Indie Comics Showcase #46

Hello friends and readers, welcome back to Indie Comics Showcase. The weekly blog where we try and bring you our pics of the top Indie Comics from across the web, as well as interviews with their creators. We have some truly outstanding crowd funding campaigns this week for you to learn about, enjoy, and hopefully support by making a pledge!

Remember that every little bit counts, from the single dollar pledges to the ten dollar, and of course the higher ones. Some of these campaigns have got some great higher tiers which add even more value by offering stuff you can’t get anywhere else. Thank you all for being the best part of Indie Comics Showcase! Let’s jump in!

GUNSHIP THUNDERPUNCH!

A new graphic novel by longtime TRANSFORMERS and GI JOE artist, Brian Shearer!

Martians kidnapped Nova Marcos’ son! Her only chance to save him lies with an abandoned gunship and an inmate with a life sentence who commanded the ship decades before. But this gunship has a secret: It’s alive! After spending 30 years abandoned in a junk yard, their self-aware transforming gunship might have some trust issues. Brian Shearer has worked on over 50 issues of GI JOE and TRANSFORMERS and now he’s doing his own graphic novel full of awesome giant robots, martians, adventure, and enough explosions to make sure Mars thinks twice about messing with Earth! I recently interviewed Brian about the project. 

Please Visit The Campaign Site Here!

John: Brian, Welcome to and thank you for being a part of Indie Comics Showcase. Today I would like to talk about you Indie Sci-Fi Graphic Novel GUNSHIP THUNDERPUNCH! But before we get started, I am hoping you could tell us a bit about yourself, a bit about your journey going from being a long time artist on GI Joe & Transformers, to doing your first Indie Project.

Brian: Thanks for having me! I started with IDW around 2008 doing some work on Doctor Who. Not long after I started getting work inking Transformers and then GI Joe and ended up being the regular inker on Joe for over 50 issues and occasionally drawing covers and a random issue. With the occasional Ghostbusters cover or TMNT variant most of my time was spent on GI Joe and Transformers.

During that time I kept trying to get more penciling work, with only occasional success. My long term plan has always been to write and draw my own stories and I did my first solo book online (William the Last) which is currently being published by Antarctic Press. With crowdfunding really emerging as the future of indie comics, I figured now is a good time to get my love for giant robots out of my system with GUNSHIP THUNDERPUNCH!

John: Withoutgiving too much away, what can you tell us about GUNSHIP THUNDERPUNCH? 

Brian: Martians kidnap Nova Marcos’ son and to get him back she steals an outdated gunship. The catch is that the only one who knows where the ship is, and how to activate it, is a criminal with a life sentence who commanded the ship decades before. What she doesn’t know is the ship is alive…and not too pleased with having been abandoned for three decades in a junk yard.

 

John: What kind of meaning does this project have for you and what is it about it that makes it a story you wanted to tell?

Brian: I grew up loving robots, action, and sci-fi adventure. I’ve been really blessed to have spent much of my freelance career working on Transformers and GI Joe, which were my two favorite things growing up. Thunderpunch is a way for me to tell my own story using those elements of those stories I grew up loving.

John: I read on one of your twitter posts, that you had your doubts about GUNSHIP THUNDERPUNCH!, which I replied to by saying “Are you Kidding?” It really does look fantastic, and, congratulations on it blowing past the initial funding goal. How does that feel, do you still have doubts?

Brian: No, not now! I think every creator feels that way about their own stuff. Especially the first time out of the gate crowdfunding. I saw posts of people excited about it before I launched, but wasn’t sure if I was just seeing the same 5 people over and over and fooling myself into thinking it was a lot more. Thankfully, that wasn’t the case!

John: What are some of the things that have served as a source of Inspiration when working on GUNSHIP THUNDERPUNCH!? Do you read anything, watch any shows, listen to music as you work?

Brian: All those fun cartoons that influenced me as a kid are at play. I loved Space Battleship Yamato (Or “Starblazers” as we called it in 1980) and I think that sparked a love of ships. I’ve had fun designing the ships for Thunderpunch. I’ve also been listening to a lot of retro synthwave music while working on this. It’s a good fit for the story.

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

Brian: I get a lot of story ideas while running. I think getting away from the computer and your normal work environment is important. Going to a coffee shop and working helps me focus when working up new ideas. Doodles and sketches, just playing with shapes, form, and color help me come up with new characters, ships, robots, etc. As far as story structure, I think in terms of the three act structure and decide on the big story points to get the tale from beginning to middle to end. But I really like writing the story or scene and suddenly getting surprised at what happens. I think that’s the best part of it–when the story starts to come alive and as a writer you feel like you’re along for the ride.

