Welcome back dear friends and readers. This is my second installment of Indie Comics goodness in what I’m hoping will become a new series of mini-reviews and features called Indie Comic Gems. This is where I’ll review some crowdfunding comics that I feel are truly special for one reason or another.
For this installment I will be featuring the indie comic Pink Lemonade by Nick Cagnetti. Aside from a mini-review of his book, I’ll also be including an interview with Nick. Apart from being the creator of Pink Lemonade, Nick is also the artist and writer on the comic and you will learn much more about him in the interview that follows.
by NICK CAGNETTI
Mysterious past…colorful costume…altruistic…nomadic lifestyle…it’s all pretty cool!
Please Checkout The Campaign page Here.
Pink Lemonade is the story of a young woman clad in a pink and yellow outfit that closely resembles a Motocross Uniform, and her very special, and also pink and yellow bicycle, named Bike. On the cover of the comic with see out titular heroin Pink Lemonade and Bike, along with a few of the character we will meet on this quite uniquely likeable and amusing journey. The first page of the comic features an advertisement for OJ-BITES BRIGHT AS THE SUN starring OJ-BOT. OJ-BOT looks like he popped out a piece of Classic Science Fiction and Americana. The OJ-BITES look like Combos, which is fitting as part of OJ-BOT looks like a Combo.
Our story starts off in a very psychedelic setting, a sort of dream like world if you will. Pink Lemonade is on Bike and they are racing on what looks to be a track composed of giant green tentacles, while a strange spaceman and his dog are fighting the creature the giant green tentacles seem to be attached to. There is quite a frenzy yet our hero persists and wins the race. Only problem is Barzibelly (Our Strange Tentacle Creature) is a cheat and won’t let Pink Lemonade leave the arena, by informing her that she is in a dream, one she may never wake up from. That is when Skip and Baldon (The space man and his dog) come up from behind her and remind her that it’s her dream, and she can wake from it whenever she want. So she does.
We come to scene of Bike and Pink Lemonade overlooking the sun rising over a body of water, discussing the dream she just had, when suddenly a strange apparition appears before her exclaiming that she will never escape him. Then our hero and Bike wake up once again, after having spent the night sleeping on a park bench. It seems our hero woke up in side of another dream, before actually awaking. She’s greeted by a little girl and her mother. The little girl tells her mother about how Pink Lemonade had helped her some days ago, they discuss how Pink Lemonade has amnesia, but is able to remember a few details here and there. After hearing Pink Lemonade’s stomach rumble, the mother asks her over for dinner.
Pink Lemonade agrees to join them for the meal, as she could not remember the last time she ate Mac & Cheese. During Dinner they discuss a few more things, including OJ-BOT and how her mom was a huge fan. Then they quickly go down the hallway into a room filled with OJ-BOT memorabilia. After reading some OJ-BOT comic and watching a few of the Classic OJ-BOT films, then discuss that they a studio tried to bring OJ-BOT back but with a more dark and gritty tone, and how that effectively killed off the franchise.
The three of them talk some more and Pink Lemonade tell them that she has to be on her way. So Pink Lemonade rides off into the sunset while the little girl and her mother retire indoors. Turns out the mother is an illustrator and decided to draw a picture of OJ-BOT and Pink Lemonade. This is as far as I am going to review the comic as the campaign for it is still live on Indie GOGO and I would really appreciate it if you checked out it, and if you like what you see please do show Nick how much you enjoy his by making a pledge and securing a copy of Pink Lemonade yourself. It was only ever been for sale at conventions where it has sold out each venue. I absolutely love Pink Lemonade. It’s such a wonderfully whimsical Indie Comic with a very warm and wholesome appeal. Everyone who has picked up a copy has loved it and I am more than sure that if you do pick one up for yourself, you will too.
John: Welcome to and thank you for being part of a new feature on Indie Comics Showcase, Nick! I am so very happy to be discussing your creator comic, Pink Lemonade with you today!
Nick: Hi! Thanks, John. Happy to talk about it with you!
John: Before we get started I was hoping you could tell us a little bit about yourself .
Nick: Sure! I’m 24, lived in Arizona my whole life so far. I’ve loved Spider-Man since I was about 3 and that wonderful Steve Ditko design got me into drawing pretty quickly. I graduated from Arizona State University in 2017, studied intermedia art and did some interesting projects there.
