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!
URIKO: A Vampire’s Song
by David Lujan
Check out the campaign page here!
Chris Braly: Welcome to Indie Comics Showcase, David! Tell our readers about Uriko: A Vampire’s Song, you latest Kickstarter comicbook project.
David Lujan: After years of sordid affairs with humans, Uriko finds herself left to care for a baby Choon-Hee, a twin separated at birth from her brother Chung-Ho. Having only met once before, the two felt inextricably bonded as Choon-Hee began to experience some real connection to the human world for the first time. Secretly, she has been keeping in touch with her estranged brother and finally Chung-Ho thinks he may have found her.. 28+ pages, B/W
CB: Tell me the how you came up with the idea.
DL: The graphic novel is a vignette based on the novella of the same name written during the pandemic by yours truly. I have always wanted to write something historical and this was an excellent reason for me to research Korean history and learn more about vampires.
CB: Is this straight horror? What kind of comic readers is this suited for?
DL: This graphic novel is definitely aimed at a mature audience. There is plenty of violence, and even some nudity.
CB: Let’s get into the production side. How did you develop the story?
DL: The basic outline of this story had to fit on one page. Then it was fleshed out into a script form with panel layouts etc. After that I created brushes using my own thumb print to make chaulky looking half tones. Then i set about drawing the thing. Once everything was drawn and lettered, I went back and edited, edited, edited..
CB: What’s your production workflow like?
DL: I wake up at 6 everyday and try to work on social media and the comic book before I go to work. I work construction full time, so I have had a few hand injuries that set me back, but other than that, I just plug away at whatever project I have on my plate.
CB: What have you been learning from crowdfunding through all this process?
DL: Look at what other people’s campaigns look like and try to model your offerings based on what you think will work best. Also, don’t try to offer tons of non paper items like t-shirts or coffee cups. Fulfilling those orders can theoretically become a headache
CB: So are there any plans beyond this book?
DL: Uriko is a comic to supplement the novella which I intend to record as an audio book and release, somehow. Nerida is my darling project, It is about a mermaid who gets trapped on land and entangled with the human world. That comic is on issue number 6 roughly and I would like to go back and release issues of it in the same way in the future
CB: Thanks for sharing this with us, David. What also would you like to say about this campaign before we sign off?
DL: I am working on a special edition poster for early backers that is SIN CITY inspired, and there are three variant covers so far along with some covers from other artist friends, hopefully. And if anyone would like to read my mermaid comic, the first 4 or five issues are up on WEBTOONS under NERIDACOMIC!
CB: Thanks David. Good luck!
Check out the campaign page here!
CHROME SKY: THE THREE DEVILS
by Steven McCumaskey
Grab a copy here!
Chris Braly: Welcome to Indie Comics Showcase, Steven. Can you give us your elevator pitch for Chrome Sky: Episode 1?
Steven McCumaskey: A mythic cyberpunk western fusing comic book and illustrated prose, Chrome Sky tells the story of augmented outlaw bounty hunter Aya, who is betrayed and left for dead by her gang after they brutally cripple a young boy during their latest robbery. Left to corrode in the chromium wastelands of a vast gun-metal desert, Aya launches a crusade to seek vengeance against those who wronged her, justice for the broken child and redemption for herself. Episode #1 The Three Devils is the explosive start to Aya’s story, combining dynamic monochrome visuals, striking imagery and mythic, soulful prose.
CB: Tell me about this story’s journey from script to print.
SM: Chrome Sky began as a script for a short web comic written during the 2020 lockdown, but subsequently grew in size and scope with each redraft, until it finally became a full series. I was originally torn between writing it as a book or drawing it as a comic book, so decided to combine both and try something a little different. I create all my projects on my own and Chrome Sky is simply the latest.
CB: Who is your intended audience, or what kind of comic readers is this aimed at?
SM: Fans of cyberpunk, westerns, dark sci-fi and fantasy, action and horror. It has been inspired by comics and films like Akira, Aliens, Unforgiven, The Matrix, Star Wars, The Sandman, East of West, spaghetti westerns and Cormac McCarthy books like The Road and Blood Meridian, so fans of these titles will hopefully enjoy Chrome Sky.
CB: Tell me about your experience with comic creation.
SM: I’ve been creating comics since I was a child and will keep going until I physically can’t! Chrome Sky is my first foray into digital illustration and is drawn completely on a tablet. I’m absolutely loving the switch to digital art and all the possibilities it opens up.
CB: You seem to be handling all the heavy lifting. Do you have any creative team members contributing to this project?
SM: Just me – I’m a one man band and love every step of the process!
