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!
Heirs of Ashurado
by Gil Murillo
Grab a copy here!
Chris Braly: Welcome to this week’s Indie Comics Showcase, Gil. Tell me a bit about your Heirs of Ashurado webcomic.
Gil Murillo: Thanks! It’s a story told on 18 black & white watercolor illustrated pages that introduce the alien world of Ashurado and some of its humbler inhabitants. A young anthro-humanoid is reeled into a sci-fi adventure when his step sister runs away, and chance visitors from far away lands spur a journey away from home.
CB: Where did the idea for this comic come from, and made you decide to self-publish it?
GM: I’m just trying to make the book I wanted to read. I’m combining my favorite elements from all my influences into something familiar but unique. I’m self-publishing to keep my stories free from popular politics or otherwise biased agendas. I want to make it entertainment back in its purest form.
CB: So what kind of comic readers would you say this is suited for?
GM: Anyone who like a sci-fi, action/adventure/shonen, campy comedy, and atmospheric drama will find something they’ll enjoy in Heirs of Ashurado. It’s a front row tour of a non-earth world, with larger than life cities, wildlands, and every sort or character from human, to anthro-human, to robots, and the occasional giant monster.
CB: Can you describe style and a little about your creative process?
GM: I’ve been an illustrator all my life, working mostly in the comic style. I trained traditionally but mostly employ CmipStudio these days. For this project I’m doing traditional watercolor for all of the interior pages after doing the line-art digitally. I typically work on 2 pages at a time & upload those as episodes on Webtoon and Mangadraft. I just finished the first chapter of Heirs of Ashuradō and collected the pages into a print book available now through TinyPowerComics.com for $3 + shipping.
CB: Tell me what you’ve been learning through this process.
GM: I’m learning the value of a team, by not having one. My progress has been pretty slow because I do this between a day job. And the marketing/printing side of things takes a ton of time. Not to mention since I’m already writing/illustrating it all alone. I hope to hire some assistants if I ever gain any traction with this project.
CB: On that point, can you tell me about your plans beyond this book? Are there more stories to tell?
GM: Yes. This is an ongoing series, if which I have a few chapter pre-written, with about a dozen others planned that I’ve yet to script, & some other foggy notions to flesh out after that. I wanted to build this world very in depth, and use it as a platform to tell all sorts of different stories dealing with the Ashurans that live there.
CB: Is there anything else you’d like before we wrap up?
GM: I’d like to mention that TinyPowerComics.com is the home of the All Indie Anthology, where any creator can submit 5-20 pages of their story and be featured for free in a book with their peers! Creators keep 100% ownership of their original content and IP, and they get a permanent spot in our website’s gallery + other perks! Readers, we’re 2 books deep & the 3rd is on the way! Start your collection now, available from TinyPowerComics.com vis Blurb.
Check out the Tiny Power Comics page here!
The Forsaken Future
by Doran Corkum
Check out the campaign page here!
Chris Braly: Welcome to Indie Comics Showcase, Doran. What’s the elevator pitch for Forsake the Future?
Doran Corkum: A century after 94% of North America’s population was wiped out, the last remaining fallout shelter – “Lucky 13” – is at risk. Its inhabitants have feared being discovered since the day foreign companies took over the surface in the year 3020. Timid, they watch as corporate mega-drones trample over anyone’s claims to the surface. Each occurrence is a sobering reminder that “Lucky 13” could be next. So join us as two brothers-in-arms will risk it all in a bold move to forsake their future, trying to lie, cheat and steal to protect their refuge.
The book is 28+ colored pages with ironic ads that are a throwback to the Robocop movies and comic ads for things like x-ray glasses (who didn’t want some.)
CB: What led to self-publishing this comic?
DC: A lifetime love of Sci-fi and dark future movies and tv shows. I have a cabinet full of lifetimes concepts, art, and stories. As the world evolved, the internet, the cloud, and things like Kickstarter, now allow me to share these stories with the world. My goal since a teenager was to create my own comics, and I hope to find fans to join me on the ride.
CB: What led you to making your own comics?
DC: I grew up in a creative family and have invested a lifetime in learning to create comics. As the art world changed, I became a graphic technician-printer and web designer while developing my stories and art. I live between pencil and paper and digital, having innovative ideas in my head daily. So many that as I draw, it’s hard to finish anything as another idea pops up.
CB: Want to give a shout-out to your crew?
DC: I am the creator (Writer/Bubbles/Edits/C
For the campaign, I have done a few things trying to stick out. One is to offer an exclusive Kickstarter cover, “End of Days,” by Ricardo Silva & DesaWarna studios. Another is creating an exclusive foil poster. That is right, FOIL, not a paper poster of Derek Stevens’s retro-style art. Finally, there is a weekly draw for backers, so join early and get more shots at winning a prize.
