Welcome back friends and readers! Time to show your support for indie comics! We’ve got four very unique projects to showcase this week, so let’s jump right in with one that I am VERY excited about!
AIRBOY: ISSUE #51
by Chuck Dixon
Chuck Dixon returns to write the next issue of AIRBOY, adding to his original 50 issue run!
Chuck Dixon returns to write AIRBOY #51, joined by rising stars Brent McKee (pencils and inks) and Jok (colors and letters)! The action on the first page of this new AIRBOY comic picks right up where AIRBOY #50 left off over 30 years ago! To celebrate this new issue of AIRBOY, the owners have commissioned variant covers by Dalibor Talajic, Don Perlin, Emma Kubert, Graham Nolan, Matt Kindt, Paul Gulacy, and Stipe Kalajžić!
I chatted with Chuck Dixon, the writer – and one who needs no introduction, but I’ll tell you he’s most famous for his work on Batman for DC Comics and The Punisher for Marvel, along with Drew Ford, the owner of IT’S ALIVE the publisher. IT’S ALIVE! is the brainchild of Eisner-nominee Drew Ford, and they publish out of print comics, English translations of foreign material, original projects, and other works. I wanted to know more about this Airboy continuation.
Visit Their Campaign Site Here.
John: Drew, welcome back to Indie Comics Showcase it’s great having you back on. Today we will be talking about the return of AIRBOY, but before we get started, Drew, can you catch us up? How was the campaign for Red Range: Pirates Of Fireworld?
Drew: The campaign for Red Range: Pirates of Fireworld ended in success, and Jok (the artist on the book) is working on the pencils and inks and we speak. Really excited to see that one get published!
John: Awesome! So am I. Chuck, welcome to and thank-you for being a part of Indie Comics Showcase, I’ve actually been hoping to interview you for some time, so thank you for the opportunity. Can you tell our readers who are uninitiated in your legacy a bit about yourself?
Chuck: Well, i’m a 30+ year veteran comics writer with thousands of comics scripts to my credit. I guess I’m most famous for my decade-long run on Batman-related characters and the co-creation of Bane (with Graham Nolan). I was also a seminal writer on the Punisher and my international bestselling graphic novel adaptation of The Hobbit. And all of that began with my work on Airboy.
John: Perfect. Tell us about AIRBOY and why you two have decided to bring him back after thirty years?
Drew: My imprint, IT’S ALIVE!, focuses on saving the history of comics one book at a time! You may think this means reprints, and those are definitely a big part of my publishing program, but it also means the attempt to bring back comics (like AIRBOY) which lasted so long, was so incredibly good, and ended before it should. AIRBOY lasted for 50 issues, but ended on a major cliffhanger in 1989, not long before it’s publisher, Eclipse, went out of business. The title never continued at any other publisher, and fans probably thought they would never find out what happened to AIRBOY! But now, due to Dixon’s willingness to return to this world and these characters after 30 years, we will soon find out what happened to AIRBOY, and where the story is heading next! As a teenager, I was a huge fan of the book when it first came out, and I am thrilled to have even a small hand in bringing this incredible comic back to life!
Chuck: Back in ’89 we had plans for the Airboy title continuing. I had even scripted the next five Skywolf back-up stories for issues #51-55 and the first of those was penciled and lettered! So, this return to the series will follow the general storyline I had planned out then as well as incorporating some ideas that were to be a part of the series ongoing. It’s really like no time has passed.
John: Tell me a bit about the approach to this project, creatively.
Drew: Chuck writes the script, Brent McKee lays down the pencils and inks, and Jok adds the colors and letters. That’s the simple answer. Chuck may have something more to say on the subject!
Chuck: As I did on the original series, I write full script. That’s a panel-by-panel breakdown with narration and dialogue included. It’s a full script but leaves room for interpretation.
John: What are your hopes for the return of AIRBOY and 2019?
Drew: I hope we sell enough copies of AIRBOY #51 to warrant publishing as many more future issues of AIRBOY as Chuck is willing to write!
Chuck: As long as there’s support, I’ll write Airboy and his extended cast till the wheels come off.
John: Is there anything else you want to share with us before we sign off?
Drew: If you have supported me and my IT’S ALIVE! imprint in the past, thank you very much. I really appreciate it. For those who are just learning about what I do, I hope you will give the books my imprint publishes a look! Currently we are running an IndieGoGo campaign to publish AIRBOY #51! Link here: https://igg.me/at/airboy51/x/19831020
Chuck: Drew’s doing all comics fans a real service by preserving some of the great, forgotten comics of the past and, in this case, bringing back a title that was a fan-favorite not all that long ago!
John: Well Drew, Chuck, thank you once again for being a part of Indie Comics Showcase. We wish you the best of luck on this and all future campaigns.
Drew: Thank you so much for helping us get the word out about AIRBOY!
Chuck: Thanks, John!
Visit their crowdfunding campaign page HERE.
by Victor M.H.
A legendary samurai joins forces with a superhero cyborg, a viking and a lovecraftian demon to save their respected universes!
