Indie Comics Showcase #34

Welcome back to another installment of Indie Comics Showcase! Before we get into this week’s Installment I want to apologize for the delay this week! I’ll try to keep that from happening so much in future installments!!

Now let’s dive in!

 

Longharbor
By Alejandro Mirabal & Nashotobi Toyrover

Longharbor tells the story of a mysterious tragedy – one that happened many years ago and led to the death of Gary’s crew. Gary recounts the events to a journalist, as the ship takes them back to the infamous shores of Longharbor , where it all happened. A journey between reality up above and the nightmares below the waves, in which men are just as cruel as the monsters they’ll encounter.

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I spoke with creators Alejandro Mirabal the artist, and writer Nashotobi (Nash) Toyrover about this intriguing project they describe as “A maritime horror comic inspired by the work of H. P. Lovecraft and John Carpenter’s The Thing.”

JL: Alejandro, Nash, welcome and thank you both so much for being a part of Indie Comics Showcase. Today we will be talking about your Indie Comic Longharbor, but before we get into the comic I would like to spend a bit of time getting to know you both better. Alejandro Mirabal, thanks to our mutual friend I’ve been given a bit of input. I understand you live in Bali Indonesia and just went through a Mud Slide on the island. How was that experience?

 

AM: Hi John, thank you for having us. Yes, my official residence is Bali. The mudslide happened where I’m temporarily “stationed” at the moment, which is the Island of Flores, right beside Komodo National Park. It’s a very rural area with a fragile infrastructure. There were numerous mudslides in different locations, one of them destroyed a very important road used for trade. So the town ran out of some basic goods like drinking water and Gas.

 

JL: I’ve also been told you have had a number of adventures on the Island. Can you tell us a bit about those?

 

AM: Well I’m not sure what would count as an adventure. For some reason small islands are prone to be affected by natural disaster. So far we have had a few volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, Tsunami alerts, dengue fever outbreaks. These are just daily realities here.

 

JL: According to the IndieGogo Campaign Page you were a diver for an archeological company where you had to draw what you saw underwater. You must have seen some amazing things down there. Is that where you got the inspiration for Longharbor?

 

AM: Definitely. I worked from 2005 to 2011 as a diver mostly in Mozambique and a short time in Indonesia. The inspiration for Longharbor is very direct here. We consisted of a small team formed predominantly by men with different sets of skills and backgrounds. My “thing” was I could draw and dive. That’s very useful for archaeology. The documentation of historical artifacts require not only photography, but the human interpretation of the object via drawing. Machines haven’t taken that from us just yet. There was a lot of diving, and quite a lot of drawing in and out of the water.

 

JL: What can you tell us about yourself, Nash?

 

NT: I guess mainly, that my life is in no way as interesting as Alejandro’s. I’m a Ukrainian living in a small Ukrainian town. I’m a husband and a  father. I mostly work as a web-developer. Always wanted to tell stories, but could never find a format that I was comfortable with till I discovered comics.

 

JL: Awesome! Now we can get into Longharbor. You have worked as a concept artist for Films and created art for Video Games, you have a list of some very high profile projects under your belt. All of you work is amazing and I must say I am a fan. How long have you been into Comics and when did you decide that you wanted to do an Indie Comic?

 

AM: It has taken me a long time to realize that I wanted to make a comic book. Most of my work has been for entertainment companies. I would basically make whatever they need to realize their vision. That did not include any sequential art. It was mostly Illustrations and Concept Art.

I wanted to tell a story with my work but just didn’t know which format to use. I experimented with writing a layout and a script as if I was making a movie. I described characters, locations and specific scenes I wanted to see. After looking at animation, video games, and very weird art-book formats, the answer became very clear. A comic was the best way for me to pass an idea. After showing some Longharbor concepts online, Nash took interest in the project and started helping me with the story. He brought structure and a crystal clear mindset that I can’t seem to reach.

 

JL: Nash I pass the question along to you. How long have you been into comics and when did you decide you wanted to work in them?

