Indie Comics Showcase #118: Blue Phoenix, Magna, & X-Farce

 

 

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!

 

 

BLUE PHOENIX
by Joe Archey

 

Check out the campaign here!

 

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

Joe Archey: The story follows Will Wryneck, a rookie police officer fresh out of the academy, as he learns to deal with his new job in these trying times and cope with the fact that an ancient Egyptian helmet that was given to him has incredible supernatural power. He learns that nothing is a coincidence when an outbreak of abnormal supernatural crime happens in his community. He’ll need to find answers to harness this new power and protect his hometown. What is this relic? why did it come to him? Who can he turn to? How will he stop an unstoppable force? This is a story of heroism, detective work, ancient secrets and godly power!

 

CB: What was the genesis for this project? Tell us the origin on this comic.

JA: I wanted to tell the story of being a new recruit in law enforcement through a superhero/ cop drama genre mix. Egyptian mythology and timeless legends like the Phoenix has always sparked my imagination and drove me to create. Pre Recorded human history is a treasure trove for creation and speculation and it excites me! I’m always looking up into the sky for anomalies and cool stuff. One night while I was walking my beagle Lilly, I saw a blue fireball fall from the sky and hit the Pennsylvania mountain across from my house. I had no idea what it could be and it really intrigued me and I started creating this story! All of these elements came together to birth the Blue Phoenix character.

 

CB: Tell us a little more about the project. What kind of comic fans do you expect this comic will entertain the most

JA: Comic fans who love action, old school storytelling and a complete story when they pick up and issue will love this book. I’m creating a book that I personally would like to read, and I know other comic fans will too.

CB: Let’s get into the creative and production side a little. Can you tell us a bit about your creative team and how this project team came together?

JA: My creative team is me! I’m doing everything from the script to the lettering. This is a huge task but I like to be in control of the production of my projects and I’m not going to have to worry about waiting on others to complete their part of the book. My dad Rob Archey (Bat to the Future) drew and inked the epic three free trading cards and my brother Luke Archey (The Rifleman Official comic strips) drew the free bookmark! You can find their instagrams respectively @robarcheyart and @lukearchey. Some of their original art is still available to buy on the campaign now! We are all comic artists and we are forming an exciting new comics company together!

 

CB: What led to you deciding to crowdfund this book?

JA: I’ve been involved in ComicsGate since 2018. I’ve watched this indie comics renaissance grow since then and the crowdfunding scene has become THE place to get an indie comic book project funded. This is a true rediscovery and excitement of the art of comics and I want to do my part in this rebirth of an old storytelling art form.

 

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

JA: I learned that this indie comics community is very supportive and they share the same passion as I do. They want to see good work and quality books delivered on time while creators respect their customers. I was not expecting this much support in my first campaign. I learned that you NEED to promote hard, get on YouTube streams and twitter to spread the word of your campaign or no one will see it. You also NEED to have a big launch and a lot of great art to show. If you are planning to launch a crowdfund, it’s essential to get over your fear of being live online and streaming on other peoples shows, and get out there to promote. No one is going to do it for you so get out there early to get people pumped! Make sure you have a solid plan to deliver your book before you even THINK about launching.

 

CB: Are there more Blue Phoenix stories you want to tell?

JA: Yes! I have two other complete books planned to tell the full story of Will Wryneck. There is so much legend, background, ancient enemies and story to get into about this power that he was given. We are just scratching the surface of the Blue Phoenix world in this first story. Get in on this now because it’s going be an exhilarating journey! If you back now you’re joining me on the ground floor and also getting many free extras that will not be in print again.

 

CB: Thanks for chatting with us! Good luck and we are rooting for you!

JA: Thank you Chris! Bleeding Fool is an awesome website that I go to frequently for news on this crazy entertainment industry and I appreciate the interview! I will not let you down!

 

Blue Phoenix Launch Trailer

Check out the campaign here!

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X-Farce Reloaded #1
by Don Chin

Check out the campaign here!

 

Chris Braly: Tell our readers your elevator pitch for X-Farce Reloaded. Briefly tell our readers what’s up.

