Indie Comics Showcase #24

 

Welcome back to another installment of Indie Comics Showcase! Before we get into this week’s installment, I hope all of you had a great holiday and are recovered from possibly eating too much. Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanza, Festivus, or just took the time off, I hope you’re ready to get back to supporting indie comics with the rest of us!

Now let’s dive in!

RAY FOX

For my first comic, I spoke with Chris Scott who has created a story about a fox with pyrokinetic abilities! Ray Fox is the rookie hero of Meva City, but his brash attitude puts him at odds with his public image and a ruthless criminal organization. His powers are astonishing but they’re no replacement for skill, a lesson he learns the hard way!

BF: Can you tell us a bit about yourself?

CS: Sure! I’m a 26 year old freelance illustrator with a BFA in illustration and design. I’ve been drawing since I was 5 years old but I’d say I didn’t start really improving until I was 18 when I started college and really started focusing on my craft. I’m also a huge Smash Brothers fan and I’ve actually been playing it competitively since 2006. My highest ranking in IL was #7 in the state.

BF: Tell us a bit about your Indiegogo comic project?

CS: I’ve been working on Ray Fox on and off for the past 6 years with two chapters now completed. Due to popular demand from my readers, I plan to finally get it in print. $3500 is needed to produce the first two chapters of Ray Fox in print and to ship them to backers. The book will be a 140+ page black & white, soft gloss cover, graphic novel. And every backer who pledges $20 or more will have an autographed copy of the book! When the goal is reached, and the books are received, retail price will be $25. I have many stories I plan to tell in the future, but my main story, my current comic, is Ray Fox. Which is what my Indiegogo page is for. 

I’m anxious to get the comic in print. The perks/rewards that are included for every backer include, personal sketches, both digital and physical, a personal profile image done in the style of Ray Fox for the backer, and of course the book itself.

BF: What about this subject inspired you?

CS: I was mostly inspired by action cartoons featuring bad ass animal characters in ’90s such as Mighty Ducks, TMNT 2k6, Sonic the Hedgehog, and Swat Kats. The fact that there’s so little to no action animal cartoons pushes me more to continue doing what I’m doing. What also inspires me is the lack of drama and serialized story telling in these cartoons that inspired me. It was there, but I felt like it could be pushed more. Similar to the storytelling in Anime and Manga like One Piece and Dragonball that also inspired me at that age.

BF: What’s can you tell us about the story itself?

CS: So it’s a comic called, Ray Fox, which features a story of anthropomorphic animals with special talents and abilities. Among them is Ray Fox, a teenager with with pyrokinetic powers who’s on a journey to figure out how his powers work before he blows everything up, haha!

BF: I love it. Beyond the toons you mentioned before, what else has influenced your work as a creator?

CS: There’s too many influences to mention, but I actually made up Ray Fox after discovering Spider-Man and Crash Bandicoot when I was around 7 years old or something, ha! I know it’s a weird combination, but its true! I loved anthropomorphic characters and I loved Spider-man and I somehow combined the two and developed them into what Ray is today.

BF: That sounds pretty cool! What can you tell us a bit about your creative process?

CS: I usually work on thumbnails much. I spend a lot more time finalizing the script for my comics. I review several drafts with my fellow peers and when I’m finally satisfied, I’m ready to move on to drawing the comic.  I work almost exclusively in Adobe Photoshop, where I make a very crude/rough sketch of the layout I’m looking for, then I make another layer or 2 to draw the actual borders of the comic. From that point on I just use traditional methods in my digital process. Now that I’m getting acquainted with Clip Studio Paint, I plan to work mostly in that program since it seems way more intuitive than Photoshop the more I learn about it.

BF: Who else is helping you on this project?

CS: As of now, I’m the only player on this team! I write, edit, draw, render,  and advertise on my own. I do plan to expand in the distant future. I would like to hire an inker and colorist especially.

BF: That’s quite a load of work, man! So what’s the current status of the campaign?

CS: Right now the campaign, is 50% toward the goal, but it’s been moving at a very slow pace. If I can get reach out to just 70 or so more people for $25 or more, this project will be fully funded!

BF: We are rooting for you, Chris! Is there anything else you would like to share with our readers before we sign off?  

