Indie Comics Showcase #41 (Sunday Edition)

After a whirlwind week and New Comic Book Day, we are finally getting out this week’s Indie Comics Showcase! Please accept our apology for the delay!

Hello friends and readers, welcome back to Indie Comics Showcase. The weekly blog where we try and bring you Indie Comics from across the web, as well as interviews with their creators. We have some truly outstanding crowd funding campaigns to feature this week to learn about, enjoy, and hopefully support by making a pledge. If you would like to show your support, please remember that every little bit counts. From the single dollar pledges to the ten dollar, and higher. Once again thank you all for being the best part of Indie Comics Showcase.

Inferi
by Ruben Romero & Casey Bacon Strips

A Mythologically Thrilling Crime Saga. Think ‘Buffy’ meets ‘Supernatural’ meets ‘The Sopranos’.

Inferi follows the adventures of 3 Quantico students and their Professor who travel the globe solving crimes committed by mythological creatures. Little do they know that’s just the beginning as a shadowy organization watches their every move and makes plans of it’s own to stop our intrepid heroes

I recently interview the creators to discuss the project.

John: Ruben, Casey, Welcome to and thank you for being a part of Indie Comics Showcase. Today I would like to talk about Inferi. Your Indie Mythological Crime Thriller. You describe it as Buffy & Supernatural Meet The Sopranos. That sounds interesting.

Ruben: The tagline is so important because even though Inferi is something completely new inside it’s important to have people relate right away.  

Casey: We wanted to have a good tagline in there for people who always ask “Is this like anything else I’ve ever read?” So, while the story is unique to us, it’s also a blend of other pieces of pop culture that Ruben and I love and those three sum up the main plot of the story pretty well. We just come in and put our unique spin on it. 

John: Without giving away any spoilers, what can you tell us about Inferi?

Ruben: It’s layered. The first issue is literally the tip of the iceberg.  

Casey: Inferi follows the story of 3 Quantico students and their Professor who travel around the world solving crimes being committed by mythological creatures. 

What does Inferi mean to you, what about it makes it a story that you want to tell?

Ruben: It means a rebirth for me personally. I’ve been writing comics since 2014 and after my mother’s death and a divorce I needed time to regroup so working with Casey on the book was really therapeutic for me.

Casey: It’s gonna sound a little cheesy but Inferi to me is about Collaboration and Growing. Not only in reference to the characters being introduced to this big world where they need to rely on each other to explore things, and also grow as characters; but also to the process as to how we created the comic.

Ruben and I have never worked together before and the story for Inferi started out a lot different to what we ended up with. But through the collaborative process, I think we both grew as writers and really created something amazing in this book.

John: Why did you chose Sequential Art or the Comic Book Format to tell this particular story?

Ruben: I think as a writer sometimes you write something and it just sits there for one reason or another but with comics you can watch it come to life so to speak plus I really do love comics. 

Casey: I think it’s really because we’re both huge comic book fans and w’eve both written comics in the past. It’s funny cause we both write like it’s a movie script so I suppose it could work in that format as well, but we’ll wait for Netflix to call after the first issue comes out for all that.

 

John: Apart from the already stated, what else has served as a source of Inspiration when working on for Inferi? Do you read anything, watch any shows, listen to music as you work?

Ruben: For me it was stories like Seven, True Detective, the universal monsters and The Monster Squad but honestly everything we’ve mentioned served as a blueprint. 

Casey: Just like the tagline suggests, Buffy, Supernatural and The Sopranos all have their influences over the book. From the closeness of the characters or the introduction of the monsters, there’s little nuggets from each in the book. Not only that, as big fans of pop culture in general you’ll see some other references to things like Harry Potter, The Runaways, and more all mixed in.

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

Ruben: I love to world build so I start with that. Where does the story take place? How do these characters interact with that world and I go from there. This process was awesome though because Casey and I had a great back and forth.  

Casey: Since we wrote this together it was a little different. Ruben did the initial writing and then I came in and finessed/changed what I thought would work better for the story. We’d just kinda go back and forth after that. 

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

Ruben: I grew up watching Star Wars on repeat and I think that’s why I’m so big on world building. I also grew up reading Stephen King and Michael Crichton novels so you can only imagine what its like inside my head. 

Casey: I’m a pop culture junkie so I tend to get a lot of influence to whatever I’m watching on tv or at the movies. Usually I’m more of a fantasy/sci-fi guy so things like Aliens, Terminator, Harry Potter, Buffy, Marvel and DC superhero movies; they all get blended together in my mind and then spewed out on the page.

