Indie Comics Showcase #27

Welcome back friends and readers to Indie Comics Showcase. I hope you enjoy the show. Before we get into this week’s Installment I want to apologize for no ICS last week!! Please forgive me! Now let’s dive in!


Five Realms Issue #2
By Jess and Patrick Reilly

A samurai squirrel and his two mice best friends desperately try to maintain peace within the Five Realms in this 32 page installment.

Please visit the campaign site here.

John: Jess Reilly, how are you and Patrick? I hope well. Welcome and thank you for being a part of Indie Comics Showcase. Today we will be discussing the second issue of your Indie Comic, The Five Realms, which looks adorawsome! by the way, truly special. Before we get started, can you and Patrick tell us a bit about yourselves?  

Jess: Hey there! I’m currently living with my husband in San Diego, California. I’m currently serving active duty in the US Armed Forces. When we’re not on the comic convention circuit, we enjoy spending our time exploring; whether that’s day hiking or finding a new ramen shop, we’re rarely sitting still!

Patrick: Thanks for having us, John. Really appreciate you and your readers out there. I am the writer and idea guy behind the Five Realms. Before we got started on this project, I was an Active Duty Sailor in the US Navy, and now I’m a college student and a member of the National Guard. I like cats, coffee, and small furry swordfighters.

John: What can you tell us about Zonks Illustrations ( ?

Jess: I’ve been drawing for as long as I can remember. I was finally able to formalize my illustrations and commissions under “Zonks Illustration” in 2017 when my time on deployments ended. My illustrations focus on whimsy and fantastical adventure. I love to create worlds and imagine them full of magic and, of course, harrowing adventure!

Patrick: Zonks Illustration is my darling wife’s entity. Like I said earlier, I’m just the idea guy. She’s really the brains behind the whole operation. I just pick up the heavy stuff when we do conventions and put out a script every now and then. Without her tireless work, none of this would have been possible.  

John: Five Realms is about a samurai squirrel and his two mice best friends desperately try to maintain peace within the Five Realms. Without getting into spoilers, what happened in issue one and how it leads into issue two?

Jess: I think I’ll leave Pat to this one. 😊                    

Patrick: In issue one, we meet three of our heroes in the series (Mehan, Iwain, and Gellaze) while they are off on a mission on behalf of one of the major players in the Five Realms. Our small team of heroes is part of a very small Clan of nomadic creatures of all stripes that used to roam the borderlands of the Realms living off the land. These days, we will get into why later in the series, the Mallow Clan is taking refuge under the Lord of Whitefall, Master Boone Whitesage of the Sage Clan. Boone askes Mehan and his friends to investigate rumors of rats pillaging and plundering the periphery of the lands his brothers are responsible for protecting, but their internal squabbling has distracted them from their duties. Mehan and company head to find out that nothing about their mission was not quite what they expected.

John: The Five Realms certainly has a unique premise and style, can you tell us a bit of what has inspired you and Patrick to create The Five Realms and what have some of your influences been?

Jess: I remember digging through dusty boxes of books from my parents’ vast collection in the basement of my childhood home. I was consumed with the fantasy worlds of giants like Brian Jacques, Anne McCaffery, and Ursula K. Le Guin. I am still an avid reader and constantly draw motivation and passion from contemporary writers such as Brandon Sanderson (The Stormlight Archive) and Patrick Rothfuss (Kingkiller Chronicles) attracted to the sheer volume and depth to the worlds they create.

As for the visual arts, gaming has been an enormous part of my adolescence and teen years. One memory I have in particular from my childhood (I must have been about 7 or 8 at the time) and would pour over the Nintendo Power Official Strategy Guide for Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time and obsessing over the hand-drawn concept art drawn by Yusuke Nakano. I recall trying my hardest to copy the images I saw there over and over again. Like thousands of other children growing up in the 90s, I was exposed to the wonder of Disney’s Golden age animators as well as the darker flavored tales by Don Bluth (Secret of Nimh).

Patrick: The Five Realms started off as an RPG idea I had years and years ago that never blossomed into anything more than a handful of notes on the world. While Jess and I were out hiking one afternoon, the memory of it hit me when we stopped for lunch at this little waterfall area that was almost exactly how I envisioned Whitefall. We got to talking and worldbuilding together. Jess had drawn up some early concept drawings of different critters when we got home, and before I knew it we were sold out of our first run of Issue One. It was crazy how quickly everything came together.  

John: Jess, can you tell us a bit about your art process?

Jess: Oh boy. More like a chaotic mess.

