Indie Comics Showcase #29

Hey there friends and readers, welcome back to Indie Comics Showcase. We have a very special installment for you today and, as always, I hope when we’re through that you’ve found some new indie comics that you can support. Once again, We’ve got some excellent projects to choose from and we’ll be talking to a few up and coming independent comic creators about their campaigns, so I hope you enjoy this week’s issue!

Our first feature is Samurai of Oz from my friend Ron Zabala from Mount Olympus Comics, and we’re chatting about his latest campaign for ‘Samurai Of Oz’ and much more. 

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RON Z’S SAMURAI OF OZ

A take on Wizard of Oz set in a mythical feudal Japan type world and inspired by anime such as Ninja Scroll and Vampire Hunter D.

The Story: Dorothy Blade and her wolf Toto find themselves in a dark mythical Feudal Japan inspired world of Oz! Ninjas, demons, ghosts and more await her at every corner! Where does the Bloody Red Road lead? Samurai of Oz is a 24 page comic and the first comic from Mount Olympus Comics with complete manga/anime style line art for the interior, some topless action, and hack and slash blood – all in full color!

Please, If you pledge from this link, it will let Ron know that you found his campaign through Bleeding Fool!

John: Ron, hey there. I hope you are well my friend. It’s great to finally be interviewing you for Indie Comics Showcase. So thank you and welcome to the show. You’ve had a number of very successful Kickstarter & Indiegogo campaigns. Your indie comics Patriotika and Valkyrie Saviors have been huge successes. But today we’ll be talking about the latest addition to your Mount Olympus lineup, Samurai Of OZ, which looks amazing and already appears to be another massive hit. Before we get into that though, can you tell our readers a little bit about yourself?

Ron: Thanks for having me John. And sure, I’m an indie comics writer/producer and have been publishing comics through Kickstarter for the last 3 years. My most recent crowdfund campaign was an Indiegogo extended campaign for Patriotika 3.

John: Outstanding! Now lets talk a bit, if we can, about Mount Olympus Comics. How did you pick that name and why did you started the company in the first place?

Ron: I’ve always been a fan of Greek Mythology – and it is a BIG influence in our comics and stories. One half of Patriotika, is Athena, a descendant of the goddess with the same name.  My goal with MOC is to bring strong female characters to comics that are powerful as well as sexy – much like the way we think of the Greek gods – both the heroes and the villains. 

John: Now let’s get into Samurai Of Oz. How did you come up with such an original, interesting and fun take on a classic staple like The Wizard of Oz?

Ron: I have long thought of a take on Oz that would be fun if it was darker and more action-oriented.  I also know that some other indie comic companies have published their own takes on the land of Oz, which is also “dark and more action oriented”, so I had to come up with something unique.  I also wanted to do a comic in manga style, but in full color and readable in traditional western style (from left to right). I looked at the list of things I wanted to do with Mount Olympus Comics, and then it clicked!  The more I thought about it, the more it took over all of my thinking.  Oz + Samurai + Anime just sounded like a really fun ride. Then, imagining Dorothy as a bad ass on the level of Jubei from Ninjas Scroll or D from Vampire Hunter D, sealed the deal for me.

John: Sounds awesome, Ron! Can you tell me a little about how you went about writing this comic?

Ron: When the story was brewing in my head, I would usually write a few scenes down. Next I fleshed out the scenes.  Then I worked on a layout that includes the scenes, and worked the story to include those scenes. Dorothy and her wolf Toto are in the house when the tornado picks it up.  At first I thought “how can I make this fit my story and be more interesting?”  I know! She should be fighting while this is happening!  It’s too soon to full-on fight the witch (The Wicked Blade in our story – she does make a BIG appearance in the scene), so instead I came up with the Spirit Fox Kunoichi. As the house starts falling apart, Dorothy is jumping from debris to debris while she and Toto are fighting the two Spirit Fox Kunoichi.

John: Incredible! Tell me about some of your influences and how they’ve affected your work.

