Indie Comics Showcase #113: Space Oddities, Seasons & Bloodwing Angel


 

 

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!

 

Space Oddities #1

by Ben Robinson

A space adventure/comedy comic series aspiring to be the lovechild of Indiana Jones and Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy.

Please visit the campaign on Kickstarter

SPACE ODDITIES - COLD OPEN

 

John Lemus: Jon, Welcome to and thank you for being a part of Indie Comics Showcase. I am happy to be discussing your Indie Comic SPACE ODDITIES COMIC #1 with you today.

Jon Williams: Thank you so much! I’m super excited to join you!

 

JL: Before we get started I was hoping you could tell us a little bit about yourself .

JW: I’m an independent comics creator from Sacramento, CA. I’ve been drawing comics my whole life. I got my degree in animation, but decided it was not as creatively fulfilling as comics. You don’t get to put yourself into a big animated project the way you can with a comic. I love visual storytelling. I’m a sucker for a good adventure story

 

JL: Without giving our readers any spoilers, what can you tell us about SPACE ODDITIES COMIC #1?

JW: Of course! This is the first of a six chapter story. Dirk and Jorge MacSanchez are on a job when they encounter Jhett. She’s trying to get away from her over protective father and search for her mother, who went missing while searching for an ancient artifact of mythical power. Along the way, they encounter bounty hunters, magicians, bubble helmeted space heroes, and a mean nasty businessman with a chip on his shoulder.

 

JL: Can you tell us a little bit about how SPACE ODDITIES COMIC #1 came to be, how the characters and story were conceptualized?

JW: It was about 15-20 years ago or so. Adult Swim was all the rage and we wanted to create a fun goofball space adventure comedy series to join the bunch. After going to school for animation I realized just how much effort it would be, and how low the odds of success, to make a successful cartoon pitch. We decided to take it back to my first love and make it a comic book first.

 

JL: What are some of the first comics you remember reading?

JW: Superman, Batman, Spider-Man. I was definitely a child of the big popular superheroes. The first comic I remember actually reading was Superboy (based on the TV series) #2

 

JL: What are some of the comics that have made the biggest impact on you?

JW: Other than Superman comics in general, some big ones for me are New Frontier, Danger Girl, The Killing Joke, and Richard Stark’s Parker adapted by the late great Darwyn Cooke.

JL: What does SPACE ODDITIES COMIC #1mean to you, what about it makes it a story you want to tell?

JW: I love high adventure stories harkening back to the pulp heroes, and I love wacky antics and off the wall bonkers space comedy. It’s a concept that mixes the things I’m passionate about and has near limitless potential for storytelling.

 

JL: What are some of the things that have served as a source of Inspiration when working on SPACE ODDITIES COMIC #1? Do you read anything, watch any shows, listen to music as you work?

JW: More than anything, what’s inspired us in this is the Indiana Jones and Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series’.

 

JL: Jon, you a have rather unique style in your writing and art. Can you tell us a bit about you developed them?

JW: Honestly, it’s been a lifelong journey. Along the way, you pick up things here and there. The way one artist draws muscles, another has faces you like, and you absorb and copy them initially. You experiment with different techniques, and different tools. It’s an ever-evolving process. And it’s almost always for the better.

 

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

JW: After Ben and I have written the story, I go through and break it down into rough page layouts. That’s where I work out the flow and the pacing of the story. From there I pencil the comic pages on 11X17 strathmore bristol board. Then I convert the pages to blue line digitally and print them out on a new sheet of bristol to ink them. After that, we send them off to the colorist Dan Olvera to bring them to life.

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

JW: Growing up I was a superhero kid. Tom Grummett, Art Adams, Jim Lee, Dan Jurgens were the artists I looked up to. As I got older I discovered the brush work of Wally Wood and Dave Stevens. But I also gravitate toward the more animated stylings of Darwyn Cooke and Bruce Timm.

 

JL: What are your hopes for SPACE ODDITIES COMIC #1for the future?

JW: To get in as many hands as possible. Hopefully it will bring some joy and entertainment to the masses.

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

JW: If you like what you see or read, please go check out Space Oddities #1 on Kickstarter and back it. We’ve got some really snazzy rewards tiers for you to take advantage of. I think it’s going to be a really good time. You can also check out our podcast, Geeksploration: The Podcast for more geeky goodness.

 

JL: Once again Ben, 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.

JW: Thank you so much!!

 

Please visit the campaign on Kickstarter

_________

SEASONS v1 & 2
by Nandor Shaffer

A young man’s supernatural abilities change with each passing season! Follow his one year journey.

Check out the campaign page here!

 
 

Chris Braly: Tell our readers your elevator pitch for Seasons. Briefly tell our readers what’s up.

