Indie Comics Showcase #103: Black Tide Rising, Tales of the Natverse & Shark of War



Welcome back to another installment of Indie Comics Showcase, the weekly blog where we signal boost a few truly independent comics that are currently crowdfunding their projects, crowdsourcing their funding in some way, or just completely self-publishing on their own. Every little bit of support for these creators matters, from a single dollar pledge to the twenty-five dollar bundle, and of course the higher tiers are usually fun too! Even if you can’t back a campaign or buy a book, you can share or tweet about these projects to your friends and followers. 


On Indie Comics Showcase, we interview the creators, show off some art, and tell you how you can check out the product for yourself. Below we have some outstanding crowdfunding campaigns this week for you to learn about, enjoy, and hopefully support by backing one or more of them! Thanks for checking these out and for being the best part of Indie Comics Showcase. Let’s jump in!


with Chuck Dixon

A Thrilling New Graphic Novel Adapted From New York Times Bestselling Author John Ringo’s Epic Book Series!

Check out the campaign here!

Chris Braly: Thanks for chatting with me Chuck. Tell our readers your latest project ‘Black Tide Rising’. 

Chuck Dixon: Well, it’s a proposed series of graphic novels based on John Ringo’s epic prose series about a worldwide pandemic that threatens to turn the population into mindless, murderous rage machines.

CB: You’ve done horror stories before. I even have your Van Helsing run for Zenescope. How did you get involved in this latest horror project?

CD: Brett R. Smith is always in contact with authors looking to have their work translated into comics form. And I’m the guy with the mutant ability to make that happen. The material is action-oriented with some fantastical, horror elements and, therefore, well within my wheelhouse.


CB: Ringo’s Black Tide Rising stories span seven books. Is he involved in any way and does this tale adapt those stories?

CD: It’s a straight-up adaptation of the series. And John is definitely involved in see this project come to life. He has final approval over everything. I am very much an invisible hand here, working hard to see that this is a faithful adaptation of the original work so as to make John pleased with it as well creating some his fans will enjoy.



CB: This isn’t your first adventure in crowdfunding comics. How did you go from being one of the biggest writers at DC and Marvel to independently funding your own projects?

CD: Since I’m not really a favorite player at DC or Marvel these days, I seek out other venues for my work. Going back to the start of my career, I’ve been an independent creator with an ownership stake in dozens of comics properties. So, crowdfunding was just another way of reaching the comics audience. The benefits are obvious to me. There’s no corporate structure to appease, which was becoming more and more of an obstacle to creative freedom at the Big Two. Crowdfunding lends itself to the raw, rough and resilient aspects of the medium that have always separated comics from other areas of pop culture. You come up with an idea, assemble the creative team you want, and attack it together!


CB: I love it! Who’s handling what on Black Tide Rising? What other creators are working on this?

CD:   Well, I’m scripting and Brett is handling colors and overall production. And Derlis Santacruz is bring his awesome talents to the art.


CB: If the campaign succeeds, do you plan to carry this project on to additional stories in this universe? Adapt other novels by Ringo?

CD:   As always, when I take on a project, I’m there till the wheels come off.

CB: What’s the next project comic book fans can look for from Chuck Dixon while this campaign is underway?

CD:  I have a half dozen projects I’m working on that will be launched through the end of the year including three digital-only series through Arkhaven. The one that’s furthest along is called Go, Monster Go! It’s a retro early-60’s drive-in movie with hot rods, monsters and mad scientists.  And I’m working up an alien invasion series with Frank Fosco called Something Big. I’m also hoping to have my eighth Levon Cade novel out before Christmas.

CB: Fantastic Chuck. I’m looking forward to those!

CD:  Thanks for you interest!


Black Tide Rising: Volume 1- Graphic Novel Teaser Trailer

Check out the Black Tide Rising campaign here!




by Simon Pothier

Anthologies with 5 short stories, all connected and building the world for the Nat the Merc series.



Chris Braly: Welcome to Indie Comics Showcase, Sim! Tell me all about Tales from the Natverse!

Simon Pothier: TALES FROM THE NATVERSE is an Anthology series that serves as a character & world building for the series NAT THE MERC. First started in ZIDARA9,where the 3 first stories were previously published. The idea here is to create multiple self-contained short stories introducing different characters in the NATVERSE, till readers realize I’ve told one big origin story of a full universe. Nat the Merc is a BADASS merc who lives the life of an outlaws in a ruthless universe, all he knows is what you discover in TFTN so when we start NAT the merc you discover the rest with NAT & his friends.



CB: Cool! This isn’t your first adventure in crowdfunding. How did you first get into this and how did it lead to this?

SP:  I first tried on Kickstarter in 2012 but I was too ambitious back then. I even had BISLEY onboard for the cover! In 2016, before CG, I did another Kickstarter for The ART of SIM it also failed with only 70% of its goal. I’ve just had issues with Kickstarter, but I still published it myself. I went on Indiegogo in 2018 with the first BLOODHUNT campaign and also did not succeed in funding, but I did build a following, plus I got some attention, so when I eventually relaunched, I was fully funded in 2 weeks and fully fulfilled.



CB: Where did the idea for the Natverse originate?