CB: That’s a big support group! What does your workflow look like?
DC: I provide concept art to all involved, write and provide thumbs to Deivid Deon and approve and edit as we go. Then pages get handed off to David Ocampo in the cloud for coloring. Finally, I will finish the show with editing/bubbles and doing the layout/printing. We are a bit beyond 1/2 way done at this point.
CB: What are some of the lessons you’re learning from self-publishing?
DC: It has been eye-opening how many people are creating comic books, and getting the fan’s attention is a struggle. Although most indie guys make little to nothing doing this, our comics are the product of creative hearts. I am proud to offer a quality product with the right creative souls that took years of development.
CB: What’s next? Are there more stories to tell?
DC: I will focus on completing “Rakehell” and “The Forsaken Future” stories if all goes well with the Kickstarters. But I have so many stories to tell. You can see the seeds at whitefirecomics.com and watch some cool trailers I made for “Rakehell” and “The Forsaken Future.”
CB: Thanks for chatting with me. The book looks good. Anything else you’d like to mention before we wrap up?
DC: Yes, join me and forsake the future! Each comic fan has the ability to bring this project to life. And thank you for doing what you do at Bleeding Fool.
Check out the campaign page here!
by Brandon Smith
Check out the campaign page here!
Chris Braly: Welcome to Indie Comics Showcase, Brandon. Hit me with the elevator pitch for Mountain Hollow!
Brandon Smith: Mountain Hollow is a Horror/Action/Thriller Graphic Novel. Basically the movie ‘Taken’ meets HP Lovecraft and the Evil Dead series.
A small rural town is suffering from a series of child disappearances and bizarre events. The community is in slow decay and town officials are doing nothing to help. Little do the residents know these disappearances are connected to a much larger cosmic conspiracy involving an inhuman threat. It’s up to an adept survivalist with a mysterious past to uncover the plot and even climb into the depths of hell to stop it.
CB: What was the inspiration for this comic?
BS: I live in the mountains of Northwest Montana and I hike and hunt through the isolated backwoods often. I became fascinated with the “Missing 411” stories of the many hikers, hunters and children going missing in US national forests over the years and decided to combine that with my interest in HP Lovecraft mythology and retro sci-fi and horror. I also thought it would be nice to have a survivalist that is the hero, rather than a bumbling bad guy as we are often portrayed in Hollywood entertainment. All we have is Burt Gummer from Tremors. He was great, but I think we need more.
CB: What kind comic readers is this aimed at? Who will get the most out of it?
BS: Anyone interested in action, horror and retro pulp fiction stories like Weird Tales, Creeps, Astounding Stories, etc. There’s going to be a lot of adventure, mystery and some interesting real world science concepts. Also anyone who is into HP Lovecraft or the Evil Dead series will probably really like this story.
CB: Can you tell me how you got into this kind of creative endeavor?
BS: For my fiction writing I try to mix real world events and scenarios in with the fantastic. With comics you can do just about anything, so I try not to limit my stories to anything predictable. I like stories to go to unexpected places while keeping them grounded within stable character studies and plot structures. There no need to “subvert expectations,” though. I think the best writers are able to give audiences what they want while still being able to surprise them.
CB: Who is on your creative team that contributed to this project?
BS: I have a great penciler/inker, Eric Killius, who is dedicated to the project and works hard. I have heard some horror stories about comic projects that were left to rot because the artist abandoned the book when things got tough, but Eric is tenacious. I was lucky to find him. We’re looking at a finished 40 page graphic novel (80 pages of story and art) by March 2023. We already have a head start because I wanted about 18 pages done for the crowdfunding campaign. I believe we can easily meet that deadline. The plan is for Mountain Hollow to become a continuing series of graphic novels. I have three books written right now, so I’m ready to start the next one as long as this first campaign does well.
CB: What has been the biggest lesson you’ve learned through self-publishing?
BS: It’s hard work, and you have to be ready to lead a team of people and give them constructive feedback. I have some experience in this area so it’s not new for me, but transferring thoughts on the written page to visual imagery takes patience and consistency.
CB: Depending on the success of this crowdfunding experiment, do you have future plans beyond this book?
BS: Yes, I have three chapters for this series written so far and each chapter would be a full graphic novel upon completion. They are: Chapter 1: Ouroboros, Chapter 2: Abaddon, and Chapter 3: Oubliette. This is my very first comic project so I’m waiting to see how things go with the crowdfunding. If we get the backers we need early on then I plan to add some perks to the project.
CB: Thanks Brandon. Is there anything else you would like to share with our readers before we sign off?
BS: I think Mountain Hollow will be quite unique in the independent comic scene and I think people will love the story. I hope they give us a chance and check it out.
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!