Since we were a bit late with the last edition of Indie Comics Showcase, I thought I’d give you a bonus edition! I hope you enjoy this extra helping! You might call it a Halloween “treat” even! Had a few great interviews in the last edition a couple of days ago, so I’m sticking with that format for this edition. Sound off in the comments section and tell me what you think or share some of the indie comic crowdfunds that you’ve been backing!
___Gilbert Deltrez LAIR: A Para-Dimensional Demon Horror___
The first interview is with Gilbert Deltrez (@GillyWritesComics on Twitter). Gilbert is funding his amazing Indie Comic, LAIR: A Para-Dimensional Demon Horror about an off-duty cop, who has to face off against inner and literal demons, when he is warped into a hellish dimension. This comic is already completed, so this is serving more as a Pre-Order.
John: How did Lair, or rather the idea for Lair come about?
Gilbert: Man, honestly, that’s an idea that has been running in my head ever since I been exposed to The Exorcist film in my teen years.
John: really? that’s cool.
Gilbert: I wanted to know where demons waited before entering a human body for possession. Like I understand the notion of Hell, but the more I thought about it, I conjured up the premise for LAIR, in that it is the place where demons lurk before human possession.
Another otherworldly dimension that isn’t quite Heaven and Hell.
John: that’s interesting. How did the story of the off duty cop enter the picture
Gilbert: Being a native New Yorker, I always revered and was mystified by cops working the undercover beat. I wanted to find a protagonist that I felt would be compelling, versatile, and inherently brave.
John: That’s a great choice
Gilbert: To put through the LAIR gauntlet. Thank you.
John: let’s talk a little about style. did you know how you wanted it to look or was that a product of the artist and color you worked with on the book?
Gilbert: I had a particular style in mind. I definitely wanted an artist capable of visual expression. The first artist that agreed to the job was a published artist that I was confident in, but he never finished a page.
That left me back at square one.
John: it sucks when that happens.
Gilbert: So I scouted DeviantArt for hours until I came across Sebastian’s work. I could tell from his style, that he’d be perfect for LAIR.
Indeed it does. Especially when you pay upfront LoL
John: Normally you only pay half up front
Gilbert: Exactly. In this case the artist was adamant. Persistent. And because he was published, I equated that to him being ethical.
So I did what I never usually do, and paid everything in advance.
John: Yeah, I’m sure you’ve noticed these days that isn’t always the case.
Gilbert:Yes, precisely. Months went by, we weren’t gelling and I had to move on. Tried to leave things as amicable as possible. He’s a helluva an artist though.
John: Did he ever refund you the money?
Gilbert:No. I had paid for a custom cornerbox logo, A full page cover, and an interior. Best I got was some thumbnails.
John: That sucks
Gilbert: It’s all good. It was a refreshing and valuable learning lesson.
John: that’s the right way to look at it, learn from your mistakes and move forward. Apart from The Exorcist, what else influenced the story? Are there any books, movies, life events?
Gilbert: Stephen King’s Langoliers is one. Also, the anime Deathnote is another piece of work that definitely left a lasting impression on me. And there was a miraculous experience from a family member that made it into the book.
John: Okay, very interesting. Can you tell me a bit about your writing process, how you go from thought to paper?
Gilbert:Once the idea is in mind, I begin fleshing out the characters and the message I want to deliver. From then scenes formulate, and it’s a matter of establishing conflict and placement.
I write everything by hand first. Sloppy handwriting and all. Then once everything is done. I start typing the script.
Gilbert:LAIR originally started as a short story in my creative writing class.
John: A lot of stories start off like that, I say it’s a good place to start. Do you use any specific software when working on the script?
Gilbert:To adapt it in graphic novel form, I felt a 120 page book would justify my vision and character development throughout, but budgetary constraints kept me limited.
John: Yeah, the more pages you want to add the more you have to pay the artists.
Gilbert:I used to use Celtx comic book application. Now I’m using nothing special.
John: Celtix is good and free
Gilbert:Comic book creation is not for everybody. A costly hobby. Especially if you can’t draw. The challenge then became squeezing something I envisioned to be larger, in a more compact narrative package
John: True. Plus, there is no guarantee that if you do crowd funding that your project will meet its goal
Gilbert:That alone is enough to make even the strongest minds whither under pressure.