Inspiration strikes at the oddest of times. For this reason, I usually have a sketchbook on me (and on the off chance I do not, any napkin or scrap will do). I usually jot down these ideas as a thumbnail or wireframe. I usually do my best work when sketching traditionally with a mechanical pencil on toned tan paper. This way, I can use ink to go darker and white pencil or gel pen to add highlights. From there, I pull the sketch into Photoshop. From there I can refine and add color to an already explored idea create the polished piece.

John: Patrick, can you tell us a bit about your writing process?

Patrick: Really it’s about volume for me. I get silly little ideas all the time, I’ll jot them down and save them for later just in case I think of something that we can apply that too. I’ll take an idea or a concept as far as I can without “forcing” anything, if we decide it’s worth pursuing at that point, then I’ll keep working on it. 

I like to keep a bunch of ideas on hand to help flesh out the world. Thinking about what “background characters might be doing while nobody is there to see them” kind of things. Making the space our characters exist kind of live and breathe on its own.  

John: What are your hopes for The Five Realms and 2019?

Jess: I hope that the Five Realms can continue to grow and expand out to reach its full potential as a series, as our dream project come true. 

Patrick: Already things have really gone well for us early on in 2019! We’re really looking forward to the convention circuit this year, and the Comic Creator Conference up in Long Beach is always a good time. If there are creators out there who haven’t been, I very very highly recommend it. Such much experience there to learn from. 

John: Is there anything you want to share with our readers before we sign off?

Patrick: Follow us on social media! We’re on everything. Thank you to all our fans and backers for our issue two Kickstarter! It’s an honor and a privilege to have you all be a part of building the Realms with us. Without you, we couldn’t have gotten as far as we have. Thanks to everyone for helping bring our idle daydream to life. 

Jess: Thank you to everyone who has helped bring the Realms to life! Thank you for believing in this idea and in us. We’re excited to have you on this journey as we continue to make the Realms a place to explore. Be sure to visit us at WonderCon in Anaheim, CA, Silicon Valley ComicCon in San Jose, CA, and  Rose City ComiCon in Portland, OR .  

Please visit the campaign site here.


Soul Pact
By Marcel Dupree

Visit The Campaign Here.

John: Marcel, welcome back to Indie Comics Showcase, we’re happy to have you. Last you were here we discussed Mine To Avenge: Book Of Layla #1, which earned $3,696.00, Congratulations! That is another successful campaign for Evoluzione. For today’s installment we are discussing Soul Pact, which is a bit of a passion project for you, correct?

Marcel: Thank you. I appreciate you having me. Yes, Soul Pact is a passion of mine. 

John: Before we get started, how about we touch base a little bit. Can you catch us up on how things have been since you were last on?

Marcel: Since we last spoke I’ve started shipping Harpies #1, I sent Mine To Avenge; Book Of Layla to the print, I sent out the PDFs to the backers, I funded a project called Marassa #1, and starting to gear up for the February and March releases. 

John: Tell me about Soul Pact and our Faustian Blerd Girl, Nia.

Marcel: Nell was lord of the 5th ring of hell until her sisters betrayed her and left her for dead. A human girl named Nia found her. They made a pact that she can possess Nia if she helps her get revenge on bullies. Little did Nia know that Nell has her own revenge plot as well.  

The book is drawn by the amazing Vincenzo Sansone and colored by Lorenzo Berdondini with letters by Justin Birch. The book stars a blerd named Nia, she is a 19 year old college student who likes who she is but wants to be accepted by others. 

John: How did you come up with Nia as a character and where did the story come from?

Marcel: Nia’s personality is based upon an ex-girlfriend. lol  The story of Soul Pact comes from infatuation with the occult and anime. It was inspired by Tokyo Ghoul, Hellsing, and the HBO series Insecure. I hope Soul Pact finds an audience and is well received by critics and fans. For Evoluzione, I hope that more people discover our books. I feel like we have some of the best comics out. 

John: Marcel, it was great having you back on and featuring another of your awesome works, so thank you. We want to wish you the best of luck on your campaign. Is there anything else you want to share with us before we sign off?

Marcel: Thank you for having me! Backing at the $5 level gets you the PDF copy of the book and $15 gets you the physical copy as well. Reward tiers go up to $500 and includes variant covers, prints, getting drawn into the comic, and more.

I would also like you all to check out Ex Mortis by Daniele Vessella which is also currently on Kickstarter. And I hope that you all check out Willowisp #1 coming out  February 13th and be on the lookout for Armor-I #4.

Please Visit The Soul Pact  Campaign Here.



Aeonian #1
By Stefani Manard

Aeonian is the story of a family that wants to live forever. They have the key, but can they open the door in time? 24 page, full color

Please Visit The Campaign Site Here.

