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!
Tales From The NATverse #2
by Simon SIM Pothier
Check out the campaign here!
John Lemus: Sim! Welcome back to Indie Comics Showcase. Tell us about your latest crowdfunded comic.
Sim Pothier: These are the adventures of NAT the MERC, an intergalactic man of action for hire and his freelancing rebel friends, including babes like LOANI and ROZE. It’s an 80+ page anthology series of multiple standalone short stories that leads into the Nat the Merc series, and will continue as a companion to the primary story.
JL: So tell me – what is a “MERC”?
SP: A MERC leads the life of a freelance space rebel flying free from one job to another. He stands for what’s right, or for what is the right price. No LORDS, No MASTERS!
JL: So where did the idea for this comic come from? What inspired this?
SP: I’m highly inspired by Heavy Metal magazine, 2000AD, Epic Comics ( Alien Legion), Lobo, Metabarons, Lone Sloane, Cyberforce, Moebius, Druillet, etc.. I grew up with all that stuff, along with anime and manga. I wanted to bring back the vibe of them 80’s & 90’s sci fi movies, anime OVA like Bubble Gum Crisis & comics that could be a movie or even a series. I decided I was gonna self published when I first met Michael Turner in 2004 & I started working on my own creations like THE WOLFDRAGON that I self published in 2009 & got recruited by a French anthology titled ZIDARA9 where I published my creator owned short stories till 2016. Then CG happened & here we are 4 campaigns later & many books, prints, covers for others creators’ books.
JL: Tell me who this comic is geared towards? All ages?
SP: It’s for mature readers (R), because of explicit language, nudity, and violence. Readers who enjoy space fantasy, sci-fi, cyberpunk , and so on that really miss the good old, uncensored, unpolitical, dark humorous fun from Heavy Metal magazine or the people who love them French epic space adventure Bande Dessinée.
JL: Tell me about you developed your art style.
SP: It’s a mix of American and French comics, as well as manga with a dash of animation. I’m a self-taught artist, but later acquired a degree in animation and digital designs. I’ve also done some work in storyboards and character design in gaming and videos.
JL: Is this a solo effort, or did others contribute to this project?
SP: It’s my story and art, but I got Beacon sequential coloring, Scotsmn on colors for the Planet 69 cover & Inkspots who did the painted over cover on this book. That same team that was part of TFTN #1. Then I have David Vila on lettering. And yes, I also have an editor on the team.
JL: What is the status of the project? How far along is the book?
SP: I’m a workhorse, so the book is more then 69% done. Ha! It will be completed by November 2022, probably before, but I like to give myself some room for unexpected things to happen.
JL: So what have you been learning from self-publishing with these comics?
SP: I’ve learned pretty much everything from production, printing, shipping, I had to learn to promote and put myself more out there. I also decided to take a two year business class in 2018 to learn more about the business aspects, because you know what they say about artists in business. I had to break that.
JL: What’s next for the NATverse?
SP: I got lots of stories to tell in the NATverse, along with many other creations I’d like to eventually publish. So far I already got TFTN #3 in development with a short animation for it already in the works. I’ve got TFTN #4, INKSLAYER in the works with another TFTN spin off LOANI & ROZE: Daddy Issues, I’m also back on The WOLFDRAGON with DEAMONA.
JL: Wow! You’re gonna be busy for a while. Any last words for our readers?
SP: I love this project so much, it’s been years in the making & I’m having so much fun on it. I’m also working on a short animation, board game for the NATverse, I even got a 3D printer to start doing figurines, etc.. This is not a one shot thing, I’M in this for the long run as long as I get the support I will be doing book. TFTN, Wolfdragon, Deamona, NAT the MERC, Skullbusters & many more. I would also like to mention the INKSLAYER WEB STORE where you can find my previous books and check out additional merch.
Check out the campaign here!
by Matthew Wilding
Check out the campaign here!
John Lemus: Welcome to Indie Comics Showcase, Matthew. What’s your the elevator pitch for Small Bites?
Matthew Wilding: It’s seven stories with over 40 pages of horror, sci-fi & fantasy. It’s got man eating squirrels, werewolf court procedurals, cameras that can see into the future, and more.
JL: Where did the idea for this comic come from, and made you decide to self-publish it?
MW: It’s a collection of shorts I’ve been developing since the pandemic started. I published a bunch of other shorts for free and the response was positive so I figured I’d do more.
JL: So what kind of comic readers do you feel this is aimed at?
MW: This is a PG-13 comic for fans of Tales from the Crypt and Twilight Zone.
JL: What can you tell us about your style and creative process?
MW: It was different for every story, but most of these stories were done with friends and collaborators I met following the release of Nightmare Man, which was crowdfunded back in 2020 and is coming out via source point press in May.
JL: So what have you been learning from self-publishing throughout this process?
MW: Brand recognition is important, but if you hustle you can make a new platform like Zoop work for you.
JL: So what are you working on next, Matthew?
