Indie Comics Showcase #53

 

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!

 


City of Venus: Dead City

by Vinnie Tartamella

 

Post apocalyptic action scifi story, A woman who unknowingly has the power to save the world.

Please Visit The Campaign Site Here.

I spoke with creator Vinnie Tartamella about this post-apocalyptic tale, and have to say I think his artwork is very nicely stylized with an equally nice polish and vibrancy to it. Additionally, the colors really help the paneling and action sequences of City of Venus: Dead City. They really pop. Here’s what we discussed in my recent interview.

 

John: Vinnie , Welcome to and thank you for being a part of Indie Comics Showcase. I happy to be discussing your Indie Comic City of Venus: Dead City with you today.

Vinnie: Hi John, thank you for having me!

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

Vinnie: Well, I’ve been  a working artist in the comic, toy, and entertainment world for a while now. I started working for McFarlane right after high school, becoming a lead designer to his toy company before going freelance. I’ve done work for Toybiz/Marvel, Diamond Select. I’ve also done cover work for Devil’s Due, Image Comics, Blue Water comics , where I got a lot of media coverage on the Portraits I’ve done of Celebrities, political figures, and musicians like the Beatles! I’ve also done a number of storyboard work and concept art for films and games.  I went back into comics with my co-created ghost series, Through the Woods, with my brother(writer) Frankie Tartamella.

John: Without Spoilers, what can you tell us about City of Venus: Dead City? Where it’s been, where it’s going, and your plans for the future?

Vinnie: City of Venus:Dead City is a story that i’ve wanted to tell for a while. The sparks of it came back when I was in high school and evolved over the years. Having touched it up every few years, it’s one of those many creations that had sat in a box waiting for its time to be told. It’s going to open up into a larger world of action, science, and drama for the characters. I’m aiming to tell a fun tale that will unravel over the course of about 6 or so books (the next issue aiming for a 40 page count, give or take) 

John: Can you tell us a little bit about how City of Venus: Dead City came to be, how the characters and story were conceptualized?

Vinnie: The concept and story came about from an idea, “what if” the world keeps going in the direction its going? The world would be destroyed. The people in power using and manipulating everyone they thought were less than them. And what if there was the emergence of a hero that might actually have the power to fix or change the world! Someone who seemingly has no clue of how and why the world came to be put in this situation. There’s a deeper story I can’t say yet without spoiling things..

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

Vinnie: Some of my firsts comics were spiderman, batman, x-men. 80s books and having gone back to earlier years as well. So plenty of Mcfarlane, Silvestri, John Buscema, Brian Bolland.

 

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

Vinnie: Mainstream books like Killing Joke really did open my eyes to a new level. Anything John Buscema and Stan Lee’s writing really just blew me away! Frank Frazetta paintings were really what made me want to create my own books though, to tell a story and capture even more with single images!  When I was in highschool I started getting into European comics and artists like Enrico Marini.

 

John: What does City of Venus: Dead City mean to you, what about it makes it a story you want to tell?

Vinnie: For me, its a story of how absolute power can destroy if put into the wrong hands. The over all story of the underdog, that seems to come out of nowhere that can fix or change things against great odds and incredible struggles, has always been something I gravitate towards.

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

Vinnie: I like old stories in history, and even listening to the history channel from time to time while I work. My influences come from many places, books, videogames, comics, movies, you name it!

 

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

Vinnie: I try to start projects off with a rough idea or concept. Like a short story in my head. Once I get down certain ideas and themes I want to tell on paper, I then start to figure out the world/characters/designs. Motivations and plots points jump in during that process as well. Having to know each character’s voice is important. My art process is mostly pencil drawings that I either ink traditionally or digital, then I  paint using photoshop.

John: What have some of your influences been over the years and how have they affected your work?
Vinnie: I’ve been influences by the artists and storytellers I mentioned earlier, but also from some video games like resident evil, uncharted, assassin’s creed. Well written shows and movies. I like a rich history and back story when it comes to what influences me.

John: What are your hopes for City of Venus: Dead City for the future?

 

Vinnie: I hope the fans and supporters enjoy the story and world I’m starting to tell, this first issue is just the tip of the iceberg. This comic series will get more into the science and experimentation, the main characters back story and struggles. And ultimately the journey of a new hero that can hopefully entertain many! Or at the very least, give the fans a book that is fun to look at, read, and enjoy for years!

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

 

Vinnie: I want to say thank you to everyone that has been supporting my projects over the years. All my comic book and art book campaigns I launched this year, you guys and girls rock! My label, Mella Art World, is a place where I’m looking to release a world of entertainment! New series and genres for everyone! There has been a ghost series, art books, this future tale, and I have a children’s book on the way soon, an action adventure story, street level books and so much more to come!

John: Once again Vinnie , 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.

Vinnie: Thank you again John, for the having me.

Please Visit The Campaign Site Here.


Feast or Famine – Collected Edition

by Dave Swartz

 

A Sci-Fi Comic Book series starring alternate versions of Einstein & Tesla, by Alterna Comics.

