end. After that, I have a space adventure that I’ve been itching to tell.. but we’ll get there in time. And who knows? I may return to the world of The Dragon Lord Saga eventually – there are corners of that fantasy world that we’ve only begun to explore!



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

JJ: Thank you so much! God bless you all.

Check out the project here!



(One Shot + Crossover)
by Robert Pisko

Check out the project here!


Chris Braly: Welcome back to Indie Comics Showcase, Robert! Give us the elevator pitch for Clay-Man!

Robert Pisko: No problem! My comic is about a superhero named Clay-Man who resides in The 22nd Century! Do you like mutants? Cool futuristic stuff? How about evolved animals, plants, and robots living in harmony with humans? Well this comics got all that!



CB: How did this comic come to be?

RP: Would you believe me if I said this comic came from me working out one day? I was working up a good sweat too. Also helps my friends were making their own comics and I wanted to have a go at the action! I think the reason I wanted to go the crowdfunding route was because EVERYBODY in my comics friend circle was begging and pleading for me to do it. I said why not, and decided to have a go at it, and I was met with an almost overnight success!




CB: Sounds like you had no choice! Who is this comic going to appeal to the most in your mind?

RP: Superhero fans and crossover fans in general will like Clays one-shot and the crossover. Also if people like a bit of cutesy/chibi stuff they might like the one-shot as well.




CB: Tell me about the creative team that brought this project to life.

RP: Sure thing! We got Jarred AKA Merci, one of the best first time editors I’ve had. The mans a jack of all trades but his editing with my scripts is certainly one of his best talents! We got Chunlin Zhao but mostly everybody calls her Sunny, not only is her style fantastic but she’s also one of the best colorists in the indie comic industry, great working with her and I hope to work with her again in the future with my WIP comic series Pony Warriors! Micah everyone knows as a great letterer in the indie comic space, was great to work with him and he was extremely fast in delivering. For the crossover comic Nicholas has such AMAZING ambition, not only with working with me but for his other comic Demon Hunter Raven and others too! A really stand out guy!




CB: How do you like to work, Robert?

RP: Depends on my mood really, I’ve been actually going through practice/training mode via making practice scripts to keep my skills sharpened, between you and me I say its working! Usually when I work I have to turn everything off but my YT music to keep me focused, I also just recently put in dark mode for google docs and its done wonders for my eyesight when I do late night scripts.


CB: What have you been learning about crowdfunding comics through this process?

RP: I tell yeah man, it ain’t easy of course. You have to know how to market your stuff, don’t be afraid to shill if you’re going to promise your audience a good product. Its also good starting out to get a printer if you can, someone who can take the stress out of printing your books and you can just focus on marketing and other things. For my actual comic making I had to learn plenty, like structures, proper grammar, and using tools to help me with my writing.



CB: What sparked your desire to tell this story?

RP: I don’t wanna say its a Marvel/DC thing because a lot of guys/gals have said that already, I wanna say its because my friends inspired me to make this and I just wanna make a good/compelling superhero story. Beyond this book I still got my supernatural/horror comic SINS, my sci-fi parody action comic Pony Warriors, and my superhero crossover comic Dimensional Warriors (Shout to my IRL bro on his comic character Ruiner) I wanna work on. Beyond even that? I do wanna try my hands on a biopunk comic/manga hybrid if I can. I’m hoping there are a LOT of stories to tell in my comic universe/s, enough that people will be satisfied from beginning to end.


CB: Thanks for taking the time to chat with me, Robert! Good luck with this campaign! Any final words?

RP: Thank you very much! Despite a bit of my financial issues the hearts still with me and I’m very happy people support my work still! Thank you everyone to the bottom of my heart.


Check out the project 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!


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Chris Braly

I'm one opinionated, based geek. I try to steer this tiny ship and can often be heard monthly on the Comic Book Page Previews Spotlight podcast with several fellow "comic book nerds." Follow me on Twitter @ChrisBraly. My preferred adjectives are brilliant/beautiful.