In the future, humanity is on the brink of extinction forcing scientists to research ways to escape this reality. The human research division investigates how to access parallel universes. In an experiment, a girl is able to bring a creature from a different universe to Earth. Through this discovery, it is found that other girls are able to access other realities, a phenomena called the Novereal effect. When all parallel universes begin clashing with each other, what will bring balance to these realities?
Created by Victor M.H. and J.A Tiznado with art by Jorge Mercado, Novereal #1 is nearing the end of their crowdfunding campaign and still need a bit of help to reach their goal. Check out the campaign here and my interview with Victor below.
Victor Locke: Demon Noir
by Nathyn Masters
Dispatching a carnate dybbuk reveals that an ancient demonic book is back in play.
VICTOR LOCKE DEMON NOIR is a hand painted ink wash comic, written and drawn by me last year during Inktober 2018. Demon Noir is a 32 page saddle stitched comic expandable to 48 pages and introduces readers to the Night Phoenix Press universe. I spoke with the creator, Nathyn Masters last week to discuss his project.
Visit The Campaign Site Here.
Nathyn: Victor Locke is a character I created back in the early 90s. He was my “get outta the hood” creation. Back then that was the thing, everyone wanted to get out of the hood and to make a better life. I wanted a character that was very specific. Something I could do on a low budget and create all the material for and market and promote. Back then I was a huge fan of Buffy and Angel. One night I had a dream that’s too long for this interview, but the idea for the character came out of that dream: A demon hunter blessed with powers to fight vampires, demons and other supernatural creatures, both incarnate and ethereal, that prey on humans. That was the core concept.
Visit the crowdfunding page here!
by KEVIN STRANGE
Kevin Strange launches his comic book, DEAD SHIT! 32 full-color pages of zombie-killing mayhem!
Indie filmmaker and bizarro novelist Kevin Strange returns with his first ever comic book project! And not just any comic book, either! This psycho managed to adapt his 2008 Tromadance official selection and cult hit zombie comedy film DEAD SHIT into an even bigger, even crazier, and ever GORIER comic book!
DEAD SHIT: THE COMIC BOOK Issue 1 is 32 full-color pages of zombie-killing mayhem, plus it’s already fully created and ready to ship!
Please Visit The Campaign Site Here.
John: Kevin welcome to and thank you for being a part of Indie Comics Showcase. Today we will be talking about Dead Shit, which is your first foray into the world of Indie Comics, Correct?
Kevin: Hey, John! Thanks for having me! This is awesome! Yes, DEAD SHIT: THE COMIC BOOK is my very first stab at the comics world!
John: Before we get started can you tell us a bit about yourself?
Kevin: I’m an underground filmmaker and novelist, primarily. I’ve made 7 films that I call Hack Movies. They’re all part of a gigantic weird Marvel-esque universe of perverse characters and heinous villains! I’ve written nearly 20 novels which differ slightly from the Hack Movies in that, while they’re weird and wild, they’re more serious in tone than the flicks which rely heavily on comedy. But my first love has been and always will be comic books. I’ve wanted to break into this field since I was 8 years old!
John: You actually sent me a digital copy of Dead Shit so let’s talk about for a bit. Dead Shit was original a movie script correct?
Kevin: It’s a full blown movie with a DVD, special features, commentaries and the whole bit! The Hack Movies universe has been around since 2006 and I’ve played my flicks at film festivals and horror and sci-fi conventions all over the country! DEAD SHIT: THE MOVIE came out in 2007 and basically launched the whole Strangeville thing. It was the first time I used characters that would go on to appear in all of my films!
It’s a short and dirty zombie comedy about a couple of loser stoners who smoke and bang their way through a mini-zombie apocalypse.
John: Why did you decide to write and illustrate the entire thing yourself, rather than putting a team together?
Kevin: I’m a control freak. I really am. I write, direct, edit and star in all my own movies and obviously the novel writing process is a loner activity. It’s difficult for me to find other people to collaborate with that are willing to kill themselves with long hours and laser, obsessive focus on a project. I can’t take 5 years to make a movie. I’m bored to death if it takes 6 months! The fastest I ever made a feature length film was 3 months from shooting to the DVD release! I once wrote a 35,000 word novel in 4 days!
So I talked to a few artists about drawing DEAD SHIT: THE COMIC BOOK and even pitched 4 or 5 other ideas to some cats in case they weren’t into the whole stoner comedy thing. But in the end, my patience ran out and I decided to throw down and make a quick, cruddy looking weird comic that matched the tone and scope of the Hack Movies universe that all my fans (they call themselves the Hack Minions and Strangeheads) would get a kick out of!
To tell you the truth, I’ve wanted to draw comics all my life and only quit because I got discouraged at how much better some of the other dudes in my high school art classes could draw comics. That’s a horrible reason to quit anything, but I did and I can’t go back and make myself stay on the path. Because I quit drawing I got to focus on filmmaking and later fiction writing so it ain’t all bad. I’m drawing now and dedicating hours and hours every single day to get as good as I possibly can!
