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!
Hunter Ninja Bear
created by Tom & Joe Fenoglio
Check out the comic here
Chris Braly: Welcome to Indie Comics Showcase, Tom. What is your elevator pitch for Hunter Ninja Bear?
Tom Fenoglio: When the last of the ninja, Satoru, finds his efforts to be futile in stopping the brutal massacre of his entire village by a horde of preternatural bears, who have descended upon the humans in retaliation for the sins against their ancestors’ remains, he looks to legendary American frontiersman, John Wilkers. A trail of blood leads the lone ninja and the famed mountain man to the mother of all living terrors, the demon bear Fire Cloud. One complete graphic novel, containing 357 colored pages, brings this epic tale to life.
Like the everyday game of ROCK PAPER SCISSORS, the rules of this saga are simple: HUNTER BEATS BEAR NINJA BEATS HUNTER HUNTER BEATS NINJA…
CB: Where did the idea for this comic come from?
TF: Growing up, we always utilized ROCK PAPER SCISSORS to settle our trivial brotherly dilemmas. We even threw DYNAMITE in the batch to spice it up. So when we saw people playing HUNTER NINJA BEAR, we instantly became drawn to the fresh new concept.
As huge fans of George Lucas’ Star Wars, Sergio Leone’s Spaghetti westerns featuring Clint Eastwood, John Ford’s westerns that made John Wayne famous and especially Akira Kurosawa’s Japanese films with the great Toshiro Mifune – we instantly thought that HUNTER NINJA BEAR was a perfect construct to create a new larger-than-life epic and an engaing cast of characters.
CB: Who is this comic aimed at?
TF: Written in the PG-13 mindset – this action, adventure, hero story is wrapped in several violent and graphic situations. If you like ninjas, demonic bears and hard-core mountain men – then you will love this origin story.
CB: Tell me about the creative process, for this book. You brought in some heavy hitters to realize this story didn’t you?
TF: Having the core story established, we wanted to have a premier writer come in and build upon the foundation. Chuck Dixon was our first choice and fortunately he eagerly signed on with the project. Once this writing partnership was established and we all were in agreement with the tone and pacing of the story, Chuck was literally off to the races. Every one of his 12 issues hit us like a left hook from Apollo Creed. Chuck is an incredible writer and a genuinely kind and thoughtful person.
CB: Indeed he is. Tell me about the rest of the creative team.
TF: Our long time friend and inker Rob Hunter was the first to jump aboard and even introduced us to Chuck. Knowing that his inks would match beautifully with penciler Mel Rubi’s style, we did everything in our power to bring Mel onto the team. As soon as Mel joined, we immediately reached out to one of our favorite colorists of all-time, Ivan Nunes. It was very cool to see that all four of these comic greats were equally excited to work with each other. They worked seamlessly from Day One and our readers will see the love and effort that they all put into the telling of this story.
CB: Where is production on the book right now? Is it ready for prime time?
TF: Volume I: PROVENACE is completed. We are very happy on how it came out. Being the origin story, our ultimate focus was on the quality of workmanship and the strength of the story. Volume II is currently being written. It is a much darker and violent stretch in their journey.
CB: What are you hoping to accomplish by self-publishing?
TF: Our goal was always to produce completed graphic novels. We HATE monthly issues. There is nothing worse than putting down a great story and waiting a life-time for the next issue to come out. Going through the process, however, we now understand why the comic companies do monthlies. It takes ALOT of time to get these these stories told. With all the people working in sync throughout the creative process, each page in every comic book out there is truly a gem in itself.
CB: Now that this book is complete, what are your plans? I understand you’re launching on Kickstarter this month. Are there more stories you want to tell?
TF: Fenom Comics has five other new and exciting graphic novels coming out soon. From sci-fi to satanic, from superhero to psychedelic, our upcoming releases have it covered. And there’s more in the works! Please check out the website here.
CB: Anything else you would like to share with our readers before we sign off? —
TF: Thank you for taking the time to read about Fenom Comics. We truly appreciate it. At the end of the day, we are all fans of comics.
Check out the comic here
@FenomComics @Dixonverse @melrubi777 @RobhunterArt
by Anthony Stokes
Check out the Kickstarter campaign page here!
Chris Braly: Welcome to Indie Comics Showcase, Anthony! Tell our readers about Decay!
Anthony Stokes: Decay is a horror revenge thriller with an undead twist. If you like mature storytelling without excessive cursing or gore this is the story for you. Think stories like The Crow or Frankenstein. It is 24 pages in full color.
CB: So where did the idea for this comic come from?
AS: Death is a cultural unifier as everyone deals with loss and grief. I wanted to make something that was mature in it’s themes and violent but wasn’t edgy or gratuitous. I decided to self-publish because I wanted to make all the decisions and not be told what to do. Now that I’ve taken my lumps I feel that going forward I know enough about publishing to know whether or not an indie publisher can do right by me or not.