Gilbert: Yes, more compounding stress lol. Crowd funding is brutal.
John: : I know it. Who are some of the writers you like, and have any of them influences the way you took on Lair?
Gilbert: I have to say Stephen King, because of how some of his stories kept me thinking afterward. Joe Hill, because of the way he creates deep, likeable characters, and Guillermo Del Toro, because his movies are within my wheelhouse. Stories told in the vein of Takes from the Crypt and Twilight Zone are other influences on LAIR
John: Yeah, you mentioned The Langoliers, what is it about that book in particular that you liked, or rather which parts inspired you most ?
Gilbert: The fact that almost a full airplane of people vanish into thin air, as we follow the remaining characters left on the plane through an eerie journey. I couldn’t help myself stay fixated on what the heck happened to the others.
John: that’s understandable.
Gilbert:LAIR is what happens to the people throughout the history of time, who end up missing or disappear without a trace.
John: I think that pretty much wraps it up, is there anything you would like to share with our readers?
Gilbert:Take the LAIR challenge. Check it out on indiegogo. If it looks interesting enough, consider nabbing your copy. The story isn’t for the weak of mind, body, and soul lol. Thank you for the opportunity to share LAIR with you! I appreciate it!
John: Thank you for your time and best of luck on the campaign.
I almost forgot to ask, Is the title Lair as self explanatory as it sounds or is there for to it?
Gilbert:There’s more to it than being just a place where demons lurk…
Well, You guys all just read what Gil said, so head on over to Indie Gogo and Check It Out!
___Sporkman Goes to Japan TPB___
This next interview is with Chuck Bonetti, one of the guys from Sporkman Studios (@SporkmanStudios on Twitter) and we talked about their indie comic Sporkman Goes To Japan. Created by Eric Berry and Chuck Bonetti, with art from Gifney Richata, colors by Rodrigo Ybañez, and Chuck Bonetti on lettering.
Check out the link: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/sporkman-goes-to-japan-tpb/x/18537415#/
John: How did the idea for Sporkman come about?
Sporkman: Well, the idea came to us in the winter of 96/97. Me and my two partners were sitting around thinking of silly Superhero names.
John: Were you at a fast food place?
Sporkman : Actually we had an apartment that everyone hung out at and we would be up all hours of the night brain storming ideas We would talk many different ideas like movies and comics. It was early in the morning about 3 am and we were a bit tired and drunk!
John: I’ve had plenty of nights like that, actually tonight might be one.
Sporkman: But having fun and that when Chris our one partner who would draw the original Sporkman came up with the name A few weeks later he drew the original sketch and we kinda sat on the ideas for a few years until Eric decided to make a figure for Sporkman and the making the costume. In 2004, for Halloween he did the costume. And in 2005 he did a costume contest and won first prize and people asked for a comic which we did our first comic Sporkman: Conventions.
John: So it came out of came out of the ether in an almost literal sense
Sporkman: In many ways it did, it was almost a lighting in a bottle! Lol! The way the character changed from the original drawing was due to using a power ranger action figure for the base of the figure. That really influenced the look of Sporkman
John: See, that’s more of what I had imagined.
Sporkman: He really became a homage to the sentai heroes and heroes from the silver age and how so many were heroes but there was still humor and fun, but they were kinda over the top.
John: It sounds like a pretty natural progression and evolution. I know the comic has some star wars influences as well, like in what’s his name now, Darth Fader was it?
Sporkman: That is in our first comic. In Japan our main villain is Shogun Z
John: Right. He leads a group of Ninjas if I remember correctly?
Sporkman: Correct and In Japan most of the references are anime, manga and Japanese culture. We basically decided to take Sporkman and put him in Japan and in our version of Japan it like it would be in the movies, Anime and Manga So we have a killer Robot Ninjas, Giant mecha Robots Kaiju and Pokémon Type creatures for the story to more grounded, we still have sillyness in the comic but we wanted to grow Sporkman so we have him a more hero story.
John: That sounds like a fun story!
Sporkman: While humor and silliness is great we still need a good story and the when we decided to place him in Japan. It was a hard story to write. We went through so many rewrites and making a much better story. It ended up being three issues versus the two we planned.
