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!
by Leland Bjerg
Check out the campaign here!
Chris Braly: Welcome to Indie Comics Showcase, Leland. Hit me with the elevator pitch for Capsules.
Leland Bjerg: After two years of drifting in space, Jericho Huxley is at his wit’s end. He’s been holding together a vessel designed for a crew of eight almost single-handedly, as his wife, Anna, suffers from extreme PTSD, and often is too unwell to help. His only confidant is the ship’s medibot, Spenser, whose primary function is to provide mood stabilizing medications and prevent space madness. When the ship’s life support fails, all the frustrations Jericho has been suppressing come boiling to the surface, and he and Anna are thrown into a conflict that may tear them apart forever.
CB: What inspired this story and led you to crowdfunding it?
LB: It came from my experience as a caregiver. I decided to self-publish because I needed to tell this story with or without the backing of a publisher.
CB: Who is it aimed at?
LB: The bullseye is other caregivers in need of inspiration, but the overall target are for fans of sci-fi that explore meaningful topics like relationships and mental health.
CB: Fascinating. Tell me about your creative process, and how it was developed.
LB: Finding the humor in hardship, trauma, and the dark side of human nature. This came from a familial culture of finding the laugh during tough times, as well as reading authors like William Golding, Brian K. Vaughan, Bill Watterson, and Alan Moore. As well as studying evolutionary biology.
CB: Who is handling the creative chores here?
LB: I’m the writer, editor, and comic letterer. I’m a three-time Platform Comics finalist and have published work with Fugitive Poems. Casey Poznikoff is the illustrator and Casey has a strong interest in the occult, mental health/illness, and mythologies (both personal & cultural) which keeps the work richly dark, yet optimistic. Casey works primarily digitally, but ink of every variety (Indian ink, tattoo ink, printmaking ink) keeps them rooted in traditional practices.
CB: How does your workflow proceed? And how far along is the book?
LB: The script goes to the artist. The artist produces roughs. I add rough lettering. We iterate on the roughs until we’re ready to lock in the layouts. The artist works their magic. I gush about their genius. I add final lettering. We gush about our genius. The book is complete.
CB: What can you tell me about what you’re learning from self-publishing / crowdfunding through this process?
LB: There is no way to sidestep selling yourself if you want to make art.
CB: Are there plans beyond this book? Are there more stories to tell?
LB: There is an arc planned. I’m trying not to think about it until after this first book funds.
CB: Thanks for talking with us, Leland. Good luck on this project. Is there anything else you would like to share with our readers before conclude the interview?
LB: Just a giant thanks to the indie comics community. It feels very special to be a part of it.
Check out the campaign here!
TALES OF ABUSE
by Shane Raine
Check out this comic here!
Chris Braly: Welcome to ICS, Shane. Tell me about your webcomic Tales of Abuse.
Shane Raine: It’s about abuse. My abuse. How I survived extreme poverty, child abuse and neglect.
CB: What made you decide to put it into a comic?
SR: My wife told me that she doesn’t think I can work anymore and she wanted me to focus on my cartooning full time. I am disabled from extreme PTSD and this is my way to start recovering and moving on.
CB: Who is this aimed at? Strictly for grown-ups?
SR: Adults…Oh yeah! Kids don’t need to read what I endured.
CB: So explain your style and creative process to me.
SR: Everything starts with the story. I know what I want to tell. Next I develop a thumb, I work my sequential out before I draw it in scale. I may draw 3 different thumbs before I decide on the end sequential. Oh I cut up brown paper grocery to printer size paper. It’s free. Then I quickly draw every frame just structure no details and stand back and look at it. Is it working for me. More importantly DO-I-LIKE-IT? If I like it, I know you’ll like it. Then I go in and pencil details. This process will take about 6 to 8 hours. Then I ink it.
CB: Is it just you on the creative team?
SR: Just my wife and me. She handles the uploading and websites and is my manager.