Nandor Shaffer: Seasons tells the one-year journey of Fletcher Hart Iiams and his search for a reason to live. It’s a character-driven supernatural story set in real time with grounded superhero elements that will be told over four full-length hardcover graphic novel volumes (Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter). Fletcher is thrust into an entirely new, unseen world, acquiring superpowers that will alternate with each season. As the seasons change, so will his abilities and these abilities will aid him as he fights off other unnatural, powered beings.

 

 

CB: How did you first get into this and how did it lead to this? (Is this your first comic book project? – if not, explain)

NS: This is actually my first comic book project. I started working on it in 2016 when I was just about to turn 18 years old and released Seasons Volume 1: Spring two years later via my first Kickstarter campaign (we raised over $6,500!). Like many kids, after high-school I was at a crossroads and then eventually went to college for creative writing, hoping to improve and hone my skills. I’ve always loved the power of storytelling, but it was around this time that I started to understand and deconstruct what I was feeling; why and how movies and TV shows I watched as well as books and comics I read were leaving such an emotional impact on me as a person. After I got the idea for Seasons, I ditched college pretty soon afterwards. Creating this was something I absolutely had to do because I knew I had something important to say. I knew this story would relate to people all over. And so far, things have been looking up. 

 

 

CB: Where did the idea for Seasons originate?

NS: It originated from two ideas. I arrived at the first idea after asking myself the question, “If I were to write a comic book, what would that look like?” It stemmed from general curiosity. I was genuinely interested in challenging myself to see what I could come up with. That led to the next question, “How could I take advantage of the comic book medium?” I knew I wanted to do something ONLY a comic could do. Otherwise, why not make it into a novel or screenplay. Answering these two questions led to Seasons. The thought of a character with alternating powers really got me excited, as did following someone in real time. By the time all four books are out, readers can begin in the springtime of whatever year they’re in and finish in the winter. It feels like an intimate experience, which comics are meant to be. 

 

CB: What kind of comic fans do you expect this comic will entertain the most? Who is it geared towards?


NS: If Seasons had a movie rating, it would be PG-13. It’s for comic fans who want to think, for readers looking for something completely fresh and inspiring. If you like James O’ Barr’s The Crow, Midnight Nation by J. Michael Stracyznski, or M. Night Shyamalan’s Unbrekable, you will without a doubt find Seasons to be right up your alley. I grew up reading superhero comics and have absorbed so much, I can’t help but indulge in epic fights scenes and heavy character moments. Readers will find a ton of spectacle, but they’ll also find a ton of heart and introspection. They will know these characters and they will grow, laugh, and cry with them, too. 

 

CB: Tell us a bit about your creative team / other creators that have contributed to this?
NS:  This series is a two-man army: myself and my artist/letterer Anthony Gonzales-Clark. We’ve been working on Seasons for four years now and it’s created an amazing partnership and friendship. Anthony is a downright extraordinary talent. And even though a majority of the series will be black and white, there’s so much more to his work than that. His work is so good that it doesn’t need color. That’s how beautiful his work and storytelling skills are. I couldn’t imagine doing this book without him. 

CB: What else are you learning from crowdfunding and creating through this process?
NS:  I’m learning a lot each and every day. Something I’ve been struggling with is how to capitalize on stretch goals. This is my third campaign and I think I finally cracked it with this one, seeing as we’ve unlocked two stretch goals so far! So, I’m definitely making progress there. I’m also learning just how much of a community the indie comics crowdfunding scene is. It’s been really great to connect with so many creators who are trying to get eyes on their books. 

 

CB: What is your long term goal or hopes for this project?
NS: My long term goal for this project is to see it grow more and more of a fanbase with each volume. My dream is to write comics full-time and Seasons is my shot at making it. I hope it opens doors to new opportunities and also proves that I can tell such a big, engrossing story without losing quality or coherence. 

CB: Thanks for chatting with us! Good luck and we are rooting for you!
NS:  Thank you! It was a pleasure to tell you and your readers about Seasons. 

Check out the campaign page here!

 
_________

Bloodwing Angel
by John Celestri

 

BLOODWING ANGEL CHRONICLES are for the mature reader, telling the adventures of Michael, an innocent angel who is unjustly banished to the Mortal Realm, and battles to survive amongst Demons, Sinners, and Living Dead!

Check out the campaign here!

 

Chris Braly: Tell our readers your elevator pitch for Bloodwing Angel Chronicles. Briefly tell our readers what’s up.

John Celestri: Mychal the Bloodwing (the youngest and most innocent angel of light) is unjustly banished to the Mortal Realm, is turned into a semi-mortal, and struggles to survive within societies filled with demons, sinners, and living dead. Angels don’t have a fixed gender, and so Mychal is now both female and male in physical and psychological form. As Mychal deals with physical dangers and a spiritual crisis, he discovers he is the crucial pawn in a cosmic chess match of wills between Creatus the Almighty and Sha-Dow the Ruler of Darkness. Betrayed by these egotistical deities, Mychal realizes she is the center of the universe—as both of the greatest powers in Creation are focused upon her. She finds this attention intoxicating and wants to keep this cosmic competition going for as long as possible—which means playing for both sides…and being attacked by the forces of both deities.

