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!
This week, we’ve everything from psychological horror to all-ages fare, and we’ve got some names you’ll definitely recognize along with a cute father son creative team that I know you’ll want to check out! Now remember, every little bit counts, from the single dollar pledges to the fifty 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. Take a few minutes this new comic book day and check them out, visit their campaigns. And in the meantime, I thank you all for being the best part of Indie Comics Showcase!
Let’s jump in!
by Blake Northcott & Scott Lobdell
Blake Northcott: I’m working with Roc Upchurch from Rat Queens fame, and Scott Lobdell who needs no introduction, but he recently scored huge with the horror movie Happy Death Day. So we decided to collaborate on a horror project, and here we are!
Blake: That’s a great question. For me, horror is such a visual medium. I really wanted to show as much as tell. I know Steven King and others are masters at prose when it comes to horror, but that isn’t really my wheelhouse – when I write, it’s sci-fi, fantasy and spycraft. It’s more action based.
Blake: A girls softball team takes a wrong turn in the Florida Everglades, and craziness ensues. But not the way you’d expect. Our concept was to take a somewhat standard horror premise and do something crazy and unexpected with it. I think we’re going to surprise a lot of readers!
Blake: Excellent! Just passed the $30,000 stretch goal in Canadian dollars. I have no clue how much that is in American dollars, but it’s doing well. Well over 700 backers now and the campaign is only half finished. I’ve gotten lots of requests to re-launch it on Indiegogo when it’s done on Kickstarter, so that is the next logical step. That way if you prefer one platform over the other, you’ll get your chance to grab this before it’s too late!
Blake: It can be a little daunting since Scott is out in Hollywood, or flying off to exotic locations, Roc is in Texas, and Leila Leiz (the variant cover artist) is French, but lives in Italy. And I’m out in Eastern Canada. It’s crazy! But these are seasoned pros. They get their business handled, and I never have to worry about any of them. It’s not like the 90s when you had to be physically in the same office to collaborate on a book. I loved the 90s, but technology makes things a lot easier.
Blake: I hope the readers get to enjoy some escapism. That’s it. Horror is wild and fun and crazy, and it lets us take a break from the daily grind. As for more tales, this is a story with a definitive beginning, middle and end. But as always, never say never. If it becomes a Hollywood movie and makes a ton of money, I can pretty much guarantee a sequel will be in the works. That’s how the business operates!
Blake: Publishing independently is like working with the handcuffs off. It’s really liberating. You give customers what they want, with no filters, and get direct feedback. There is nothing else like it.
Blake: First of all, never send original characters and story ideas directly to publishers. It can become a legal issue, so always ask about their policies before pitching, or go through an agent. And as for creating your own comics, my advice is just do it. No one is stopping you. Write, make art, collaborate, and do what you love. Tell your story, your way. If it connects with an audience, you’ll know right away. If not, make adjustments and try again. The creators who succeed are the ones who don’t quit when they get discouraged along the way.
Blake: That I’m adding a ton of stretch goals, the book now has a back-up story, and it is going to be awesome. If you love horror, baseball, action, and girls in cute uniforms, this is for you.
Blake: Thank you, Chris! Appreciate it. I’m rooting for you, too. And for the record, Bleeding Fool is by far the best comic book website with the word ‘Bleeding’ in the title. I know that is an extremely low bar considering the alternative, but you’re doing great.
Back this crowdfunding campaign and be a part of something special. Only 4 days left – click here to back it now!
This interview was part of a longer interview that was published in full here.
PILLOWMAN & BLANKETBOY: MAXIMUM VELOCITY
by Shaun & Parker Davis
Pillows can fly and blankets are alive! The newest comic duo is set to save the world! It’s a brand new and epic indie comic book adventure from the father & son team of Shaun and Parker Davis
Please Visit Their Campaign Site here!
John: Shaun & Parker, I want to welcome you both and thank you for being a part of Indie Comics Showcase. It’s truly fantastic to talk to both of you about your creation, Pillowman & Blanketboy: Maximum Velocity. It’s a truly different and incredibly fun Indie Comic.
Shaun: We appreciate the opportunity John to talk about Parker’s book for a little bit.
Parker: Thanks for having us!
John: Before we get started I was hoping you could tell us a little bit about yourselves .
Shaun: Well I’m just your normal husband and father. I have two wonderful kids. I’ve always enjoyed comics and comic art. I dabbled with drawing for years and like most people I gave it up when I simply couldn’t find the time unfortunately. It wasn’t until 2018 I started drawing again.
Parker: I’m about to start sixth grade at the end of August. I like to play with Lego’s, and I enjoy drawing and creating this comic with my dad.
John: What can you tell us about Pillowman & Blanketboy: Maximum Velocity? Where it’s been, where it’s going, and your plans for the future?
