Indie Comics Showcase #207: Firstworld, Master & It’s Monkey Time 2



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!


It’s Monkey Time: Quintuple Trouble
by Phil Avelli & Gary Dufner

Check out the campaign here!


Chris Braly: Welcome to Indie Comics Showcase, Phil. Tell me about It’s Monkey Time – what’s the plot?

Phil Avelli: A group of bored kids find a talking monkey named Murray who refuses to be a pet, but he will be their friend. However, there’s a school pet show coming up soon and everyone in town wants to enter Murray as their pet. Can Jack and Max keep Murray out of trouble? C’mon let’s go, It’s Monkey Time!



CB: Haha! What’s the genesis of this project?

PA: Gary created Murray for a comic strip in our college paper in the School of Visual Arts in NYC way back in the 20th century! Though that version of Murray was a bit more for twenty-somethings about relationships and random jokes. Then we got old and had kids and while talking about the past we remembered how fun Murray was and we decided to reboot the little guy, but this time make it for kids.


"It's Monkey Time" comic book issue #2 cartoon promo video


CB: So it’s geared to a younger audience now?

PA: Yes. This is a great comic for young kids 7 – 10 years. It’s also fun for older comic book readers, but also for kids who like things to do, as we are combining comics and activity books with projects, cool facts, recipes and puzzles.



CB: That’s neat! How would you describe your style?

PA: I am notoriously old school. I draw traditionally, no tablets or photoshop. So I sketch out the pages on paper complete with sloppy hand drawn panels and sound effects and I send to Gary and he actually makes it into a proper comic book with his amazing inking, design and coloring skills . My style is fairly simple and  cartoony while Gary has a Bill Waterson vibe. I think we work great together, it’s always fun.



CB: It looks like fun. Who else is working on this series with you?

PA: Besides Gary and myself writing and drawing, we also work with our good friends at Monarch Comics, including Blake Seals  who helps us with design and Vincent Ferrante with the editing.



CB: Is this issue a completed issue, or are you still working on it during the campaign?

PA: Issue $2 is complete and we are now looking for backers now on both Indiegogo and Kickstarter. In the future we are planning more issues quarterly.



CB: What has been the biggest lesson you’ve learned from crowdfuning?

PA: I have learned that crowdfunding is hard work! It’s exciting, stressful, fun but hard work! Getting the word out is half the battle, getting people to buy is another challenge. But we’re keeping our goals small so I don’t stress out so much, thanks Gary lol.



CB: So I guess there more stories to tell?

PA: We are planning 3 more issues of Murray and then we plan to release as a trade. And we are already working on the next story. A one shot called “Battle of the Bands” complete with a soundtrack of original music.



CB: It looks great, Phil. Anything else you’d like to share with our readers before we sign off?

PA: After backing “ITS MONKEY TIME” for your kids, visit and get a FREE first issue PDF of one of our other issue 1s for joining the mailing list.

CB: Thanks Phil and good luck!


Check out the campaign here!




by Peter Dydo

Check out the campaign here!

Chris Braly: Welcome to ICS, Peter. Tell me about your comic MASTER. What’s the story?

Peter Dydo: MASTER is a 50 page, fully-painted comic.  It’s about a Golden Age hero known as The Master who embarks on a grim crusade to rid the world of criminality, no matter what it costs him in his personal life, or the lives of others.  His war is brutal, unrelenting and will forever change the course of humanity.  It’s a tragic story about obsession, sacrifice and control.



CB: It looks great. Tell me where this idea originated.

PD: The idea for this project came to me when I was thinking – “what if there was a super powered being that had a similar goal to humanity’s in terms of fixing the problem of criminality, but his means in doing so would horrify people?”  In addition, what if he lived long enough into the future to see the fruits of his endeavor, and what that might look like… would it be a wonderful utopia or something bizarre and horrifying?

I started to become obsessed with this idea and so it was a story that was very personal for me so I decided to self publish this to maintain control over it.  I wasn’t going to entertain the idea of receiving creative notes from anyone who might have an agenda, and I also thought it’d be fun to try this via crowdfunding.


MASTER Book One Graphic Novel Launch Trailer


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

PD: This project is aimed at anyone who wants to experience a kickass, dark superhero story with sci-fi & horror flavoring (insert chef’s kiss here).  It’s meant for teens and above though, it’s not a book for children.



CB: Tell me about your painting style and how you developed it.

PD: My style is influenced by those special comics, the graphic novels that had painted art on not just the cover, but painted all the way through.  The stories were more mature and there was a heightened reality to them.  Books like Arkham Asylum: A Serious House on Serious Earth, Meltdown, Kingdom Come, those are some of the books that hit hardest for me.  So with my art style, which is the culmination of reading comics, studying art (fine art training), animation training, and working in film, there’s a sense of realism, real world lighting, but it’s nice and dirty.  It’s loose and I like to think that the painting by itself has a personality all on it’s own.




CB: How do you like to work and how far along is the book?

PD: I work from live references, people in costumes.  I photograph them as well as real world locations where possible and composited them together.  I then use this as a reference to paint from, where the aim is to embellish the source into something more, something otherworldly.  The book is mostly complete, I’m just adding polish at the moment.  The campaign is live now and the book will ship in March.



