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!
Boots & Heels
a.k.a. Comics Gators vs The Fabulous X-Thymz
by William Valle
Check out the Indiegogo page here!
Chris Braly: Welcome back to ICS, William. Tell me about your newest project “Boots & Heelz”!
William Valle: When the Comics Gators are made aware of a huge disruption in the heart of NYC, they go investigate to discover the Earth is only moments from blowing up. However the X-Thymz show up as well, and have misunderstood the chain of events leading to the Earths final moments. As the Gators try to diffuse the situation, the X-Thymz interfere thinking they’re in the right as they attack the Gators, inevitably resulting in the planet’s doom!
CB: I’m familiar with the “Comics Gaters,” but where did the idea for the X-Thymz come from?
WV: The “X-Thymz” was a tongue and cheek joke in regards to Marvel’s new publishing ideas and character designs. This book is for anyone who enjoyed what the original X-Men or TMNT comics were before the industry became a woke parody of itself. This book pokes fun at that while also maintaining a fun story.
CB: Tell me a bit more about what inspired this parody and some of the character team members.
WV: The X-Thymz are lampooning the very nature of what the X-Men have become. They can’t be taken seriously, and so this X-Thymz book will jokingly mimic the self-serious tone deaf approach the X-Men books have fallen into. The characters are given X-type code names with powers that reflect their persona.
The premise: All of the X-Thymz have an extra Z chromosome that gives them their ability to be “extra” in real life.
For instance, the characters are as follows:
Hive Mind: She Sets the narrative for the whole team and uses her powers of Mental Gymnastics to jump around counter narratives.
Clap Back Karen: Claps her hands together creating a sonic boom to deafen her opposition, while screaming “It’s Ma’am!“
Tunnel Vision: Can’t see anything but what’s in front of him. He drills in on one issue and won’t relent.
HotMess: They/Them wears two masks, and everything it touches turns to flaming garbage.
CatFish: Uses its hooks to lure you in and you die of terror from seeing its true form.
E-Male: Turns into electricity and gets into your emails, doxing its victims.
Shots-Fired!: Shoots randomly into the air hoping to hit anything and everything but always misses the point.
CB: Sounds hilarious! I know you’re the sole creator, so how far along is the book at this time? How long before it’s ready?
WV: We’re looking at about 4-5 months to illustrate, color, and letter the book.
CB: This isn’t your first rodeo. What have you been learning from crowdfunding and creating through this process?
WV: After the success of the ‘Hail Salad’ campaign, many of the lessons learned were mostly logistical, surrounding purchase ordering and product quality. This campaign will have incredible merchandise alongside a great fully colored book.
CB: What are the future plans for this comic? Are there more stories to tell?
WV: This is issue zero leading into the 12 part storyline ‘Boots and Heels’. Boots and Heels tells the story of two secret agent time travelers from the year 3210 who must travel back in time to the year 2020 to discover (and eliminate) the cause of the destruction of planet Earth. All 12 issues of Boots and Heels are near complete and will be part of multiple campaigns running from 2022 – 2024.
CB: Sounds like a potentially hilarious excoriation of what’s happening with mainstream comic.
WV: Life loves to mimic art. Although I began work on this concept back in early 2021, Marvel was busy doing their own new team book, named, ‘SuperTrans‘ which was recently announced in late June of this year. As a group of perfunctory X-men (or ex-men…) the SuperTrans had all of the hallmarks of a complete parody even though it was never intended as such. I think it’s very telling of what the comics industry has become when indy creators are beating the mainstream to the punch with books that are satirizing the Big-Two’s offerings, all while maintaining a deeper understanding of the source material that inspired it.
CB: You’re hilarious and spot-on as usual, William. Good luck with this campaign.
Check out the Indiegogo page here!
Rise of Osiris & Constancy Roa
by Damian Ark
Check out the campaign here
Chris Braly: Welcome to Indie Comics Showcase, Damian. You’re currently campaigning for an anime series, but there’s also a comic involved. What’s your elevator pitch for Constancy Roa?
Damian Ark: Constancy Roa is an OVA (Original Video Animation) by the creative minds at InfinityArk which does not have a specific genre instead opting for the more melting pot approach of the 90s to early 2000s anime series.
In the near future the brilliant scientist Garret Oswald creates the Cygens, beings whose cells have fused with nanite technology. A new incoming President in the United States rescinds the “Human Decency Act” an action which results in war with the Cygens. The story follows Roa a newly reborn Cygen and the events that spiral around her.
CB: What led you to producing this?
DA: I came up for the idea originally as a game, but after we got a new artist Tito who we found out he could do solid animation. At first we where just thinking to do something akin to simple talking scenes and then some action sequences kinda like Guilty Gear Xrd’s story mode. However Tito said he wanted to do a full on animated work and to prove he could do that he sent us the promo animation you can find on our YouTube page. That convinced us that a complete animated work would be possible and the rest as they say is history!
CB: Who is your intended audience for Constancy Roa?
DA: Since Roa is a melting pot OVA it has action, drama, romance, nudity, adult situations, graphic violence and comedy (tho mostly of a darker nature) all rolled into one contextually speaking. With that said it’s definitely not for everyone, we’ve found that a lot of older anime fans who enjoyed the late 80s to early 2000s really seem to like it. However, we’ve seen people as young as 19 taking an interest so it’s hard to say. I would also like to mention that we deal with a lot of darker subject matter in Roa so people who are sensitive to that sort of thing should avoid it.
