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!
by Mike Baron
Gary Duba’s having a bad day. There’s a snake in his toilet, a rabid raccoon in the yard, and his gal Krystal’s in jail for getting naked at a Waffle Castle and licking the manager. Gary is just a southern redneck living in a trailer down by the swamp, but he’s got dreams, big dreams. But it seems like every time he tries to get ahead, fate deals him a low blow. Then one day he gets lucky… Florida Man depicts the hilarious tales of a larger than life figure from the magical land of Florida, USA!
Chris Braly: Tell me where you got the idea for Florida Man. Briefly tell our readers what’s up.
Mike Baron: Every time I went online there was another Florida Man story. After awhile it occurred to me that I had to write a novel about him. Now obviously I couldn’t incorporate every headline into the story, and I wanted to make Gary sympathetic. Noble, even. I don’t choose my stories, they choose me. The novel incorporates some real stories, but after I got going, Gary charted his own course.
CB: This was first published last year as a novel, right? How much of the prose novel wound up in the graphic novel? ?
MB: About half. A lot of the material in the graphic novel is brand new.
CB: How did you and your artist Todd Mulrooney end up getting together?
MB: I don’t actually recall how Todd and I met. I think it was because a third party tapped him to illustrate a story I had written for an anthology that didn’t happen. I suggested we might work together on a comic version of my novel and Todd came up with the iconic illustration, which became the cover of the novel, and is also the cover of the graphic novel.
CB: What kind of comic fans do you expect this comic will entertain the most?
MB: Honestly? Everybody. We give the comic a PG 13 because of mild violence and drug use, but that comes with most ‘Florida Man’ stories. Any Marvel movie is more violent. Yet my goal is to grab the reader by the throat. Gary is fascinating and sympathetic. There isn’t a wasted panel. You’ll remember this comic long after you’ve forgotten all others. It is the funniest comic you will ever read. I guarantee it.
CB: How has writing for comics changed for you since you left the mainstream publishers?
MB: I write a lot less comics, not by choice. My files are filled with detailed outlines and whole scripts. I write stories that I believe could happen, and the reader believes could happen. Stories set in the real world. This doesn’t mean I’ve abandoned superheroes or science fiction, as you can see from Nexus and Offworlder. I now work outside the regular industry, not by choice, but because it is the avenue open to me.
CB: The Kickstarter campaign ends in a few days, but I see the Indiegogo campaign is still on InDemand mode. Is there a difference between the two campaigns?
MB: Yes, the Indiegogo was a rousing success, which we were very satisfied with the outcome, but some of our backers were hoping for some original art and some wanted a strictly digital-only tier, which we had only offered as an add-on through Indiegogo. That made it an easy decision to run a brief Kickstarter campaign to appeal to those backers. Furthermore, there are some backers who are only loyal to one platform or the other, and we wanted to appeal to both.
CB: What else can you share about the project or the campaign? And do you have any final words for our readers?
MB: I have enough Florida Man material to do an ongoing series. While many of the events are inspired by real headlines, most of it rises out of Gary and his friends’ character and personalities. I studied the history of weird Florida. The novels already feature the annual Anaconda Cull, women’s pro wrestling, and multiple alien personality disorder. I can’t tell you what goes on in the first or second books because it’s a surprise, and I guarantee you will be surprised.
CB: Thanks for chatting with us! Good luck and we are rooting for you!
MB: Root hog, or die!
47 Furious Tails #2
by W.S. Quinton
The story of the 47 samurai of Asano Nagori continues in this full color 20 page comic. Furious anthropomorphic samurai action awaits! 47 Furious Tails is a 12 issue limited comic series that tells the classic tale of the 47 ronin. This thrilling tale from the history off Japan is beautifully illustrated with the characters depicted as anthropomorphic animals by the remarkable Alexia Veldhuisen. This full color, 20 page issue brings us back to Ako as Asano Naganori begins his fateful trip to Edo. Enjoy this thrilling journey back to the Edo period as we tell a story of furious samurai action!
Please visit the campaign site here
John Lemus: Welcome back to and thank you once again for being a part of Indie Comics Showcase, Quinton. I’m thrilled to discuss your latest installment of your 47 Furious Tails.
W. S. Quinton: Hey it’s great to be on again, thanks for having me here!
JL: Before we get started can you catch us up to how and what has changed since we had you on the last we had you on, for 47 Furious Tails, Issue One?
W.Q: Quite a bit has happened. After fulfilling backer rewards for issue one, I spent most of a year calling comic shops and selling off the remaining copies of issue one. It did very well and I managed to sell out of the first press run. About a month ago I commissioned Alexia to create a cover for the second press run of issue one and since it’s come in from the printer I’ve been hard at work selling copies online and particularly to comic shops. We have enjoyed some fantastic support from a handful of stores that were willing to take a chance on an indie title. Glad to say the issue has sold very well for each of those shops, which is just fantastic!
