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!
LYING MIRRORS: BROKEN GLASS
by Hatim Ben Ayad
Check out the Crowdfundr page here!
Chris Braly: Welcome to this week’s edition of Indie Comics Showcase, Hatim. Give our readers the elevator pitch for Lying Mirrors: Broken Glass.
Hatim Ben Ayad: After an evil organization failed in its rituals to summer a king of the dark world to earth, Tian finds himself on an adventure to find a cure and a home for the people who became with deformed appearances because of that secret organization rituals.
CB: Where did the idea for this comic come from, and made you decide to self-publish it?
HBA: The idea came from the fact that people who are -somehow- deformed struggle in their social world. We decided to go indie because we are starting from scratch with zero budget!
CB: Sounds reasonable. Tell me the kind of comic readers this is probably best suited for?
HBA: All the comic fans aged ten and older could read and fall in love with this book. However, since it is aimed squarely at people who love fantasy, sci-fi adventures, and drama.
CB: So tell me a little bit about your creative team and your own creative process.
HBA: My storyline style is a natural gift, and I managed to develop my writing skill thanks to some kind editors. On this project, there is Winzaldi Nirmansyah who is my main artist. He is a very talented man from Indonesia dedicated his life to creativity and art. In addition to Win, there is Nicholas Fitzgeral who is out colorist. A mysterious gentle man who colors with his heart.
CB: How far along is the book and what are you learning about crowdfunding your own book?
HBA: We are moving slow because we have no budget. The script is already finished, but the artwork is still in the first few pages of the first issue. We aim to rise the needed funds so we can go quicker and deliver an issue every two months It’s a hard journey, but it’s all worth it because you can very close to the people supporting you. On our campaign page, we have several rewards for our supporters and are currently offering only digital products, but we are optimistic that it will grow in the near future.
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CB: Are there more stories to tell in this comics universe you’ve created?
HBA: We have a dream of making a comic production line. We have several stories written, so we are just waiting to kick-off and start amazing the world.
CB: I wish you success with your comic, Hatim!
Check out the Crowdfundr page here!
by Gerald J. Jones
Check out the Kickstarter campaign here
Chris Braly: Welcome to Indie Comics Showcase, Gerald. Give me the lowdown on Mrs. Vengeance.
Gerald J. Jones: Ex-CIA agent Edwin Monroe is the latest recruit in Mrs. Vengeance’s army of the night, those who aid in her quest to bring justice to criminals all over New York. With his years undercover for the government, Edwin thought he was prepared for anything Mrs. Vengeance would give him, but his first assignment brings up old ghosts that send his past and present on a collision course he may not survive. Three full issues of 24 pages each in black and white, plus a backup prose story in each issue.
CB: How did you come up with this idea? And do you have any experience with self-publishing?
GJ: I always loved and wanted to write The Shadow. Until that day comes, I created my own character, Mrs. Vengeance, as an homage. I self-published my previous two comics, Driver.Eight #1 and #2, so it was only natural to do the same with Mrs. Vengeance. It’s a bigger gamble this time, as it’s all three issues as opposed to just one.
CB: Who is Mrs. Vengeance aimed at?
GJ: While my Driver.Eight is probably suited for most readers, Mrs. Vengeance is a darker tale with some visceral violence, so I wouldn’t hand it to an eight year-old like Driver.Eight. It is aimed for anyone who likes a dark pulp noir story, and most importantly, anyone who wants to read a comic to be entertained and not preached to.
CB: Sounds good. Tell me about how you like to work and what led to this story.
GJ: As I wanted to write a Shadow-esque character, I had to come up with someone similar but not enough that Conde Nast’s legal department would come knocking with a friendly cease and desist, so that meant making the character female. From there, I liked the name “Lady Vengeance,” but that was already taken, so it became “Mrs. Vengeance.” After that, I knew the type of story I wanted to tell and knew what the last page was going to be. For me, I have to know the ending beforehand so everything leads up to that last page.
Normally, I’m pretty wordy in my books, but I purposely wrote a less-wordy style and focused on more action in the books. That may be why I wrote a 5000 word prose backup story in three parts for the end of each book, because I can’t help being wordy!
CB: Introduce me to your creative team on this project.
GJ: I can’t say enough good things about Clovis Batebola, my artist on this book. He nailed everything that was in my head and took it beyond what I imagined. I was very blessed to have him agree to do this project.
CB: What is the status of the project? Is it ready to ship?
GJ: All three issues are complete and ready to go. The campaign will end about the middle of August, and the books will arrive to backers in September as long as there isn’t a nuclear apocalypse. In that case, it might slip to October.
CB: What have you been learning from self-publishing in the process?
GJ: I’ve learned I need an intern! The hardest part is not the actual creation or launch but the battle for promotion each and every day after. Or else I need to bribe/kidnap a celebrity and have them endorse the project. (Note to Homeland Security and Law Enforcement: just kidding on the kidnap part. Note to everyone else: maybe not)
CB: Are their plans in place beyond this book? More stories to tell?