Aeonian is an ongoing series. This campaign is for the first issue, which follows a family who has had a taste of living an extended life, but are looking to solidify their grasp on living forever. Issue one follows the family as they struggle with outside sources, and each other, to reach their goal. Who is their “guest”, and what secrets does he hold? Blending mythology, horror, and sci-fi, this arc will leave you asking yourself, how far would you go to obtain eternal life?

I spoke with creator and writer of Aeonian, Stefani Manard:

John: Stefani, thank you for being a part of and welcome to Indie Comics Showcase. Your comic Aeonian #1 looks like a very intriguing comic series, but before we get into, may you please tell us a bit about yourself?

Stefani: Sure thing! I’m a writer from Detroit, I am obsessed with all things horror, and I am a huge animal lover. I’ve been writing professionally for about four years now, but I’ve always been writing. It’s been such a wonderful journey going from prose writing to comics!

John: Awesome! Now what can you tell us about Aeonian? What it’s about and how it came to have some of the most striking imagery I’ve seen in Indie Comics in a while?

Stefani: Aeonian #1 is about a family that has had a taste of extended life, and now wants to convert that into eternal life. Using any means necessary. There are strong themes of loss, the meaning of life, and what becomes of us if time has no meaning. It is a long time coming, so I am really pumped to finally be getting this series out there!

I am working with an incredible team, who will be with me for the entire first story arc. Stan Yak does all the art, Robert Nugent is doing all colors, and Robin Jones is lettering. Each one of these men are kind, talented, and as professional as they come while still being a riot! This book couldn’t have been made without them.

John: What has inspired you most over the years?

Stefani: I grew up reading King and Barker, and have always been drawn to the darkness in human nature. Right now my biggest influences would have to be Junji Ito and Edgar Allen Poe, both for very different, but parallel, reasons. As for inspiration, it really comes from all of the people I know that create. Making worlds with words, pencils, yarn, paint…creating anything is inspiring to me. I have been lucky to come from a family of creative people. My mother is a classically trained pianist, and seeing her achieve this as a single mother while I was growing up has to be the biggest inspiration of my life.

John: Are you working on other projects as well?

Stefani: I have my fingers in a lot of different creative projects at the moment, but when it comes to writing it mostly starts with dreams. I have an incredibly active dream life, and a lot of my ideas start there. From dream, to outline, to rough draft, to editor, to revisions, to finished product. It has become a lot more streamlined as I’ve grown as a writer. I used to be very sporadic in my writing, where as now my focus has grown immensely. I do find that having my dogs in the same room with me helps the creative process, for some reason.

John: What do you see coming up next for Aeonian?

Stefani: 2019 is going to be such a great year. With the Kickstarter for Aeonian being funded in 10 hours, I feel like I’ve started off really strong. This is an ongoing series, so we will be starting issue two as soon as possible. I have three arcs already planned, and hope to see them all through. I also have some anthology stories that will be coming out this year, which is something new for me. I am honestly just happy that I am able to create, and that there is an audience for my work. 2019, you are gonna be killer!

John: What else would you like to tell our readers?

Stefani: Pet all the dogs you can, find the beauty in horror, and love fiercely. Thank you so much for reading this! I hope that everyone has a great 2019 and beyond :)

John: Stefani, thank you once again for being on Indie Comics Showcase, we wish you the best of luck with your campaign and a very prosperous 2019.

Stefani: Thank you, John. Cheers!

Please Visit The Campaign Site Here.



Scrimshaw 2019 Crew T-Shirt

Creating a Limited Edition 2019 Scrimshaw Crew-T-Shirt

Please Visit The Campaign Site Here.

Our friends at Alterna Comics have a hit on their hand with Scrimshaw, and the Scrimshaw team has got a great many new things on the horizon. The success they’ve enjoyed with Alterna Comics continues into 2019 with the newest arc of Scrimshaw titled Tears of The Sonoran Sea. This campaign will helps them forge ahead and achieve the goals they’ve set for Scrimshaw. This includes an ambitious convention schedule which begins in February at the Long Beach Comic Expo where we will continue to spread the Scrimshaw/Alterna gospel.  Any and all funds raised will be used to print and ship the shirts with any extra going directly to cover the costs associated with convention season. 

I spoke with Eric Borden from the Scrimshaw team about this effort.

John: Welcome and thank you for being a part of Indie Comics Showcase, Eric. We hope your year has started off well. Today we will be discussing your Indie Comic Scrimshaw and 2019 Scrimshaw Crew T-Shirt. Before we start, can you tell us a bit about yourself?

Eric:  Hi John, I’m delighted to take part, thanks for having me. I’m a guy who has always loved comics but took a roundabout way to getting one written. I started as a screenwriter and went through that whole process. Wrote a feature, had it optioned, director attached, rewrites, and then my project got shelved. After that experience I wanted to work on something I had a bit more control over and could bring to the audience directly. That’s when I started writing comics.