CS: Yep! For all aspiring comic writers and artists, No wishing, more doing. Always try, and don’t be afraid of failure.  Don’t create just to get fame but to learn and fail. Every failure brings you once step closer to success.

BF: That’s great advice and positive encouragement. Keep us posted on the project, Chris!

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TRIBULATION FORCE

The Bible tells of a coming period of great turmoil, referred to by many as the “End of Days”. ​ The soon to be world leader, known as the anti-christ, is on a mission to bring forth these last days, before their appointed time. Under a platform of world peace, he uses his position in the United Nations to assemble a team of Super powered warriors to help him achieve his true goal, the destruction of mankind. God calls upon a young man named Hector (aka Grok) to find the Apostle John, who has never died, and is being held captive at the Vatican. Together they will assemble the greatest superhero force the world has ever seen. ​They are THE TRIBULATION FORCE! I recently had dialogue with Bill Raupp, the creator of Tribulation Force.

Chris: Hello Bill! Can you tell us a bit about yourself?

Bill: My name is Bill Raupp. I am a comic book geek and have been collecting comics books for over 35 years. By day I am a social worker and counselor, and in my spare time I created and wrote The Tribulation Force comic book!

Chris: Tell us a bit about your Kickstarter comic project?

Bill: Tribulation Force #0 introduces you to the characters and concepts of the Tribulation Force Universe! My main protagonist is a young man named Hector, or Grok, and he guides readers through the history of the TF universe and issue zero, which is what the Kickstarter campaign is about, begins you on the Tribulation Force’s first Journey!

Chris: What about this subject inspired you?

Bill: I absolutely love superheroes. I love classic, colorful costumed, all-out action comics! Comic books are such a rich media, and there is so much you can do in 22-pages that cannot be replicated in any other media and I believe there is something really special in particular about superhero comic books. I love the feeling of picking up a comic book and being transported into new worlds where good wins out and people self-sacrifice and dress up to make the world a better pace!

Chris: Tell us what content comes with the campaign?

Bill: I think we have some pretty cool Kickstarter rewards. In addition to the classic silver age styled cover, there’s a great ‘team variant’ cover by DC Comics artist Allan Goldman and a special chromium cover version, which is limited to 20 Kickstarter copies. Keeping in line with the classic comic book theme, we’re also offering some Tribulation Force Trading cards!

Chris: Sweet! What would you say has influenced your work as a creator?

Bill: Besides the comic book medium, I have been influenced by literature, a few of my favorites being Catcher in the Rye and Stranger in a Strange Land. I’m more of a TV series person, rather than movies, and some influences would definitely be LOST, Doctor Who and The Tomorrow People just to name a few. And one of my biggest influences is biblical End Times prophecy, which heavily influences the Tribulation Force!

Chris: Tell me a little about your creative team.

Bill: Well, the Tribulation Force has been championed by Star Cross Comics owner Joe Spicer. Joes been a huge supporter and source of encouragement! The Tribulation Force zero issue’s 3 stories are written by me, and are penciled by some of the most amazing up and coming talents! I was blessed to have Rully Akbar, Louis Rivers and Armando Abeleda on pencils! I think they have done a truly incredible job!

Chris: What’s the current status of the campaign?

Bill: The campaign is over 80% funded and runs until Feb 3rd, so we still have a few weeks to go. The Tribulation Force #0 comic book itself is a little over 90% complete at this point, and is scheduled to ship 30 days after the Kickstarter ends!

Chris: Wow! That’s impressive, Bill. Is there anything else you would like to share with our readers before we sign off?

Bill: I hope people will check out the TF#0. I believe it’s a fun, classic superhero book! If your readers sign up for our e-mail newsletter at our website here, they will receive a free, limited-edition Tribulation Force trading card! 

Chris: Thanks Bill! That’s pretty cool. We’ll check it out and we wish you much success!

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FRONTLINE SOLDIERS

For our final feature this week, we’re talking to Brandon Didley and Cory Lewis from Concept Moon Studios. Cory is currently stationed overseas, so thanks to the power of the internet, they were each able to answer my questions. Their Indiegogo campaign is for FRONTLINE SOLDIERS #1, a 24-page comic book that tells the story of an unlikely team up of heroes. The team consists of Crimzum, a sarcastic super-soldier, Night Stalker, a 2nd generation hero, Prometheus the fire-slinging aerialist, and Red Blazer, an alien prince on the run from his own people. As they fight off all manner of evil, from mercs to robots and even aliens! Concept Moon Studios is asking backers to help them launch the first issue of a planned 12-issue arch.

