Indie Comics Showcase #176: Enter the CRoMniverse, Heroic World & Aphelion Ghost Fleet Valley



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!



Enter the CRoMniVerse Anthology Vol 1
by Pops Van Zant

Check out the campaign here.


Chris Braly: Welcome to Indie Comics Showcase, Pops! You’re pretty well known for elevating indie creators, but now you’ve put together this cool anthology comic. Tell me about it.

Pops Van Zant: Yes! Comic Related Madness is presenting an anthology based on the original design of everyone’s favorite internet troll, CRoM!!! by Edwin Artex Badillo. CRoM!! is a literal internet troll thriving on chaos and madness! Nothing and no one is beyond his CRoMnipotent reach! If the internet is present, so too is CRoM, ready to amuse himself by derailing the best laid plans. Did your computer crash? CRoM!! Has your Zoom meeting gone awry? CRoM!! Did the power go out? CRoM!! Getting freaky ads on your social media? And of course, can’t find your stash? It’s ALL CRoM!!



CRoMniVerse Anthology: Vol #1 – “Enter The CRoMniVerse” is an anthology of stories based on the Madness Mascot and to pull it off, I’ve gathered some of the most fun and talented creators in independent comics to bring CRoM to life with this 90+ page anthology!



CB: So what kind of comic readers is this suited for? Who is it aimed at? 

PVZ: It is slightly NC/17 “Stoner” culture fun.



CB: Talk about your creative team that contributed to this project.

PVZ: I’m not the creator. There are over twenty people involved, so there’s really too many to list, but off the top of my head there’s Doc Blalock, Ryan Niswander, Erik Hodson, Hex Allen, Glenn Fleming, Paul Gomez, Anthony Romano, Alison McGlone, Lahkem Amiyr, Brian Christgau, Edwin Artex Badillo, Daniel Monroe, Tank Ferret, Manny Soto, Pedro Ang, Jim O’Riley, Cindy Koepp, Nick Chiofalo, Tim Andreas, Rich Perotta, Bill Maus, Specks Thompson, Lola & Varian and I know there are many more I’m forgetting!



CB: That’s a massive team! So how far along is production on the book?

PVZ: Work is coming along fine. We currently have a deadline of 4/20 to be completed with all the art and the Indiegogo campaign ends in May.



CB: Sounds like an indie version of Heavy Metal. Is this just the beginning of the CRoMniverse? Are there more stories to tell?

PVZ: Oh yeah. Some of these creators are already working on their next CRoM stories!


CB: What are you doing to make this project and this campaign stand out?

PVZ: We’ve got hand painted custom CRoM shoes, CRoM rolling papers, tapestries, and much more… Enter at your own risk…!

Check out the campaign here.


CRoMniVerse Anthology Vol #1 Teaser Trailer




Heroic World
by Scott Cranford


Check out the comic here!



Chris Braly: Welcome to Indie Comics Showcase, Scott! Give me your elevator pitch for Heroic World!

Scott Cranford: The Earth Avenger has arrived! How will this affect the Heroes here on Earth. This premier issue of Heroic World introduces a Universe of Superheroes unlike any other. Sharpman, Platinum Gloss, The Human Furnace, The Wave, and many others — each with an ambitious agenda of tackling social issues the world faces today. 


CB: Nice. So where did the idea for this comic come from, and made you decide to self-publish?

SC: My desire to create superheroes came from my love of superheroes. In 2000 I launched, a superhero entertainment website where I introduced the original Heroic World superheroes in the form of scroll along adventures. That same year I became the city of Metropolis’ official Superman and I was able to discuss the Heroic World superheroes on a LA radio station, KROQ’s Kevin and Bean show with Ralph Garman for 11 years. My website was also featured in Wizard magazine. The websites’ continued success motivated me to improve my art skills and put out a publication.




CB: What kind of comic readers is Heroic World best suited for? 

SC: With Heroic World I am going for a 3 to 100 crowd. I am hoping it will appeal to the really young groups and be promoted by parents. I have been an activist for over 20 years of teaching kids good values through superheroes and heroics. 


CB: How would you describe your style and creative process?