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

Brian: They’re all over the map. I loved Mike Wieringo’s fun style. These days Sean Gordon Murphy’s work is amazing. I’ve grown to admire artists who are looser and organic in their art. I also like Jose Garcia Lopez’ work. His version of the DC universe is what I still think of as the “real” versions.

John: What are your hopes for GUNSHIP THUNDERPUNCH! and for the future?

Brian: I hope it entertains and makes people want more stories! I would love to do additional GTP stories and I’ve gotten lots of feedback from people wanting figures/toys. So if this keeps gaining momentum like it has been, that might be a future possibility. We’ll see!

John: Anything else you want to share with us before we sign off?

Brian: I’m just amazed and grateful for the support of GTP so far. Thanks so much!

John: Once again Brian, I would like to say congratulations and thank you for being a part of indie comics showcase. We wish you the best of luck on all future projects.

Brian: Thanks John!

Please Visit The Campaign Site Here.


MONSTER M.D.

A story by Von Klaus

EVIL NEEDS A CHECK UP. Dr. Black and invisible assistant Heidi have misadventures in monster mending.

Surgical prodigy and Underground monster doctor, Dr. Wyatt Black, wants out of the dangerous job of monster mending, but when his invisible assistant Heidi is kidnapped by his nightmare, the monster killing madman that took his arm and ruined his medical career, he must depend on his paranormal patients more than ever before. I interviewed creator Von Klaus recently to discuss this interesting comic!

Please Visit The Campaign Site Here.

John: Welcome to and thank you for being a part of Indie Comics Showcase. Today I would like to talk about you Indie Sci-Fi Graphic Novel MONSTER M.D. which has been fully funded on Indie Gogo. Congratulations for that. But before we get started, I am hoping you could tell us a bit about yourself. I know you worked on Graveyard Shift with Jon Malin.

Von: I’m a trained screenwriter and relatively new comic book author though I’ve been writing and drawing comics since I was 9. After being disillusioned by my short stint in the film industry by activist creators who turned one of my award winning scripts about brotherly connection into a piece about how racist white people are towards native Americans, I returned to my love of making comics.

Jon Malin and Mark Poulton gave me an amazing foot in the door and let me write a one shot slasher story centered around one of their more horrific character creations for their hit book Graveyard Shift. Jon and Mark are class acts in an industry gone mad and I can’t thank them enough.

John: What can you tell us about Rise Again Comics?

Von: I can say ‘Rise Again’ wasn’t the planned name. Fun fact, the original name was FROM BEYOND Comics but I found out a tiny indie company already had taken the name! I had made great logos of a zombie hand rising from a grave and a man being lifted into a UFO and now I was screwed. So I looked at my logos and thought ‘Rise Again’ as in comics need to rise to popularity again. And it worked out great. Rise Again is only starting with Monster M.D. and will continue to put out high quality books at great prices in the future. We’re in it to grow and help usher in a new age of fun original content in comics.

John: Without Spoilers, what can you tell us about MONSTER M.D.? Where it’s been, where it’s going, and your plans for the future?

Von: Monster M.D. is an 111 page self-contained story about a mad doctor to the local monsters and his invisible assistant Heidi who get into dangerous adventures in monster medicine. It has every monster you’ve ever loved from the movies making cameos in it, or at least expect hat tips to the Universal Monsters, and also horror movie reference Easter eggs hidden throughout. It’s the first book I’ve ever published so call me crazy, call me cliche, but I think it’s a killer first offering.

The story concept started when I was pondering a family story fit for the Pixar gods, when it just sat on my hard drive as many ideas tend to do, until the jump out at you again. Then one night I had a nightmare about being a doctor to a howling werewolf strapped to a table. I decked the werewolf and woke up. I knew I had to do this book. I tossed the family part of the concept and punked it out and made it like my nightmare. Then I started writing it while sipping tea at the tea house I used to manage. I’d be sipping tea with little old ladies who’d ask what I was writing about. “MONSTERS”, I’d tell them. “How lovely”, they’d say. It’s gone way upward since then. We’ll see what the future holds if the book does well. I’d like to release more stories if people really dig the first offering. Perhaps grow it into something huge – the start of an empire? I wouldn’t mind that.

John: What made MONSTER M.D. a story you wanted to tell?