Ron: Chris Claremont, Jim Starlin, and Richard Knaak are all writers that have heavily influenced my writing. They each took a genre I enjoyed and took it to another level.  X-men (super-heroes), Silver Surfer (cosmic odyssey), and the various Dragon Lance stories (fantasy).  Their stories inspired me to create my own and hopefully one day my stories will inspire others to bring their stories to life too.

John: Great writers. Do you have any advice for many of the up and coming independent creators who might be struggling to get their own campaigns funded? 

 

Ron: Sure! If your campaign is already running and it doesn’t look like it will be funded – don’t cancel it! I see so many people make this mistake.  Patriotika raised over 20k in the final 2 days, more than it raised in the first 28 days! And even if you don’t get funded, you want to keep it going till the end because you can still reach everyone that pledges once the campaign ends.  This means you can invite them back to your relaunch, and it will start much stronger the next time thanks to those returning backers.  I always tell people looking to do a Kickstarter to support other Kickstarters.  You will learn from their updates and from their rewards. It;s also good karma (if you believe in karma).  I backed crowdfund projects for 2 years before I did my first one, so that I could learn everything I could before trying it out.

John: That’s good advice. What are your plans for Samurai of Oz and going forward?

Ron: I hope to build a big enough fan base for Samurai of Oz so that we can get some animation done one day! In 2019, I want to try and expand the Mount Olympus Comics Universe while keeping the Patriotika and Valkyrie Saviors, and of course Samurai of Oz series going.

John: Is there anything else you want to share with us before we sign off?

Ron: Please check out the Samurai of Oz Kickstarter! We just passed $25,000 and we’re still only a few days into the campaign! Just by backing any physical book, or 11 x 17 print, you get no less than ten of the already unlocked stretch goals so far as well as any upcoming ones that get unlocked too!

John: That’s cool, Ron. Again, thank you for being a part of Indie Comics Showcase, and I hope Samurai of Oz continues to kick ass. I wish you continued success, brother. All the best going into 2019.

Ron: Thanks again for the Bleeding Fool interview, John!

Again, check out this campaign here!

                   

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Hawk Sanders’s
Armadillo Justice
Volume 1 TPB

Armadillo Justice follows our heroes, Curly, Billy Bob, and Billy Rock after they crash land on earth. Now these comical space armadillos must defend their new found home from the evil ant empire that plans to colonize the world!

Volume 1 trade paperback will include issues 1-2 of Armadillo Justice, and Issues 0-1 of Armadillo Justice Tall Tales in read order.

Please Check Out The Campaign Here.

Armadillo Justice is created and edited by Hawk Sanders, and put out by Rising Sun Comics. The story is written by Paul Scavitto, with penciller Austin Brooks, inks by Malena Molina, Nicholas O’Gorman, Jake Isenberg, Jason Long, and Ryan Hanson.  Colors are by Eugen Betivu and Ritchie Ramirez with letters by Chris Johnson. I recently spoke with Hawk, the creator of Armadillo Justice, and found out a bit more about the project.

John: Hawk, hey. Hope you’re well. Thank you for being a part of and welcome to Indie Comics Showcase! Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

Hawk:  I’m a toy designer by trade, but more importantly I think I’m an entrepreneur, a cowboy, a little bit of a maverick, and I like to say I’m a ladies’ man, but that isn’t PC any more, so I will be a gentleman – there you go. I come from a small town in Missouri about as far back in the sticks as you can go, and slowly through the years of toy design I’ve worked my way up to senior positions at toy firms. And my love of comics has lead me to produce them for over 20 years.

John: Awesome, now we can get into the comic. Armadillo looks amazing, the character design is pretty much what one would think of when then think Anthropomorphic Armadillo Super Heroes, with their own distinct attitudes and personalities, but you have also added your own flare to it. To me it makes perfectly logical sense, I mean Armadillo’s are already armored, so of course they would make for awesome super heroes, but why did you pick them?

