Indie Comics Showcase #221: Jupiter, Canadian Shield & Getting Back to Normal



>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 Jason Sandberg


Check out the campaign page here!


Chris Braly: Welcome to the Indie Comics Showcase, Jason! Tell me your elevator pitch for Jupiter!

Jason Sandberg: A teen trapped in an unhappy home gains the ability to escape anywhere, or stay to become a hero!  Seeking solace at an isolated cabin, a family vacation collides with the opening of a hole in space and time. The repercussions of a violent revolution in a neighboring dimension forever change the lives of Brenda Marshfield’s parents and grant her possession of powers unimagined.



JUPITER IndieGoGo campaign trailer - FINAL


CB: Intriguing. Where did the idea for this comic come from, and made you decide to self-publish it?

JS: I am interested in the heroic journey, the choice between fight or flight.  Mainstream comicbook universes are crowded with redundant costumed heroes, they’ve lost their novelty.  JUPITER gives the reader a story where a hole is reality introduces the fantastic into a normal world, and triggers the events that drive the main character to actualize as a superhero. I self-published JUPITER in the late 1990s.  For years, people have asked me if JUPITER would ever return.  Now is the right time, because crowdfunding is more direct than the Direct Market.  There is an underserved desire for the beauty, surrealism, and positivity that readers will find in the pages of JUPITER.  I’m excited to get this new work out into the world.



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

JS: JUPITER is aimed at readers 8 and up, like Silver and Bronze Age comics.  There is lots of action and high stakes, but no gore.



CB: Tell me about your work process for this comic.

JS: I go from outline to 3×5″ index cards, with each card being a panel.  Then I add/subtract panels until the panels work as a page, then I repeat until the pages work as a comicbook.  Then I edit for typos, and begin to grid the pages using Adobe Illustrator and Adobe Fresco.



CB: Are you working with a creative team, or is this a solo effort? 

JS: JUPITER is written, drawn, colored, and lettered by me, Jason Sandberg. I am currently doing final art adjustments so that the book will be ready to go to the printer at the close of the campaign.



CB: That’s a heavy load. Tell me about what you’ve been learning from self-publishing through this process.

JS: There are a lot of people who love indie comics, and I think it is a lot of fun to network with them and share their campaigns.



CB: I agree. What are your plans beyond this book? Are there more stories to tell?

JS: Yes, I am already 10 pages into JUPITER issue 2.  The next 20 issues exist at the script and thumbnail level.



CB: Very good. Is there anything about the crowdfunding campaign you think is noteworthy?

JS: The first 100 backers will receive a free Non-Prize.  A Non-Prize is the perfect perk for early backers.  JUPITER is a modern comicbook, mixing the serious and the surreal, but a sub current within the pages of JUPITER is a love of the work of Jack Kirby, and giving the fans an alternate reality version of a No-Prize evokes the spirit of the Silver Age.

CB: Sounds cool. Good luck Jason!


Check out the campaign page here!



by John Kratky

Check out the campaign page here!


Chris Braly: Thanks for joining us on Indie Comics Showcase, John. Tell me your pitch for Getting Back to Normal.

John Kratky: Out on the prowl for some food, man of the streets Raccoon instead finds a dead body.  Seeing the injustice of a stranger being left and forgotten in a  such a brutal way, decides to turn detective and find the killer.  As he finds clues, is Raccoon getting further from the truth and falling deep into a rabbit hole of conspiracy, or is he actually being lead toward something greater than he currently understands?


Outside the Panels - John Kratky


CB: What inspired this story?

JK: I was originally trying to write short stories about side characters from my graphic novel The Black Wall to help promote it, but as I began to write Raccoon’s story it kept growing.  I just enjoyed the character too much to give him only ten pages.  Raccoon is an unreliable narrator because his life has been carved out by street living and drug abuse, and who better to take us on a journey as a detective?  He doesn’t live by the trope of detective stories, so it’ll feel unlike anything else you’ve read.



CB: Who is this comic aimed at? 

JK: This comic is appropriate for mature audiences due to swearing, some drug use, and sexuality.  But overall, I think a mature 16-year-old could pick this up and that’d be fine.  If you love crime fiction, noir storytelling, dark humor, or shows like Breaking Bad, you’ll dig this.



CB: Describe your creative process, and how you developed this comic.

JK: I like to start with familiar ideas and see how I can stretch them.  I gobble up comics, books, and movies, and really try to make my own stories something different, but familiar to the things I love, mainly horror & noir.  Development really just comes from putting the time one.  I have notebooks upon notebooks of writing that i’ve done, and you can really only improve by doing more.



