Indie Comics Showcase #165: Gun Demon, Hardly Heroes & Life on Cora


 

 

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!

 

GUN DEMON
by Gregory LeVitre

Check out the book here!

 

Chris Braly: Tell our readers your elevator pitch for Gun Demon: Devil’s Overture – Briefly tell our readers the pitch.

Gregory LeVitre: ‘Gun Demon,’ is an action-packed science fiction superhero story set in the year 1992 in the French Quarter of New Orleans. It’s a wild ride that begins on Planet Hell and ends in disaster for New Orleans when an ancient evil known as Abaddon once again walks the Earth. Caught within a war on Earth between the planets Heaven and Hell, a young Demon named Gunny must find a way to survive.

 

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?

GL: Ethan Van Sciver’s hilarious video covering the Brie Larson debacle brought me to Comicsgate, then when I saw Ethan and other Indie Creators creating their dream books- that inspired me to put together a team to launch my own.
I chose Gunny out of a large collection of my characters because his combat style is very exciting and fast-paced, and because his story offered a lot of character growth possibilities.
Drizzt Do’Urden, Spiderman and Punisher were major inspirations.      

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

GL:  People who like heroic, action-packed underdog superhero comics that are inspired by early 90’s Image and Marvel comics as well as people who enjoy new twists on ancient mythology.   

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?

GL:  My Sequential Team consists of Penciler and Layout Artist John Howard, Inker and Letterer Chis Wendha, Colorist Paul Bilick and Editor Jake Ryan. Cover Team- Artists Ced Nocon, Kristian Rossi, John Howard and Chris Oak and Colorists Paul Bilick and Felipe Obando.  Production Team- Logo and Character Designer James Dean Anderson, Creature and Character Designer Carlos Villas, Co-Producer Tank Ferret.  
 

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

GL:  Teamwork is the foundation of Braincage. Character and creature designs are given extra attention- we develop them to work in all mediums such as comics, video games and film so that screen and other adaptations will stay true to the original source material. All content is scrutinized and input is given by all members of the development and visual art teams. We’re all big kids, so we can handle it- the best end result is our priority.
 

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

GL:  Developing your own model is important because what works for another campaign won’t necessarily work for yours.  
 

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

GL: Gun Demon is all about fun. I’d love for it to be a child’s first comic book that helps inspire the next generation of comic book fans and a return to fun and exciting superhero comics for those who haven’t got enough of that in recent years. This is the first issue in a four issue mini series and I’m planning on .

 

CB: What do you think makes this comic unique from similar books?

GL:  Other than some of the concepts I mentioned previously that Gun Demon has in common with Spiderman and Punisher, I can’t think of any books that are similar.
I think the in-depth world building, gradual character progression and the crossovers, team ups and events we have planned will give Readers many reasons to keep reading.  

 

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

GL:  Thank you, Chris! Hail!  

Check out the book here!

 

@tankferretart @johnhowarddraws

 

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HARDLY HEROES #1
by Bryan Cody

Check out the book here!

 
 
 
Chris Braly: Tell our readers your elevator pitch for Hardly Heroes #1 – Briefly tell our readers the pitch.

Bryan Cody:  Explore the world of Hardly HeroesHardly Heroes is a comic that our team at Shattermare Comics has spent the last two years developing and we are ecstatic to bring you Issue #1. We have adapted our group’s Homebrew D&D campaign into a full-fledged comic book. The story follows a relatable group of murder hobos as they adventure their way across the Du’Bodan peninsula, “finding” themselves in precarious situations, as they unravel a plot to destroy the Loam. Arc 1 is in dedication to our friend and original DM, Wilson. Hardly Heroes is a 32 Page, monthly, physical and digital release with no ads. Just pure content. The only filler is random side quests!

 
 

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?

BC: We were sitting around the table one night, after a game session, and decided that it would be interesting to turn our homebrew adventure into a book, graphic novel, or I think someone mentioned an animated Youtube series. Gabe mentioned it’s always been his dream to have his own comic book company so that’s how we landed on a comic book as the medium. Personally, I’ve always dreamed of having an independent music publishing company. So, when the guys mentioned the comic I said that I’d run the publishing side of things since I already have a business background. It turns out comics are just as fun to produce as music. When our current DM had to drop-out as the writer, Kyle slid right into the head writer role, since he is passionate about writing and has a great understanding of the characters and world. That’s basically how we formed our core team. 