Von: I must admit, I’ve always looked at what’s popular with a punk rock Billy Idol approved sneer on my face. I’m a bit of a critic. And what’s popular today?: Monster hunter stories. So I thought “Why not try the complete inverse, a guy who HEALS the monsters, and see if I can make it more fun than the typical monster slayer offering.” It was a challenge I set for myself, which is something I suggest all writers do. You’re not creating as you should unless you feel uncomfortable and off the deep end. There’s a bit of a punk in me that makes me enjoy twisting popular things up as a creator. What also enticed about the idea of a doctor to the local monsters was that it had instant mass appeal and seemed like a fun concept to work with. I always loved the idea of an underground mob doctor who works in secret in intense creepy situations and probably without the benefit of much gear or tech to assist them so they have to use their wits a lot.

That was a definite influence on Dr. Black using his homemade medical truck and showing his equipment as decrepit and falling apart. Also it quickly became one of those stories that ‘wrote itself’. The ideas and jokes came naturally which always makes for fun writing and world building. Monster M.D. for me is about being an outsider yet finding your place in a world that seems to reject you at every turn. In a way I think we all feel like outsiders or even monsters sometimes and this book is about reminding myself, while also hopefully resonating with my audience, that we all still have a place even if it’s among the so-called monsters.

John: I read on one of your twitter posts, that you had your doubts about MONSTER M.D., which I replied to by saying Are you Kidding? It really does look fantastic, and, Congratulations on it blowing past the initial funding goal. How does it feel?

Von: I feel both ecstatic and exhausted. Almost like a battle is over. A battle where I lost a lot along the way. Even people that I care about. I feel more legit as a creator now and I can’t thank the fans enough for it. Thank you all! There’s still a lot to do though and plan out. It’s a huge undertaking that you never realize the gravity of until you’re standing right in the middle of the eye of the storm.

John: What are some of the things that have served as a source of Inspiration when working on MONSTER M.D.? Do you read anything, watch any shows, listen to music as you work?

Von: I always take in a lot of shows and animation in general to learn from, but I avoid looking at things that are like what I’m working on. Instead I draw from past feelings or visual ideas from things I loved long ago. Things that I still remember clearly. I use that as passion fuel. How can I pass on the torch of the amazing creative things I grew up with to a new generation of readers? And for me, it’s all 80’s, baby. They need to come up with a name for me, cause I’m part of this new generation of creators rocking the 80’s and somehow creating a new genre to ourselves while doing so. Stranger Things, IT, and tons of things went
max 80’s for a reason. Too bad the new Star Wars wasn’t directed by us. It would have been absolutely kick-ass. You MIGHT, BIG MIGHT catch me listening to some synth wave 80’s shit during my work but only in small doses. Other inspiration includes a desire to win for once.

You ever get that feeling? That you really need a damn win this time? I think we’ve all been there. I’m a stubborn Germanic punk who’s here to break my way into comics with a sledge hammer if necessary.

John: Absolutely! Explain a bit of your creative process for me.

Von: A concept will hit me and may stick. I may make a note. I’ll mull it over for a little while see if it bubbles and more ideas come. See if it finally starts to charge me. Then decide to jam with it a bit and see what hits. I’ll write some notes and ideas for fights or other cool things loosely. I have a trick to share with you also. I always do this for my projects and it works for me but may not for others but, I like to design my own logo on what I’m working on. It just gives me a sense of purpose and direction. A goal to reach to make that logo a reality once I finish the project. I also gather images from art that inspires me and gives me visual direction. I make an image board. (No, I don’t use pintrest. I make mine in photoshop.) Then I develop the characters and then write a really solid structure. Always structure people. The structure will be with you. Always. There’s no way out of it. And I use that to write a first draft in Final Draft. Then I print it out and mark it up with edits by hand like it owes me money. Then I redraft in Final Draft. Then polish again as I turn it into a full on comic script. By the time I go to comic mode I have a refined script on my hands and the comic writing can flow with ease and I can edit things to better suit a comic as I go. A lot of my concepts are based on me being a dick and trying to find ideas that go against the grain just a little while also somehow having mass appeal. There’s a lot more but maybe I’ll sell it to you in a book someday.

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

Von: I’ve always loved bad-ass over the top violent comics. They just have the most fun in them for me. So there’s those mixed with 80’s movies and music. Both of those influence my style, humor, the horror I go for, and the heart I try achieve with every story. I also love Also anime and manga floored me when Robotech hit the states in the 80’s and I’ve been learning from it ever since. My work in terms of action may have more manga influences than western ones. I may take storytelling elements from them as well such as big fearful reactions.