CB: I know readers can jump on your website to follow along and read it so far. How far along is the book? And do you have plans beyond this story?
SR: Right now I am doing 2 pages a week. I am working on another project. My passion project. It will eventually be a Kickstarter. I have at least 30 years of materiel to do in this manner. 2 Pages a week, more if I can. I plan on drawing this webcomic until I die. People need to know what happened to me and my sister. It’s important. We survived, I want to tell people how I survived. I will never stop drawing this web-comic.
CB: Thanks for sharing. I want to remind readers this book is free. Anything else you want to share with our readers before we wrap up?
SR: If you find value in what I do please buy me a cup coffee. And know that you are helping me hold my abusers accountable. That means so much to me.
Check out this comic here!
by Peter Harte
Check out the crowdfunding page here
Chris Braly: Tell me about your comic Balor, Peter.
Peter Harte: Sean James was just a normal kid with a tragic story to tell until he was gifted the powers of the mythological demon king “Balor”. With these new powers, Sean goes on the hunt for his brother’s killer, but evidence of another powered person and a mysterious organization called the SCMP are about to flip his mission on it’s head! It’s 22 colored pages of mythology, mystery, superpowers, and finger guns!
CB: Where did the idea for this comic come from and what led you to self-publishing?
PH: I have always loved mythology, especially Irish mythology. In my opinion there was a gap in the market for a superhero story based fully on the mythologies of the world. Also I wanted to create an Irish hero without the usual stereotypes. I decided to self publish as I beloved it was time to put myself out there and give comic writing my best shot. With self publishing I can also fully control my IP and tell the story the way my readers and I love.
CB: What kind of comic readers is this suited for?
PH: Superhero fans and fans of a good mystery will love this book. Also anyone with an interest for mythology. Think Misfits x Love/Hate
CB: What got you into this and helped you developed your creative process?
PH: I run a comic podcast and over the years have gotten advice from some of the best writers in the game. (Al Ewing, Kelly Thompson, etc) I always make sure to take heed of this advice though my creative process is very strange. I usually wrote down my list of characters and locations then wait for them to talk to me.
CB: Can you talk about your creative team that contributed to this project?
PH: I actually met Amii (squish) on Twitter through mutual friends. Squish has been my artist since issue 1 and honestly in my opinion there was nobody else who could’ve brought Balor to life the way she did. Her style and ideas really are the heart of Balor. For issue two we are welcoming Grace K as colourist and Paul Carroll as letterer.
CB: Is the book ready to distribute? Or is it still in production?
PH: We have a production line set up going so once Squish finishes a page she will send it to Grace to color, who then will send to Paul to letter. Squish is currently inking the book to get it ready to send to Grace. The ETA on Kickstarter is June but we believe we will have it ready to ship a lot sooner.
CB: What have you been learning from self-publishing through this process?
PH: It’s hard! Every step of the way has its own difficulties and my respect for self published writer has grown every day. Marketing is where I fall short sometimes. Getting those eyes on your project is a full time job
CB: Are there plans beyond this book? More stories to tell?
PH: I have Balor outlined for 4 volumes so far. I know where the story is going right up to issue 24. I hope we can find enough new fans to get it that far because we have some very interesting storylines planned.
CB: What are some of the perks on your campaign?
PH: We have a tier for everyone. There is catch up tiers for this who missed issue 1. We have a small amount of limited St Patrick’s Day covers available If you want to be in the book If you want a speaking role, and we offer original artwork. We have it all lol. Also all physical backers get free Balor stickers, that’s cool right?
CB: Great. Anything else you would like to share with our readers before we sign off?
PH: Yes, if my project does not appeal to you then there are tons of other amazing books by awesome creators available on Kickstarter and Zoop. Supporting indie isn’t just getting a cool book, but also being part of making someone’s dream come true
CB: I couldn’t agree more. Good luck, Peter.
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!