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!
JETTA RAYE ADVENTURES #1
by Jimmy Tournas
Check out the campaign here!
Chris Braly: Tell our readers your elevator pitch for Jetta Raye, and this new project ‘Jetta Raye Adventures #1’. Briefly get our readers up to speed.
Jimmy Tournas: Hi, Jimmy “T” Tournas here, inker of stuff like Spider-Man Sundays, Archie and Friends, etc, and I’m currently publishing Jetta Raye Adventures the comic #1. It features Jetta and her teen friends in an all new comic adventure with a new look, as they travel the stars trying to save a friend. We still have traditional art style Jetta for the fans in this book as well. It is all ages fun for adults as well as teens. 100% entertainment only!
CB: Is this the same as your Kickstarter for Jetta Raye Adventures, or is it just related to your last project?
JT: No, that was a hardcover we did last year that contained 108 pages of new stories, and is available as a perk in this campaign with the new comic.
CB: In simple terms, what kind of demographic or comic fans do you expect this comic will entertain the most?
JT: All ages, young, and older fans that remember the 1952 Jetta. The stories were written 100% with just entertainment as a goal. We want readers to relax and let the books take them into a place of enjoyment.
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?
JT: We have Craig Boldman and Angelo DeCesare, two veteran Archie writers. A newcomer Tony DeGerolarmo, a Simpson’s writer. Tony wrote the main story.
And bringing the writers stories to life are legendary Archie Artists; The first worked with, and took over for Dan DeCarlo, Jeff Shultz. Secondly we have the Kennedy brothers team of Pat and Tim. These guys are the best! I am inking and have others ready if the book expands in pages. Hand Lettering is done by Eddy Chapman, I handle all digital lettering and book layouts etc.. Colors by Michael Woods our colorist.
CB: This isn’t your first rodeo in the crowdfunding game, what have you been learning from crowdfunding and creating through this process?
JT: To do our best to ensure the highest quality of work to entertain our readers. We also want to be timely and get the books into the hands of the readers as quickly and painlessly as we can. We really appreciate that people put their trust in us, and we want to give them our best in return.
CB: What are your plans beyond this book? Are there more stories to tell?
JT: Yes we have more ideas if this is successful. We have wonderful creative stories and characters in the wings. Check us out at www.jettaraye.com
CB: Thanks for chatting with us! Good luck and we are rooting for you!
JT: Thanks so much Chris! All the best to Bleeding Fool!
Check out the campaign here!
DOORKICKERS: BAD MEDICINE
by Scott McCullough
Check out the campaign here!
Chris Braly: Welcome to Indie Comics Showcase, Scott. Tell me about your latest Indiegogo project Doorkickers: Bad Medicine.
Scott McCullough: DOORKICKERS: BAD MEDICINE is the second in the Doorkickers series and if you liked the first one you will not be disappointed. For this chapter in the story, a new supernatural threat appears in the jungle of the Amazon, and only the Doorkickers can track it down and eliminate the threat. From the deep dark jungles to the streets of Sao Paulo, the Doorkickers will find, fix and finish the enemy before the world knows the truth.
CB: Tell me how this idea came to be and why crowdfunding it was your preferred approach?
SM: Doorkickers comes from a strange combination of a lot of my fan efforts over the years mashed with my military and deployment experience. I was a huge fan of comics and Dungeons and Dragons as a kid and as an adult, I have to admit I have an unhealthy obsession with Warhammer 40K so as you read Doorkickers you will see hints of these in there. Once I came into #ComicsGate I realized that not only was Doorkickers right for this audience but crowdfunding is perfect for Doorkickers. This is allowing me to organically grow an audience and also I am gaining experience in the business of publishing comics at a pace that works for me as someone with a full-time day job.
CB: Who is this for? Is it comparable to other comic book genres?
SM: So this is a stereotypical guy’s comic. Its action and adventure with strong horror themes. While it’s made for guys it has little bits here and there for anyone who likes a solid story with interesting characters. I am also conscious that there are veterans and fans of guns & gear out there that will spot even the smallest technical faux pas so I have an eye to keep the details right as long as it supports the story.
One book with military themes that I am always paying attention to is Black Powder Red Earth and a non-comic property that is similar in theme to what I am doing is SCP which very much deals with the intersection of special operations and the paranormal. There are some great SCP short video projects on YouTube.
CB: Tell me about your creative team. Same co-horts that worked on the last issue?
SM: Douglas Franchin is an amazing artist who I’ve known for almost seven years now. We’ve talked about working together for a while and we finally got the chance last year with Peregrine: Wings of the Falcon. It was such a good experience and his art was so good he was an easy choice. He has really delivered on this one and I can’t wait to see what he does with the rest script once we are funded.
Farah the colorist has been with me since Doorkickers 1. She is an amazing talent and her skill continues to grow with each project. She sets the tone with her colors and brings black and white art to life. And of course, Eric Weathers is doing letters once again for this project and he really brings a lot to the table. It’s interesting that when he does his job right it’s very seamless. He is a great counsel during that time at the end of the project when it’s important to get the little details right. Another great artist I want to acknowledge is Xeviuss who stepped in at the last minute and helped out with the 72-hour limited cover that we offered at launch. He is work is striking and I was lucky to have him on the team.
CB: Wow. What’s your favorite part of the work involved?
SM: My favorite part of the work is when the artist starts doing laying-outs. This is when you start to see what works and what doesn’t This is when you can alter pacing and make changes here and there but still the story is usually still solid.
When it comes to my script I usually like to get some feedback from the artist if I can before writing. I want to give them a chance to give me their thoughts on what they want to see in the script. This helps them play to their strengths. Then I write a full script for them to draw from.