 

 

By Creatus breaking the Promise made to all angels—“obey Me and you will be safe”— this supernatural act momentarily tears apart the fabric of the universe, only to have it restitched together…but not the way it had previously existed. The physical laws of the universe have been altered—portals between dimensions have been opened—magic and vampires co-exist with walking dead and all manner of demons. So, have the spiritual and moral laws been altered? Now what is good? Now what is evil? How can Mychal be certain of anything if the One Who created these laws has failed to abide by them?

CB: Fascinating premise! You’re probably best known as the animator for the best part of the Star Wars Holiday Special, the Boba Fett cartoon. When did you shift to making comics?

JC: I always liked comic books as a kid (I’ve kept all my Spider-Man, Fantastic Four, and other comics I bought off the candy store racks back when they were 12 cents a copy). But I found that I had a particular talent to make drawings move, so I went into animation. However, I continued creating comic strip ideas and trying (unsuccessfully) to crack the syndication market back in the 1980s. Over the past 45 years, I’ve honed my dramatic storytelling talents as a writer/artist, including creating and successfully publishing crime fiction novels.

 

Bloodwing Angel was originally written as a novella during a time of personal and professional crisis and I was inspired by the Old Testament Book of Job. I published Bloodwing: Tearing Up The Universe on Amazon as an e-book in 2013.

I then developed Bloodwing into an ongoing TV series, hoping to interest production companies; but Hollywood is too incestuous a world for outsiders to crack. So, I decided to develop Bloodwing as a webcomic and published it weekly on my own website for a year (2018), and tried to hook up with fantasy groups. However, Bloodwing was not considered “politically correct” or Safe For Work. Thus, I put Bloodwing in my desk drawer and decided to produce a Snuffy & Zoey animated short, which led to my creating their two ToyBox Adventure comic books in 2018. Then, last year (2019), I pulled out “Mega Moose” from my stack of 30 year old comic strip proposals and revamped it. And now, I’ve relaunched Bloodwing Angel Chronicles under my JOHNNY’S MIND COMIX label.

 

 

CB: Bloodwing Angel is a mature title, but you also do kids comics and more. Tell us about those and are they available on the crowdfund page?

JC: Well, Snuffy & Zoey and Mega Moose (under my JOHN THE ANIMATOR COMICS label) are for a much younger audience than what is today’s beginning readership for comic books, which is 13 to 15 years old. These characters and stories are for the “Seedlings,” kids who are between 4 to 12 years old. And within that age range I have two specific groupings: 4 to 7, and 8 to 12. I’m being very specific in my age grouping because as kids grow from 4 to 7 and develop into 8 to 12 year olds, what entertains them also develops and changes.

Snuffy & Zoey Toy Box Adventures focuses on two sibling bears who jump into their magic toy box and have adventures (stealing cupcakes from a dragon; getting captured by pirates made out of colorful balloons). My idea is to encourage young readers to explore their imaginations and create their own entertainment and stories. But I’m not writing these stories with any hidden social or political messages.

Nicky Nardson: Mega Moose Comics is about a bullied nerd, who is magically given extraordinary powers. With the tickle of a magic feather, Nicky sneezes and changes into a Minotaur-type being with all the powers of the animal kingdom. The series is aimed at youngsters dealing with surviving elementary and middle school society.

 

CB: What kind of comic fans do you expect Bloodwing Angel Chronicles will entertain the most? Who is it geared towards?

JC: Laced with mature themes and handled with irreverent humor, Bloodwing Angel Chronicles is definitely not “PC”. The potential audience for Bloodwing are those mature readers of fantasy/science fiction who feel they live with a sense of honesty and decency, but are being screwed over by those in power…and wish there was a way of turning the tables on them. I think Mychal’s adventures will appeal to both male and female readers, as he/she tries to make sense of the Mortal Realm.

 

CB: Is there a physical copy tier for Bloodwing Angel? Will there be?
JC: I’m launching this ongoing series as a quarterly 28 page PDF Perk at $2 per episode. Starting in February with Episode 2, I’ll also be offering a physical copy tier for each issue and/or combo pack.

CB: What is your long term goal or hopes for this project?

JC: I can single-handedly produce a new 28 page episode every 13 to 15 weeks, and at the present time I have enough ongoing story material for over a dozen issues. That would take me thru 2023. There are so many directions Mychal’s journey can take there’s no end in sight.

 

CB: What else are you learning from crowdfunding and creating through this process?
JC: Just when you think you know it all, there is always something new to learn.

CB: Thanks for chatting with us! Good luck and we are rooting for you!
JC: Thank you very much for inviting me!

Check out the campaign here!

_________

 

 

 

That’s it for this installment! Support indie comics!!!

 


Follow Indie Comics Showcase on Twitter at @Indie_Comics!


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

JUST KEEPING THE LIGHTS ON