John: I’ve poked around in your live streams a couple of times and hear you guys throw around a lot of ideas. How many of them have stuck?
Sporkman: A lot of them, if we couldn’t work it into this story we basically would shelve it to be used in another story. Honestly we love the Sporkman Character so much, for me he is a conduit to being back he reasons for heroes. Kids and adults alike need that hope and believing in traditional heroes John It’s a great concept and character.
John: Can you tell us a bit about your writing and process as well as what goes into the art?
Sporkman: Well with the writing we basically meet and we create an outline for the story and then Eric will go and write the dialogue and then we both review and see how we like it. For the art we have generally allow the artist a bit of freedom We have had the same artist for all the issues and Gifney is a wonderful artist he came up with many of the rough story boards that we wanted and we approved. And there was very little adjustment we need to do. The only real adjustment came on the style we would use for Sporkman.
John: After Japan are you planning on doing one that collects all of the past stories?
Sporkman: Our artist was able to really read what we were looking for.
John: that’s always important. not just that he was able to deliver but deliver what you wanted.
Sporkman: We have two stories right now. So people can get Conventions from Indy Planet in print format and Japan will be the same. From here we will be doing new adventures.
John: Do you have any of the next stories planned out?
Sporkman: We have 3 or 4 more stories in the works and maybe some other good news coming down the road! I’m also currently writing a script on another hero call Volt Chaos that will be a more of a story set in Biblical time where Volt has to fight against demons who have taken on the form of the myth gods. Volt is an angelic being sent to fight them.
John: So, Volt is meant to be in his own universe right, no chances of crossing over with Sporkman?
Sporkman: Actually he is spun out of the Sporkman universe. He was originally created to be a hero in that universe, but the story was a bit dark so we kinda separated it, but there may be a crossover…
John: I can already imagine what a cross over would be, the demons come back only this time they attack Japan by taking on the form of gods and demons from Japanese mythology and Sporkman has to return to help fight them off.
Sporkman: Haha! Sporkman has a lot of stories we can tell and we are kinda focusing on them right now and I really think people will love Sporkman and what he represents.
John: Hopefully this will help get the word our there and the help draw attention to the campaign.
Sporkman: Yup! Thank you! But even if we don’t make it know we will be releasing the comic in a different format! We will focus on single issues instead of the trade! Never give up on your dreams!
John: That’s what I always say!
Sporkman: I appreciate you getting the word out! Our next goal is to find a publisher and get our comics into as many hand as we can! We want people to be join Sporkman on his adventures and have fun, laugh and cheer him on! If you are looking for a good traditional superhero story with light-hearted storytelling and fun story that you can share with you family of all ages, then Sporkman is that comic for you!
John: On behalf of Bleeding Fool, and our readers, I want to say thank you for your time. Best of luck on your campaign!
Sporkman: Appreciate the time! Thank you to everyone in the community
Check out the Sporkman Studios Youtube Channel for more information and cool stuff. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCeBlobtA7aopbcNLE6SKgvg
To Kick Off Halloween I wanted to cover a very unique, quirky and Spooky Comic so I went with Pat Shand’s SPOOKY GIRLS – 4 spooky artists, 4 spooky comics, 1 book!
A full-color graphic novel made up of 4 new monster comics: Jenny the Werecat, Vicky Slime, Punk Teen Demon Queen, & Tarantula Twins. The comic is fully funded and there are just a few days left on the campaign, but it will be available via Amazon.
John: Love the artwork here. I’m wondered, are you planning to enable the Pre-Order Feature once your campaign is done?
Pat Shand: We unfortunately won’t be hosting pre-orders until the book is on Amazon next year…
John: Understood. So can you give me a basic rundown of Spooky Girls? How did the project come to be?
Pat Shand: I’ve been publishing a few books per year through my own company, Space Between Entertainment, and Spooky Girls is our seventh title. Spooky Girls is basically four brand new comics titles in one graphic novel. I teamed up with four of my favorite artists to create four unique characters and stories: Vicky Slime, Jenny the Werecat, Tarantula Twins, and Punk Teen Demon Queen. We like to pitch it as “Freaks and Geeks with monsters.”
John: Awesome! How long have you been writing and publishing comics?