SC: I spent many years working on action and superhero movies as a stand-in, an extra, and actor.; Die Hard 2, Predator 2, Batman Forever, Batman Returns, Batman and Robin, etc. During the down time I created The Heroes of Heroic World. The atmosphere was very motivating for working on and creating heroes. I enjoyed learning every step it took to make the comic book, from coming up with a story, to penciling, inking, coloring to deciding where to put the dialogue.




CB: What’s your production workflow like? 

SC: For this book, I called upon my friend and fellow artist Stave Stanley. He painted over my pencils for the cover. I draw every day, several times throughout the day. I have a tall stack of 8×5 cards to my left which I draw upon whenever I get an idea. I switch back and forth between pencils, inks and colors to keep things fresh. I run a superhero entertainment site so I’m also doing a lot of photoshop and getting more into animation.



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

SC: I love that we are in a time where it is possible to self publish and not only is it not frowned upon, it’s also cost friendly but you have to follow every step correctly. There’s no cutting corners.


CB: What are your plans beyond this book? 

SC: In the first issue of Heroic World, I introduced 10 original heroes. I am working on single comics for each hero. So I’ve got a lot of work to do. I have original screenplays written for Sharpman, The Earth Avenger and The Daring Darrens also an animated series written featuring Adam The Teenage Alien, Platinum Gloss, The Human Furnace and The Wave.  In the meantime, the next comic book slated at Heroic World Productions is Sharpman. “The Smartest Man in the Universe”.


CB: Thanks for chatting with me, Scott. Anything else you would like to share with our readers before we sign off?

SC: In this 28 page  comic book, eagle-eyed superhero enthusiasts may catch a few nods to my favorite superheroes, Superman and Batman. My goal has always been about giving superhero enthusiasts brand new and exciting Superheroes. I created these heroes to present hope and inspiration in a fun and colorful way.


Check out the comic here!



Aphelion Ghost Fleet Valley v2
by Daniel Downey

Check out the comic here!

Chris Braly: Give me your best elevator pitch for Aphelion Ghost Fleet Valley, Daniel. And tell me what inspired you.

Daniel Downey: The story is about a young soldier named Ollie Beckman who has been stranded on a alien planet and must escape. However along the way he will encounter vicious creatures who will stop at nothing to get him, but along with that there are humans such as his big Cleo Harminn who will also try to prevent him from getting out.

The idea for the story came from watching James Cameron’s Avatar a movie I really didn’t enjoy but it gave me the inspiration to start writing it. Originally it was to be a short webcomic that would run for a total of six issues but the story got more larger in scope. If you like science fiction and giant robots, this is for you.


CB: So tell me how you put this together. Is this all you?

DD: Originally I was going to hire a artist to flesh out my comic however the artist disappeared. So I had to do the majority of the work by myself which helped me improve my art style in the end. In general my art style is more akin to the comic art of the 90s though I try to mirror my style from manga and old time cartoons such as the fletcher cartoon of superman. Mostly I would reference comic books, books on how to draw and basic observations of media I have watched.


CB: How far along is the comic? Are you ready to go to print?

DD: The final draft is almost complete and if there is no issues further it would be possible to release it immediately.


CB: Do you have any crowdfunding experience?

DD: This is my second attempt at doing a crowdfunding campaign while my previous one failed to fulfill it’s goal, however unlike the previous one this has a video presentation which featured shots of the finished pages. My goal is to get the next installment out and complete the series at the same time release a prequel set before the events of the series featuring a new cast of characters with some returning characters.


CB: Thanks for telling us about it Daniel. Is there anything else you would like to share with our readers before we close out this edition of Indie Comics Showcase?

DD: I would really like to see more people have the chance to read and enjoy my work.

Check out the comic here!

Aphelion Ghost Fleet Valley volume two promo





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!





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Chris Braly

I'm one opinionated, based geek. I try to steer this tiny ship and can often be heard monthly on the Comic Book Page Previews Spotlight podcast with several fellow "comic book nerds." Follow me on Twitter @ChrisBraly. My preferred adjectives are brilliant/beautiful.