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 David Feed
Check out the campaign here!
Chris Braly: Welcome to Indie Comics Showcase, David. What can you tell me about your Red Eyes series?
David Feed: It’s a fantasy series about a disgraced noble, who’s part of an insurgent movement. His land has been conquered, his ambitions had landed him a death sentence and finally his father drafts him into a mission of redemption to save him (for now). Faerin, will learn and come back victorious, or face a hero’s death for the glory of the Insurrection! Red Eyes 3 is still available inDemand, and volume 4 is taking sign-ups now to be notified of our launch. It will be 56+ pages of full color dark fantasy action!
CB: So where did the idea for this comic come from, and made you decide to self-publish it?
DF: My biggest inspirations are the movie The Dirty Dozen (1967): It’s the story of a small group of insurgent heroes in a near impossible mission to free their land. They go deep into enemy territory with no hopes of retreat, surrender or getting reinforcement. Another inspiration has been the manga Basilisk (2003): As the nine heroes are the elite of the insurrection but they are hunted by an equally powerful (if not even more) group of nine elite enemy soldiers. Why self publish? Well ever since a famous figure in American indie comics (Ya Boi Zack) published his first comics with Indiegogo, I was like “Hell yeah! This is possible, let’s do it!”
CB: What kind of comic readers is this best suited for?
DF: I would say the target market is men 16+. Every one is welcome to enjoy it, but there’s some action, blood and mild nudity. The genre is fantasy.
CB: How did you developed your writing?
DF: I wrote a fantasy novel, then a script for a movie. Not sure if I wanted to make a video game, anime or what I complemented the novel with character descriptions, world building documents and a bestiary. It was only after I decided to create a comic that I started to storyboard the pages of the novel into comic page storyboards.
CB: Who’s your creative team?
DF: My inker is Christian Culicelli who I met through Fiverr. Farah Nurmaliza is my colorist. I contacted her after seeing her work on Battle Brick Road and Peregrine. Rafael Chrestani my new inker I met on Twitter after I saw his work for Mrdr Wpn. My editor is my mom and the most engaged producers are my sister and my wife.
CB: So a bit of a family affair. Cool! What’s your production workflow like?
DF: I do a rough storyboard, my artist does pencils and inks and we do some feedback rounds, then colors and finally I edit the pages too during post-production. By the end I put everything together and send it to print (after many, MANY rounds or editing).
CB: What have you been learning about self-publishing and creating through this process? What’s the long term plan?
DF: One of the most important thing is to find a good flow when working with artists. I would say, don’t be naive but don’t be an asshole either. Just chill man, and be patient and forthcoming and never pay everything ahead of time :p
I hope to continue the series until it’s finished, presumably by issue 10. I have another series that I would love to finish called Redshift Express, I started a crowdfund for that one, but it failed, so I’ve been focusing on Red Eyes (my successful series) until I have the funds to work on Redshift Express to relaunch it enhanced and improved.
CB: It looks great. Anything else you would like to share with our readers before we sign off?
DF: I hope you all have a great time. Work hard and enjoy comics in the weekend!
CB: Thanks David!
Check out the campaign here!
by Abi Behe
Learn more here!
Abi Behe, a 13-year-old British-Canadian has agreed a book deal with publisher Markosia for her graphic novel Christiania, co-created with comic artists Taka, Thomas Muzzell and Thomas John, set to come out in Spring 2023.
Chris Braly: Welcome to Bleeding Fool’s Indie Comics Showcase, Abi. Tell me about your upcoming book Christiania!
Abi Behe: A social hack shifts control of dark web app Contraband to any top influencer – and now everyone everywhere wants to be #1. Except Christiania. A vibrant spirit liberated by strong community, she’s grown resilient to a mainstream culture dominated by citizens seeking superficial status. She’s endured hard drug dealers, police crack-downs and criminal bike gang dominance – but she wasn’t prepared for a malicious attack from a fame-chasing sensationalist who wants to control, then destroy Christiania and everything she represents.
CB: How did you come up with the idea for this story, and made you decide to self-publish it?
AB: I started discussing the idea of the comic with my father last year when I was 12. He encouraged me to write the story. We then showed the first pages to Harry the publisher who thought it would be a cool comic to release. When I thought about making the female character, I wanted her to have experiences similar to girls my age. I hope people can relate to her because I sometimes feel how she feels in the story. Christiania the girl represents what the real place is all about. She has gone through all sorts of problems over the years and survived. But then a social media villain tries to destroy Christiania’s real spirit.