John: Without giving away the plot or any spoilers, what can you tell us about Pink Lemonade?
Nick: It’s a story about a mysterious woman who goes on fun adventures, she tries to make friends, see new things, and drink pink lemonade. Pink Lemonade has been in her own comic strip series before as well as a few short stories. As for this book, I can say with confidence it is going to go a lot of places I don’t think people are expecting it to!
John: Drew sent me the second proof of Pink Lemonade and I’ve read it multiple times. I can’t get enough of it. it’s so Wonderfully quirky and whimsical, so wholesome and campy, I love it. It reminds me of the 1930’s Flash Gordon Serials and The Adam West Batman. Can you tell us a little bit about how Pink Lemonade came to be, how she and her story were conceptualized?
Nick: The character’s story started as a series of comic strips I did from 2016-2018. When I started doing Pink Lemonade comic strips I was feeling burnt out from other projects. I needed to try something different and more personal. Trying a new format with the strips let me play around a lot in terms of making a dreamlike narrative, I think it refreshed me. I wanted to put a lot of what I was going through into a character that embodied that optimism I try to have. Sort of that battle between our inner self and wanting to hold onto our fond childhood memories.
John: What are some of the first comics you remember reading?
Nick: I remember reading some of those big phone book sized Essentials collecting the original Amazing Spider-Man runs from Stan Lee, Steve Ditko, John Romita Sr.; early exposure to the really good stuff. Since those were in black and white I colored them in with crayons pretty poorly. I also got some collections from the 90s that had some of the best Spidey stories, one of them was The Kid Who Collects Spider-Man.
John: What are some of the comics that have made the biggest impact on you?
Nick: Mike Allred’s Madman left a big impression on me, Mike Baron and Steve Rude’s Nexus, Ben Edlund’s The Tick, The Big Guy and Rusty The Boy Robot by Miller and Darrow, and Tintin by Herge. I read lots of Corto Maltese by Hugo Pratt and some Valerian comics recently, also more Dan Clowes comics. All really good- there’s so much good stuff out there.
John: What does Pink Lemonade mean to you, what about it makes it a story you want to tell?
Nick: I feel like our world is a very pop-culture saturated landscape right now and some of it feels funny to me watching from the sidelines as we seem to forget our roots or just not be interested in that. So part of it is re-contextualizing that modern experience through the lenses of this character, who sees the simplest of things with awe and innocence. A lot of what drew me into comics is the endless possibilities presented through larger than life characters, and I want to bring that joy that I felt when first discovering comics.
John: What are some of the things that have served as a source of Inspiration when working on for? Do you read anything, watch any shows, listen to music as you work?
Nick: I read comics, I don’t watch much television, I listen to lots of music as I work. Stuff like St. Vincent, Caroline Rose, Metric, Alex Lilly, Dumbo Gets Mad, and Karen O/Danger Mouse are on rotation a lot right now.
John: Can you tell us a bit about your creative process?
Nick: I guess the problem is that the creative process is I’m always thinking about this stuff. I don’t sleep as much as I should and am pretty obsessed with the work, I live it and breath it because I’m passionate and care about the story.
John: What have some of your influences been over the years and how have they affected your work?
Nick: My mom, my grandparents, my uncle were the biggest supporters always encouraging me to keep doing what I’m doing. My friends Tristen and Daniel also influenced me, they helped me get more work under my belt doing comics and films with them. Lots of really cool people in my life have been supportive like my high school art teacher Stacy Marko, and my college professor Melissa Button just to name a few.
John: What are your hopes for Pink Lemonade for the future?
Nick: I want to get this series to as many people as possible, hopefully it brightens up some days. If I can get some kids out there reading comics and wanting to tell their own stories, then that would be a mission accomplished. Also, I kinda want to see some Pink Lemonade toys!
John: Is there anything else you want to share with us before we sign off?
Nick: Recently, my affiliation with Drew Ford and the folks in Charlotte at Heroes Con have helped me get to places I never thought I’d be. Just for so long I felt like nobody was going to really see the work I was doing and now it seems like more people are out there seeing it and enjoying it. I’m just really grateful to have this opportunity!
John: Once again Nick, I would like to say thank you for chatting with us this week! I know you have less than a week to go, so I want to wish you the best of luck on this campaign and all future projects!
Nick: Thank you, John! Really appreciate it!
Please Checkout The Campaign page Here.