Alexia has been hard at work getting pages done. At her current progress I expect her to be done with all the interior page coloring a week before the campaign ends. We learned a lot from creating issue one and have refined our work flow to get the book done faster without sacrificing quality.
JL: Without giving away any spoilers, what can you tell us about the latest issue? Get us caught up on this adventure, and let us know where it’s going.
W.Q: Issue Two brings us to the part of the story where Asano Naganori leaves Ako on his final, fateful trip to Edo. But things are not all sake and cherry blossoms. Plots are hatching in the background and we start to see just how far Kira is willing to go in hatching his schemes.
47 Furious Tails has always been planned as a twelve issue series and that is still what we’re doing. The whole series is outlined, plotted out and Alexia has agreed to work on the series throughout. Earlier this year, right as the Covid-19 pandemic his the United States, I went ahead with my first campaign attempt for issue two on KickStarter. It didn’t meet goal but I promised Alexia, our backers and myself that I would re-launch and get the book funded. I spent a lot of my own money getting pages done, commissioned a second variant cover from Fernando Ruiz, and have been talking to everyone who will listen. I’ve been working to set this campaign up for success and I am confident we will fund this time.
In 2021 I would like to get at least two issues (3 and 4) out, but I would be far happier getting 4 issues done. The only real limitation is financial, so getting the number of people backing the KickStarter campaigns is key to putting the issues out quicker. This means I’m planning a lot more interviews, podcast and YouTube appearances, and I’ve found a number of fellow indie creators who have been good enough to help spread the word about the series. I’ve been very fortunate that you and so many other indie fans have been willing to help get the word out. Thank you for that!
JL: We last had you on for this same campaign before I think. Tell us about how that campaign turned out.
W.Q: The first campaign for issue two failed to reach goal. It was early 2020, Covid-19 was starting to appear in the U.S. and I had planned on wholly funding the art costs and print run through the campaign. That last part was really what caused the campaign to fail. We had over 150 backers come out in support even with the uncertainty of the pandemic that was unfolding ahead of us. If I had waited, put more of my own money into the project before coming to KickStarter, then we would be talking about the campaign for issue three today. It was a valuable lesson that was hard won. Our goal for this campaign is actually under what our pledge total was from that failed campaign.
JL: What are some of the things you learned in your last campaign?
W.Q: Big takeaway has been that funding as much of the production costs ahead of time is key. Selling the remaining books from the first press run brought in funds that helped get pages done. Ordering a larger second press run built on that as well as made certain that I have print copies on hand of issue one for future campaign rewards. So selling copies, whether it be through virtual conventions or through comic shops, is a critical part of the post KickStarter plan. That’s where you raise money to get your next issue done before you come back and fund the next issue’s print run. This scales up well, so if you can break through and fund really well, you can not only fulfill your backer rewards but you can get your next book done so much faster.
JL: Can you tell us a little bit about how tackled this campaign as compared to your previous one or ones?
W.Q: A lot of work went into promoting this campaign for months ahead of launch. Excitement has been building, the comic shops I’ve shipped to have provided some great feedback on retailer rewards, the campaign page is redesigned and is easier to understand, and I’m participating in the beta “add-on” program so backers can really do a
lot with this time around to customize their own pledge and rewards. I’ve already got about half of the art prints offered in the campaign in hand, with the other half getting ordered in two weeks. Basically, we’re way ahead and nearing completion of this issue as we go to launch as opposed to funding the book then having it illustrated. Getting done ahead of the campaign is so much smoother and will make fulfillment go swiftly.
JL: Is there anything did in this or the last campaign that you feel you could do better next time around?
W.Q: Promotion has always been the weakest part of my skillset as a crowdfunding comic creator. I’ve been talking with a lot of other creators, getting tips on how to use social media more effectively, and I’ve been executing on those points much better than I have in the past. Just a week ago I was talking with some other indie creators and they asked me what my book was. When I told them 47 Furious Tails, one of them perked up a bit and said that he had seem something about it online. That’s when I knew the word was starting to spread further. So I’m learning all I can about marketing, how to self-promote without being annoying, and trying to look at social media as part of the overall execution. Even now I’m sure I’ll do better at promoting issue three than I have issue two. It’s a key skill in your toolbox to keep improving upon.
JL: Is there anything you want to do that you have not been able to, yet?
W.Q: Oh yes. There are four other comic titles I want to put into production. Before I get into that though I want to get the creation of issues, crowdfunding and fulfillment down so as to get to the point where books are completely done prior to launch and all that’s left is to get them printed and shipped.
I want to eventually get to the point where one comic is on complete and on KickStarter, while another is being illustrated. Then while fulfillment of the first book is being done, I’ll get the next campaign ready for the issue that was just completed. All said, I think it’s very possible to get five books, possibly as many as seven, out in a year that way.