Shaun: Pillowman and Blankeyboy: Maximum Velocity is a one-shot. We didn’t want to make it an origin story because we wanted to get to the meat and potato’s of what kind of heroes PM and BB are. The origins are something the reader will find out in the future main series storyline, The Closet of Doom. Maximum Velocity tells the story of a seemingly quiet night is shaken by a sudden explosion at a pharmaceutical supply warehouse where three menacing V-bots, controlled by their dastardly master VELOCITY ONE, are on the hunt for a “secretweapon”. Their mission is halted by a security guard who is on his very last shift before retirement. Suddenly in over his head, the guard is caught up in a battle for his life.
Luckily for him PILLOWMAN AND BLANKETBOY are here to save the day…hopefully. Velocity One is ever cunning and always has a contingency plan for everyone and everything. He will be a formidable foe for our heroes and this will be a fight for life or death.
John: Woah! Can you tell us a little bit about how Pillowman & Blanketboy: Maximum Velocity came to be, how the characters and story were conceptualized?
Shaun: Well the whole idea for Pillowman and Blanketboy came about in 2009 when Parker was three, he used to always wear his blanket as a cape like every kid does. One day I was sitting on our front porch and he starts telling me about Blanketboy. Blanketboy was a sidekick to Pillowman. Just like every parent does with a small child you nod your head and say that’s nice and it’s the last you hear of it. Boy was I wrong. Parker kept talking about it and talking about it. My wife and I had never had him carry on about something for so long before.
One night I decide to crudely draw what he’s describing and that was the real birth of Pillowman& Blanketboy. Over the past 9 years the characters have grown more complex and the stories more fantastical because as Parker grows, so do the heroes. In late 2018 since, I am at home all the time because of a medical disability, so I decided it was time to put his ideas to paper. Because of that, I started drawing again and when I thought I was able to actually do a full comic, we really dug in and started working on Pillowman and Blanketboy: Maximum Velocity.
Parker: I don’t really remember because I was so young. My dad had a sketch book full of their designs from when I was three, so I was able to come up with more characters and stories the older I’ve gotten.
John: What does this project mean to you, what about it made it a story you wanted to tell?
Shaun: Just to see Parker’s passion in coming up with the characters and stories are a joy for me. A child’s imagination is a glorious thing and I want to give the readers a chance to see exactly what a child can do. If anything I hope parents will help their own children explore their imaginations.
Parker: I just want to be able to share my ideas with everyone and have them enjoy it and want more.
John: What are some of the things that have served as a source of inspiration when working on Pillowman & Blanketboy: Maximum Velocity? Do you read anything, watch any shows, listen to music as you work?
Shaun: The only inspiration for the comic is Parker, just to be able to work with my son is a phenomenal joy. Sitting back and listening to him describe things is mesmerizing.
John: That’s neat. What are some of the first comics you remember reading?
Shaun: I was always partial to Superman and Batman comics because I would always watch Penfriends in the mid 80’s.
Parker: Batman and Spider-man comics have always been my favorites to read!
John: What are some of the comics that have made the biggest impact on you?
Shaun: I could never get enough Superman comics growing up. I would also always try to find World’s Finest comics because it had both Batman and Superman in them.
Parker: Batman comics have always been something I loved to read. When I was little I couldn’t wait to be ten so I could be Robin like Damian Wayne. When I got older and realized Batman wasn’t real, I was devastated, but I still love Batman and Robin!
John: I know that feeling. Can you tell us a bit about your creative process?
Shaun: My biggest thing is trying to keep up with Parker’s mind. I’ll be working and he’ll come up to me and tell me an idea and then he’ll go and watch TV or play and then ten minutes later he’ll come back and tell me something else to add to what he talked about earlier. Finally after three or four times of doing that, I’ll tell him to write it down or draw it out. It’s exhausting to keep up with him mentally sometimes.
Parker: I don’t really have a process. I just come up with something and then tell my dad. After that he tells me that I need to write it down or draw it to keep track of everything and not forget it.
John: What have some of your influences been over the years and how have they affected your work?
Shaun: I mostly enjoy the earlier comics from the 60’s to the early 2000’s. I don’t really collect comics today because it’s just not something I’m interested in anymore. I don’t need the politics or the social agendas they seem to try to force on the readers. We promise that our comic will take you back to the days when comics were real comics!
Parker: I love anything Batman and Robin, and you can really see this through Pillowman and Blanketboy, even though Pillowman is more like Superman character wise.
John: What are your hopes for Pillowman & Blanketboy: Maximum Velocity and for the future?
Shaun: Well first off we hope to get it 100% funded. As of right now it’s been slow moving, but we knew it was going to be an uphill battle. Crowd-funding is always a crap shoot. As an all ages-comic, I knew that finding a base would be tough. Our comic is more like Axe Cop, The Tick (from the 90’s animated series), and Batman and Robin. If we can secure funding, we would love to do a regular series. Like I said earlier, we want to do the next chapter The Closet of Doom story line in the regular series.
Parker: My hope is that a lot of people will be able to see it and enjoy it.
John: Is there anything else you want to share with us before we sign off?
Shaun: We just hope everyone will take a look at our campaign and decide to give us a chance. We promise we will give you some good old fashioned comic book fun.