Please Visit The Campaign Site Here.

Feast or Famine is a Retro Future Style Science Fiction Spacefaring Adventure Graphic Novel Staring alternate versions of Nikola Tesla and Albert Einstein. It’s very colorful and since it’s being published Alterna Comics which means, It’s going to be printed in glorious News Print, making it feel just that much more like the comics we read as kids.  

 

John: Dave , Welcome to and thank you for being a part of Indie Comics Showcase. I am happy to be discussing your Indie Comic Feast or Famine – Collected Edition with you today.
 
Dave: I’m happy to join you anytime to discuss my little sci-fi comic.
 
John: Before we get started I was hoping you could tell us a little bit about yourself .
 
Dave: Sure thing. I’ve been writing and illustrating comics for 5 years now. Got started with a self published graphic novel titled, ‘ATLAS:Origins’ about a metaphysical superhero. Then got my first published work with ‘Feast or Famine’ is now currently being collected into a trade paperback.
 
John: Without Spoilers, what can you tell us about Feast or Famine – Collected Edition? Where it’s been, where it’s going, and your plans for the future?
 
Dave: Feast or Famine is about an alternate universe where Nikola Tesla & Albert Einstein partner together and go on a space adventure! The first issue sold out at distribution 2 days before it was released. The second issue sold out completely and is going to a second printing. I have plans for a sequel, but it may not happen anytime soon. 
 
 
John: Can you tell us a little bit about how Feast or Famine – Collected Edition came to be, how the characters and story were conceptualized?
 
Dave: After I did ATLAS:Origins, I wanted to push myself to create a few stories from different genres including horror, fantasy, and sci-fi. For my sci-fi story, I knew I wanted my main character to be Nikola Tesla. He’s such a huge contributor to our modern society, and hardly anyone really knows who he was, or the extent of his genius. I thought, “What if Tesla had won the energy race instead of Edison?”. That got me thinking of the possibilities of what Tesla could be doing in a parallel universe? Maybe he would recruit other scientists to work with? That’s what got me thinking about Einstein. If these two brilliant minds worked together, what could they accomplish? Maybe their world would resemble something out of a Golden Age sci-fi comic, but during the turn of the century? It was a great launching pad for a story, but I didn’t have anything to fill it out at first. 
 
 
 
Then a few months later, I was going back through my story ideas and I found a concept for a story about an alien distress signal from a world that appears amazing on it’s surface, but hides a terrible secret underneath. It fit so perfectly with the alternate Tesla & Einstein characters, it became a perfect marriage! 
 
 
John: What are some of the first comics you remember reading?
 
Dave: Oh man! I fondly remember reading old Justice Society comics, and the original X-men reprints. I would sit on the couch for hours and read stacks of Golden & Silver age comics from my uncle’s collection.
 
 
 
 
John: What are some of the comics that have made the biggest impact on you?
 
Dave: I was a huge fan of the DC Versus Marvel crossover series from the 90’s. It was the first huge event in comics that I remember actively collecting everything I could. The trading cards were my whole life for a year or so of my childhood. I also used to pick my favorite page of those comics, and draw it the best that I could.
 
 
 
 
John: What does Feast or Famine – Collected Edition mean to you, what about it makes it a story you want to tell?
 
Dave: I feel that Tesla has been forgotten in the pages of history. His ability to conceptualize his inventions with a focus on creating things for the common good, rather than for the fame or profit of it all. Through this story, I wanted to give him a chance to create a better world and to have fun with it.
 
John: What are some of the things that have served as a source of Inspiration when working on Feast or Famine – Collected Edition? Do you read anything, watch any shows, listen to music as you work?
 
Dave: Obviously I was highly inspired by retro sci-fi like, Lost in Space, Buck Rogers, Flash Gordan and even the original Fantastic Four. When I work I usually listen to tv shows and podcasts.
 
 
 
John: Can you tell us a bit about your creative process?
 
Dave: Sure. I am a writer and illustrator so I’ve been on all sides of the process. I started out doing everything myself. Usually beginning with a rough outline, then moving into a more structured script. All the while envisioning the design of the panels as I write. Then move to layouts and final designs.
 
However, for Feast or Famine, it was the first time I worked with another artist. At first I expected to have much more to say about Joseph Cooper’s drawing. However, Joseph’s experience and talent was truly a pleasure to watch unfold. I would say, I actually learned much more about drawing and sequential story telling just from seeing page after page roll into my inbox each day.  
 
I enjoy working in both ways, but I really enjoy the flexibility of doing it all myself. This way, I can draw something different than what I wrote, if in the moment I feel it needs improvement. 
 
 
 
 
John: What have some of your influences been over the years and how have they affected your work?
 
Dave: I am a huge fan of artists that make their way into writing as well. Some of my favorites are, Francis Manapul, Sean Gordan Murphy, Frank Miller, and recently Dan Mora. His work on Klaus and Power Rangers is amazing!
 