 
 
 
Crowdfunding was a natural decision for recouping production expenses for the book prior to launch. After the original artist dropped from the project, we had to hire artists since the three of us can’t draw to save our lives. We didn’t realize at the time that we would have to hire a full team of artists. I’m glad we did though. Aside from a good way to recoup costs of producing the book, we wanted to offer cool perks to people who were there at the beginning to help us bring our story to life. There are a couple perks where we allow contributors to be drawn into the book as a main or side NPC, so they can have a living character in this world like we do as the creators. We also created cool crossover items like custom dice, a world map, and trading cards of the characters with stats. I think it’s a cool experience that people can read through our book and get the feeling of seeing something that actually happened at the game table or is similar to what someone at their table would do as they role-play their characters.

CB: What kind of comic fans do you expect this comic will entertain the most? Who is your audience and potential age group?

BC: There is a definite crossover between tabletop games and comics with our book. So, I expect it to be most entertaining to comic fans who have also played in a D&D or other tabletop RPG group. There are familiarities that they’ll appreciate, some meta jokes, and nods to what it’s like to sit around a game table with your friends. However, we also want to tell the story of these characters in this world. So, someone can pick up the book and still enjoy it as a legitimate story that makes sense in this fantasy world. Based on pre-orders and the feedback we’ve gotten from people in our area, our primary audience is guys and girls from ages 17-45.

 
 

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?

BC:  In Shattermare Comics, there are three of us who are owners of the company, Kyle, Gabe, and I. We all wear different hats but Kyle is the main writer. Gabe and I help with writing, editing, and administrative duties. Gabe also handles the distribution of comics and is the event coordinator. We all help with sales and marketing. I direct the artists that we contract to work on the book. I also handle our finances and accounting. Our main artist does all the pencils and inks, and goes by Dan Zay. He lives in Russia. Luana Cristini is our colorist, she lives in Brazil. Our letterist and graphic designer is Eric Heard. He’s out of Atlanta, GA. Otherwise, we have a handful local/regional artists who do alternate covers for us. Their names are Kyle Willis, Jason Sobol, and Jason Metcalf. We’ve also commissioned a handful of talented people to do various tasks to help us launch issue 1 of Hardly Heroes and get the publishing company up and running. I’ve also had the pleasure of already meeting some great members of the Indie community in Florida. They have given me some great advice and guidance along the way.

 
 

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

BC:  I personally love it and I’ll speak for the other guys and say they enjoy it immensely. You have to be passionate about what you do, especially in the beginning when you aren’t getting paid for the work and you are risking your time and money for it to pay off. Especially, when it’s a creative endeavor. It’s so satisfying to work on something that is yours and to see it come to fruition. 

 
We have a good workflow. We meet once a week to discuss writing, editing, art, etc. and make sure everyone is on task. Then, we assign everyone their tasks and go do our thing. The artists that we contract are professional so they are good about meeting deadlines and communicating with us. This is good, especially, because coming into this we weren’t experienced in the intricacies of designing a comic book. They were patient with us. I would say, since we locked in our colorist, we have been operating at much higher efficiency. Art revisions are fewer in between and take less time to turn around. We have colors and letters being completed simultaneously which is nice. We have streamlined the scripts for each issue so there is less drafting for structure purposes. There will always be drafting for writing purposes. We are actually ahead of schedule right now. We are midway through production of issue 2 and will have the line art done for issue 3 when this interview is online. I have a lot of trust in our team to deliver on each assignment, and that makes working with everyone a real pleasure.
 

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

BC: To me, crowdfunding is one avenue for marketing/advertising our book. I enjoy marketing and coming up with interesting ways to promote the book. Crowdfunding platforms are great for that. They also blend a little bit of social media so you can get direct feedback from people buying your book. 

 
I’ve also learned a lot about running a print publishing company and all of the resources that go into creating a monthly comic book. This doesn’t have to do with crowdfunding, but part of promoting the book has been touring the southeast and talking with comic shop owners. It’s fun to talk to people in different shops, talk to the local owners to discuss what their experiences are like, and discover local comic markets.

