Indie Comics Showcase #59

 

Welcome back to another installment of Indie Comics Showcase! All I have to say this week is “support indie comics” as I aim to direct you to some most excellent choices every week! This week is no exception!

Now let’s dive in!

MAGIC COP: DROP DEAD LEG
by Phillip Diaz

 

 

Fast cars, hot beach babes & hotter crime, the only detective with the spells to stop it, Magic Cop! This 88 page, fully colored graphic novel is based in a world that mashes 1980’s ‘Miami Vice’ with the magic and monsters of Halloween Town! I spoke with creator Phillip Diaz recently about the comic.

CHECK OUT THE CAMPAIGN HERE!

 

Chris Braly: We’re here today to talk about your crowdfund comic, Magic Cop: Drop Dead Leg. Tell our readers what it’s about.

Phillip Diaz: Magic Cop smashes the 80s crime of  Miami Vice with the monsters and magic of Halloween town. In the city of Ambrosia, Ignatius Cromwell is a new Magic Cop straight out of the academy, with his magic wand passed down through his family. On this first case he has to learn to work with his new wolfman partner on the edge of retirement as they investigate the murder of a mermaid prostitute. With the aid of a big leprechaun and flirty witch, the team will find out that the city has it’s fair share of skeletons in it’s closet. Fast cars, hot beach babes and even hotter crime, the only detective with the spells to stop it is Magic Cop.

 

 

Chris: Can you let us in on who or what inspired you to make this comic?

Phillip: Yeah, so my brother, Brandon (The interior artist) and I have worked in the arcade industry for around 9 years now and through happenstance, brandon came up with the title “Magic Cop.” This set off a chain reaction of ideas that we started working into a side scrolling beat’em up arcade game like Bad Dudes, Double Dragon, and Streets of Rage. Early on we knew we wanted the aesthetic to be 80s crime mixed with monster fantasy. After creating the main 4 playable characters and many boss characters, the project never got greenlit at our day job so we decided to put all of that work into a comic. So it may be an odd inspiration for a comic, but those early 90s arcade games as well as the iconic series Miami Vice inspired this comic heavily.

 

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

Phillip: As a writer iam very familiar with the comic medium. My brother and I have published small print comics before under Zaid Comics so we are somewhat familiar with it. But for Magic Cop specifically comics is the perfect medium to explore the story. As a writer I have complete control over what is conveyed to the reader and working with Brandon we can bring these characters to life. Whether it is a wolfman detective or a homeless pixie trying to sell candy bars to get by, comics allows the reader to see these fantastic characters mixed in with a familiar world we all know from the 1980s. And in a comic we can provide more focus on the characters and even more story then we could if Magic Cop was an arcade game.

 

 

Chris: Tell us about your creative team members – who is doing what and how did you come together?

Phillip: I am the writer and letterer for Magic cop, Brandon, my brother is the interior artist and this is his first time doing sequential art on this level. He has had a long background in graphic design, creating logos for businesses, recreating art for arcade machines and when we decided to make this book happened he whipped up the radical logo. Then we have our colorist Eugene Betivu, i found him online posting about his colors and when we sent him a test page we were blown away. Eugene really adapts to the theme of whatever book he is working on and it shows from our pages compared to the pages he is doing for HIRO: Blood of patriots. The blinding 80s colors really bring the book together in my opinion. Lastly our 2 cover artists, Pablo Romero, when you see that cover you will know why we grabbed him up for his 80s style. And on our ashcan cover we have Elliot Fernandez, who bring such a professional spike to our book, in fact the original cover art is still available for purchase as part of our campaign. It is such a surreal experience working with a team like this, just last year I felt like I couldn’t find anyone to work with but if you are a writer you just have to look in the right places.

 

Chris: What has the creative process been like? What tasks are you handling for this campaign?