GJ: There’s definitely far more stories to tell about Mrs. Vengeance. I’ve started forming the next one, though it probably will be just a one-shot instead of three full issues!
CB: Anything else you would like to share with our readers before we sign off? —
GJ: We’ve got some great tiers featuring foil covers, T-shirts, and rabid wolverines. You can also get yourself or anyone else on ten copies of the cover. Even with your new rabid wolverine.
While I would like to make a bajillion dollars on this campaign, the most important thing to me is that people read the story and are entertained. I miss the days when comics were all about entertaining and not just $5 advertisements for movies or agendas. I write comics so people can escape reality, not be reminded of it. Unless you’re an ex-CIA agent who’s just been recruited by a vigilante organization to fight criminals, and then my apologies.
CB: Haha. Thanks Gerald. Good luck!
Check out the Kickstarter campaign here
CREMISI #2: ESCAPE INTO FREE SPACE
by Isaac Fox
Check out the Kickstarter page here!
Chris Braly: Welcome to this week’s Indie Comics Showcase, Isaac. Tell me about Cremisi!
Isaac Fox: Cremisi is a space-western tale of alcohol and PTSD inspired by Japanese anime and Manga. Issue 2 finds our heroes attempting to cash in on what they’d hoped would be an easy bounty. Unfortunately for them, nothing on the frontier of space comes easy. Can they make it off this planet alive?
CB: It looks great. Where did the idea for this comic come from, and made you decide to go the self-publishing route?
IF: I was inspired heavily by Outlaw Star, Cowboy Bebop, and Trigun. Cremisi is my passion project and the one I originally started in comics with. I wanted to use the series to show what my team and I could do with a more serious book containing hard-hitting issues people face today. It is our sincerest hope the depictions of these issues and how the characters deal with them can help people back in the real world.
CB: This looks like it might not be all-ages. What kind of comic readers is this probably best suited for?
IF: Cremisi is meant for a mature audience due to its rough language, violence, sexual innuendo, and modest nudity. If you’re a fan of Cowboy Bebop, Firefly, or the Mandalorian, Cremisi is everything you love rolled up into one tasty snack.
CB: How would you describe your style and creative process?
IF: With Cremisi, my style focuses on the characters and the issues they face. Crippling issues such as alcoholism, anxiety, abandonment issues, and more are explored. However, my process focuses on developing these characters and showing how they overcome these issues to save not only themselves, but the universe they inhabit.
CB: Talk about your creative team that contributed to this project.
IF: We refer to our team as the ‘Fox family’. Sayako Rush led Cremisi 1-4 but has since retired. She is perhaps the number one mangaka in Poland and her art speaks for itself. We offer variant covers from guest artists and Fox family alike. Including Mitsu-Blinger who leads my SuccuBUSTED! series and is a master of giving her art that “old school anime” feel while still keeping it fresh. New team members Aldi Fauzan, who is a published light novel artist, and Krius, who also works with Midnight Publishing, never cease to amaze me as they breeze through everything I ask for their art.
CB: That’s a big team. What’s your production workflow like?
IF: If I do a Kickstarter, I do it after the book and all add on, stretch goal, and other items are ready to go. Usually I knock out a script in a month or two. My editors then go into it and then I pass it along to the lead artist. Once the pages are approved, a colorist gets them and we go to Kickstarter. Cremisi #2 is completed and ready for the printers.
CB: Self-publishing is a lot of work. What have you been learning from doing it yourself?
IF: I’ve learned a great deal about graphic editing and digital formatting as well as a ton about the comic industry as a whole. I’ve learned why top-tier creators like Brian Pulido say they never take a day off – not even Christmas. Most importantly, I’ve learned to emulate that energy and dedication because, well, that’s what it takes.
CB: Is there more Cremisi ahead? Are there more stories to tell?
IF: Absolutely! We have over five years of books planned with much of that ready to go right now. In October, SuccuBUSTED! #2 – my most popular series – hits Kickstarter. Foxxy Vacations, a naughty pinup book, returns early next year with an adults only naughty cosplay convention as the setting. Cremisi 5 is ready to go. And my Pure Intent series is ready to hit issue 2 as soon as I can fit it into the schedule. Plus a brand new action ecchi book staring a whole squad of babes is in progress!
CB: Great. Anything else you would like to share with our readers before we sign off?
IF: Yes, I’ve had the honor of working with Leirix, a student of the legendary Artgerm, several times now. I see her covers a lot on Kickstarter, but I’m the only one (to my knowledge) with a naughty dakimakura from her. We also offer covers on my other series from great artists like Dan Mendoza, Gregbo Watson, and Cute Sexy Robutts.
And please support Indie Comics! When you buy a book from me or other amazing indie creators, you’re helping us pursue our dreams. In some cases, you’re even putting food on our tables. You are the reason my team and I do this. This is our 8th time on Kickstarter where we’re listed as a backer favorite for our dedication to our backers and fulfilling our promises. Let me do this again for you.
CB: Well said, Isaac. Thanks for chatting with me.
Check out the Kickstarter 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!