 

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Hardly Heroes Official Trailer

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

BC:  There are several purposes for telling this story. First and foremost, to tell an interesting story with enjoyable characters. We plan to have multiple arcs that follow each campaign in the world that our group has created. So, we want to make sure that this is a story people will want to continue reading. The first arc is in memory of our original DM, Wilson, who unfortunately passed away from cancer. His campaign was the inspiration for the world and the first campaign in which our group played. Today, we continue with his world and his legacy. 

 
We’re on campaign two that our other friend, and current DM, carries forward. Campaign two will be the second arc of the story. That is our current plan for Hardly Heroes. We may continue to tell some offshoot stories of side characters in the world, but will determine if we want to tell more than two arcs of the main storyline, after we wrap up campaign two. However, we have plenty of content/issues planned for arc 1. We also have plans as a publisher to produce and tell other stories, separate from the Hardly Heroes universe. We currently operate as a creator-owned publisher for creators with existing content. We promote the books of two other creators at signings, conventions, and on our website. Depending on the demand for Hardly Heroes, we may produce other in-house stories sooner than later.

CB: Thanks for chatting with us! Good luck!

BC: Thank you! Yes, I appreciate you giving us the opportunity to talk about the book. We are very excited that we’ve come this far and can’t wait to see the book that we’ve spent the last two years working on in stores, on shelves, and in people’s hands. Check out Hardly Heroes, available February 2nd 2022.

 

@shattermare

Check out the Indiegogo campaign here!

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LIFE ON CORA #5 
by Mike Jimmy

Check out the campaign page here!

 

Chris Braly: Welcome to Indie Comics Showcase, Mike! Tell us about your latest installment of Life on Cora and how it began.

Mike JimmyLife On Cora started with simply saying “I always wanted to make a true fantasy, no humanoids, a completely alien world.” And I did! I started sketching and came up with the world concept, then my writer and I started brainstorming the kind of creatures living in it and how it worked. We got Life on Cora #1 made very quickly, a little too quick to be honest, but that’s how one learns. From there we just kept creating, and while the original writer is now no longer working with me, my new ones are doing a wonderful job at keeping me busy.

 

CB: Who do you expect this comic will entertain the most?

MJ: If you like short, standalone stories, and like worldbuilding, this is definitely a comic for you. It is much closer to the European format with new and recurring characters having a new adventure in every issue, and we’ve found our readers so far really enjoy this format as well, it makes it very easy to jump into the series.

 

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?

MJ:  The original writer was Minerrale, and she helped me write and create the stories for Life On Cora #1 and #2. After she had left the project, I started looking for a new writer and had found two of them! Martin Fisher and Kimberly Kovac. I myself do the editing of their stories, pencils, inks, and lettering. Coloring I leave to my colorist Eristeine.

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

MJ:  I’m very much an early morning person, I try and wake up as early as possible, and use the silence of the world around me to get to work on the art the moment I get my first sip of coffee. When it comes to the whole project, My writers send me a pitch for the story they have in mind, I tell them what works and what doesn’t, and they start making a script from there. Once that is complete, I give them a final edit, then go straight into thumbnailing and cranking out pages. Once I finish inking, the pages are sent to my colorist who works her magic on that and the pages are essentially done.


 

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

MJ:  I’ve found a lot more interest online than I had originally expected. Sure, we failed the first time trying to crowdfund Life On Cora #3 on kickstarter (we published LOC 1 and 2 out of our own pockets), but on Indiegogo we got a much better reception for the idea of the comic and it really has been growing ever since. It also only further showed us that people really dig this way of storytelling and worldbuilding, and that the American audience really needs more of it. We’re offering all issues on the campaign. Both as add-ons as well as catch-up tiers.

 

 

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

MJ:  Our purpose is always to entertain, to give our audience something they can share with anyone of any walk of life and enjoy together. These stories are all-ages but that doesn’t mean they’re for kids only, in fact quite the opposite! As for new stories, right now we have scripts ready to go up to Life On Cora #10 and we’re only going to keep going from there, we’re far from out of ideas.

CB: Thanks for chatting with us! Good luck!

MJ:  Thank you so much for having me! No matter what, Faeries and Ents makes things happen.

 

@and_ents
 

Check out the campaign page here!

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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