It’s time for another incredible 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!
Smokes the Fox #1 & Weaponized Werewolf #0
by Justin Belmont
Check out the crowdfunding page here!
Chris Braly: Welcome to Indie Comics Showcase, Justin! Tell us about your comics!
Justin Belmont: A black ops military operation creates human animal hybrids with the help of E.T.s on the Colorado-New Mexico Border. Intelligent hybrid fox ‘Smokes’ escapes, putting the top secret program in jeopardy. Should the truth come out, it will plunge the world into chaos. Until then, Smokes is having the time of his life.
Back in the early 90’s I was a young teen inspired by the indie comics scene. Some of my favorite titles were Madman, Cerebus, Concrete, and Bone to name a few. Growing up Valiant and Image comics were a necessity. These creators got me excited about the comic book world, so much in fact I would scribble my own IP designs. The idea of the dope-smoking fox was born during one of those drawing sessions and it’s been my dream to make it a reality. The character has always been on my mind throughout the years.
CB: Where did the idea for this comic come from, and what made you decide to go the self-publishing route?
JB: The idea of Smokes came to me at age 16, shortly after I discovered marijuana and fell in love with the indie comics scene. Since I’ve been self-employed most of my life, doing everything on my own has always been the plan.
CB: What kind of comic readers is this suited for and who is it aimed at?
JB: These comics are geared more towards adults 18 + because of the pot-smoking, the violence, and some gore. I think people who are fans of the 90’s will really enjoy these offerings, and if you’re a horror fan or like to smoke up, they’re right up your alley. Classic Valiant fans will also be interested in these books, because I’ve enlisted some notable creators that used to work for them.
CB: Let’s talk about your creative team. Who contributed to these books?
JB: I’m thrilled that I was able to put together a bunch of top talent for this project, guys like Mike Baron, Don Perlin, Bob Layton, Rodney Ramos, Tim Vigil, Gerhard and Peter Palmiotti. These are guys that I look up to and support. I also pulled in some great local talent Lee Oaks and Barry McClain, both artists did an amazing job on my interiors. My letterer/editor Kurt Hathaway guided me through the process and answered my questions in regards to problems that popped up during production.
CB: Tell us about your style and creative process, and how you developed them
JB: I like to be involved in every step of the creative process, if it’s a cover I would make a thumbnail for the artist or give them a detailed description of my vision. I believe good communication and feedback is key when working with your creators.
CB: What’s your production workflow like? And if it’s not complete, how far along is the book?
JB: Right now both of my books are completed except for some minor interior design work, I plan on knocking everything else out once we hit the 5k funding goal.
CB: Tell our readers what you’ve been learning from crowdfunding and creating through this process?
JB: Sure, I’ve learned quite a bit from this comic making journey. Now I have a good understanding of how to create comic books and I think I can resolve just about any problems that come up along the way. I did freak out a few times when something would go wrong, but I was able to fix everything and I’m very happy with the final results. Crowdfunding is a whole different animal. but I’m learning more and more as this first campaign progresses.
CB: What are your plans beyond this book? Are there more stories to tell?
JB: I do plan on making Smokes the Fox a mini-series and if people want more Weaponized Werewolf I can revisit him later. Besides these two hybrids I have other original characters brewing, so you’ll probably see more from me in the future.
CB: That’s great, Justin! Anything else you would like to share with our readers before we sign off?
JB: I would like to thank all the great people on social media that have promoted my first project, also the creators, backers, streamers, and podcasters. Check out the campaign where we’ve got all kinds of goodies such as sketch cards, signed comics, and bottle openers. We also have neck gaiters available that feature Gerhard’s cover art and “Smokes” Colorado license plates. I’ve only seen one campaign with neck gaiters and I might be the first project to offer vanity license plates.
CB: Cool. Keep plugging away, Justin!
Check out the crowdfunding page here!
by Matt Fowler
Check out the crowdfunding page here!
Chris Braly: Welcome to Indie Comics Showcase, Matt. What’s your elevator pitch for Tyger Blue?
Matt Fowler: This 52 page martial arts action comicbook can best be described as The Island of Dr Moreau meets Enter The Dragon. It’s set in August,1935 Chicago. Early elements of the Axis Powers are secretly working together to develop the ultimate bio-weapon. Ferocious beasts created by German occult science, trained by dark Samurai, and used by the Mafia as lethal enforcers. When Tyger realizes how truly disposable he is, he rebels against his masters. Forced to fight his brothers…Tyger’s struggle for vengeance and survival has begun!
CB: Where did the idea for this comic come from, and made you decide to publish it independently?
MF: The idea came about while hanging out in YouTube chats and cracking jokes about modern Marvel books. The gauntlet was eventually thrown down “If you dislike our books so much then make your own!” So we did!
CB: What demo is this book aimed at?
MF: This book is aimed at fans of books like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Street Fighter 2 and DragonBall Z.
CB: Nice. Who is the crew on this project?
MF: Our artist is the amazing talent Jose Garcia (Lumina Vhox ,GraveYardShift 4) his experience in animation has transferred over to making a very fluid comicbook. With a resume filled with titles like Voltron and Kung Fu Panama, Jose was the perfect choice to bring this story into reality.
CB: What have you been learning from crowdfunding during this campaign?
MF: That this is an artists’ game, I cannot recommend any writer to go into crowdfunding. The space is almost hostile to writers due to a huge resentment of the power they hold in the mainstream. I’ve learned that self-publishing is not for the thinned skinned our feint of heart. Don’t do it unless you absolutely love the craft
CB: What’s next for Tyger Blue? Are there more stories to tell?
MF: TYGER BLUE 2: Golden Age is next, our character gets to hang out in WW2 times with some classic public domain characters like Captain Battle, Kid Terror and Dynamic Boy
CB: Any special features in this book?
MF: We have a video game level that is downloadable , at one point in the book you can stop to play the fight and then continue the story. We also have a Kenner style 80s action figure
And a stretch goal for a Tyger Blue X Captain Battle comic by Mike Baron (Punisher,Deadman).
CB: Mike Baron is a workaholic! Anything else you would like to share with our readers before we sign off?
MF: Check out our website for Konami art Metal Prints and my previous comics Seicho 66 and Dixie Rose!.
Check out the crowdfunding page here
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!