Hawk:  When I was in my twenties and I’d go through Texas, and I know this is going to sound weird for everyone, but you’d see armadillos all around the road, some would solute you, others would give you the finger, some of them would be holding beer cans. People would stop driving to pose dead armadillos on the road, I think it’s hilarious that people would go to such lengths. We would always joke about the armadillos after that and over time my appreciation for them had grown, it’s such an odd creature.

John: What have some of your influences been over the years and how have they affected your work?

Hawk:  I’m a very big Gi Joe fan. Frank Terran though, his work is so loose, crisp where it needed to be and loose where it needed to be. I loved his work. Tatsuya Ishida His art work really brought me in, it was so loose that it was nearly undefined but his line work really pushed me into artwork. there was so much emotion to it. I had to unlearn a few of the things I picked up from him cause it isn’t for everyone but he still sticks with me as an influence. Mike W. Barr writing I find has a sense of play to it that I love. 


John: Let’s get into your creative process. How do you approach comic creation?

Hawk:  I approached this from a toy design process. Which is different than how you would make comics, I was looking for a unique play pattern, once that’s defined, then you can work on the characterization. I really wanted to extenuate the Idea that they could roll into a ball, I actually made a working model that could do this, it never stood upright after rolling but it was still pretty fun.

John: What are you hopes for Armadillo Justice and for 2019?

Hawk:  For Armadillo 2019 I really hope we can build an audience that enjoys a fun engaging and funny book. We’re trying to bring back that feel and we want to make more issues of it this upcoming year. If the kickstarter goes well we want to do more TPB with even better backer goals.


John: Is there anything else you want to share with us before we sign off?
 

Hawk:  Rising sun is really growing, we have lots of books in the works that we are excited to share with everyone, please like and follow us and  if you can support our kickstarter, you can find the rest of our works here.

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

Hawk:  Thanks for having us, and we’re looking forward to everything indie comics showcase puts out.

Please Checkout The Campaign Here.

Also Checkout A Free Preview Of The Comic Here.

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Michael Nunneley & Omen Comic’s
White Druid & Michael Nero #1

White Druid & Michael Nero #1
Telling the story of a Celtic God of Magic and a punk-rock detective with Third Sight versus the Apocalypse & Hell.

Please Check Out The Campaign Here.

Creator Michael Nunneley wanted to make comics since he was 12 years old and was folding typewriter paper in half to make his own comics. He majored in Creative Writing in college, creating comic stories and characters and even wrote a fantasy novel. He combined all my loves into a vast mythology amalgamating various religious myths, dogmas, classical myths & legends into his own brand of twisted darkness and madness in what he’s dubbed “The Omenverse”. He has gathered like-minded creators on this project, recruiting Steve Sellers (co-writer) and Tosin Josiah (art), and all three are making our professional debut with this title. 

I spoke with Michael earlier this week about the book.

John: Michael, hey there. Thank you for being a part of and welcome to Indie Comics Showcase. Today we will be discussing your Indie Comic The White Druid and Michael Nero. But before we get into it, can you tell us a bit about yourself?

Michael: I am a huge nerd, geek & dork – or as I say it, a “Nergeedork” & a Trekkie. I have been since 1983 – before you consider that might be impressive, all it really means is I know millions of facts about fictional characters & science that will likely never aid myself or humanity in anyway. The part of my brain that holds my useless shit memory banks has to be enormous. lol. I also play guitar, bass & drums and even recorded 5 albums at my father’s private studio in Idaho. I have had 3 children & I am divorced. 

John: What Can you tell us about Omen Comics?

Michael: Following that initial dream I had at 12 years old to make comics I worked for about a year and a half correlating & infusing my loves of myth, world religions, psychology, history, the paranormal & horror with my characters. I included concepts from books like the Divine Comedy, the Book of Enoch & Paradise Lost; intended to be a broad scoping epic like many of those books. By the time I was done I had over 20 characters & stories newly written or projects that were edited to fit my Omenverse concept. These include characters like Frank Wade from our upcoming Omen #1 title. Frank is a blackhearted soldier offered redemption by Heaven if he wears the superpowered Omen Armor made from the corpses of an archangel & an archdemon fused with heavenly technology.

