Indie Comics Showcase #168: CRIT, Murder City Devil & Alien in My Toilet


 

 

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!

 

Murder City Devil
by Evan Quiring

Grab a copy here!

Chris Braly: Briefly tell us the elevator pitch for your comic (what’s it about?)

Evan Quiring: Legendary Boogeyman ‘Spring-Heeled Jack’ is resurrected in the 21st century to wreak havoc on Murder City’s criminal underworld! Murder City Devil can be described as Robin Hood meets The Exorcist. The series reads like modern day pulp magazine, rife with ghostly horror, murderous crime, mind shattering suspense, dynamic action and occult mystery! All in a 22-page full color comic book! This series will be eight issues.

 

 

CB: Wow! How did you come up with the idea for this story?

EQ: For the past 25 years, I’ve always wanted to to a pulp crime-noir/ vigilante in the city, horror influenced type comic. So basically, Batman! lol I was 13 and saw the 1989 Batman in the theatre and that was probably the start of it. When I was a kid, I read the story of Spring-Heeled Jack, a mythical boogeyman from the 19th century. I also watched a lot of Unsolved Mysteries and have been interested in true crime ever since. I was influenced by Grendel and The Crow comic books. I also read a lot of EC Comics’ Tales for the Crypt, Vault of Horror, Shock Suspense Stories, etc.

So essentially, Murder City Devil is an amalgamation of horror, true crime, occult and vigilante genres. I got it published with help from indie publisher Jason Dube of Scattered Comics. He was already publishing my other title, Lucha Mystery (a comic book about masked wrestlers and monsters) and helped me out with Murder City Devil.

 

CB: What kind of fan is this best suited for? And is it all-ages?

EQ: This book would be for any fan of true crime, horror and pulp-noir genres, from ages 16-99. This series is definitely not recommended for children! If you’re into Batman, The Crow, Grendel and/ or Unsolved Mysteries, you’d probably really dig this book.

CB: Tell me about your creative style and a little about your creative process.

EQ: I’d describe my art style as a low-rent Arthur Adams or Todd McFarlane… maybe? I don’t really know. I’ll let the readers decide.

I developed my process over, I’d say about 30 years of trial and error. I start with writing a very basic draft in point form, laying out the page on typing paper, deciding on what layout works best. I’ll then type out the dialogue script. I don’t write out a full script (i.e. having to describe scenes) since I’m the one drawing the book. I then use a blue pencil on 2-ply bristol board to do my prelim layouts and then pencil the page.

 

 

Since I’m inking my own work I don’t have to pencil as tight. I use a brush and some staedtler fineliners to ink the page and then send scan in the finished artwork to colorist Diego Vazquez. His work is gorgeous, by the way. Diego will send me back the pages and I’ll start the lettering with Adobe Illustrator. Usually at the lettering stage, I’m changing dialogue because I may come up with a better line or joke or whathaveyou. After the lettering is done, I send the files off to the printer and wait a little while to get my books printed.

I try my best to keep my workflow on a consistent basis. However, I do work a full time day job and that can be exhausting. So I try and produce as many pages as I physically can in a week, without sacrificing quality. On top of that, I do the odd commission for a comic book cover or pin-up. Production on Murder City Devil #2 has begun and I’ve started inking some pages. I’m trying to get issue #2 done by April-May. I would like to get out at least 2-3 more comic books out this year. Regardless, my drawing speed and quality are a lot better and more balanced, so that’s good.

CB: So no other creators were involved?

EQ: I do everything (writing/ penciling/ inking and lettering) and Diego Vazquez handles the colors. I would do my own coloring but Diego’s work is so amazing and strong that I could never hold a candle to him in that aspect. His coloring really makes my work look sooo good and I want the books to sell! lol

 

 

CB: What have you been learning from self-publishing through this process?

EQ: Writing and drawing my own comics is really fun and one of the most enjoyable things about my life. I finally tried a Kickstarter campaign last year to help finance production on Murder City Devil #2 and it turned out better than I could have ever anticipated! Seems that people really dig my artwork and I am very grateful for and happy happy about that.

CB: What are your plans beyond this book?

EQ: My plans are to have the first 8-issue series of Murder City Devil completed some time in 2024, if not sooner. If folks like the first series, then I’ll do another one. For my other title, Lucha Mystery, I will definitely have issue #4 out at some time this year and get maybe two to five more issues out but it really depends on if folks are interested. I also have an idea for a 3 issue mini-series based on the films of B-Movie director Ed Wood and a little cartoony comic book series for all ages.

 

 

CB: Any special features in this book, special perks or tiers?

EQ: I would say the “special feature” about Murder City Devil is that you get 22 pages of solid story and art. Another “special feature” would be that once more issues are produced, a reader can go back, re-read and see how subtle points in the earlier issues connect and how much more important and relevant they are. People who have read the first issue are eagerly awaiting the next one, so that’s good!

CB: Anything else you would like to share with our readers before we sign off?

EQ: I’m just really happy to be here! And THANK YOU for taking the time to look at my stuff! It’s just nice to have people enjoy my comics after I’ve spent a long time working hard at trying to produce a quality story. I’ll be producing a lot more books and hopefully people will want to read them 🙂

CB: Good luck!

 

Murder City Devil Trailer

Grab a copy here!

 

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CRIT: Intestinal Fortitude
by Christopher Michael

Back the crowdfunding campaign here!

Chris Braly: Welcome to Indie Comics Showcase, Christopher. Can you give me the elevator pitch for CRIT?

Christopher Michael: CRIT is an action/adventure comic based on a homebrewed dungeons and dragons campaign that follows a group of friends as they gain super powers and face challenges that determine if they can call themselves heroes. The game is recorded and then turned into a comic creating an organic story with every outcome determined by the roll of the die.