Phillip: The process between everyone has been very smooth. I finished the scripted a few months ago, this is what Brandon is drawing off of and after he finishes a page then Eugene gets it, shoots some colors into it and after it is approved then its off to lettering i go. Since this is our first time working as a team we are trying different techniques of speeding things up, one of those may be for me to do the panel layouts so Brandon can pump pages out faster. As for the campaign I did most of the work, creating the page, making the trailer, and I along with my brother will be fulfilling the campaign.

 

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

Phillip: Right now all of the art for the first chapter is just about done. That being said this is a 88 page book, with 4 chapters in it. We really wanted to capture a story arch, while at the same time laying down a foundation that fans could cling to. No cliff hangers but still leaving space for character grown and lots of room for sequels to this comic.

 

Chris: What kinds of comic fans do you think this will appeal to? What are some known comics you might compare this to?

Phillip Diaz: I think the best part of the comics medium is that it is so eclectic, right now in indy comics no 2 comics are the same. That being said I think Magic Cop will appeal to a variety of fans, modern Image Comics fans that love crime stories with a twist, but also the older reader who remembers the 80s and crime television. On top of that, the fantasy element pulling from Halloween Town, Nightmare Before Christmas will always resonate with readers inner child. As for comics that I would compare Magic Cop to, now that is a hard question…..i would have to say because of the silly premise in a serious world, Spencer and Locke comes to mind. That book is a take on calvin and hobbs where the human detective has a stuffed animal who he sees as a partner. We have the buddy cop element that we play off of a lot. As far as the magic aspect Curse Words is a fun book at Image that I drew a lot of magic inspiration from.

 

Chris: What else can you share about the project? And do you have any final words for our readers?

Phillip: We at Zaid Comics, have a lot planned in the future with Magic cop. Even for our stretch goals we wanted to drag in that 80s flare, enamel pins, 80s sunglasses, the great thing about crowdfunding is that the consumer decides what they get and we want to give them everything we can to make their comic experience the best it can be. We also want them all to know that Magic Cop does not stop here, I have already plotted out more stories for a sequel. The great part about creating these characters for an arcade game is that now I have them stocked up for more books. This is our passion and the better we do on this campaign the more comics we can bring to you!

 

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

Phillip: Thank you so much for your time, and the time of your readers. We at Zaid Comics appreciate all of the support and can not wait to bring this comic to all of you!  

 
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The Seer Chronicles: Origins Deluxe Edition
by Greg Moquin

 

A firefighter by the name John Benson arrives at a research lab called Psycorp Inc. engulfed in flames. He does what any heroic firefighter would do and goes in to save lives. Well, while searching for any sign of people still in the lab the building buries him  until he is later reborn and has to figure out how and why he is brought back.

CHECK OUT THE CAMPAIGN HERE!

 

John Lemus: Greg, Welcome to and thank you for being a part of Indie Comics Showcase. I am happy to be discussing your Indie Comic The Seer Chronicles: Origins Deluxe Edition with you today.

Greg Moquin: Thank you so much for featuring my campaign and comic!

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

GM: I’m a 28 yr old guy from Upstate, NY. I love listening to music, hanging out with friends and my girlfriend of course, haha…I also love writing and from time to time I watch Netflix/Hulu and when I’m not doing any of that I’m working on the business or comic(s) we have planned I’m sleeping. I am the CVO (Chief Visionary Officer) of SeerNova Comics LLC. I along with my business partner Dillon Mysliwiec created the company a little over 2 years ago.

 

JL: Without giving away too much, what can you tell us about The Seer Chronicles: Origins?

GM: Without giving anything away I’d have to say buckle up because it’s definitely a bumpy ride. If you like action-packed storytelling with tons of unique characters mixed in not only the main plot which is this huge conspiracy but subplots that all somewhat connect to the main plot as we go along then this comic is your cup of tea.

 

JL: Can you tell us a bit about how The Seer Chronicles: Origins was conceptualized? How you came up with and fleshed out the characters and story elements?