John: What are your hopes for Inferi and for the future?

Ruben: Well first and foremost is to get the Kickstarter funded beyond that I’d love to tell the story we have planned because it is truly really unique.

Casey: We’ve got a big world that we’ve created for Inferi. It’s one of those properties that could be told in a 25 issue series or really be opened up and have prequels, sequels, off-shoots all throughout its universe. I think with all the movies and comics Ruben and I read it just kinda ends up being a multi-headed hydra because we see things like Cinematic Universes or long-form storytelling as the norm today. 

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

Ruben: Just a big thank you to you and everyone reading this we hope you guys back the project! 

John: Well Ruben, Casey, 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.

Ruben: Thank you and all Bleeding Fool’s readers! 

Casey: Thanks so much for taking the time to chat with us, super appreciate it!

Please Visit The Campaign Site Here.

Dig Two Graves
by Jim Tanner

A throwback to the gritty revenge movies of the 70’s and 80’s. Dig Two graves is the story of Miranda and her hunt for vengeance.

John: Jim, Welcome to and thank you for being a part of Indie Comics Showcase. Today I would like to talk about Dig Two Graves, a gritty, bloody, throwback to 70’s and 80’s revenge stories. Immediately Death Wish comes to mind. Are you a fan of that particular series, did it influence you at all while working on this. Also I Spit On Your Grave.

Jim: Thank you for having me! To answer your question, I’m definitely a fan of movies like Death Wish, I Spit On Your Grave, Ms. 45, and Mad Max. A big influence for Dig Two Graves, among those others, is Rolling Thunder. I’ve always been a fan of 70’s and 80’s revenge movies, though sexual assault was a big part of the older ones, and I avoided that in this story. I wanted to focus more on the themes of loss, pain, and anger. You can tell a great story with the foundation of revenge, which is why I think we are seeing a resurgence of the genre with films like John Wick and even remakes of Death Wish and I Spit On Your Grave.

John: Without revealing too much, what can you tell us about Dig Two Graves?

Jim: Our main character, Miranda Stone, is an Army veteran struggling with the same problems a lot of our own veterans deal with today. As she transitions back to civilian life, she wants desperately to be a part of the family she has neglected while deployed overseas, only for them to be taken away in a deadly shootout. Not knowing who did it or even why, she sets out to track down her family’s killers. Before she knows it, she’s caught up in a world of drug cartels, Government conspiracies, and murder.  

John: What does Dig Two Graves mean to you, what about it makes it a story that you want to tell?

Jim: I wanted to break away from the traditional “heroes and villains” stereotypes. Dig Two Graves deals with regular people who make good or bad choices and live with the consequences. Miranda is human, with the same flaws and weaknesses we all have, which allows you to really get to know and relate to each character, regardless of motivations. After her family is killed, she goes down a lot of dark paths, each one chipping away at her soul a little more; before long, the line between revenge and murder starts to blur. And when the story begins, she’s already in a state of mind she’s never been in before—she has no idea who she really is or what she is going to do with herself. How long can someone be obsessed with revenge before they become consumed by it and lose themselves? How would someone deal with that, and what would they become? That is one of the reasons I went with the title Dig Two Graves. It comes from the saying, “before you embark on a journey of revenge, dig two graves,” because you’ll destroy not only your enemies but also yourself in the process.

Another thing I wanted to do with this story is keep it grounded in reality. Miranda isn’t a one-woman army taking on a hundred guys by herself. She has to work with friends and other vets to accomplish her goal. One supporting character is her father, a retired colonel and Vietnam veteran who went down a similar path himself once and is now trying to steer his daughter away from the same dangers he faced himself. I also wanted to make the kind of story you don’t often see when it comes to military veterans and PTSD.

John: Why did you choose Sequential Art or the Comic Book Format to tell this particular story?

Jim: I fell in love with comics in the early 90’s, with Marvel and the birth of Image. It’s always been my dream to work in comics ever since. Casual fans tend to think comic books are only about superheroes, but what makes comics great is they can tell any story. As a writer, working with the right art team, you can create something that you could never achieve in other mediums. I think I have put together a great team to create something really special that many people can enjoy. There’s a lot of great action sequences, brought to life by the amazing art of Von Randal, as well as an emotional, character-driven story where you don’t know what will happen next, which can be rare in the revenge story genre.

John: Apart from the already stated, what else has served as a source of Inspiration when working on for Dig Two Graves? Do you read anything, watch any shows, listen to music as you work?