Don Chin: “X-Farce Reloaded #1” is a 48-page full color X-Men parody with seven different stories by over a dozen comic book talents. We satirize everything from the Stan Lee and Jack Kirby “X-Men” origin from 1963 to Rob Liefeld’s 1990’s “X-Force” and “Deadpool”, all the way to the current “House of X” storylines.

 

CB: How did you first get into comics and how did it lead to this?

DC: I started doing fanzines in high school with a publication called “OVERLOAD: The Fantasy Humor Magazine” in 1979, which lasted 5 issues. My first pro work was in “CRACKED” Magazine in 1983, a newstand humor publication which was like MAD Magazine. From there, I pitched the “Adolescent Radioactive Black Belt Hamsters” to Eclipse Comics in 1986, which was the first “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” parody and was the title that got me on the map and led to a career in writing, publishing and editiing comics with Parody Press and Entity Comics until the late 1990’s.

 

CB: Where did the idea for X-Farce Reloaded originate?

DC: One of the best-selling books I did for Eclipse was “X-Farce #1” which was the first time I ever collaborated with a young artist named Bill Maus and his friend Bob Hanon. It came out in 1992, the year after X-Force #1 was released. X-Farce was in black and white and did good numbers for a satire, selling around 70,000 copies. Bill, my wife Laura and I went on to start our own company, Parody Press Comics later in 1992 and our first book was “The Unfunny X-Cons #1” which was another black and white X-Men parody. Fast forward to 2020 and I thought bringing the X-Farce and X-Cons adventures back in color would be a fun idea, and to also add new material that fans hadn’t seen before.

 

 

CB: This seems to be made for 90’s comic kids who love a good laugh. What kind of comic fans do you expect this comic will entertain the most?

DC: Anyone who survived 2020 needs a good laugh, right? Honestly, I think fans of X-Men, X-Force, Cable, Deadpool, New Mutants, Avengers will get a kick out of X-Farce Reloaded. We’ve created it to be enjoyed by readers ages 13-up. It’s got a lot of tongue-in-cheek humor, puns and visual gags…like if you were watching the movie “Airplane!” or classic “Saturday Night Live” but in comics form.

 

CB: Were you a fan of X-Force or the 90’s era of comics? Tell us about that.

DC: I read Rob Liefeld’s X-Force series which I used for the source material to spoof him and his mutant team creation. His artwork was always larger than life, and I remember meeting a teenaged Rob when he new to the scene and was showing his work at conventions. I could tell he was going to go places at a young age. As far as 1990’s comics go, that decade was quite a wild ride as both a comics creator and as a fan. I tended to gravitate towards Image Comics books as a fan because their creators seemed to have a lot of freedom and you could see it in the quality of their books. So I collected Spawn, Savage Dragon, Youngblood, etc. as well as other titles. My comic book tastes are pretty eclectic. I grew up reading a mixture of comic strips like “Peanuts”, underground comics like “Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers” and mainstream comics. I also found it a funny coincidence that Rob announced on Twitter he was doing new X-Force and Deadpool anniversary projects in 2021. I think the satirical stars have aligned 30 years later.

 

CB: Tell us a bit about your creative team / other creators that have contributed to this?

DC: Besides Bill who has been quite prolific in the Independent Comics scene for years, we have Eisner-Award Winner Mike Baron writing a story drawn by Ted Helard called “Professor Ex: Auditions”, Thad Rhodes (who has worked on Zen Intergalactic Ninja and Heavy Metal) illustrating “The Newt Mutants”, longtime pro letterer Kurt Hathaway who has worked on hundreds of titles and who also inks “X-Cons: The Beginning”, Mark Lewis who got his start at Parody Press before moving onto Image Comics’ Big Bang retro themed superhero series and who is a longtime professional animator with credits on “X-Men: The Animated Series”.

Keith Gleason, Anton Bandi and Ian Waryanto who do “Mighty Mascots” for Alterna Comics will also be doing a modern X-Men spoof; Michael Grassia and Delfin (Elfquest/Stargate) Barral will be doing a “What If…Other Comic Companies Had Mutants?” story with me. Delfin also digitally colors most of the book and has done an amazing job making the assorted stories look like they’re from the past and present.