GM: Well, the rough idea of this story popped into my head 5 years ago. I was having a VERY boring night watching reruns of Everybody Loves Raymond. I decided to open my laptop and there was this voice in my head telling me to just start writing after I looked through old documents which were songs for a band that never came to be, haha. So…I opened a word document and started writing a story about a firefighter and his best friend which happens to be my real-life Uncle that is now a retired firefighter. I had his fictional friend die in a fire at a mysterious research lab called Psycorp. I wrote this story nonstop for months, I barely slept because I became obsessed with writing it. In the beginning, I was trying to think of character names and I thought wouldn’t it be cool if I added even more people from my life into the story, so I did…that helped me flesh out details and where it later was going to go. I took their personalities from real-life and gave it to their characters.

 

One of my goals is to have people connect with at least one character and make it seem that they know that person in real life so when something later happens to a character they truly feel a strong emotion one way or another.  Fun fact I didn’t have a city name in the story until the 2nd time I edited the entire story. The first go around it was in an actual book format and two years ago I finally dissected it by taking out plots unrelated to the main story and made solo series out of them. After the final edit, I had over 1200 pages and it was a full-blown graphic novel trilogy. Also, when I was either at work or just driving around or something I always had ideas for the story pop in my head and I wrote little notes on my phone to use later.

 

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

GM: I actually didn’t read many comics when I was younger, but I did read Spectacular Spider-Man. I now read basically only indie comics.

 

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

GM: Honestly, I think shows and movies have more of an impact on my writing and storytelling aspects. How I write is more like I’m a director and I’m directing where this specific character is going or doing. This graphic novel is slightly told like a Quentin Tarantino movie. I jump around a little and you can see it in this first comic, but it’s on purpose to create connections to the plot.

 

JL: What does The Seer Chronicles mean to you, and what about it makes it a story you want to tell?

GM: I really want to obviously have my story told like any other creator, but this story not only showed me how much I love writing it helped me build a business that is helping other indie creators with their dreams as well which is awesome!

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

GM: While writing I actually have Netflix or Hulu in the background, but sometimes I watch specific shows like Mindhunter because one of my main characters is a serial killer and that show is all about dissecting and learning the serial killer minds and why they do what they do. Sometimes I just watch standup comedy which helps me write some humor into the story so it isn’t just dark, haha.

 

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

GM: My creative process is basically I think of ideas of what I’d want to see in a comic and I think how could I build onto this one specific point to make a reader come back for more. Obviously any writer wants this I think, by that I mean want readers to be interested in their work, but I want them to feel a real connection every time.

 

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

GM: My influences for character development have been Spider-Man, Batman, Green Arrow, Deadpool, and The Joker. Influences as storytelling I got from Harry Potter. Like I said movies and shows have transformed my writing style over the years because how I write is more screenplay and less novel format.

 

JL: What are your hopes for the future of this project?

GM: For the future, I hope to not only have the whole trilogy story told and hopefully have readers begging for more because we have a HUGE timeline of stories to be told!

 

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

GM: I just would like people to know our Kickstarter launches/has launched September 2nd and if people decide to back it that would be freaking amazing! It not only is my passion but as we put out more books SeerNova Comics LLC will be able to grow and by doing so we can help other indie creators grow as well!

 

JL: Once again Greg, 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.

GM: Also, check out Todd Rayner’s project Icepick on Indiegogo! He helped create our variant cover for our Kickstarter and his Indiegogo actually launches the same day as our Kickstarter!

 

 

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Scrimshaw Volume 3: Tears of The Sonoran Sea
by Eric Borden

Scrimshaw: Tears of the Sonoran Sea is the latest installment of the high-octane post apocalyptic thriller from Alterna Comics. The crew of the Runaway Horse has undertaken a dangerous mission on behalf of the Tanto Corporation. Their task: To capture the head of the New Republic of Texas.

CHECK OUT THE CAMPAIGN HERE!