CB: Introduce your creative team on this project.

JK: The artist on the project is Luigi Criscuolo, hailing from Italy.  At first I wasn’t sure about bringing on an artist from other country to work on a comic that so specifically takes place in an American city (Reno, NV), but with Raccoon being so unreliable as our hero, I thought maybe it’d be cool to have it drawn from a very different perspective.  Now, Luigi nails it, but I do feel he helps bring a bit of a skewed vision of America to the story.  What I really love about his work is the humanity he is able to bring out in characters.  He has very strong talents in that respect.  The lettering is by Eduardo Camacho who I always work with.  He’s very reliable and always does a perfect job.



CB: How far along is the book?

JK: The book is done.  Luigi is updating some art, and overall I just have to do some other interior work on it, but it’s ready to be printed.



CB: What can you tell me about your experiences with self-publishing and crowdfunding?

JK: It’s never easy.  This is my 4th crowdfunded project, and again, you just have to put the time in.  You have to plan ahead as well.  I messed up a bit this time in the podcasting department because I was so bogged down with other things, but it’s a good smack in the face to always be planning months ahead.



CB: Do you have any plans beyond this book?

JK: Oh yeah.  I will finish my other series Home Free this year with artist Michelle Lodge.  We have our older graphic novel, The Black Wall to put in print.  Next year I will release a horror graphic novel that I’ve been working on for quite sometime.  There’s a book of short stories in the works.  And more to come as long as I have the energy for it.



CB: Anything unique about your campaign you’d like to mention?

JK: Every week I have a new bonus for backers, and the earlier you back, the more you get.  But every week is something special and cool enough to stand on its own.  You can also get everything I’ve done in various formats within the different tiers of the campaign.



CB: Any last words before we sign off?

JK: Check out the campaign, see what you think.  There is a link to a sample of the comic on the Kickstarter page that will really show you who the character is in just a few pages.  Once you meet Raccoon, I guarantee you’ll want to hang out with him to see what he gets into.

CB: Thanks John. Good luck on the campaign!


Check out the campaign page here!



by Rick Piper

Check out the campaign page here!



Chris Braly: Welcome back to Indie Comics Showcase, Rick! Hit me with the elevator pitch for these two books.

Rick Piper: For Canadian Shield 2 it is about his continuing journey south and coming into conflict with his first villain and dealing with him. The book is in full color and is a 23 page story. For Snow Drift 1, we present her origin story, where she goes from having a life in the early 1950’s until tragedy strikes and she’s frozen in time until now. The book deals with her starting over when she finds out she has cold-based powers and begins trying to figure out what to do with them.



CB: What’s the genesis of the creation of these characters?

RP: The idea for these characters came to me for these character in my mid teens and I’ve felt a calling get these characters into the public eye ever since then. I grew watching Super Friends and Spider-Man in the 70’s and 80’s and loving them it wasn’t till the mid 80’s my mom got me some Spire Archie Comics by Al Hartley which were Christian stories, which got me then into reading all kinds of comics. At some point I saw that there were no Christian superheroes and at that point I started developing my comic book universe



CB: So what sort of comic reader is this aimed at?

RP: These are Christian Comics so they have message in them so they most likely first and foremost for people that believe in God they are written however in way that they can be enjoyable by all readers.


CB: Who is the creative team that contributed to these projects?

RP: I have a few different people on the comics for Canadian Shield #2 the writer was a friend of mine named Neil Burke. The artist is Efrain Crespo and the editor is Malcolm Terzich. On Snow Drift 1 It was John Dillard for the artist,  the writer was another friend of mine named Chris Waters, and again Malcolm Terzich was our editor. I handled the coloring for both books.



CB: You’ve been doing this for a while now. Tell me what you’ve been learning from self-publishing?

RP: I have been learning to get out there and promote my comics as much as possible because the hardest thing is letting people know you comic exist, because they can’t buy it if they don’t know about it. 





CB: What’s up next for you, Rick?

RP: Making more books! I already have several scripts written for many books to come that will expand my comic book universe!

CB: Good luck, Rick. We’re rooting for you!


Digital Coloring Original Character fan art of The Canadian Shield by AdrianT2099




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!





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Chris Braly

I'm one opinionated, based geek. I try to steer this tiny ship and can often be heard monthly on the Comic Book Page Previews Spotlight podcast with several fellow "comic book nerds." Follow me on Twitter @ChrisBraly. My preferred adjectives are brilliant/beautiful.