Indie Comics Showcase #194: Dime-Store Detective, Milestone & the Mary Boys



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 John Dexter

Check out the campaign page here!



Chris Braly: Welcome to Indie Comics Showcase, John. Introduce our readers to Dime-Store Detective!

John Dexter: From son to a notorious bootlegging family to detective investigating a serial killer, Donald Mackinder must hunt down the evil entity connected to it all before he is its next victim. 
Four generations of rum runners and a father sentenced for murder, Detective Mackinder has lived with his family’s name the scourge of North Georgia but when an evil entity who’s been seemingly dormant for 40 years reappears, Mackinder has one last chance to clear his father’s name.



CB: Tell me where the idea for this comic came from. And what led to your decision to self-publishing it?

JD: I loved film noir and wanted to tell an original story in that genre. I decided to use a supernatural element to it since I don’t know of any noir stories in that subject matter. I had created the story of an evil being trapped by ancient people that was inadvertently released then last year I listened to a podcast about the Dixie Mafia’s choke hold on the south. I wanted to write a comic in the same style of Stephen King’s IT and True Detective where an evil “thing” is seemly defeated only to re-emerge many years later. How these events impacted our hero over the years and how he must face this “thing” again to defeat it.

I seldom published it because I was able to fund my last two comics ALPHA DOGS and didn’t want to wait around to see if I could get a publisher.



CB: Got it. So who is your ideal comic reader for Dime-Store Detective?

JD: Lovers of noir, supernatural, and moonshiners history, best suited for teen to adult.


CB: Tell us about your style and creative process, and how you developed them.

JD: I love stark story telling that gets to the nitty-gritty. Most of my ideas come organically. I love gritty stories with not pretentious soap boxing. I try and stay away from expositions and hit the ground running.



CB: Can you tell me a little about your creative team?

JD: Stone Tower Studios are the project managers taking care of helping build the Kickstarter page, the coloring, and lettering. The also illustrated the two covers. Luca Cicchitti is drawing the interiors. He is a well-known Italian artist with many credits to his name. Lucas Oreuta handled all the colors. They are doing a page and a half a week. The comic is halfway done


CB: Speaking of production, how far along is the series?

JD: I am currently writing issue 5 of DIME-STORE DETECTIVE and in preparation for my other comic ALPHA DOGS #3 that will launch soon after DIME-STORE #1 ends. DIME-STORE DETECTIVE #1 is over halfway done. I am aiming for it to be complete a month after the campaign ends.


CB: What would you say you’re learning from self-publishing through this process?

JD: It is a little overwhelming at times but it is a labor of love. I learn something new every week from each campaign. You must be vigilant in getting your name out there by any means necessary.



CB: How far do you plan to go with this series? Are there more stories to tell?

JD: This is issue 1 of 7. Dime-Store Detective will be a 7 to 8 issue limited series. I am also working on issue 3 of my self published comic ALPHA DOGS.


CB: Excellent. It looks good. Is there anything else you would like to share with our readers before we sign off?

JD: Our campaign is offering original artwork from the comic pages, a Zoom meeting with the creator, and many stretch goals! Our Kickstarter campaign has fun stretch goals along with rewards like your name in the thank you page to original page art. Plenty of great rewards. If you are a fan of films like L.A. CONFIDENTAL and TRUE DETECTIVE  along with supernatural stories you’ll love DIME-STORE DETECTIVE.


Check out the campaign page here!



by Charlie McElvy

Check out the campaign page here!



Chris Braly: Thanks for joining us on this week’s Indie Comics Showcase, Charlie. Hit me with your elevator pitch for Milestone: God Quest.

Charlie McElvy: Cole Morgan single-handedly ended World War 2 and personally brought Hitler to justice.

But his story didn’t end there. In fact, this is where it started. Abducted by a mad scientist and used for his abilities to manipulate the four fundamental forces of the universe, Cole was released from his prison by Spider-Squirrel, only to find out that he is a new breed of god on Earth. Cole Morgan may not want to be the most powerful man in the universe…

…but he doesn’t have a choice. What he does next will be the Milestone that saves or destroys the entire world.



CB: Nice. Where did the idea for this comic come from, and what led to your decision to self-publish it?

CM: Milestone was born from my desire to expand the Xion Universe out into the cosmos and beyond. I love the classic, brooding Silver Surfer books and the driven, focused Green Lantern books, and the titular hero reflects that and more.

Spider-Squirrel outperformed expectation during crowdfunding, and while I’d love to pitch these books to a publisher I have machinations that go beyond one or two titles. The Xion Universe is unfolding…


CB: What kind of comic readers is this suited for and who is it aimed at? —

CM: This book is T+ rated for action violence and intense scenes. It’s targeted for fans of Silver Surfer, All-Star Superman, Green Lantern, or any strong, solo cosmic comic. Milestone is a love letter to classic space epic adventures (Starlin, Marz, et al.) and is a direct spin-off from my successful Spider-Squirrel mini-series (vol.1).

Imagine if the Silver Surfer had the loneliness & guilt of Daredevil and held the universe’s fate in his hands…



CB: Can you talk about your style and creative process?