John Lemus: Eric , Welcome back to and thank you once again for being a part of Indie Comics Showcase. I am happy to be discussing your Indie Graphic Novel Scrimshaw which is now on it’s third volume which you have titled Tears of The Sonoran Sea.

Eric Borden: Hi John, thanks for having me back.

JL: Before we get started can you catch us up to how and what has changed since we had you on the first time?

EB: It’s been a big year for Scrimshaw. As you mentioned we’re putting out the 3rd Volume of Scrimshaw which was a 4-issue mini released through our publisher Alterna Comics throughout 2019. With the popularity of Scrimshaw, our artist Dave Mims is enjoying an uptick in work which made it necessary for us to put out a call for a colorist. We lucked out here as the creative team of Ryan Winn (Bloodshot/Gods and Gears) and Spencer Desmond (Can’t Kill Cade, Voidwalker) came on to help us out with the coloring duties and I think the book has gotten even better as a result. I was also fortunate enough to be able to participate in both Wondercon and San Diego Comic Con as a panelist. So it’s been a fun ride so far this year.

JL: Without Spoilers, what can you tell us about Scrimshaw? Where it’s been, where it’s going, and your plans for the future?

EB: Scrimshaw takes place in a ruined world after the melt of the polar ice caps causes a significant rise in sea level. The resulting wars over the remaining resources have been settled and Japan has risen as a world power under the edict: Science Shall Be Our Salvation. So two generations after the result of that operating principle is where we begin our story. We hookup with the crew of the half-fishing vessel, half warship, Runaway Horse. The crew of the Horse is a motley assortment of rogues who’ve come from all over the Pacific to form a loose-knit family. Our first two Volumes cover Captain Hans efforts to obtain an octopus with special properties at a clandestine auction in a bar in the heart of Tokyo. Once Captain Hans captures his quarry the action picks up quickly as the Tanto Corporations Head-of-Security, Mr. Song has been tasked with the octopus recovery and let’s just say he pulls out all the stops in this effort. Scrimshaw: Tears of the Sonoran Sea picks up after the events of the octopus and finds Hans and crew heading to America under orders to capture the head of the Prime Minister of the New Republic of Texas. So you could say it’s a bit of out-of-the-frying pan and into the fire for our crew. 

JL: Can you tell us a little bit about how tackle each installment? How do you keep the story fresh and interesting?

EB: For me each installment starts with the end. If I know where I’m headed at the end of the series then I have a pretty good arena set for characters. The loose framework is there to reach a certain end point. Then you can essentially throw rocks at your characters until they reach that point which is the fun part.

I think the root of keeping the story fresh starts with the character development. Each of my characters has a rich backstory. They’ve lived a life. I know where they were born Who their parents are. What they went through as a kid. What they’ve done as an adult that has brought them all the way to the point you first meet them when you open that comic. All of that information informs how they will react to the events occurring in the story but also to the characters around them, both friend and foe. And while the crews reactions to their adversaries are as a team, the methods they use to get there can be very different. 

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

EB: Oh man. My very first comic was an old Turok: Son of Stone that my Dad got me. That book sparked the interest and it took off like wildfire. My absolute favorite as a kid was Mike Grell’s Warlord from DC. I also read a lot of X-Men, New Mutants, Green Lantern, JLA, and then moved onto the Punisher.

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

EB: The single biggest comic event that made an impression on me as a kid was the death of Cypher in New Mutants #60. As a kid I identified with and was invested in that team. I followed that book religiously and for me Cypher was always the vulnerable one. He didn’t have any special abilities except the language and it was as if a normal, albeit super-smart human had stumbled into a super-team. So when he died saving Wolfsbane, ouch. At that time I didn’t have all the armor one has when they’re an adult, so yeah it left a mark.  I think I’d say a lot of the books from that era influenced my feelings about the medium. That whole Fall of the Mutants crossover was brilliant along with the Mutant Massacre. The Punisher was being written brilliantly in the 80’s and had multiple formats to choose from. Those books definitely colored my perceptions of the anti-hero.