Jim: Music is a must when I write. I put on music that evokes emotions in me that I think a character would similarly feel in a particular moment. Doing so allows me to get into the minds of my characters, letting the story flow naturally instead of forcing it where I think it should go. For Dig Two Graves, I know I listen to “The White Buffalo” quite a bit, as well as local musician and friend, Nathan Gillis.

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

Jim: With writing, I take an idea and play it over and over in my mind until I start to see where the story could go. Once I have the idea fleshed out, I start writing and just let the ideas continue to flow and build on one another. I do my best not to force characters to do what I want and let them make their own choices. It sounds silly when you say it like that, but many times I have a story planned out in my mind, and when I go to write it, it will take on a life of its own, going in totally different directions than I had first planned.

On that note, never underestimate the importance of rewriting and editing. With Dig Two Graves, I’ve lost count how many drafts I’ve had, but with each revision, it gets better and the story is richer for it. I’ve been lucky to have the support of people who will read my endless drafts and give me honest feedback as well as a great editor and fellow writer, Sari Boone.

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

Jim: Chris Claremont’s work on X-Men and Larry Hama’s work on G.I. Joe were my introduction into comics. That opened the door to so many other great creators like Jim Lee and Jack Kirby, but for me, it was individuals like Neil Gaiman, Alan Moore, and Garth Ennis who really inspired me and showed me all the kinds of stories you could tell in the comic book medium outside of your typical superhero stereotypes. The first time I read The Sandman was mind-blowing; I had never seen anything like it before.  

As I got older, my love of film led me to writers like Quentin Tarantino and Sam Peckinpah, who used violence as part of the story narrative to create a different type of film. Up to that point, I saw movie violence as just another set piece, but now I know it can do so much more.

John: What are your hopes for Dig Two Graves and for the future?

Jim: Dig Two Graves is planned for 12 issues, with issue 2 currently in the works. My biggest hope right now is just getting it all done in a timely fashion and out for the readers to finally enjoy the continuation of the story. As for the future, I always have something in the works. The next story you will see from me is 24 Bullets, a dark horror/comedy/action/sci-fi story. Think Evil Dead meets Blade Runner.

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

Jim: I just want to let everyone know that Dig Two Graves is on Kickstarter right now and to please check it out. We reached out to some amazing artists to really stack the rewards for people, and I think you’ll be amazed at what we put together.

John: Well Jim 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.

Jim: Thank you for having me! A great part about doing indie comics is the freedom to do what you want, but the drawback is that it’s hard to get the word out, which is why I am grateful for opportunities such as this interview and spotlight. It’s been a pleasure.

Please Visit The Campaign Site Here.

Penny For Your Soul
by Tom Hutchison

In Pestilence The Four Horsemen are Revealed. The End of Days falls across Las Vegas and the Four Horsemen are finally revealed!

John: Tom, Welcome to and thank you for being a part of Indie Comics Showcase. Today I would like to talk about Penny For Your Soul. Your Hugely Successful Indie Comic Series, and it’s latest installment; Pestilence #6 where the four horsemen are revealed.  

Tom: Always happy to talk comics! Mine or the industry as a whole.

John: Without revealing any spoilers to us, what can you tell us about Penny For Your Soul? Where it’s been, where it’s going, and your plans for the future.

Tom: Penny for Your Soul is about a demon who decides she wants to get in on the End of Days battle between Heaven and Hell, so she sets up a hotel and casino in Vegas and offers to buy her patron’s souls for ten thousand dollars. Like part of the casino club you sign up for to get perks.

Penny was the first series we published and it sold out immediately and went to a second print. Each volume will be 7 issues long and run through the signs of the Apocalypse right through to the Rapture and the End of Days. We have produced 3 volumes so far each introducing one of the 4 Horsemen. Pestilence finishes the Horsemen story and leads us to what comes next. Which we aren’t talking about yet!

In addition we produced a Joan of Arc miniseries as she is an large player in our story and is currently the protector of the Ark of the Covenant.

John: What does Penny For Your Soul mean to you, what about it makes it a story you want to tell?

Tom: There’s a couple levels here. First is I grew up with these stories as a kid but as I got older and saw things like Raiders of the Lost Ark the Bible stories began to switch from teachings to sort of historical adventure. There were shows as a kid I remember when they thought they found Noah’s Ark etc. It swerved the way I looked at the stories and I started my questioning of what was in it. And what its true purpose was/is.

From there it was decades before I decided to write this book and sort of get out my frustrations with the idea of organized religion and the ancient, interpreted texts that people blindly followed, and in some cases, believed to be truth from Genesis to Revelation. So I took my shots in volume 1.