John: Now, what can you tell us about The White Druid and Michael Nero?

Michael: Being half Irish, I have quite a love for Celtic myths & legends. The character Lugh O’Sidhe is a product of that love. His character is based on 2 ancient Celtic concepts: the Tuath De/Fomorian deity called Lugh & the Druidic order of the ancient Celtic lands. He is the Mystical Grandmaster & Protector of the Realm – in addition he is a Guardian of the Elayim Tree (the embodiment of the space/time continuum & the universe itself). Michael Nero on the other hand is considerably less noble. If you met Michael in real life you would likely take a swing at him. But don’t feel bad, even Gandhi would have been tempted to punch his know-it-all, jerky butt. His arrogance and seeming pretentiousness are not without merit however. Nero has the Third Sight – the ability to see all planes of existence at once, up to and including nightmarish visions. He has an IQ of 160 (the same as Einstein & Hawkings), which helps him mask his internal hell. Whie he has a superior-detective’s mind that can process and deduce at supercomputer-like speeds making him world-renowned for his investigative and detective work, he is always a half second from shooting up again to give himself even a brief respite from his Third Sight. 

John: What have some of your influences been over the years and how have they affected your work?

Michael: I have several major inspirations & influences that brought me here. I have been into fantasy & mythology since I was 6 & read the Chronicles of Narnia & the Lord of the Rings. Granted, I was reading english, story-format versions of the classic tales of Greek & Norse mythology, but I read them all. I also had a love for horror/slasher movies – the more graphic & scary the better. Inspired by movies, comics & the myths I loved, by the time I was 12 I knew what it was I wanted to do for a living. I wanted to write comics about superheroes & the gods & heroes of my favorite myths. Some of the characters I use today were made way back then, just revised over time. Writing comics is all I want to do. To this end I took 2 writing classes in college & engrossed myself in the religions & theologies of the world, philosophy & ancient history. All of these elements are part of my writing.

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

Michael:There are 2 parts to my process. One is compiling ideas and research about a character I want to make and summarizing the notes into bullet points. Then, and you might think this is weird, I literally walk in circles – either around my block over and over or even wearing an oval into my living room floor – while going over the facts in my head. The circular movement, on a psychological level, gets my brain thinking in circular patterns too. It is during this process that I develop the beginning, middle & end of the story I want to tell. The actual writing part is a bit more intense. I am what you could call a method writer. I become my character for the duration I am writing them in my mind and to the best of my abilities, in my heart. There is a scene coming in later books that got so dark and twisted it took me 2 days to crawl back out of that hole in myself.

John: What are you hopes for The White Druid and Michael Nero and for 2019?

Michael: I hope that we can get a successful kickstarter campaign to get it printed (going on right now), and into local comic book shops in Corpus Christi, TX, Susanville, CA & Ibadan, Nigeria. I’m hope people like this introduction to the Omenverse via White Druid & Michael Nero #1 & that it will kindle a flame for our other books too. A lot is hanging on this book actually being my label’s (Omen Comics) first release.

John: Is there anything else you want to share with us before we sign off?

Michael: I really appreciate your taking the time to interview me and I really appreciate the loyal Omen Comics fanbase. Getting to make comics makes me reach back through the timestream and give my 12 year old self a high five and all of you guys are a part of that. Thank you all very much for this humbling opportunity. Look for Omen #1 (our 2nd title) coming later this year!

John: Michael, once again, thank you for being a part of Indie Comics Showcase. We wish you the best of luck on your campaign and 2019.

Michael: I’m glad to be a part of it. The indie comics industry needs awesome people like you keeping the dream alive with these showcases. Thank you guys for supporting indie comics. Qapla!

Please Check Out Their Campaign Page Here.

   

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I truly hope you have all enjoyed this installment of Indie Comics Showcase and that you will Support indie comics!!!


If you have a project you’d like to be considered in a future issue of ICS, send us an email to contact@bleedingfool.com attention Indie Comics Showcase. 

Be sure to follow Indie Comics Showcase on Twitter at @Indie_Comics and

 

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!