John: What can you tell us about Scrimshaw, what has happened so far, and this new arc we are entering.

Eric:  Scrimshaw is a post-apocalyptic tale that takes place a couple of generations after the melt of the polar ice caps. The dust has settled after the wars for the remaining resources and Japan has risen as a world power. They rallied under the edict: science shall be our salvation and so predictably that has marred the world significantly. The story follows the crew of the Runaway Horse, a tight knit group of castoffs and misfits from all over the Pacific basin. In the first arc our crew has tangled with a powerful corporation named Tanto after stealing a genetically modified octopus and now has to repay their debt. The new arc picks up with them having to find their way into the New Republic of Texas and assassinate the head of state. Their route takes them through cartel-held territory in Mexico and puts them in contact with Mariposa’s (first mate of the Runaway Horse) sister who now runs the Playa Rojo Cartel. You could say that the sisters relationship is tenuous and that makes for some fireworks. 

John: What have some of your influences and inspirations been while working on Scrimshaw?

Eric:  I’m reaching back for sure but the DC title Warlord and Mike Grell’s work there is a major one. It so neatly mixed a fantastically primitive world with an outsider who brings a .44 automag with him. Swords, Magic, Shapeshifters, and genre-mixing at it’s best. It’s got a little bit of Shogun in there as well. That mini-series really left an impression on me as a kid. I remember watching it and being blown away by the idea of a completely unprepared soul getting thrust into a world that he knows nothing about. Plus it was Chamberlain and Mifune and samurai swords. It was just so cool.

John: Can you tell us a bit about your writing process?

Eric:  I’m a note-taker for sure. You never know when inspiration is going to strike. So I’m constantly jotting down notes on whatever random scrap paper is to be had. It can be something I see, a turn of phrase in a conversation with someone, a quote, an idea based that comes when I’m in a particular place at the right moment. I collate these notes in a book I have at home and pluck one out from time to time which can really enrich a story. When I feel like I have enough meat on the bone for a story idea I take a really deep dive on the characters. Starting with their parents and what their childhood was like. Then following that logical progression through their formative years all the way to the point at which we find them in the story. A lot of people who have read some of my character profiles have asked if it’s necessary to go that deep but for me it’s invaluable. When a character has lived a life and had experiences beyond what serves the story you have a treasure trove to pull from as the writer. It inhabits how the characters relate to one another and how they’re going to act in the story. From there I’m really just putting them in situations that they have to work out with the tools they have at hand. 

John: What are your hopes for Scrimshaw and for 2019?

Eric:  Well when we complete this arc I believe we’ll be the longest running series in the Alterna Comics stable and I would love to continue that into 2020. The team keeps an ambitious convention schedule, we’re going to about a dozen this year because that’s where the fun lays for us. Going out and meeting people who have our shared love for comics and introducing them to something that we spend large amounts of time toiling away in our own little corner on. If we can introduce enough people to the book and they like it we get to continue doing what we love to do and that really is the goal, isn’t it?

John: Is there anything you want to share with our readers?

Eric:  Scrimshaw showcases the work of some very dedicated people other than myself. Dave Mims is responsible for all of the artwork, pencils, inks, colors the whole shooting match. Spike O’Laochdha is the man responsible for the letters and has been invaluable to me as a writer in sprucing up the visual elements with regard to sound in the book. Dave and Spike have been great team to work with. Also due to the visibility of the book Dave has been in demand and as his time has gotten tighter we found ourselves in need of a colorist. We’re happy to announce that starting with Issue 3 of the new arc that Spencer Desmond (Can’t Kill Cade & Voidwalker) and Ryan Winn (Bloodshot, Death Betty) will be coloring Scrimshaw.  

Also we’ve got a couple weeks left in our current Indiegogo campaign which is a great spot for you to grab a copy of Scrimshaw Volumes 1 and 2 as well as our limited edition 2019 Crew T-Shirt showcasing the entire crew. You can find it HERE. Your support goes a long way in helping some indie comics guys pound the pavement and bring their book to the audience. 

John: Thank you once again for being a part of Indie Comics Showcase, we wish you the best of luck on your campaign.

Eric:  Thank you, John. Definitely appreciate you.

Get your shirt and support this creative team Here.


That’s it for this week everyone! Be sure to follow Indie Comics Showcase on Twitter at @Indie_Comics!

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John Lemus

I'm a 35 year-old Cuban who works in Hialeah, FL. I'm really into comic books and comic book culture and I have a particular fondness for independent comics. Which is why I started the Indie Comics Showcase. Follow me on Twitter @indie_comics!