John: What are your hopes for Feast or Famine – Collected Edition for the future?
 
Dave: I hope when people read it, they will take a closer look at Tesla and his story. I think he has a lot to teach us, not only about technology and invention, but in working with nature and using the best ideas to build our world. Sadly, we live in a world where profits drive innovation instead of the common good.
 
 
 
 
John: Is there anything else you want to share with us before we sign off?
 
Dave: Just to thank everyone for the support for this series and indie comics in general. The big two may be on a decline, but indie comics are on the rise, which I couldn’t be happier about!
 
John: Once again Dave, 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.
 
Dave: Thank you for having me! 
 

 

 


RELIC: Shadows of Light
by Dennis Chacon Neira

Crusader, Exorcist Priest, Immortal, Superhero, He is RELIC! Set to be a 40-page book, this story has been in the works for the past 5 years and creator Dennis Chacon Neira is fianlly ready to “pull the trigger” on bringing this story to life. This tale is something that Dennis has always wanted to bring to the comic book medium, with backers’ support he hopes to be able to tell this epic story of an immortal Crusader that hunts down evil of many forms! 

Visit the campaign page here!

ONLY 5 DAYS LEFT!!

 

Bleeding Fool: What is the ‘elevator pitch’ for Relic Shadows of Light? Briefly tell our readers what it’s about.

DCN: This story is about a crusader, Franco of Aragon, during the invasion of the Island of Malta in 1522 AD. It was the second, and ultimately a successful, attempt by the Ottoman Empire, with help from supernatural forces to expel the Knights of Rhodes. Franco, our main protagonist, was mortally wounded at the massacre. Unknown to him and the Crusader Knights, angels were sent from heaven in human form to assist the knights. However, an angel (in human guise) was also wounded during the battle and fell on top of Franco’s body. The supernatural blood poured into Franco’s wounds and the angel’s blood began to change Franco as he was dying.

 

 

BF: Woah. Cool concept! Can you let us in on who or what inspired you to make this comic?

DCN: I have always been fascinated with stories of the crusades, knights in shining armor and the super natural. I’ve also been a fan of TV shows and movies like Highlander, comics like Spawn, and games like Dante’s Inferno. These are just some of the many things that have influenced the creation of Relic.     

 
 

BF: What made you decide a comic book was the best way to tell this story?

DCN: Not too long ago, I was beginning to move away from comics, and then I started seeing a movement online of independent creators being successful at crowdfunding their comics via campaigns on sites like Indiegogo and Kickstarter. They didn’t have to answer to anyone but the costumer. I quickly realized this was the perfect opportunity to tell a story my way without having someone else dictate what should be published, or what not to publish.





BF: I see our friend Brett R. Smith is handling colors on one of your covers. Tell us about your other creative team members – who is doing what and how did you come together?

DCN: Brett is awesome! His colors really make the comic’s cover come alive! The other creators I have helping me is my brother Eric Chacon. He did the animation you see on the Indiegogo campaign. Another buddy of mine, Fabian Falconi, is my editor in this project. 

BF: Sounds like a fun group. Are you handling everything essentially?

DCN: I’m having a lot of fun coming up with concepts and stories for the book and I am handling all of the writing as well as the covers and interior art. 

 

BF: Is the book going to remain in black & white like the pages on the campaign page, or is full color a goal/perk?

DCN: At the moment, yes, it will be a black & white comic, but if I do get it funded and there is enough, I plan to hire a colorist to do the interiors. 

 



BF: What advice would you share with other indie creators that you’ve learned?

DCN: Connect with and make friends with the fans, as well as with other creators that love comics. Stick to your guns when it comes to your IP, and always be courteous to the costumers. They’re the ones that will allow you to continue working in comics if you ever break through.

 

BF: What else can you share about the project?

DCN: If I’m able to get this project funded, I am planning to make a story of Relic every year. Every book would be set in a different time period of his life, with new scenarios, flashbacks, different villains, as well as some familiar foes with history playing a role throughout all of it.

 

 

BF: Sounds pretty cool, Dennis. Love the concept. Do you have any final words for our readers?

DCN: I just want to mention that those who back the project above digital, will receive a poster and a trading card with their shipped orders. I’d also like to say that I believe the comic book industry and entertainment in general is going through a sea change and I only hope that Relic can be a part of that change. Only good can come from this, and I think it’s going to invigorate the comic book industry. 

BF: Well said. Thanks for chatting with us Dennis! Good luck and we are rooting for you!

DCN: Thank You Bleeding Fool!!

 

 

Guys and gals, PLEASE CHECK OUT THESE COMICS!! Consider backing them today! Let’s make it happen for:

City of Venus: Dead City

Feast or Famine

Relic: Shadows of Light

 

That’s it for this installment! Please check out these projects, share them with others who appreciate independent creators, and continue to support indie comics! See you next issue!

 


Be sure to 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!

JUST KEEPING THE LIGHTS ON