Variant covers will be by Bill Maus (re-creating his 1992 X-Farce Cover), Lewis (doing an Unfunny X-Cons #1 1960’s aged cover), and Rob Willis with colorist Matt Yackey doing an alternate mutant-themed take.

 

CB: What are you learning from crowdfunding and creating through this process?
DC: Well, the comics landscape has changed a lot since the 1990’s when we had several distributors and even since my last Parody Press comic project with Bill called “Hewoes” in 2007. I’m having fun learning the new ways to network with other crowdfunding creators, interacting directly with fans via social media and being a guest on livestreams as well as starting to do my own livestream broadcasts to promote the books. It’s exhilarating and exhausting at the same time! (laughs)

 

CB: Let’s chat about the campaign itself. What are some of the fun tiers you’re offering?

DC: Besides the 3 variant X-Farce Reloaded #1 covers we are offering for $25 each autographed, we have a “Colossal Executive Box” tier for $200 which will include all the variants, an X-Farce Metal Lunchbox, X-Farce ceramic mug and an original pen and ink sketch by Bill Maus. Other tiers include a “Parody Press Vault” pack which includes 5 out of print 1990’s signed back issues, original art tiers where fans can buy X-Farce cover art and interior pages. We will have some fun stretch goals as well that include X-Farce magnets, holographic stickers, tie-ins with our next book, Beardzzerker (a spoof of Keanu Reeves’ BRZRKR graphic novel), and if we hit $50,000 in funding, everyone who backs will get a Cesspool Whoopie Cushion.

 

X -FARCE RELOADED #1 COMIC BOOK TRAILER (LONG-FORM) by PARODY PRESS! X-MEN PARODY GRAPHIC NOVEL

 

CB: Good luck with the campaign and thanks for chatting with us!

DC: Thank you for having me, and I wish everyone a Happy New Year! Looking forward to making the world laugh again!

 

Check out the campaign here!

 

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MAGNA: THE LAST PANTHEON VOL. 1

A supernatural, fantasy-style adventure uncovering a mythical legacy that puts the world in peril.

 

Check out the campaign here!

 

John Lemus: John, Welcome to and thank you for being a part of Indie Comics Showcase. I am happy to be discussing your Indie Comic MAGNA: THE LAST PANTHEON VOL. 1  with you today.

John Hervey: Thank you for the opportunity, John, I appreciate it.

 

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

JH: By day I’m a mild-mannered banker, but by night when the blight of sub-par comic books overrun the land and the Beyond Time signal is shone across the night sky, I emerge, with the aid of my trusty laptop, taking to the digital highway, creating stories of intrigue and wonder. In case you can’t tell, I am a comic book nerd, and I have been since back when it wasn’t cool to be one. I started making comics when I was a kid. The budget simply required art supplies (financed by my mom) and an imagination…the latter of which I’ve been blessed to have in abundance. Fast forward to my early adulthood, the first published project I worked on was Troubleman, published by Motown Machineworks and distributed by Image back in 1994. When I am not expanding the Beyond Time universe, I am binge watching shows with my wife of 15 years and getting out run by my three children.

 

 

JL: What can you tell us about Magna: The Last Pantheon?

JH: Eighteen year-old Kati Skogsholm finds her world turned upside down upon learning she is adopted. In search of her parentage, she travels from her home in Idaho to Finland to Asgard, where she finds herself in league with a conglomeration of the few remaining deities of myth left in the world. By association, she is hurled into mortal danger as the deities are in the twilight of a losing battle for survival against unknown supernatural forces that puts the whole world in peril.

 

 

JL: Can you tell us a little bit about how Magna: The Last Pantheon came to be, how the characters and story were conceptualized?

JH: Having read about the mythology of numerous cultures growing up,  I was always intrigued by the similarities that the pantheon arcs had and created a story concept that tied the endings of these different pantheons together. For the pantheon members, I took license as I delivered my own version of these characters, and for the protagonist, I thought of the determination and shortcomings a character like her, who is searching for the truth about herself, would have.