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

Von: It’s not the poison that kills you, it’s the dose. Get a FULL DOSE of Monster M.D on IndieGoGo. You won’t regret it. You can find me at __RiseAgainComics__ on twitter and as Rise Again Comics on Youtube. Also this interview rhymed extremely well. John, Von, John, Von. Also my friend Karl O’ Rowe rules. DEATHSWORN!

John: Once again Von, I would like to say congratulations and thank you for being a part of indie comics showcase. We wish you the best of luck on all future projects.

Von: I can’t thank you enough for, as the SJWs would say, “Giving me a platform”. Those nerds. I really appreciate it! Support your local monster doctor today!

Please Visit The Campaign Site Here.

 


Slaughter Squad

by Joseph King

A 24 page comic about a team of farm animals trying to overthrow the state. 

Somewhere in Texas, a bull with nothing to lose forms a team to overthrow the state, armed with nothing but horns and a bad attitude. And lots of guns. Creator Joseph King has been an animator for the past ten years, working on such properties as RICK AND MORTY, COSMOS, FINAL SPACE, LAB ZERO GAMES, HARMONQUEST, ANIMALS and more. Now he’s making his own comics! I interviewed Joseph about his break into comics with Slaughter Squad!

Please Visit The Campaign Site Here.

John: Joseph, welcome ato Indie Comics Showcase. Let’s about Slaughter Squad, a comic about farm animals trying to overthrow the state of Texas.

Joseph: Thanks for having me! Slaughter Squad is a spinoff based on a character I created years ago for a flash game and an animated short. I can see it going back into game form or animation form in the future.

John: So Joseph, what can you tell us about yourself?
 
Joseph: I’ve been a professional animator for 10 years and worked on TV cartoons such as Rick and Morty, Cosmos, Harmonquest, and Animals. I’ve also done some animation work for Lab Zero Games. But comics were my first love!

John: Tell us how Slaughter Squad started out.

Joseph: It started off as a joke “What if a WB cartoon went all Rambo in a slaughterhouse?” Over the years I’ve fleshed out the characters in my head and become very attached to them.

 

 

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

Joseph: Looney Toons, Rambo, Animal Farm, Rambo, Punisher, Predator, Rambo. I’ve been listening to a lot of Devin Townsend, Motorhead and Rammstein to put me in the mood while I work.

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

Joseph: I’ve been working in animation for the past 10 years so I treat it the same way. I go back and forth between scriptwriting and doodling ideas at the same time. Once I’m happy with the script I start thumbnailing the whole book, making edits as I go. Then I scan it into my compy and start doing linework, coloring and finally lettering in my new favorite software: Clip Studio Paint.

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

Joseph: I was traumatized by Ren and Stimpy as a child. I grew up reading Xmen and Spiderman. I watched a lot of Schwarzenegger movies. I’ve been an avid reader since I was a kid but I only recently read Animal Farm. I suppose I have a twisted sense of humor as a result.

John: What are your hopes for Slaughter Squad and for the future?

Joseph: After I finish this 8 part series I have ideas for a few more story arcs. Maybe make a beatemup game after that.

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

Joseph: I tried to be a vegetarian for a week but I can’t live without cheeseburgers. Sorry, Killgore!

Please Visit The Campaign Site Here.

 


“Pakkins’ Land” Omnibus
by Gary Shipman

Follow the adventures of an average boy named Paul into the extraordinary world of Pakkins’ Land. Pakkins’ Land is an epic all-ages fantasy story created by husband and wife team, Gary and Rhoda Shipman. Originating as a critically hailed comic book series, the story was written by the pair with Gary Shipman illustrating the series. This campaign is for the PAKKINS’ LAND OMNIBUS and it’s the first time that PAKKINS’ LAND has been collected in to one volume, with more than 415 pages of story and art.  I spoke with creator Gary Shipman about the campaign recently

Chris Braly: Gary, thanks for coming on Bleeding Fool to talk about Pakkins Land! Briefly tell our readers what the story is about.

Gary Shipman: The Pakkins Land Omnibus is the complete collection of a comic book series that I started over 25 years ago, it’s been published by Caliber Press, Image Comics and Alias Comics-back in the late 90’s it was nominated for Eisner, Russ Manning and Harvey Awards.

The story Follows the adventures of Paul as a series of strange events bring him to a fantastic world called “Pakkins’ Land”. There he meets a mysterious giant Eagle of light who gives him a feather as a token of friendship. At the touch of this feather, Paul knows it is something special, and as the Eagle mysteriously vanishes, Paul finds that he is lost in this new world. Soon he is met by extraordinary talking animals, they set off together to find their long lost King Aryah (the Lion), and try to return Paul to his own land. The pathway is not without danger, and thus begins the adventure of this ALL AGES story called Pakkins’ Land.