 

NT: Comics were never big in Ukraine. I personally to this day never held a physical copy in my hands, they are just too pricey for the average Ukrainian income. But like the rest of the world we love comic book movies. So marvel universe taking off was my way in, it made me start researching the actual books. As a newcomer I’ve mainly focused on the best of the best, so I had this idealised unreachable concept of what a comic should be. But then about a year ago when I learned about the current state of the industry, I thought to myself OK, maybe I won’t create a masterpiece but I can definitely do better than what’s being printed. I’m an OK artist so I began to develop my own project NODUS. Then I discovered that I’m actually a decent promoter. Joining with the other creators working in the same niche seemed logical, so I’ve reached out to a couple whose book I personally wanted to read. Alejandro and M. S. Corley were the most enthusiastic about the whole idea so we’ve called ourselves Hollow Owl https://www.patreon.com/hollowowl and started to work on making our projects happen together.

 

JL: Can you expand on that Alejandro? What Longharbor’s success means to you?

 

AM: Longharbor is really a passion project. From the very beginning, the idea of it has been very infectious (no pun intended) It has been a journey for me to figure out how I wanted it to look and feel. I have had lots of support from family and friends pushing me to pursuit this dream of mine. After successfully funding it on indiegogo all I need to do is making sure Longharbor stays true to its original concept. That’s the best I can do for the readers and myself.

 

NT: To work on Longharbor is a dream come true for me. Just to work with such a high-caliber artist. As I’ve mentioned we are developing two other books, including my own, so the success of Longharbor will hopefully create an opportunity for all of us. This is foremost Alejandro’s project, but we all are doing our best to help him as much as we can, as he would undoubtedly do the same for us.

 

JL: Let’s talk about your creative process. What’s the biggest part of it?

 

AM: It’s painful? Haha! The hardest part (and I know this is a common issue with artists) is facing the white canvas, with a brain full of expectations and fear of failure. But that’s just how it works in my case. As soon as I get over that first step my process becomes quite enjoyable and controlled. I have a chaotic mind, so figuring out how to segment my process into small achievable steps has been very helpful. Nowadays I make sure to spend enough time on the planning phase. Getting composition down first, along with the drawing, allows me to not rely on happy accidents later on. The illustration should already work early on, even without colors and values. The coloring comes after, and that’s the most relaxing part.

 

NT: For my personal work I like to create random visual concepts and then tie them together with a detailed complex worldbuilding. Create a world with rules and history, characters with interesting traits and backstories. And only then figure out a meaningful journey for them. I’m not saying I’m actually good at this. My first project is still in development, and currently set aside until Alejandro no longer needs me. But that’s how I approach it. Working on someone else’s project with the world already created is more challenging, since there are already rules I have to follow, but that’s just means I have to write something so undeniably good that Alejandro will have to use it, and whatever he doesn’t like, is just not IT.

 

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

 

AM: My parents allowed me to watch horror movies from a very young age. I would watch Aliens, Leviathan and Deepstar Six on VHS every week. If you put those three movies together you get most of my influences. I take huge comfort on seeing fictional characters facing the unknown. So those are the kind of stories I like to tell.

 

Nash: I always loved stories with a complex world building and rich stylized visuals. Mostly the kind of movies critiques describe as “style over substance”. I’m not saying the story itself isn’t important for me, but I can forgive a lot if something looks unique, and makes me wish I’ve come up with it. I still consider The Shadow (1994) the best comic book movie of all time! I also love Johnny Mnemonic (1995). It’s WACKY but it has so much visual style and creative concepts that I would love to do something with that property one day, even if it’s just an unlicensed fan-rewrite. Fantasy books are a huge influence for me as well: Mistborn, The Broken Empire, the Lies of Locke Lamora, the Powder Mage. All with a heavy highly stylized worldbuilding. I like exploring rich worlds and that’s what I’m hoping to create with my own work.

 

JL: What is the plan for 2019?