John: How did you come up with your two main characters Nixon and Hogan?
Kevin: The comedy duo is a classic trope. Laurel and Hardy, Cheech and Chong, Jay and Silent Bob. I wanted to create the horror version of that. I wanted to take that trope and throw it against a wall of monsters and demons and all sorts of nastiness. I couldn’t tell you why those particular names popped into my head. I usually run with the very first idea I come up with. The fun of it is to try to make even something ridiculous work in a convincing way. What’s funny is, over the years Nixon and Hogan’s personalities have switched. Nixon used to be the dumb one and Hogan was the rambly one. As time went on, Nixon became the dominant one and Hogan got dumber and dumber until it’s clear something is mentally wrong with him. Ha!
John: How about the story, where did that come from?
Kevin: Man, back in the early 2000s when we got going zombies were huge! The Walking Dead was becoming a giant force in comics. Tons of zombie movies were coming out. The fiction world was flooded with zombie fiction. Zombies are cool as fuck. Even beyond the whole apocalypse thing. The idea of a monster that feels no pain and can keep coming at you even after you blow its guts out and tear off its limbs? AWESOME! DEAD SHIT: THE MOVIE was the launching pad for not only Nixon and Hogan but Don Duepe their dastardly arch villain and a character who would appear again and again in the movies.
Nick Head, the actor who played him in the movies and also doubled as the Hack Movies cinematographer recently passed away. It hit me hard. He was like a brother to me. Another reason I moved the movie universe into comics with DEAD SHIT: THE COMIC BOOK was so that I could continue telling Don Duepe stories and keep my buddy alive a little bit, even if just in a silly comic.
John: Can you tell us a bit about your creative process?
Kevin: When I sat down to write DEAD SHIT: THE COMIC I really had no idea what I was doing! Ha! So I approached it in a way that I was comfortable. I wrote it like I was writing a movie script with a limitless budget! DEAD SHIT: THE COMIC is a huge 3 issue epic story of what a feature length, million-dollar version of the flick might have been! After I wrote the script, I started breaking it down into panels while I sketched them out in a notebook, making thumbnails blocking out the basic composition of each panel and where the word balloons might go. After that, I did a refined pencil draft in an 11×17 sketchbook, scanned those into my computer and used Clip Studio to ink, color and letter the whole shebang!
I told you before, I’m crazy. I get up early every day, drive to my office studio and bang out as many pages as I can before I drop. I work 7 days a week. I never get sick. I never take a day off. I’m obsessed with creating this weird Strangeville universe! I’ll do this till the day I die, in one form or another!
John: You’ve dabbled in the world of Indie Horror, and now you are invoking and conjuring some dark forces to aide you as you make your journey through the land of Indie Horror Comics. What have some of your influences been over the years and how have they affected your work both in films and comics?
Kevin: Oh man, I love, love LOVE the 80s era of horror/comedy! Troma, John Waters, Full Moon pictures, early Sam Raimi, Peter Jackson. That’s my JAM! I’m also influenced by the weird sci fi writers of the 70s and 80s like Philip K. Dick, Harlan Ellison, Kurt Vonnegut and the like. Robert Crumb and the underground comix movement of the late 60s/early 70s San Francisco scene are also huge influences on my kind of cruddy, crude, perverted style of art. As for comics, I’m a 90s Image child. Todd McFarland’s Spawn, Sam Kieth’s The Maxx, Savage Dragon, Pitt, Wetworks. I ate all that shit for breakfast! Sure I read X-Men and Batman like everybody else from that era, but the dark, gritty and bloody world of early Image really resonated with the horror fan in me.
John: How has putting out an indie comic been different from an indie film?
Kevin: I treat it just like anything else, man. I just break onto the scene. I don’t ask permission. I don’t make friends. I just throw myself against the wall over and over again until I smash through it! I love comic books. I love how quick the fan reaction to a comic book page is. When you make flicks or write books it takes a while to consume. With comics, man. A great panel or page just LEAPS into the viewer’s mind in an instant! I post my weird drawings on the internet and just let it rip in a way I couldn’t really do with movies or novels.
John: Is there anything else you want to share with us before we sign off?
Kevin: Yeah, man we’re doing an IndieGoGo for DEAD SHIT: THE COMIC BOOK Issue 1 right now! It’s live through April 17th and you can get the digital version of the comic for only 2 bucks! The floppy comic is 8 or you can get the DEAD SHIT DVD and comic combo pack for 15! There’s loads more perks beyond that, too. And remember, the first issue is FINISHED and ready to ship! I’ve got one in my weak little artist hand-pieces right now as we speak! And I just finished the inks on issue 2 today so that one’s right around the corner. Jump on in, man! This is a NO RISK campaign into the bowels of Strangeville!
John: Well Kevin, thank you once again for being a part of Indie Comics Showcase. We wish you the best of luck on this and all future campaigns.
Kevin: You’re awesome for having me, dude! I hope I didn’t freak anybody out with my enthusiasm, I just fucking love this job!