MW: I’ll be launching 6 issue arcs this year with Matt Rowe and J. Schiek. Rowe and I will be crowdfunding the first issue of Free Hands, a pirate mystery series, and J. and I will be launching Old Devils, a 6 part horror book following up Nightmare Man.
JL: Nice. Any special perks you’re offering over on Zoop?
MW: The most important thing about this one is accessibility. I’m trying to keep tiers as cheap as possible.
JL: Thanks Matthew. Anything else you would like to share before we sign off?
MW: Support indie comics and indie platforms.
Check out the campaign here!
Foxxy Vacations 2022
by Isaac Fox
Check out the campaign page here!
WARNING – Images below may not be safe for work:
John Lemus: Welcome to Indie Comics Showcase, Isaac. Tell our readers about Foxxy Vacation. Give us your best “elevator pitch”.
Isaac Fox: These characters are in dire need of a vacation and want YOU to join them! For 2022, our lovely and sexy characters have chosen a Japanese hot spring resort. This 22 page fully colored ONE SHOT NAUGHTY pinup book contains four comic pages, full page pinups, and two page spreads with art by artists all over the world including Leirix, Ryan Kincaid, Hedwin Zalidvar, Mitsu-Blinger, and more!
JL: What inspired you to make these comics?
IF: I was inspired by the swimsuit editions Udon Entertainment puts out for Street Fighter and company. My work takes heavy inspiration from manga/anime and there’s always a hot springs issue or episode (and we all know why.) In keeping with this tradition, I decided to put together a collection of artists to create a hot spring book as a thank you to my supporters for an absolutely outstanding year on Kickstarter last year.
JL: Who are these comics aimed at? I’m guessing an ADULT audience.
IF: Yes, Foxxy Vacations 2022 is for a mature audience. 18+. While there is no pornographic content in anything I do, there is plenty of tasteful nudity and silly, ecchi antics.
JL: Let’s talk about your style and creative process. How did you developed them?
IF: I’ve worked as a journalist and English teacher and I think that’s helped me develop a style which can be both engaging and easy to digest. While this book focuses more on the artists, the four comic pages I wrote are silly fun, created with the idea of putting a smile on the reader’s face in every panel.
JL: Introduce us to your creative team.
IF: This book involves a TON of amazing artists. Pinup art by industry big names like Leirix, Ryan Kincaid and Hedwin Zaldivar. Some of our in-house artists such as Mitsu-Blinger, Nila Nandita, Anthonette Bueno, Krius, Makushima, and published light novel artist Alid Fauzan, contributed covers and interior pages. We have work from newcomers such as Solthrys, Redclaw, and Arachnart to name a few. We also have work from some well-known artists such as Jason Hehir and Jean-Francois Beaulieu. As an added bonus, one or two of the pinup artists on this book are well known in the (H) art world.
JL: How far along is the book? Ready for print?
IF: I’m happy to say Foxxy Vacations 2022 is completed and ready for the printers. Every comic we at Astral Ticket and Foxxy Comics do is completed before the Kickstarter launches. When working on a book, I write a script using a format provided by Dark Horse then pass it along to one of my artists. They go page by page doing linework and we edit from there until each page is finished. Once a page is approved, it’s handed off to the colorist for another round of updates and edits until the book is print ready.
JL: Sounds like the production side is running smoothly. What have you learned from self-publishing, crowdfunding and creating through this process?
IF: I have learned more doing this than I ever learned in 4+ years of college. I credit myself as a comic writer, but writing is maybe 5% of my actual job. Management, budgeting, shipping, business negotiations, contracting, taxes, the list goes on and on of the things I’ve had to learn in a virtual trial by fire. There is never a moment in my day anymore where I don’t have eight or more things which need doing for comics alone… and I absolutely love it.
JL: So what are your plans beyond this book?
IF: I have over five years of books either ready or being prepared to go. I feel I’ve found my audience and have a far greater understanding of what they enjoy. Cremisi #2 REBIRTH comes to Kickstarter later this year followed by SuccuBUSTED! #2. Pure Intent #2 is on the horizon and Cremisi #5 is ready. The only thing stopping us from putting out more than 3 books a year is the paper shortage. I even have two brand new stories being prepared: one a fan-service high fantasy and the other a for all ages series of one shots about our family pets.
JL: Wow! Tell me a little bit about some of your campaign perks.
IF: Absolutely! We have virgin metal covers and some exciting add-ons like limited acrylic standees in both NAUGHTY and NICE variants. We received a lot of requests for dakimakuras (body pillows) so we have two NAUGHTY ones available as add-ons.
JL: Looks like you’ve got it all. Anything else you want to share with our readers?
IF: Foxxy Vacations is our thank you to our backers for the incredible year we had last year. Each book I put out last year broke the Kickstarter record for Jacksonville’s (the largest city in the continental U.S. by mileage) single-issue comics. This was all thanks to the incredible support of our backers so I wanted to make something explicitly for them to show my gratitude.
JL: Great! Youtube won’t let us embed your promo video here, but I encourage people to check it out.
Check out the campaign 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!