 

AM: To get it finished on time and to do so with the quality and energy that I would like it to have. There is still a lot of work to do and that’s what I want to focus on.

 

NT: Netflix deal before we even fulfill? Like Alejandro said- the goal is to DELIVER. We’ve already have been extremely lucky. So now we just have to get it done and in people’s hands, and I’m sure if it’s deserving,  we will have many opportunities before us. I also hope we’ll manage to build up enough audience and trust for the people to at least consider supporting our other projects when they are ready for launch.

 

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

 

AM: I just want to thank everyone that have supported the project, specially my wife, she is an angel for always having my back and making me believe anyone would want to read my work.

 

NT: Oh, now I have to say thanks to my wife as well… You also helped a lot, sweetie! But yes, I can’t thank enough to everyone who supported us so far by pre-ordering our book and by helping us spread the word. Thank you!

 

JL: Well Alejandro, Nash, it was an honor and a pleasure getting to know you both and talking about Longharbor. So thank you once again. We wish you the best of luck on this and all future campaigns.

 

AM: The pleasure is ours, thank you for having us!

 

NT: Thank you, John!

Please Visit The Campaign Site Here.

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My Hero MAGADEMIA
WALL-MIGHT: First Term, Part II 

WALL-MIGHT and vice champion MIGHT-FENCE return in the sequel to last year’s best-selling political parody and satire to face a new threat! Timothy Lim and Mark Pellegrini are here to offer a limited edition version of the sequel, punching through their goal and generating enough interest that it can be optioned for local comic stores.The sequel to 2018’s bestselling political parody & satire pits our hero against Burning Sanders!

The first issue of this comic ‘My Hero MAGAdemia’ was picked up by Antarctic Press last year after a successful crowdfunding campaign, now with the announced follow-up to that hit comic, I decided to chat with creator/artist Tim Lim about his plans for this sequel. 

JL: Timothy, how are you doing? I hope well. Welcome back to and thank you for being a part of Indie Comics Showcase. Today we will be talking about your campaign for WALL-Might: First Term, Part Two, the second issue of your My Hero MAGADEMIA series. Before we get started. Can you tell our readers a little bit about yourself?

TL: Thanks John! I started as a merchandising artist in 2010, producing art that went on licensed products such as hats, posters, and bags. Eventually I started working on dream projects such as comic book covers in 2015, as well as working with Stan Lee Collectibles and celebrities such as Claudia Wells. In 2017 I started – along with my friend, writer, and co-creator Mark Pellegrini – to start producing books.

JL: I actually have a second printing of Issue One and I absolutely love it. Can you tell us what we can expect in First Term Part Two?

TL: Issue 1 was essentially a spoof on anime and focused in a light hearted way on politics and memes. Issue 2 is a jab at the modern comic book industry, primarily the socialist and leftist perversion of apolitical characters. Wall-Might fights the Deep State operative known as Burning Sanders, who has a secret weapon that might have a chance at taking Wall-Might down…

JL: Tim, Can you give our readers some insight as to your creative process?

TL: Mark and I start by conceptualizing something unique. We spend days refining our vision for the story before breaking down the general plot page by page. Mark then breaks it down even further, panel by panel, before handing it over to me to edit it. We go over it again and again (we will usually edit no fewer than 7 drafts) until it’s to our liking.

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

TL: Recently I’ve been drawing a lot of inspiration from anime and manga for storytelling. They seem to be the mediums where one can find the most bold, ridiculous premises brought to life since they are untethered by political agendas or quotas. Mark and I love “high concept” premises that aren’t deconstructions or post-modernist, so we find ourselves looking at the craziest premises to draw ideas from. While “edgy” American storytellers think they’re clever by doing a story about mocking Christ or having lesbians in it, the Japanese are telling stories of kids who run theme parks or a girl with robot arms whose job is to write letters— and they’re infinitely more engaging, entertaining, and original than most western comics.

JL: What are your hopes for WALL-Might: First Term, Part Two and for 2019?