CB: You mentioned the book contained some gore earlier. What kind of comic readers is this suited for and who is it aimed at?
AS: Any fan of horror will enjoy Decay. Decay is also designed to be enjoyed by non-comic book fans and comic fans alike. I put a heavy emphasis on avoiding the pitfalls of adding too much exposition or lore so that anyone who likes good storytelling can engage in Decay and not feel alienated.
CB: What’s your creative process like?
AS: Due to a lack of schooling or education in creative writing I’ve had to become extremely self-sufficient. Youtube video essays and Movie review podcast was what taught me what good storytelling was. Generally I will make an outline sit on the outline for a week or two and then bang out a script in one or two sittings. I send it out for notes from my friends and then I wait long enough for the script to feel like it was written by someone else to edit it.
CB: Who is helping you bring this project to life?
AS: My artist Marc Oliver is the illustrator and the colorist for Decay. We work closely and I don’t foresee a future where I’m not working with him in some capacity. We met through Reddit. I met my letterer Stephen Kok or “Es Kay” through a Facebook page for Independent Comic Creators. If I end up with a successful career in comic books it’ll be due to his guidance and selflessness.
CB: How do you guys handle the production? And can you tell me how far along the book is?
AS: I prefer to stockpile a bunch of scripts sometimes months or years in advance. The script for Decay Issue 2 was written well over a year ago which allowed me to make adjustments as needed. I also don’t give my artist hard deadlines. I project forward based on their pace and ask when they think the work will be completed but deadlines just stress everyone out including the creator.
CB: What’s been your biggest takeaway from self-publishing and doing this yourself?
AS: I find that you get what you put in with crowdfunding. 90% of the work is done before you hit launch with a pre-launch campaign that should include interviews, published reviews, and getting word of mouth going. Getting a pre-launch page up as soon as possible is one of the best pieces of advice that I got.
CB: Any plans beyond this book? Are there more stories to tell in the Decay universe?
AS: This will be a 5 issue series and then I’m working on a spinoff series to “Decay” as well. I may also step into other mediums like novels, television, and indie films as well while making comic books.
CB: Tell our readers about any special features in this book or special perks you’re offering on Kickstarter.
AS: There will be a mixtape of music inspired by Decay Issue 2. Music is a huge part of my creative process and also there’s a lot of talented artist I know that I would like to spotlight.
CB: Sounds good Anthony. I wish you luck. Any final words?
AS: Support independent creators telling original stories isn’t easy and we could use the help.
CB: Well said.
Check out the Kickstarter campaign page here!
LOCKJAW AND PISTOLERO
by John E Aviña
Follow this monthly comic here
Chris Braly: Welcome to this week’s Indie Comics Showcase, John, tell me what Lockjaw & Pistolero is about.
John Aviña: A mariachi singer travels the west to free himself from the life debt he owes to an Aztec god. Armed with a compendium monster guide and a silver stringed guitar he sets out to free a quite western town from an ancient evil.
CB: What’s the genesis of this comic, and what led you to distributing it through your Patreon?
JA: My mother was a mariachi singer and some of the places she performed out had cool Aztec and sugar skull designs. I want to tell stories that represent me and my family. I’ve submitted this idea to a few publishers but none have reached out. It’s a story I believe represents a large portion of the population and deserves to be seen.
CB: What’s the ideal reader for this comic? And do you have any background in working in comics?
JA: The book is suited best for teen and adult audiences who like Western and horror genres. I worked at a comic shop for a few years and made friends with tons of creators. I’ve submitted to a few publisher and have another series in the works that I’m hoping to shop around soon.
CB: Who is your creative team?
JA: I would be nothing without Medson Lima the artist and inker for the series. We met through Instagram and just bonded. His art and creativity really pushes me to write scenes that showcase his full talent. Colorist Vinicius Townsend is a friend of Medson’s and absolutely delivers with the fusion of Mexican colors that separate us from other westerns.
CB: How far along is the book? —
JA: Issue one will be done by May then jumping into the next issue. It will be available first through Patreon then available to purchase through a site we are currently building. We have limited edition posters as well as sneak peaks into our other projects. We have short stories following our characters to really round out the world. We are gonna offer you stickers soon and also offer the chance to name a character after the funder.
CB: What have you learned from self-publishing through this project?
JA: It’s heart breaking to pour yourself into a project but have it lost in social media algorithms. A supportive team is the best cure for a creative rut. Finish your project no matter what, somebody will read it.
CB: Stay the course. Do you have more stories to tell, John?
JA: We are planning a five issue run with more to come if fans enjoy the way we do. And we are working on another title that follows a more traditional horror setting but with diverse family representation. I am submitting short stories to a few magazines hope to draw attention to our book.
CB: Thanks John. It looks great.
Follow this monthly comic 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!