CM: I’m an energetic, somewhat psychotic, spaz who just loves to talk about, create, manage & publish comics, LOL. My creative process begins with the characters, inclusive of their world(s) and galaxy(ies) and interactivity across titles. I start with a macro view, find my character “anchors” and begin to map out the entire universe even before I start writing the first story.

Now, that said, each character has their own story to tell, so the collective set of stories really unfolds as each one is fleshed out. So, it’s a bit of a macro>micro>micro>macro process, if that makes sense. Writing individual books is similar.



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

CM: The plot and script is by Vito Delsante. Our pencils are by Ariel Medel. Inks were handled by Jagdish Kumar. Colors are Omi Remalante. The letters are handled by Full Court Press, with edits by Vito Delsante.  I’ve worked with and been friends with Vito for quite a few years now. And we really have a shared vision. It was easy for me to relinquish “control” to him on this project. I LOVE what he’s writing here! Ariel worked with me on Spider-Squirrel #3 and he’s so fantastic — truly a collaborator & co-creative artist! Jagdish knocked the inks out so cleanly, and so perfectly, and then Omi swept in and absolutely NAILED the book’s palette!! I’m so fortunate to work with such pros!

CB: That’s a big team, what’s your production workflow like?

CM: This book is DONE!! We are working on finish colors on Issue 2, then diving into letters & edits. Issue 3 is also already written! We plan to go to art on that one soon…


CB: What are you learning from self-publishing / crowdfunding and creating through this process?

CM: Crowdfunding & self-publishing are arduous processes each with unique challenges. It takes dedication & some send of organization to make it work! But, none of that happens without a strong team. It starts with the co-creators & their synergy.


CB: So what’s next?

CM: We have several projects (minis, one-shots, annuals, an all-ages digest, etc.) all in various stages of production! Milestone will be a mini-series and we’ve already begun the process of building a spin-off from this spin-off! Haha! It’s never ending! We have a Zoop-exclusive Netho Diaz (G.I.Joe, Marvel) cover, metal bookmarks, and a rare piece of original art available in this campaign (I don’t typically like to sell original art from my books).


CB: Cool. Is there anything else you’d like to share before we swrap?

CM: I get to say this because I’m not writing this one: this book is fantastic, and you’re going to love it. Yes, it’s superheroes, but we’re telling a deeply human story with a powerful character who *could* destroy the universe if he chose. It’s not a deconstruction, but a challenge. This book is just… wow.

And the art is absolutely GORGEOUS!!\

CB: It looks great, Charlie. Thanks for sharing it with us!

Check out the campaign page here!




by Karl Stephan

Check out the campaign page here!



Chris Braly: Welcome back to Indie Comics Showcase, Karl! Get us up to speed on your latest Mary Boys comic.

Karl  Stephan: It’s another comic about those teenage lager-guzzling Knights Templar stomping a path of righteous salvation through their backwater English town, cleansing it of its many social evils to avoid an impending biblical apocalypse. Watch gangsters, pimps, football hooligans and other deserving low-lives and weirdos getting savagely trampled under size 16 Doc Martens in this new 74 page collection of four self-contained Mary Boys stories.


Mary Boys: Beefheads! Trailer

CB: Do new readers need to have read the first Mary Boys book to keep up?

KS: You don’t need to have read the first comics to enjoy this collection, but copies of these are available for purchase on the current campaign.


CB: Tell me about the origins of this project and what led to your decision to self-publish.

KS: It’s a combination of different things I like thrown in a mixer. It derives from my desire to offer an alternative to readers who miss the irreverence of 80’s and 90’s indie comics. I’ve been published by a US indie publisher before and felt that I could do a better job promoting and printing it myself, so I decided to go at it alone and I have had absolutely no regrets.


CB: What kind of comic reader will get the most out of this book?

KS: People who enjoy 80’s Judge Dredd, Tank Girl, The Goon, MAD Magazine, TMNT and TV shows like The Young Ones. Essentially, Generation X.



CB: Cool. Tell me a little about your style and creative process.

KS: I work traditionally in black and white. I use a combination of line art, ink wash and tine to achieve the old school look I’m after. The covers and pin ups are illustrated in colour using ink dyes, coloured pencils, acrylics – old school. My core artistic influences are guys like Will Eisner,  the MAD and EC artists (Jack Davis, Wally Wood), classic British artists like Mick McMahon, Cam Kennedy and and many more. 

I draw when I get time between the fulltime job and being a parent, but I’ve managed it quote well I think. As we speak I have 9 pages left to ink and tone, so almost done with the art! The lettering is done but will need tweaking and checking before we get a printing proof. My wife Monika helps with promotion and shipping.



CB: What are some things you’ve been learning from self-publishing through this process?

KS: First and most important lesson from all this is that the customer is king. If you obey this rule you automatically do your very best on all the other aspects of publishing your own book, since there is no barrier between you and your readers.  I like this way of working and will continue to do so as long as I am able. I have also had to learn how to market the book, which has been the toughest part of the process for us (but we’re getting there).



CB: Are there yet more Mary Boys stories to tell?

KS: Oh yes! Many more Mary Boys stories. I have plenty more short stories like the ones in this collection and two long form stories to get to. I also have a bunch of other comic properties I’d like to develop. If readers enjoy this comic half as much as I’ve enjoyed making it then they’re in for the ride of their life!

CB: Thanks Karl. Good luck!

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!




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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.