It just takes great quality comics being enjoyed by large enough fan base to make that happen.
JL: What are your feelings about the current state of Indie Comics, and have they changed since you started?
W.Q: I know a LOT of indie comic creators. Many tell me they’re having the best year ever as readers turn to indie titles after the slump in comics being produced by Marvel and DC. Right now Indie comics are well positioned to make direct sales to comic shops. Your LCS needs titles selling off their shelves to keep the lights on and with fewer comic titles coming out of the big two it’s the indie creators who have been stepping up and getting books out. So yeah, indie comics have become essential to many shops all over the US. It’s a great feeling.
JL: What are your hopes for the future of this series?
W.Q: The short term is getting the campaign launched and sending out the word far and wide. This issue will be done before the campaign ends and I’ll be ordering copies from my printer as soon as I have the backer survey information in. I’m going to try to get the campaign fulfilled ahead of schedule so I can start 2021 fresh, with a lot of copies in hand to sell at conventions and online, so I can get issue three made as quickly as possible.
JL: Once again , I would like to say thank you for being a part of indie comics showcase. We wish you the best of luck on this campaign and all future projects.
W.Q: John thank you for all you do for indie comics. Creators like me really need folks like you who take the time and invest so much energy in getting the word out about cool new titles.
Please visit the campaign site here
El Cabrón Pistolero
by Ramsey “Raz” Sibaja
Inspired by the Sergio Leone spaghetti westerns and my affinity for monster movies, Cabrón Pistolero is a Horror/Western comic, he’s a demon hunting gunslinger. Filled with action, bloodshed and some dismemberments and plenty of fun!
Check out the campaign page here.
Chris Braly: Tell our readers your elevator pitch for El Cabron Pistolero… Briefly tell our readers what’s up.
Ramsey “Raz” Sibaja: El Cabrón Pistolero is a gun slining, sword swinging demon slayer. Think, a Sergio Leone spaghetti western as if directed by Guillermo Del Toro with some over the top Kung Fu Theatre action tossed in.
CB: You have an art and design background. Is this your first work as a comic book creator? Tell me what led to this?
Raz: My illustration and design style has always been heavily influences by comic books and just seemed like a natural progression to make a comic. I’ve dabbled with sequential short stories for fun but this is my first full 32 page story.
CB: Where did the idea for this comic come from?
Raz: As with any idea it starts as a random drawing in a sketchbook that taps into something in my psyche and starts to re-occur in my sketch book then stories begin to form around taking from external inspirations. I had El Mariachi from Robert Rodriguez and also some spaghetti western and just started drawing this character in my sketchbook, then I watched some monster movies, some Guillermo Del Toro Hellboy and Pans Labyrinth and started to draw monsters and at some point I started to draw them together and my mind just went wild with ideas and concepts for what now is el Cabrón Pistolero. I did have a 6 page short story of el Cabrón Pistolero published back in 2009 in Plots a comics anthology from Belgium which would make it the first published Pistolero story. SO its exciting to finally get a full comic down with him.
CB: Tell us a little more about the project. How did it launch?
Raz: The comic started of as an exercise in creative improvisation, where I challenged myself to produce a fully drawn and inked page a day. I jumped in drawing, figuring out the story each day as I went along. I tried not to think on the next days page till I started drawing it and see where it went form there. This could have been a total disaster but I had so much fun with it and super stoked on how the story turned out. With this story I did touch on a few different genre’s here. A comic full of monsters, a western redemption story, some over the top action and violence all the stuff I like and I’m sure others would like this stuff too. So if your into romance stories, yeah this isn’t for you.
CB: Tell us a bit about your creative team or if there are any other creators that have contributed to this project?
Raz: No, this was a solo project from start to finish, though I did tap into some talented artist for the pin up section of the comic book. Actually surprised at some of the talent that agreed to help me out though I don’t want to name names yet, well at least not till have the finished art in hand.
CB: What are you learning from crowd-funding and creating through this process?
Raz: I’ve always wanted to do something with kickstarter but always felt intimidated by the process and put off doing other projects because of that. But once I finished I felt I needed to jump in the deep end and figure it out as I went along. I tried to prepare as much as I could before hand with making sure my pages were done, printers I’d be using, pricing and all that but lacked any foresight on how important having a well fleshed out email list would be. Figured social media fan-base would be enough to carry this out to goal, but was not prepared for all the never ending promotion I would need to do after launch. Definitely a learning experience that I will take with me on the next project I do.
CB: Thanks for chatting with us! Good luck and we are rooting for you!
Raz: Thanks so much for reaching out and letting me talk a bit about el Cabrón Pistolero. Definitely a character I enjoy drawing and hope to expand on his world and his back-story more in the future. Looking forward to getting this funded and into peoples hands so they can enjoy it as much as I enjoyed creating it.
Check out the campaign page here.
That’s it for this installment! Support indie comics!!!
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