CB: You’ve had successful campaigns before. What are you learning from crowdfunding?
SM: Well the most important lesson I’ve learned is the importance of growing a base of support. While it’s great to have good ideas and an amazingly talented team if no one else knows about it then what’s the use? I learned early on the importance of a mailing list and creating a platform. I’ve only recently
CB: What made this a story you wanted to tell, and are there plans beyond this book?
SM: Well the purpose of Doorkickers is to tell a fun military story with action and horror that entertains the customers. As far as future plans, I’ve got stories for years with these guys but it depends on the support of the customers. If they show me they want these books they will keep on coming. This is the book that is all me so when you love your work its easy to make.
CB: Good luck and we are rooting for you!
SM: I appreciate the support. Without these amazing customers indie comic creators like myself would have nothing. And thank you for helping get the word out.
Check out the campaign here!
by Adam Loving
Check out the campaign here!
Chris Braly: Thanks for chatting with me, Adam. Tell me about Renaissance Men.
Adam Loving: Renaissance Men is the one-stop comic for the history of the Italian Renaissance. It highlights major artists and artworks over the course of the entire period (over two-hundred years). The story is narrated by Giorgio Vasari, whom many consider to be the first art historian. I also wanted to show many of their ups and downs in their lives to make feel more human and relatable. And since I like to throw in humor when I can, I do try and make jokes and poke fun at some of the more bizarre events that occurred from a modern point-of-view.
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?
AL: I needed to complete a thesis for the honors program at college, and while I didn’t know what it was going to be about just yet, I knew it was going to be in comic form. I took an art history class my freshman year, and ended up loving it because I finally understood why art looked a certain way from different time periods. In the summer of 2019 I studied abroad in Italy and loved my time there. After getting back home, I was gathering my notes from the trip while reading X-Men: Grand Design by Ed Piskor when the idea of creating a comic about the Italian Renaissance just entered my mind. While I was working on the book, I did receive a grant that helped paid for supplies, reference books, and the ability to print a small run. After seeing and holding the physical book in my hands, I knew I wanted as many people to have a copy as possible. I decided to turn to crowdfunding because I’m just one person who just recently graduated from college, so this way seemed like it could be the biggest help. Plus I’ve seen plenty of successful Kickstarter campaigns that I had enough trust in this particular website.
CB: What kind of comic fans do you expect this comic will entertain the most?
AL: I think any fan that has any kind of interest in Art History will enjoy this. I tried to explain enough of what events happened so readers who may have little to no knowledge of the subject can understand and enjoy my comic without feeling confused (plus I included a timeline of events in the back). But I also didn’t want to dumb it down to a point where it would alienate the art history buff. I also tried my best to make sure it was accessible to a wide age range, though there is some violent imagery and some depictions of nude figure sculptures that are a part of the story. I had someone as young as 9 read it without issue, but she is the daughter of an art teacher, so keep that in mind. And since I went to school for Art Education, I really wanted this to be an educational tool to potentially be used in school, which two of professor have told me they have started doing by the way.
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? Do you have any comics experience?
AL: Most of the work was done by me actually. I wrote the script, penciled, inked, lettered, and colored the pages on my own. I had the most help when it came to editing, which I feel is the most important part. They helped me make sure not only everything was spelled right and read fine, they also made sure the visual flow made sense too. Those people just happened to be my family, and the multiple professors that helped me complete this project as my honors thesis, including two art history professors, my illustration professor, and my art education professor. So, Mom, Dad, Jess, Dr. Poole, Jeri, Dr. Filippone, and Leslie, thank you.
I’ve been drawing most of my life, and comics are my preferred reading material, thought they’ve rarely crossed paths with me. I drew a 12 page comic in fourth grade that I sadly threw out when I got older. Other than a few one page strips here and there, I haven’t done anything like this before, so most of this was new territory for me.
CB: How long has this taken to put together?
AL: The script took about 5 months to get to a point where I felt it was ready to put drawing pencil to paper. This was mostly due to working on this while taking 5 college courses, and having to wait to hear back from three different professors for feedback and final approval. I started drawing pages in June 2020, and thanks to the state of the world at the time, I spent most of my days drawing since there wasn’t much else to do. There were some days over the summer I was working 12-16 hours on pages. I was going to start student teaching two days a week in the fall and full time in the spring, so I wanted to get as much done beforehand because I knew I wouldn’t be able to teach all day and make a comic on top of it. Once school started, pretty much any free time I had went to making my comic to meet my deadline, though there were times when I knew I had to take a break to go hang out with friends. All 64 pages plus the cover completed before coloring took about 5 months, while coloring took just under a month.
I like to work as traditionally as possible. I tried a digital drawing tablet once, but it felt like it was slowing me down. I like to work on my drafting table inking with a dip pen and microns over non-photo blue pencils on Bristol board. The only thing I like doing digitally is cleaning up my art and coloring. I also didn’t storyboard in the traditional sense very often. I had panel breakdowns in my script, and I did the panel layouts in my head. I feel like my penciled pages almost acted as my storyboard, and if I didn’t like it, then I would go back and thumbnail a layout until I did.
I have to work listening to something. Whether it be music, or a movie, or an interview with a comic book artist (huge shout out to Timothy Truman, an interview with him talking about all the research he did to make his book Scout as authentic as possible really pushed me to do the same, which led me to reach out to him as send me an early copy of my comic).
CB: Thanks for chatting with me, Adam. Good luck!
AL: Thank you for reaching out to me and trying to help me spread the word on my comic.
Check out the campaign here!
That’s it for this installment! Support indie comics!!!
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