 

 

CB: Sounds like a cool idea. How did you come up with story and what led to self-publishing it?

CM: We played a few sessions and found it so amusing that I decided to start drawing the game sessions. A few people saw it and said I should release it so I started self publishing the story late 2020.

 

 

CB: Nice! What kind of comic readers is this suited for. Who is it aimed at?

CM: People who enjoy tongue-in-cheek humor, buddy cop stories, and enjoy ready fun adventure stories. I usually say if you like D&D and superheroes you’ll like CRIT.

 

 

CB: What can you tell me about your creative process?

CM: The process starts at the game table. I create the flow for the session and the players control the flow and progression. As a Dungeon Master I play the non playable characters that interact and react to what they do. Then I take the recording of the game and draw it out. Once I finish that we give it to a colorist. Once that’s done I letter it and give it to the team for a final dialog edit. Then we make any final changes before it goes to print. We’ve developed the process over 6 books and refine small parts as we go.

 

 

CB: Who is your creative team on this project?

CM: Each main character is based off a real world player I know, so they all contribute to the story and the portrayal of their characters. I write, draw and letter the books while our colorist Cristiano brings the art it life.

 

 

CB: How far along is the book?

CM: This next book is half complete. We are roughly 25 pages in with another 20 to go. We will have the book complete or at mostly ready to print by the end of the campaign.

CB: What are you learning from self-publishing through this process?

CM: Communication is key. Building an audience before the launch helps the success of the campaign and keeping in touch with them through the process keeps them interested. Notifying people of any unexpected delays is also good to keep them in tune with the state of the project.

 

 

CB: What are your plans beyond this book? Are there more stories to tell?

CR: We have 30 more books already recorded and ready to be created. CRIT will end around book 40. In the campaign, in addition to cool perks like a custom d6 die, figures, and collector cards, there is a trade paperback available of all 6 current books – and a plushie of the talking cat from our book

 

CRIT: Season One Kickstarter

 

CB: Great! Good luck on this campaign.

CR: We love chatting with new people. Anyone that has checked us out before, thank you – and if you haven’t yet please check out our website or add us on social media. 

 

Back the crowdfunding campaign here!

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There’s an Alien in My Toilet
by Samuel Vera

Check out the crowdfund page here!

Chris Braly: Welcome to Indie Comics Showcase. Tell me about There’s an Alien in My Toilet.

Samuel Vera: He is the Pride of Uranus. The best of the best, the most advanced specimen in the Universe. Hand picked for a secret mission to Earth. What he will unleash on the unsuspecting populous with be most devastating… but then he forgets to refuel and crash lands on Earth. And so the adventure begins with Doodie from Uranus.

CB: LOL! How did you come up with that idea?

SV: Initially a Newspaper inquired if I had a sci-fi comic strip for the paper. I was driving through the Lincoln tunnel in NJ and Doodie spoke to me. The title, name and hook just popped into my head so I immediately started designing the character. I since decided to self publish it as I believed in the property that much. It’s suited for all ages 8+

 

 

CB: Got it. I was going to ask. Can you discuss your style and creative process?

SV: My style is akin to Charles Schulz, Jim Davis, more of a cartoon style of illustration. I have always been a fan of comic strips, humor. While I tried my hand at more traditional style comic art, I am most comfortable with cartoons. I basically illustrate the story and the dialogue comes after. It’s different from my other comics where I wrote out the script first. With There’s an Alien in my Toilet, I only draw when I feel connected to Doodie and then I will sketch a layout for the pages on paper then finish it up on my Wacom tablet.

 

 

CB: Did anyone else contribute to the work on this comic?

SV: Yes. The book is lettered by Jorge Medina and colored by Barbara Soraggi. Everything else on the book is done by me.

CB: So what’s your production workflow like? And if it’s not complete, how far along is the book?

SV: The first 5 issues are completed. I am starting with issue 1 on Kickstarter. I make it a point to not run a campaign unless the work is done and press ready.

 

 

CB: Good strategy. What have you been learning from self-publishing?

SV: From self publishing, I learned to have a schedule. A timeline of tasks and due dates. Be realistic with your workload to be able to meet the deadlines set. Source out printers, pricing, turnaround dates so that there are no surprises or delays which can be avoided. For crowdfunding, promote way in advance for each campaign. Give yourself at least 30-60 days out to promote your landing page and get the word out. Over-communicate your product, on as many platforms. Join communities, engage with others. And most important, have fun. If it feels like work then you are not having fun.

 

 

CB: How many stories do you have planned?

SV: This is a 10 part mini which branches off into Doodies own Series Hi, I’m Doodie from Uranus. There he will continue his adventure throughout the Universe. The first issue for that is also ready to go where Doodie returns to Earth because Santa is believed to be its leader and Doodie has to infiltrate his base (North Pole) and take down Santa. I also have a kids picture book of Doodies Adventures where we watch Doodie grow up on his home world Uranus.

 

 

CB: Thanks for joining us today. Anything else you would like to share with our readers before we sign off?

SV: The campaign has a plush doll, 3D printed figures, latex doll trading cards, a coloring book, a guide book and a T-Shirt. The character Doodie also encourages learning, so in each comic, there are four pages of work puzzles, trivia questions based on science and the comic and activities. This is a great way to introduce kids to comics and encourage learning at the same time.

CB: That’s great, Samuel. Good luck on the campaign!

 

Doodie is coming sign up today for the launch #short #anime #trending #comics

 

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That’s it for this installment. If you’re a creator ramping up your own campaign or have a comic available for purchase online and you want to be featured in our weekly column, click here. And follow Indie Comics Showcase on Twitter at @Indie_Comics and reach out to them for more eyes on YOUR crowdfunding comic project. Until next time, support indie comics!


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