TL: We just want to entertain our fans! This is just a hobby for us and we are glad that we have people who put faith in our work.

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

TL: Stay tuned for BLACK HOPS 2 coming later this year, and the MY HERO MAGADEMIA spin-off next year!

JL: Well Tim, it was a pleasure getting to know you better and talking about WALL-Might: First Term, Part Two. So thank you once again. We wish you the best of luck on this and all future campaigns.

TL: Thank you Bleeding Fool! 

 

Please Visit The Campaign Site Here.

 

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Handyman
Brad Ashworth & Tyler Carpenter

 

Stopping the bloodthirsty Castaneda Cartel requires a fearless man with the right tools for the job. Handyman is a bloodbath of action and redemption, brought to life in 48 pages of stunning grayscale artwork dripping with visceral crimson ink. I got a chance to speak with Brad Ashworth, the creator and artist of Handyman who has been drawing professionally for years, including children’s books, board games, print media illustrations, and commissions. Working with writer Tyler Carpenter, they’ve crafted Handyman as a hard-edged series set in a violent, criminal world where retribution is poured out upon evil men who far too often escape the hands of justice.

JL: Brad, welcome back to and thank you for being a part of Indie Comics Showcase. Today we will be talking about your Indie Revenge Comic, The Handyman, before we get into it, can you tell our readers a bit about yourself?

BA:  I have been drawing professionally since I was twenty, and I also run a little comic shop in Utah. I have been doing that for a number of years now.

JL: I understand that this is your second attempt at getting The Handyman funded, are you trying anything new to ensure it meets its goal this time? Did you make any changes to the way you market or promote The Handyman this time?

BA:  Oh yes! For the last 6 months I have been streaming, participating in art competitions, and interviewing other creators. I’m hoping that improves our engagement.

JL: I really like what you had shown me of the comic the first time around. It reminds me of A History of Violence, which is one of my favorite comic books and comic book movie adaptations. It also has a similar vibe to Taken but with a little bit of Traffic thrown in for spice.

BA:  Thanks I appreciate the compliment. The first time around I rushed a bit, and really did not put the fit and finish on my art like this time around.

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

BA:  I start by penciling the page loosely, and then I plan where I am doing to put my lights and darks. I will ink the black lines, and then color from light to dark on the page adjusting as I go.

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

BA:  A lot of my influences have been from fantasy art, Brother Hildabrant, Elmore, and Boris. Comics I would say Jim Lee, Sam Keith, Mark Texeria, and others.

JL: What are your hopes for The Handy Man this time around and for 2019?

BA:  I want to get funded for sure. I just want to sell my books at shows, and in local shops. To build my name up and show what I can do.

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

BA:  It has been a pleasure talking to you, and I hope people will give my book a chance. Please support Handyman!

JL: Well Brad, it was a pleasure getting to know you better and talking about The Handyman . So thank you once again. We wish you the best of luck on this and all future campaigns.

BA:  Thanks, and God Bless

Please Visit The Campaign Site Here.

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Tales From Beyond The Gate

An anthology of horror stories by independent comic creators, Tales from Beyond the Gate is a 150 + page collected edition of several artists. This series is designed to give an opportunity to up and coming independent comic book creators to showcase their skill and style. For this inaugural release, the team is going to be showcasing horror stories from creators all around the world.

I spoke with John Dillard, who is putting this collection together.

JL: John, buddy how are you? Welcome to and thank you for being a part of Indie Comics Showcase. Today we are going to be talking about your latest project which is an anthology of Horror Comics titled Tales From Beyond The Gate. Right off the back I am reminded of the Creep Show Franchise and the Horror Comics put out by EC Comics back in the day. Tell us did those play any part in you wanting to put this project together?

JD: Absolutely, especially the old EC tales from the crypt and Vault of Horror books. In fact on the inside cover we will have all the creators in small circular icons like the crypt keeper and the old witch. We want these stories to be as creepy as possible without diving into extreme gore or excessive profanity or nudity, and I feel that those old books were good templates to work from, as a starting point.