CB: What kind of readers is this aimed at?
AB: Although it might most interest female comic readers, I hope it is interesting to anyone who are regular social app users
CB: Who is on your creative team?
AB: Taka is the creative artist and colourist – he is an amazing illustrator. Thomas John Behe is my father and helped me pull the story together and edit the script for the artist.
CB: Do you have any plans beyond this book? Are there more stories you want to tell?
AB: I have other comics coming out late this year. Charlie Dirtbags is a dark action thriller about sensationalist social criminals seeking fame and wealth on Contraband at the expense of vulnerable followers. CharlieDirtbags, SeamStressed, OllyGark and other online crime titans share investment and schemes promising to split the billions if one of their ultra-radical clips hits Contraband #1 – but chaos ensues when the villains decide not to play ball.
CB: Any unique features about Christiania you’d like to mention?
AB: The double page spreads are like the big street art created on the walls throughout Freetown where the comic is based. We wanted to make big scene across two pages so readers could soak up each scene and calmly pick up all the meaning. That is completely different to reading lots of social media messages or news feeds on our phone.
CB: Anything else you would like to share with our readers before we sign off, Abi?
AB: My publisher Harry Markos says I am the youngest person to be published by Markosia.
CB: I have no doubt. Good luck to you, Abi!
Learn more here!
by Mel Cartagena
Check out the comic here!
Chris: Welcome to ICS, Mel. What is the elevator pitch for The Plot!
Mel Cartagena: An individual gets in involved in an altercation that seems random and casual at first, but gradually reveals he has been chosen for a mission by a sinister cabal. It’s 128 pages in black and white with grayshading.
CB: Where did the idea come from, and led to you self-publishing?
MC: The driving force was telling a suspense story by mixing tropes from conspiracy theories, specifically men in black and sleeper agents. I also wanted to put the reader in the protagonists’ place. At first, you’re confused and tense. Them you start piecing together the situation. I decided to self publish because I know nothing about the business end of creating and publishing comics. By going out and earning fans one at a time I am learning how to market and sell myself to an audience that wants my brand of entertainment.
CB: What kind of comic readers is this suited for?
MC: First, readers who love suspense and science fiction. If you like the comics of Matt Kindt you’ll like my comic. If you like the science fiction of Philip k. Dick, then my comic book is for you.
CB: Tell us about your style and creative process, and how you developed them
MC: My style draws from the mixed media approach of Bill Sinkiewicz, and the mixed media and graffiti mix up of Jim Mahfood. My style came about when I started doing short stories in comic book form, and finding myself bored with the standard penciling and inking of art. It felt like a chore, and rigid. When I started embracing turning mistakes into artistic assets and working at the speed of thought, I found great joy in the process, and very encouraging feedback.
CB: If you write and draw, what is your production workflow like?
MC: My process used to be to write a script with a breakdown of panels per page and dialogue. Once I adopted the mixed media/graffiti approach I employ now, I used scrap paper and “write” the story in thumbnail sketches. It’s exhilarating, freeing, and lot of fun! This also gives me the opportunity to see how a page composition works. If it doesn’t look good, I try another page layout quickly. It’s working as closely as possible at the speed of thought.
CB: What have you been learning from self-publishing / crowdfunding and creating through this process?
MC: When the book was finished and it was time to bring it to people, I realized I was afraid of putting myself out there. I had to address my personal issues of self-confidence and self-worth before I started creating marketing, and get comfortable with the fact that not everyone will like it, and that this is ok. Figure out who is it for, then make the marketing about them.
CB: Are there more stories to tell?
MC: Yes! I’m brewing some idea for a wild crime thriller/horror story, and I want to incorporate some of the things I learned in marketing this book to work the social media platforms as I create the story.
CB: Any special features in this book you can share with us?
MC: I haven’t shared this with anyone, but I took the artwork of my comic book, and using some apps and stop motion, I made an animated short film with voice actors and special effects. I’ve screened it privately for a few people, who enjoyed it. In the near future I’ll make it a special feature as part of a subscriber/membership program.
CB: Anything final words before we sign off?
MC: Give superheroes a break. Try thrillers and suspense!
Check out the comic 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!