When Vol 2 came around though, I felt like maybe I had gotten some of that out of my system and so False Prophet and Death both played more to the fantasy adventure style story telling with artifacts and gods and humanity’s choices as the background. That’s always been part of the story. Why do humans do what they do. For money. Sex. Validation. Etc. So while on the face of it Penny for Your Soul is a pulp romp through the Bible, it also deals very honestly with what I see in society today.

John: What are some of the things that have served as a source of Inspiration when working on for Penny For Your Soul? Do you read anything, watch any shows, listen to music as you work?

Tom: I read history on occasion. Especially when I need reference for what I’m talking about in a story. Movies and documentaries about history as well. Movies with adoptions of history are also fun. Raiders, as I mentioned before. My TV time is limited and I don’t really watch anything unless it hits Netflix. I can’t stand commercials lol. Music is always playing in the background. I love movie scores and have them playing on shuffle as I write. Everything from John Williams to Alan Silvestri to Akira Ifukube and a ton more. Scores not songs. I don’t want the words distracting my words.

John: Why did you chose the comic book format to tell this particular story?

Tom: Comic books are my medium. I gave up on book books long ago. I love the ability to blend art and story together to do something unique. I’ve written a novel too, Ursa Minor, but I will always treat comics as my first story telling medium. I started on comics when I was about 7 or so. Godzilla from Marvel, then Wonder Woman and Star Wars. Ghost Rider…I can almost trace every step of the way. I love comics. Always will.

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

Tom: Hard to really answer in detail. Generally speaking I try to layout a story arc so I know where I’m starting and where I need to end. Then I add details I know I HAVE to have in the story to maintain connection to what has come before and what will be coming after. From there I try to let the story flow organically. Sometimes as I write the story moves in a direction I hadn’t planned on. Most of the time I will let it follow that path to see where it goes. More often than not that path is the correct way and I simply let the characters talk their way into it. Organic storytelling is the best in my opinion. You can’t be so strict in your thinking at the outset because there may very well be a better road once you’re on the way to your goal. 

Let your characters breathe and tell you who they are sometimes. The more you try to control them the more your work will be YOUR choice rather than the character’s choice. 

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

Tom: Most of it would come from my beginnings of reading. Probably specifically the 80’s when I got heavy into collecting and reading. Chris Claremont is the one writer I can say I have been the most influenced by. He had a way of writing dialogue that you didn’t simply read…you heard those words when Rogue spoke with her accent, for example. From there I’ve always been an art fiend. I used to be an original art dealer for a bit. I loved the way McFarlane changed the way you could do panels on a page. I loved Jim Lee’s anatomy and poses for the Xmen. Everything leveled up as I was just getting heavy into it. Then Image happened and people were making their own characters and books and it was working. Better than we had seen in the 80’s. So I think that put the seed of creation in my head and that’s where Critter became a reality in 1992.

John: What are your hopes for Penny For Your Soul and for the future?

Tom: Well I’d love to get it turned into a TV series. I think it would play very well. But ultimately I want to make the series, finish it, and have the fans that supported it love it all the way through. If you’re making comics for any other reason than to make comics, you’re doing it wrong. And the result won’t be as good as it could have been.

John: Do you have any advice, any words of encouragement for any of our readers who one day hope to launch their own Indie Comic?

Tom: There is no better time than now. You have the internet at your fingertips. You have crowd funding. You have conventions in nearly every state you can go to find talent or to sell your books. Just start writing, drawing, coloring. The industry is changing almost daily right now. Don’t look to the past and ways its always been done for your success. Today you have to create yourself as well as your book and you have to make people care because retailers don’t want another indie book to worry about. Harsh, but true. Don’t worry about anything but how you present yourself and your book. It’s not enough to show up and put books on a table at a con anymore. You have to set yourself apart from everyone else.

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

Tom: We will be continuing our Kickstarters on a quarterly basis through 2020. That also happens to be Big Dog Ink’s ten year anniversary. through 2020 all our books will be returning. Shahrazad, Legend of Oz: The Wicked West, Critter, Ursa Minor and a brand new book…Princesses vs. Zombies.

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram: @bdicomics or on facebook on the Big Dog Ink fan page!

And please visit the campaign site here.

 

Well I hope you have enjoyed this week’s installment and will consider shower your support by backing these comics. In fact, remember the motto: Support indie comics!!!

 


Follow Indie Comics Showcase on Twitter at @Indie_Comics!

John Lemus

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!