JL: In the short time I have been doing Indie Comics Showcase I’ve noticed that Indie Horror Comics have been some of the most popular, which is great for me as Horror is my favorite genre. There are more Indie Horror Comics being created than any others. All of them are hugely different from one another. And many them have been very successful. Would you agree there’s been a resurgence in the number of people interested in literary horror, particularly independent literary horror? Or would you say the interest has always been there? 

JD: I would say the interest has always been there. Horror is a fascinating genre, and most importantly horror stories are terminal. They have to have an ending. And because of that you can pick up a horror story and enjoy it for its own sake without being burdened by continuity. That is the most important aspect (for me) of horror.

JL: Can you tell our readers a little bit about yourself? What fascinated you about Horror and how you started working in the comic industry?

JD: When I was a young lad, I was fortunate enough to have a video store very close to my house. They would occasionally sell movies that were deeply discounted and it was there I got a special edition of “The Evil Dead” – I must have watched that tape 4 dozen times. And from there, Fangoria Magazine, and then deeper and deeper into the horror genre. It was a youtube channel called Diversity and Comics that got me into thinking about drawing comics. The host would occasionally talk about his original ideas for comic books, and his relentless enthusiasm for storytelling and world building got me thinking I could actually use this medium to tell my stories.

JL: What else can you tell us about Tales From Beyond The Gate? How did you manage to get all of these fantastic creators and their projects together?

JD: Through the magic of the internet and the ability to connect with other small creators through YouTube live streaming, I’ve met a great many creators that love this comic medium and had stories to tell. Because “breaking into” comics is so difficult to do effectively this was the inevitable outcome. This anthology allows creators to try out ideas and characters without committing vast amounts of time and resources to an idea that wont work. And gives creators the ability to quickly find their stories and creations that will flourish and soar.

JL: John your art is outstanding. I’ve seen a number of your live drawing sessions and progress images and am always very impressed. Can you tell us a bit about your creative process?

JD: The secret to my absolute and obvious greatness is my epic humility. haha! I’ve given myself the task of taking critique from anyone with even a tad of experience in comics as absolute gospel. I’m well aware that I know very little about sequential art and I’m trying to sponge any and all information I can from all of these creators. Listening and sitting quietly while others teach and speak on a subject of which you know little is essential to growth. It’s really a lost art in my opinion.

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

JD: Mark Texeria is probably my biggest comic book influence, but artistically, I’ve always been fascinated by the work of Norman Rockwell and especially John Kricfalusi (Ren & Stimpy). I think it shows in my work.

JL: What are your hopes for Tales From Beyond The Gate and for 2019?

JD: My sincere hope for this project is really just a successful campaign for now. Realistically, I’m not expecting to make a mint off of an anthology, but I want any profit to go to the creators to get their personal projects off the ground. Also, I’d really like for this to continue. We plan (if successful) to do this yearly with rotating themes. Maybe next year sci-fi, then fantasy then noir and so on…

JL: That sounds cool! Is there anything else you want to share with us before we sign off?

JD: Just this – although we are all excited about this indie revival, we must remember that these books are made by small creators with big dreams, fantastic stories, and small budgets. These guys need that seed money to create the stories that fuel this renaissance. Please support them, and support Tales from Beyond the Gate.

JL: Well John, it’s been a pleasure getting to know you better and talking about Tales From Beyond The Gate. So thank-you again. We wish you the best of luck on this and all future campaigns.

Please Visit The Campaign Site Here.

 

 

I hope you have all enjoyed today’s installment as much as I did bringing it to you. Peace and thank you all for being the best part of Indie Comics Showcase. Support indie comics!!!


Follow Indie Comics Showcase on Twitter at @Indie_Comics! Please, if you are an Indie Comics Creator who is looking to either promote your Indie Comics or just talk Comics in general on a live stream, check out The Flatt Pack Show on Youtube.  https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCwziDhXJkC8NRBDSME9MFcQ also follow on twitter. Thank you.

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!