CB: What have you been learning from self-publishing through this process?

PD: This is my first time self publishing and it’s been a learning experience.  I think the biggest stumbling block is the marketing aspect.  I’m not a fan of social media, so that’s an obvious hinderance when trying to sell a book online.



CB: Any plans beyond this book? Are there more stories to tell?

PD: The plan beyond this is to continue the story of Master, to see how his choices have changed the course of our world and what that looks like.  There are more adventures awaiting these characters, bigger threats and new horrors.  It’s going to get weird, while still maintaining a sense of what makes this book so engaging which is mixing classic golden age archetypes with a frightening, futuristic world.



CB: You’re currently crowdfunding the book. Are there any special perks or tiers on your campaign you’d like to mention?

PD: Aside from the book, there are pin-ups that people can pick up.  A favorite of mine is the Golden Age pin-up, where the characters are depicted with a retro, early 1940’s art style.  The idea here is that it’s the cover of a “lost” comic book from back then featuring the first appearance of “The Master”, our main character.  Beyond the pin ups, what is so unique about this project is that the entire 50 pages of this book are all painted which is a rarity.  Have a look through the Master Book One campaign page as well as the trailer I made, and you’ll see what I mean.  I have a traditional art background as well as film (where I’ve worked as an animator on films like Shazam! and The Shape of Water) so there’s a cinematic layer to the book as well.



CB: That’s great, Peter. Is there anything else you would like to mention before we sign off?

PD: I’d just like to invite anyone who wants that “special” comic, that one that when you flip through it, you can stop at any page and see the love, obsession and joy that went into the making of this book.  I’ve spent 4 years on it.  Every paint stroke and every comma was the choice of a single creator not beholden to anyone or anything except for the most brutal critic of all, myself



Check out the campaign here!


by Amy Good

Check out the campaign here!


Chris Braly: Welcome to ICS, Amy. Hit me with the elevator pitch for Firstworld! 

Amy Good: It’s a satirical parody on modern American Culture and politics. It is an exercise and catharsis for me and the rest of the team, who decided that if we didn’t start laughing soon we would cry.


CB: How did you come up with this idea?

AG: That idea came when the creator approached me and said, “hey if I can’t start laughing about current events, then I’m gonna get mad,” and since the satire practically rights itself these days, we have decided to try and make money off of it.



CB: Who is this comic aimed at? What sort of readers will get the most out of it?

AG: This is most likely suited for male audiences over the age of 16. However, I would say that anyone who is politically conscientious, and also fed up with current societal trends, and is a fan of comedy ( a-la South Park) would be interested.



CB: Let’s discuss your creative process. How do you like to work?

AG: I am the writer for this project, so my process is to listen to the creator and all of his ideas, take notes, and receive documents full of musings, and then condense them into a cohesive storyline complete with plot and characters. Part of the process is being abreast of current political news, and then being able to turn what is every day happenstance into hysterical comedy.



CB: Introduce me to the rest of your creative team.

AG: The team is comprised of the creator, Doc Bishop, I’m the writer, a concept artist, Lisa who is our project manager, and then our illustrator whose name is Osiris Santos. Combined, the team has over 40 years of experience and art and writing as well as comic book industry know-how.



CB: That’s a big team. What does your workflow look like?

AG: Doc (boss man) approaches me with some ideas or a general concept for an issue. I take that and create an 18 to 24 page script, along with an accompanying storyboard because I have a background and undergraduate degree and illustration. I then take that to the illustrator who makes their own creative and artistic edits–pending approval from the rest of the team–and then he goes on to create the comic. It is then handed off to a colorist before print and production is finished.



CB: What’s something you’ve learned about crowdfunding through this experience?

AG: For me, the most interesting thing that I have learned through this process is that in the in the comic scene most people seem to be very like-minded and friendly. It’s been a breath of fresh air coming from the world of illustration and design into the comic space, because I seem to be a lot more politically and morally aligned with people in the space and I found that surprising and refreshing.



CB: What’s the future hold for Firstworld? Are there more stories to tell?

AG: Doc and I plan to run Firstworld for approximately 5 to 6 more issues at the minimum unless there is a profitable future beyond that for the series. Alongside of Firstworld we intend to publish a few other other original IPs next year. We have big plans for the future.



CB: Your campaign is currently live. Can you comment on any special perks you’re offering?

AG: We have several different rewards tiers currently and in the future we will continuously offer signed copies by one or more members of the team to anybody who requests. We also highly encourage interaction with fans and the general public on social media. I am personally easy to find on there. As more comics roll out we will continue to have tiers for backers. Some of them will be to design a cover, or to be illustrated into the comic. Very cool!


CB: Anything else you would like to share with our readers before we sign off?

AG: Help fight the culture were from your couch by donating some money to this project and supporting it!

CB: That’s great, Amy! Good luck. Readers can learn more at


Check out the campaign 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 a collector, a speculator, and one opinionated, based geek. My friends call me Braly, but those who know me within the hobby generally refer to me as Bralinator. I try to steer this tiny ship and can often be heard monthly on the Comic Book Page Previews Spotlight podcast with several low-level, other comic book nerds. Follow me on Twitter @ChrisBraly