John: Once again Shaun, Parker, 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.
Shaun: Thank you again John for having us be a part of Bleeding Fool!
Parker: Thank you!
by Wes Klimers
Chris Braly: What is the ‘elevator pitch’ for Good Land? Briefly tell our readers what it’s about.
Wes Klimers: A tech mogul becomes the linchpin to the apocalypse when he exposes a centuries-old conspiracy.
CB: Can you let us in on who or what inspired you to make this comic?
WK: My biggest inspiration was a Dutch whistleblower – Ronald Bernard. He was a wealthy bank exec that rose to the top of the banking world and witnessed a horrifying reality among the elite. This grown man is in tears and you can tell he doesn’t even fully understand what he’s seen. He explains these things just as you would expect a bank exec to explain them – with a certain degree of naivety. That really struck me. I thought, “what if a character with an equivalent background is able to fight these atrocities?” You know… instead of just “blowing the whistle”. But, I didn’t want him to willingly fight. He’s forced into it. It’s kill or be killed and he doesn’t exactly embrace it. What you end up with is this depressed, fallen, just-lost-everything loser with nothing more to lose.
Throughout the series, he will increasingly embellish the opportunities to hurt these people. I think people are going to really enjoy how the characters within Good Land change with the world around them. Imagine what a raging political activist might become in an apocalyptic environment. What kind of extremes they might embrace to survive? Or, a disgraced media personality – what might they become when forced to embrace extremes to survive? That’s what makes the premise of Good Land so compelling. You could do almost anything and make sense out of it.
CB: Fascinating. What made you decide a comic book was the best way to tell this story?
WK: I think of comics as the best way to tell a story that you might eventually want to see in a different medium. I think it’s the best way to lay a foundation because you have all the visuals, the atmosphere, the mood. You can write it as deep and as eloquently as you want. When you’re finished with this completed work, you can now easily apply this to video games, animation, film, etc. And, for me personally, that’s what I want to see. I want to see an adaptation in something else.
CB: Tell us about your creative team members – who is doing what and how did you come together?
WK: Glauco Silva is illustrating, Gwen Daligault doing colors and, of course, Eric Weathers on letters.
I discovered Glauco on DeviantArt. I believe he was illustrating Pokemon characters that were so bold and clean, they were like mascot logos. I thought it would be fun to see how he would handle something grounded in reality. He hasn’t disappointed one bit! I then found Gwen on DeviantArt as well, but I actually fired her for a cheaper option before realizing I made a terrible mistake… and she graciously returned! Never sacrifice quality! And Cal (Shinobi Sasquatch) was my go-to guy for questions while I was catching up on the indie scene. Cal recommended Eric for lettering. I’m thrilled that Eric saw the potential in this project enough to want to be a part of it.
CB: What has the creative process been like? What tasks are you handling for this campaign?
WK: When I wrote this fallen adware developer as the central character it was so easy to dream up and visualize what could be happening to him, who his enemies were and how the rest of society might react. Since he’s a wealthy person with this popstar girlfriend, it puts him right in the public eye. That opened up even more possibilities. Then you throw in an apocalyptic event… It’s so much fun writing this that even I want to know what happens next and I’m pretty far along with this story.
I will be and have been handling everything outside of the art production – the writing, the campaign, logo design, video promos, graphics, etc.
CB: Can you tell us what stage is the project is in currently?
WK: Everything is complete except for the lettering. The campaign only needs about $4,000 to be realized. We just finished a new perk for the final stretch – a beautiful 2-page spread cover! And, don’t forget … Every physical perk includes a poster and stickers!
CB: What kinds of comic fans do you think this will appeal to? What are some known comics you might compare this to?
WK: Fans of apocalyptic tales – even the ones with zombies. Good Land has its own version of zombies, but that will have to be shrouded in mystery for now. Fans of psychological horror. Fans of 90’s era books with an emphasis on toxic masculinity. Underneath the rough exterior of Good Land is the celebration of the classic role of man and woman and I think it will be refreshing for readers to see. Some unprecedented things will take place. That’s all I can say.
Compares to comics like Judge Dredd, Wasteland, Infinite Horizon and The Crow. In movie terms, it’s like throwing Jason Bourne in the Book of Eli and then Book of Eli becoming Evil Dead.
CB: What else can you share about the project? And do you have any final words for our readers?
WK: Good Land doesn’t just plant you in the middle of some war-torn city or barren landscape without any explanation of how or why. Good Land is taking you on that downward spiral from start to finish!
This is an Apocalyptic Pulp. You’ll witness the “end of the world” through the perspectives of several realistic characters that will be forced to transform in the name of survival. Get ready for twists, turns, big reveals and sub-plots… not to mention a genre-switch! With this much creativity applied to every aspect, this could be the Star Wars of apocalyptics!
CB: Thanks for chatting with us! Good luck and we are rooting for you!
WK: Thank you, Chris! I appreciate the opportunity!
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