SP: I was in college for 2D and 3D animation and I was looking for an idea for a cool animated series. So NAT was born from the idea of creating a character with a living breathing world around him and where I could do anything I want with sci-fi / Fantasy. I was a big fan of Metabarons, Heavy Metal Mag, Lobo, and Cowboy Bebop also.    



CB: What kind of comic fans do you expect this comic will entertain the most?

SP: All fans of sci/fantasy will love it. There’s a little for everyone in there. Fans of comicbooks, movie, and even animation fans. I am building the NATVERSE to be where I can do just about everything, it’s limitless. I really think fans of Star wars, Firefly, Cowboy Bebop, Heavy Metal Magazine, Lobo, Metabarons, and so on will really enjoy it. But hopefully we can also bring some new people to the genre too.   



CB: Who is on your creative team?

SP: I’m the creator, writer, illustrator, so I got a wonderful team with me on this book. Ha! And also, returning from my BLOODHUNT project is my editor extraordinaire Steve Dye. David Vila is working his lettering magic. Plus, I got one of the top colorists in indie comics Mister Jon Jay AKA Spartan Scotmn from Xenotype and upcoming talent Michael Beacon from Seven Legions and Cyborg USA, Dusty Tortillas.



CB: What else are you learning from crowdfunding and creating through this process?

SP: I use to be a one man show, but I learned to organize a team, streamline the production, and how to be able to reduce a bit the shipping for international shipping. I also had to learn to stream online and sell myself with better branding. Eventually I took a business course during both BLOODHUNT campaigns, because crowdfunding is a business, not just asking for money, you got to have a business plan for a project to succeed.


CB: Good advice, Sim. Thanks for chatting with us!

SP: It was an honor to chat with you! I really like what you guys are doing, keep up the great work and I hope we’ll be chatting again soon, Cheers!  







by Ben Lacy


It’s Jaws Meets Robocop!

Check out the campaign for Shark of War here!


Chris Braly: Tell our readers your elevator pitch for Shark of War – Briefly tell our readers what’s up.

Ben Lacy: Shark of War is Jaws meets Robocop. It’s Jaws if the shark were the hero and Robocop if the cop were a shark. For fifty years, we’ve had dozens of shark stories. One was great, a few were good, most were mediocre to bad. But they all had one thing in common, the shark was the monster. The creature for the human heroes to defeat. What makes Shark of War different is that there is never any doubt who the hero of this story is – it’s the shark. Whether he’s escaping the scientists who created him or the bad guys who will do anything to kill him, he’s the one we’re rooting for. And even though his intelligence has been increased, he’s still a shark and when push comes to shove – he does what a shark does best.

CB: Where did the idea for Shark of War originate?

BL: There were a number of shark movies like the Meg and Sharknado recently out, and I thought, why not something where the shark is the hero. And what if the shark could strike out of the water without the need of a tornado? That’s when I started to work thru the idea of how the shark would convert the things (and people) he ate into fuel for his jet engines. There’s a bonus feature in the book that explains the real science behind the idea for my fellow science fans who like to get into the weeds.


CB: If there a larger story for this? How long could this series go?

BL: Yes. There will be at least 5 issues and hopefully more. My larger vision is at least 3 ‘seasons’ of 5 or 6 issues each. In issue 1 we learn his origin and how and why he made himself the law of the sea. In issue 2, we see his enemies striking back against him with creatures (a swarm of enhanced piranha) even more dangerous than he. Both these issues are available in this Kickstarter (you can read all of issue 1 free in fact). In issue 3 which I hope to finish late this year or early next, we’ll see the consequences of his terrible battle with those piranha.


CB: What kind of comics were you a fan of growing up and do you read any today? (If so mention those also and why)

BL: I was a huge Spiderman fan. As a kid, I was tall, skinny, wore glasses, had brown hair, and was a science nerd so I really identified with Peter Parker. I was definitely more Marvel than DC though of course I loved the best DC books like Watchmen, Sandman, and Dark Knight Returns. Nowadays, I’m reading a lot of indie comics from other Kickstarters, like Mahoney’s, a humorous superhero book that reminds me of the old Keith Giffen Justice League and By The Time I Get To Dallas, a post-apocalyptic sci-fi medical mystery.



CB: What kind of comic fans do you expect this comic will entertain the most?

BL: I think my book should hit with both superhero fans and monster fans because the star of Shark of War (the shark) is pretty much both, but he’s the one you root for, just like the Hulk or Godzilla (at least when he’s fighting other monsters).


CB: What you learning from crowdfunding and creating through this process?

BL: You need to build your audience and can’t expect Kickstarter or Indiegogo to do it for you. You also need to keep working to improve yourself as a creator. There’s a lot of competition and you have to always be bringing your best.

CB: Thanks for chatting with us!

BL: Thank you very much for having me. I appreciate your time. I know your readers with enjoy my book and it’s awesome that you’re helping indie creators like me share our work.



Check out the campaign for Shark of War here!

That’s it for this installment! 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 try to steer this tiny ship and can often be heard monthly on the Comic Book Page Previews Spotlight podcast with several low-level, other comic book nerds. Follow me on Twitter @ChrisBraly