Chris: Can you tell us a bit about yourself?

Cory: Currently I’m an 11 year active duty member of the USAF stationed abroad. The Air Force keeps me busy as an aircraft technician but I try to find time to write my comic when I can.

Brandon: I’m a 10 year USAF veteran. I previously decided to step away from that to focus on the business Cory and I created. I’m also a father of three, so that keeps me busy and motivated!

Chris: Tell us a bit about your Indiegogo comic project?

Cory: Frontline Soldiers is a series that’s 8 years in the making. It tells the story of all the superheroes I created as a child teaming up to fight the evils of their world.

Chris: Tell me what it was about this subject inspired you?

Cory: Superheroes have always inspired me because they’re characters that were meant to give hope to people in their time of need.

Brandon: I was always intrigued by storytelling and the depth of the heroes that big when we were growing up. X-Men, Black Panther, Incredible Hulk, all these characters presented deep flawed characters that I gravitated to as a child.

Chris: What’s the story itself about can you tell us what content comes with the campaign?

Cory:  So the comic itself tells the story of how the already established heroes, Crimzum and Night Stalker, meet the new guy in town Prometheus, as well as the exiled prince on the run Red Blazer, and the hired muscle chasing after him. Anyone who is inspired to donate to our campaign, depending on what they pick, can receive a poster, T-shirt, and a printed copy of the comic with their name included on a thank-you page. Additionally we’ll be printing and donating original coloring books to children’s hospitals as well as mental health facilities that help combat stress and anxiety with every contribution posted!

Brandon: It was very important to us to find a way to give back during this process. I was inspired by Tom’s shoe brand and though we couldn’t do anything on that scale, we are happy to start here.

Chris: Wow, that’s a great cause. What else has influenced your work as a creator?

Cory:  Modern comic books from DC and Marvel have helped shape they way I developed these stories I’m trying to tell.

Brandon: Outside of Stan Lee, as a writer my biggest influences are probably George R.R. Martin, Brian Jacques and Lois Lowry. The book series they’ve created have had a tremendous impact on my imagination.


Chris: Let’s get into the work itself. How where does it all start?

Cory:  Brandon and I just start brainstorming titles, stories, and characters together. Once we have an initial concept down, Tochukwu Osakwe (our primary, in-house artist) creates the concept art with Victor Orji handling colors. Once I have my script ready, Mu Sahrudin handles the panels, lettering, and final colors for the comic itself.

Chris: Tell me more about your creative team.

Cory:  The team consists of Brandon Didley, Tochukwu Osakwe, Victor Orji, Mu Sahrudin, and myself. While I created the characters and wrote the story, Tochukwu and Vic were the ones that truly brought these characters to life with their artwork from my early sketches. Brandon is the one who actually discovered Mu’s talents and brought him to the attention of the team. Mu was the one who interpreted my script and put the characters into motion with his amazing panels.


Chris: What’s the current status of the crowdfunding campaign?

Brandon: Currently we are sitting at about 30% of our goal met with roughly 30 days left of the campaign.


Chris: Is there anything else you would like to share with our readers before we sign off?

Brandon:We have fantasy novella titled “Prelude To A King’s Moot” that’s coming out in January of 2019, as well a magazine called “Concept Moon Quarterly,” which as you can guess will be dropping each quarter of 2019. This will be a compilation of multiple projects that we’ve created, along with a few choice indie artists we’ve met along the way. We’re hoping to launch this as a platform to spotlight other independent creators just like us.

Chris: I like that concept. Keep us posted about the campaign and the quarterly. Good luck guys and thank you for your service! Please check out their Instagram here and their Indiegogo campaign here!

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Here are the links again for each of the crowdfunding campaigns. Please check them all out!

That’s it for this installment! I hope everyone had an awesome Christmas and we’ll bring you our next installment in the new year! Until then, Happy New Year and 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 can be heard monthly on the Comic Book Page Previews Spotlight podcast with several other comic book nerds.