Chris: What inspired you to produce an omnibus project?

Gary: Initially we were going to pick up the Pakkins’ Land story where we had left off years ago, but as we talked about it on social media we realized that so much time has gone by from when Pakkins’ Land first came out, that there is a whole new group of people that have never heard about PL at all. We were being asked a lot of questions about the back story…it seemed like a good idea to do something that we have always wanted to do…collect it all into one book.

Chris: And how much material is it collecting?

Gary: The omnibus collects 415 pages of the original Pakkins’ Land story and art. If you count short stories and the zero issue…it’s around 18 issues in one big volume.

Chris: This sounds like a massive project since Pakkins’ Land has been published in many forms by various publishers over the last 2 decades.

Gary: Yes, at times it has been overwhelming just because of the sheer volume of work that needs to be collected from so many years ago.

Chris: What have been some of the biggest challenges for you and how are you overcoming them?

Gary: One of the biggest challenges for me has been making the time to actually sit down and get done what needs to be done without distraction from outside work…Don’t get me wrong I love the outside work, that’s why it’s so hard to overcome. I love it. Deadlines are a big help in overcoming that. For example the Indiegogo campaign ends on a certain date… and fulfillment needs to be done by a certain date… So I need to get it done. I try to set time aside everyday just for concentrating on finishing the Pakkins’ Land omnibus campaign.

Chris: Tell us about your creative team.

Gary: The creative team is rather small consisting of myself, my wife Rhoda and some of my friends who help with editing and kicking around plot ideas….but the bulk of it is done by me.

Chris: And what does your creative process look like?

Gary: Most of the time an image will come into my head and I’ll sketch it out with a pen and paper. Then I’ll create a story-line from the image by breaking up the image into multiple panels. I usually will add the text last.

Chris: What made you decide to crowdfund this project?

Gary: For years I’ve been wanting to create videos of my drawings on YouTube but was never able to do it the way I wanted to…I just didn’t have the right setup or equipment, then I found out about live streaming and thought “That’s it!” So I started live streaming my art videos on YouTube, and from there people started following my channel and became interested in my the different things I have worked on, one of the projects of interest was Pakkins’ Land…and as we would talk about it on the stream the interest began to grow more and more and I started talking with some comic professionals I knew who had crowdfunded with Indiegogo themselves, and they gave me some good advice.

Chris: And can you tell us what stage is the project is in currently?

Gary: Right now the omnibus campaign is Indemand on Indiegogo and we are making the changes and edits done and getting the art files ready for our printer.

Chris: What first inspired this project?

Gary: I’ve always loved comic books and was a heavy collector during the 80’s collecting X-men, Daredevil, Teen Titans etc…but shortly after Frank Miller’s Dark Knight and Alan Moore’s Watchmen it seemed like comics had reached their pinnacle and I lost interest in the medium-this was right around the time Image Comics was launching their first comics, so I never got into any of the Image books. At that time, even though I wasn’t into comics, I would come up with my own stories, ideas and drawings but I didn’t think anyone would be interested in them if I was to develop them and publish them in a comic book from-let alone a publisher. So I didn’t pursue them seriously until a friend of mine who owned a comic book store said that I should read a book called Bone by Jeff Smith, I read it reluctantly and was totally inspired by what I read. This was a shot in the arm for me. Could it be that there was still hope in comics? I wanted to tell my stories and started working seriously on the Pakkins’ Land ideas I had come up.

Chris: And why tell it in comic book format?

Gary: I have always loved the comic book medium, the way a story can be told is only limited by the scope of the creator.

Chris: And do you have any final thoughts you’d like to share with our readers?

Gary: Sure. If you have a dream…something that you really love to do…go after it. There are no guarantees that it will be a success, but how know! There are also no guarantees that taking a regular route, doing something that means nothing to you will be a success either. Wouldn’t it be better to pursue something you love and maybe fail trying than to do something that you don’t love and maybe fail anyways.

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

Gary: Thanks Chris!

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Well dear readers, I hope you’ve enjoyed checking out these projects and getting to know their creators, I know I have. I’ve already got a pretty good start on next weeks installment. If you are an Indie Comics creator and have a crowdfunding campaign that you would like featured on Indie Comics Showcase, please feel free to contact either Bleeding Fool or myself and we will do our best to fit you in to one of our future installments!

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!