CB: Wow! So what are you learning from self-publishing and creating through this process?
SM: Marketing is endless and tough, but self-publishing allows complete creative freedom to express yourself. Simply put, I make comics that I want to read and are fun to create. Fun is priority one!
CB: What are your plans beyond this book? Are there more stories to tell?
SM: Too many stories and not enough time! I’m developing or creating a number of comic and book projects alongside Chrome Sky – I just keep going while there’s still gas in the tank!
CB: That’s great Steven. Anything else you wish to tell us about the comic?
SM: The fusion of comic and illustrated prose hopefully gives Chrome Sky a unique flavour, as my love of language is just as potent as my love of illustration and with this project I am able to really sink my teeth into both. Episode 1 is available now and Episode 2 is currently in production. It’s quite a large project, with varying page counts for each episode, and realistically I’m aiming to release two episodes a year. With 13 episodes planned, it should keep me busy for the next 6 years or so!
Grab a copy here!
BOXBOY & WHISKERS
by Steven Lelito
Grab a copy here.
Chris Braly: Welcome to this week’s Indie Comics Showcase, Steven. Tell our readers about BoxBoy & Whiskers.
Steven Lelito: Join a troubled preteen and his telepathic cat as they venture to discover the unknown. Brace yourself for action, adventure, villains, and mystery!
CB: Where did the idea for this comic come from, and made you decide to self-publish it?
SL: The two main characters of this story are part of another story I have been working on for years. Being such strong characters, I decided to give them a series of their own. The self publishing route worked best for me because it allowed me the creative freedom to write an all ages book that can be linear for kids while deep and suspenseful for adults.
CB: What kind of comic readers is this suited for and who is it aimed at?
SL: In short, it’s an all ages book-but that doesn’t mean it’s strictly for kids. Like the shows we, ourselves, used to watch as kids, we understood what a typical kid would understand. As we grew up and rewatched the same shows, we realized there was more to it. That’s BoxBoy & Whiskers for you. Whimsical and linear enough to keep a kid interested but dark and tragic undertones to keep an older kid or younger adult in suspense.
CB: Tell me a bit about how you developed your approach to this.
SL: BoxBoy & Whiskers is a love letter to classic adventure comics with the combined focus of fun dialogue that was often found in Newspaper strips. For the art style, I wanted to blend the style of classic newspaper strips and early 90s cartoons with the bright and vibrant colors of modern day cartoons. I wanted this story to be very linear, but at the same time, have things that could only happen in a comic book. How can I make this as realistic as possible but also as ridiculous as possible?
CB: Cool. Talk about your creative team that contributed to this project and how you worked through this production.
SL: I was very fortunate to meet a passionate and talented team in an online comic group. I had posted in a forum a general pitch of BoxBoy with an art style I had in mind, and Kron and Amalia were a perfect match. Kron specializes in a fantasy cartoon style while Amalia can basically color in any style imaginable.
Communication is a huge factor in what makes BoxBoy & Whiskers such a beautiful book which is why my scripting style is always catered to the creative team I am working with. I draw out the layouts (with my minimal art talent) and write a detailed script. These are sent to Kron where he pencils, inquires if I need anything changed, proceeds to ink, then he sends me cleaned up scans. I then send these to Amalia with a scripted color guide and wait as she works her magic. Once that’s all said and done, I put my graphic design experience to the test and complete the lettering, page layouts, and I prepare it for print! I have storyboarded the first 15 issues so far, Kron is wrapping up inks on issue 5, and Amalia is coloring issue 3!
CB: Tell me something you’ve learned from self-publishing.
SL: I have learned that it’s just like running your own business. It takes time, money, and energy on top of already using that during the creative process. I’ve also learned that you just have to keep going. Just because issue 1 doesn’t sell as well as you want it to, it doesn’t mean it won’t catch up eventually.
CB: Any plans beyond this book? Are there more stories to tell?
SL: Oh, absolutely. BoxBoy & Whiskers are just the beginning of an entire universe I have planned. As mentioned before, these were characters from another story still in production…so we will definitely be seeing that come to light in the near future!
I always try to make the release of each book special. Issue 1 was crowdfunded through Kickstarter, and backers were able to get foil stickers, signed mini prints, and buttons. Issue 2 was available on my website with a free keychain for anyone who preordered. For issue 3, I will definitely keep this trend going!
CB: That’s great, Steven. Anything else you’d like to add before we sign off?
SL: BoxBoy & Whiskers is a passion project. It combines my love for adventure stories, cats, and skateboarding-and I have BLAST writing it. For those of you who haven’t already, I really hope you get a moment to check it out!
Grab a copy 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!