Pat Shand: I’ve been writing professionally since around 2010, when I was working as a playwright in New York. I broke into the comics industry since 2011, and have been working steadily since then as a comics writer and novelist. I started up Space Between Entertainment with my wife Amy Shand and our friend/collaborator Shannon Lee in 2017. Right now, I’m doing a lot of both freelance writing and publishing on my own.
John: that sounds fantastic, what plays have you worked on? I’m pretty big into American Dramatic and Musical Theater and recently helped get a play funded. called The Cuban and The Red Head about I Love Lucy.
Pat Shand: Mine were all off-off Broadway productions, mostly one-acts and ten-minute joints. My biggest one was Rosary, which was produced by Amios in 2009 and had a two-week run. That was about a pair of best friends who grew apart in their twenties, reuniting in their thirties and seeing how much the other had change. One is becoming a priest, while the other is getting ready to marry her girlfriend. I did a lot of comedy, too: I had a play about erectile dysfunction and exploding body parts called Soft Serve. A few of my works weren’t produced by had staged readings, like my homeless pregnancy comedy Inpregnito! and my porn industry satirical epic The Misadventures of Olive Sukkin. I miss a lot about writing theatre. It sort of felt like “anything goes,” you know what I mean? I want to bring that to comics. I feel like these companies often box us in, try to form a limitation to the kinds of ideas that can be comics. Indie Comics Showcase Did you record any of these, I would love to see them? Pat Shand Yeah, I did, I at least have a lot of my shorter plays recorded. I’m not sure the legality of me sharing them. I should follow up on that. I would love to post those on YouTube if possible, but you always have to think of actor’s guild rules with that kind of shit. Some of my work from then that is available, though, is my screenwriting work. I worked with director Katie Carman on two films, The Sucker which was a story about an autistic young man obsessed with finding the chupacabra, and Switch, a Twilight Zone-style story about a couple that dreams of changing each other’s personalities.
John: A comic book about a playwright trying bring a play to life, written by a playwright turned comic book creator. That would be meta. How did you find the transition from writing plays to writing comics? Were there any complications?
Pat Shand: No, no complications, really. I was always in love with trying to write in every possible media, ever since I started. For years, I only wrote prose. Growing up, that’s what I considered to be what writers do… until I realized that writing is everywhere. TV, movies, theatre, comics, radio, YouTube, everything. For years, I’ve been trying to master it all. All my favorite writers can operate in multiple media, and it’s fun to switch back and forth. It’s flexing a different muscle.
John: Interesting. can you tell us a little bit about your writing process?
Pat Shand: It’s different with every book. With my ongoing graphic novel series Destiny, NY I’ll write a rough outline and then write that one page by page. With my current creator-owned series Snap Flash Hustle, I break down what’s going to happen on each page first, then write the panels, and then go back and write the dialogue. I generally edit my comics script as I go and then re-write the dialogue before lettering, after seeing the art. With novels and screenplays, I’ll write a complete draft and then go back to edit.
John: I’m sure you’ve had a run in or two with the old ‘writers block’. Do you have any tips as to getting past it?
Pat Shand: I don’t really think of it as writer’s block. I think of it as “I’m procrastinating.” What I do to fight that is keeping a very detailed schedule. Right now, I have a 42-page document that has all my writing deadlines, events, business duties, financial stuff, and personal schedule all in one file. Keeping updated with that, a document that’s admittedly powered by my OCD, is what keeps me on track, or helps me bounce back when I get off. Get off track, that is.
John: I think we covered the basics as well a little more. Is there any share without readers before we log off
Pat Shand: You can find me online @PatShand pretty much everywhere, look out for my new creator-owned series Snap Flash Hustle dropping from Black Mask in November, and check out Destiny, NY, my series about a former magical girl trying to find out what to do with her life in her thirties. Volume Two is now available on Amazon.
John: Awesome! You have been fantastic. Thank you so much for your time!
Pat Shand: Thanks! You too!
Check out Pat’s Kickstarter by clicking the screenshot below:
Well, that wraps up another Indie Comics Showcase! Hope everyone enjoyed this bonus treat and that you all have a safe and happy Halloween! Don’t forget to check out Halloween ComicsFest today too!