CB: How did you develop your creative process?
DA: I’ve been watching anime of one kind or another since I was a kid and still watch it to this day. If you asked me back then if I ever saw myself making one though I’d say no, I was more into making video games, didn’t really think it was feasible. I never thought it was a thing that could be done until I met Tito that, was just a few short years ago. The real turning point for us was when we finished the trailer that really showed this was a real thing we could accomplish.
CB: Tell me more about your creative team.
DA: Our artist Tito is the main reason this project is even happening he can pump out quality frames hyper fast it’s kinda amazing to me really. Abe’s our executive producer and video editor who also provided the voice for the trailer. We also have the assistance of the very talented Sophia and her band Season of Ghosts who is providing music, sound effects and the ending theme. We’re also putting together a stellar voice acting team which includes Brittany Lauda as Roa and Amber Lee Connors as Aria. It will continue to grow as the project continues forward.
CB: How far into the production are you?
DA: We’ve completed the outline for the first OVA and the storyboards are mostly complete. These are just rough storyboards done to get a feel for how things will go, we then go in and do key-frame storyboards. Those contain the actual key-frames for the animation and we’re doing those now for the opening montage. Once we finish that we’ll start the actual animation for it. Once that is done we’ll overlay a song on that and release it on social media. After that we plan to do the first five minutes of the OVA and release that as well. For the actual OVA we’re looking to have it done in August of 2023 provided we get funded.
CB: What are you learning through this crowdfunding experience?
DA: The entire Indiegogo has been an amazing whirlwind of experiences. We never know what each new day is going to bring and through it we’ve gained everything we need to complete the OVA which is very exciting. We find that most people who see it really like the project which makes marketing the most important part. We’ve learned a lot about marketing through this which we’ll find invaluable in the future.
CB: With so much invested in the production, do you have more stories to tell in this universe?
DA: Even though we are only funding the first OVA we do have plans to continue it forward if it’s successful. Our stretch goals on the Indiegogo talk about three more episodes however, we have plans to go even further then that if everything works out. We’d really love to do an entire season but we’ll see how things play out but, I think you can look forward to more Roa in the future.
CB: Tell me a bit about the comic that’s included in this campaign.
DA: The biggest perk we have is probably the Rise of Osiris comic book. The Pharaoh Osiris is one of our most popular characters in Roa however, we developed her to flesh out the world of Roa and thus she doesn’t feature very prominently in the first OVA. So we developed this comic as a tie in to the actual OVA allowing fans to enjoy her story. Beyond that I don’t think you’re going to find a lot of OVA projects that hearken back to the 90s and early 2000s way of doing anime. So I think this combination is pretty unique in it’s own right as well.
CB: Thanks for chatting with me, Damian. Anything else before we sign off?
DA: We really hope you’ll come out and support our crowdfund of Constancy Roa OVA! If you can’t donate please spread the word to whoever you think would be interested in it. The more people we get the more likely we are to succeed! We’d also like to thank all our fans for their support so far it’s been amazing!
Check out the campaign here
What Makes a Man
by Dereck Weiford
Check out the book here
Chris Braly: Weclome to Indie Comics Showcase, Dereck. Tell me about your comic series What Makes a Man.
Dereck Weiford: Western gunslinger begins to question his way of life, but is the grass always greener on the other side? Sooner or later, the past catches up.
CB: What inspired you to produce these comics, and then decide to self-publish?
DW: I had just finished Red Dead Redemption 2 and I had never felt so inspired. I love cowboys and westerns, it just felt right.
CB: What kind of comic readers is this best suited for?
DW: Lovers of the Wild West. This story is full of action, with relatable emotions in outlaw situations.
CB: What can you tell me about your writing style?
DW: I’m a first time writer so I don’t think I really have a style yet. My creative process is as simple as it gets, just sit down and do it. Sometimes it flows naturally, other times I have to force it out of me. It all works out in the end.
CB: The art style is also unique. Who’s your illustrator?
DW: What Makes a Man does not exist without Nate Taylor. All I did was write the scripts. Nate draws, inks, and letters all of it. A true renaissance man in the comic community. His style is as unique as it gets and his grit combined with my story is a dream.
CB: How do you guys like to work together?
DW: The first issue I had the script written and Nate took it from there. Issue 2 and now 3, I write a couple pages at a time and Nate works in the meantime. This way is much faster for sure. We’re about halfway done with issue 3 right now.
CB: How do you like the Print on demand model offered by Amazon versus printing and fulfilling orders yourself ? I suspect there’s not any way to add special perks and variants.
DW: Print on demand is the way to go when you’re crunched for time like me. I commend everyone on the crowdfunding circuit, that’s a hustle in itself. With print on demand, people can buy books whenever they want and I don’t have to do the leg work. We’ll always be free to read digitally on GlobalComix. I’m a meat and potatoes kind of guy over bells and whistles. We’ve got multiple covers for issues 1 and 2 available.
CB: What’s next for you guys beyond issue 2?
DW: I’ve got a couple stories brewing upstairs. If Nate’s willing to trek with me, I’ll keep making comics.
CB: Thanks for chatting with me, Dereck. It looks great. Any last words for our readers?
DW: Never stop kicking nads.
Check out the books 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!