 

 

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

JH: As soon as I could read I was into comics. Comics actually helped me develop my vocabulary when I was younger. I remember back in the day when comics were available at drug stores and newsstands; I would go with my mom to the store, and she would usually let me pick up a couple of comic books. One day, I picked up the Mighty Avengers #184; it was the perfect mixture of art and story. I didn’t know who George Perez and John Byrne were nor that their art alone was worth buying the book (for a whopping $0.40!). This comic hooked me! After reading it more than twice, and bringing the comic with me to the dining table, having been summoned for dinner, I looked at my mom and boldly proclaimed to her “I’m now a comic book collector!” She said, “That’s good, baby. Be sure to finish your vegetables.” I proceeded to open the comic book and read it again, having no idea that comics would still be a passion of mine so many decades later.

 

 

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

JH: The mid eighties experienced a comic book renaissance that blew my mind and showed me the inexhaustible possibilities that comics could provide. From “Marvel Superheroes Secret Wars” to “Crisis on Infinite Earths” by Marv Wolfman and George Perez. I enjoyed anything and everything John Byrne was touching from Marvel’s “Fantastic Four” to “Alpha Flight” to D.C.’s “Legends” to “Man of Steel”  These books exhibited the power of the medium as it was redefined in this era and there was no going back. 

 

 

JL: What does Magna: The Last Pantheon mean to you, what about it makes it a story you want to tell?

JH: When you strip away everything fantastical about the story, at it’s core it’s about self-discovery and finding one’s raison d’etre… one’s purpose. It’s a theme that we all can relate to in one shape or another.

 

JL: What are some of the things that have served as a source of Inspiration when working on MAGNA: THE LAST PANTHEON VOL. 1 ? Do you read anything, watch any shows, listen to music as you work?

JH: My love and study of mythology, World War II, and the Bible are reflected in this work. When I write, I’m fully absorbed in the process. Often times, it’s like receiving downloads that I’m memorializing. Usually everything else around me at the moment, including the ever-morphing, unconquerable honey-do list from my wife, drops into the background like white noise.

 

 

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

JH: Unfortunately my artistic skills don’t cut the mustard, but fortunately, I collaborate with some amazing artists. Finding the right team of artists that can bring my words visually to life takes time and requires clear communication. We have such talented and reliable artists, who add depth and quality to the stories. With regards to writing, I have honed my skills over time by voraciously reading and writing. Along with comic books, I love fiction, science fiction, biographies, self-improvement books and more. I write on a daily basis and will spend many hours editing until I am happy with the final product. 

 

 

JL: Tell us a bit about your creative process.

JH: The creative process for me is fluid and organic. Anything can be a source of inspiration, be it an idea, an archetype, a situation, etc. From that, I give myself the freedom to brainstorm and build the foundation around an idea. As someone who grew up playing role-playing games like D&D, world building and character building are paramount. I enjoy the process of creating characters and then creating a roadmap for the adventure. Writing is an iterative process of re-writing and editing as the characters and world take on a life of its own. Even as the book goes through the different levels of production, the script interpretations and ingenuity that the penciller brings to the page invariably effects the script as does every level of production, including letters. When you’re working with amazing artists, the whole is greater than the sum of the parts.

 

 

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

JH: My influences have been broad, from history to mythology and from the Bible to contemporary fiction books and comic books.

 

JL: What are your hopes for MAGNA: THE LAST PANTHEON VOL. 1  for the future?

JH: Production on the second volume of MAGNA: THE LAST PANTHEON has already been completed and will be released later in 2021. My hope is to be able to build a fanbase for this property that will enable me to produce more MAGNA books.

 

Magna: The Last Pantheon Vol 1 Indiegogo Campaign

 

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

JH: Thank you for this opportunity to share our newest story in the Beyond Time Universe,  MAGNA: THE LAST PANTHEON VOL. 1. If you love comic books, get your copy of MAGNA: THE LAST PANTHEON VOL. 1. on Indiegogo. You won’t be disappointed!

 

Check out the campaign here!

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

 

 


Follow Indie Comics Showcase on Twitter at @Indie_Comics and reach out to them if you want us to consider featuring YOUR crowdfunding comic project!

 

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!

JUST KEEPING THE LIGHTS ON