JL: What does Scrimshaw mean to you, what about it makes it a story you want to tell?

EB: For me Scrimshaw provides two opportunities. One is to tell a story on a large scale. There is significant world-building that is taking place in imagining the possible future in which Scrimshaw takes place. I wanted to go the opposite way from the conventional post-apoc, technology is a relic sort of thing we’ve seen in Mad Max, etc. With that framework I was able to reimagine everything from mode of transport, to food supply, international relations, and societal breakdown. It’s been a fun exercise and essentially anything goes. Plus if I want a good old dose of the Road Warrior it’s completely possible that particular areas of the world didn’t fare so well.

EB: The second and most important aspect is tackling the idea of family. The crew in Scrimshaw is a family, if an unconventional one. I think we all know that family isn’t limited to blood ties, we all have that friend or friends we consider as a brother or sister. For me as a person from a single parent/step-parent household with no siblings, my idea of family has evolved differently from say a person with a nuclear family with a number of brothers and sisters. It evolved further after the birth of my son. So Scrimshaw gives me a place to explore the ties of family and brotherhood/sisterhood in a way that might resonate with people out there. We all know family isn’t perfect and the crew is the same.  

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

EB: I wish I had more time to catch more movies which is where There seems to be a golden age of television dawning with so much good content out there right now. But as a part-time writer with a full-time gig and a family,I have to budget where my time is spent so I don’t get to take in as much as I’d like. I’m currently watching The Boys on Netflix which is massive. I come out for all the MCU stuff naturally. Listening to music is definitely ongoing while I work and it can vary. In the past I listened to a lot of Pandora. I just pick a genre for a particular set of scenes I want to write and roll with the punches or melodies, so-to-speak. With Scrimshaw: Tears of the Sonoran Sea and given the connection to the series title I began listening to whale songs, which are so hauntingly beautiful that I can’t really describe. If you listen for a couple of hours it can take you places. It made such an impression on me that it made it into the book.

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

EB: I come from a screenwriting background so after the individual character development takes place, everything that evolves starts with a beat sheet. A beat sheet is essentially a numbered list that establishes the moments and loosely how they connect to one another. I like to note “emotional hit points” as I call them during this process to capture what I want to convey in the script.  As I mentioned before I like to establish the end first so that I know the rough landing spot I’m writing toward. I say rough because I always leave enough room for the characters to potentially guide me to another destination. When the words are really flowing this experience can provide you with what I like to call a lightning-in-a-bottle moment, when one of your characters voices or decisions comes through so crystal clear that it alters the pathway of the story. It doesn’t always happen but when it does it’s amazing.

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

EB: I think this is an evolving situation for me as it probably is for most writers. But there was a singular moment that sparked for me a need to write and that was seeing Braveheart for the first time. I was so moved by a moment in that film that I wept openly in the theater. Now I consider myself a fairly stoic person so this had a profound effect on me and my perspective on what art can be. From there it’s been a voyage of discovery for sure and I’ve learned you can find inspiration and be influenced by many different things. From a turn of phrase in a conversation with a stranger to a viewing a film outside of what you’d normally watch. I can say one of the things that really influenced me lately is finally taking the Robert McKee STORY course a couple years back. The depth of story I learned in that course opened a Pandora’s box of sorts and it has been fun exploring those concepts and finding ways to apply them to my writing.

 

JL: What are your hopes for Scrimshaw for the future?

EB: In the near future I’ll be writing a six-issue arc that continues and most likely wraps up the Scrimshaw story. I’ll also be writing a one-shot called Scrimshaw Mule & Maelstrom that follows two of the ancillary characters we meet in Scrimshaw: Tears of the Sonoran Sea. So if you’re into modified shark girls and a badman of the wasteland then Mule and Maelstrom might be in your wheelhouse. Beyond that I’d like to compile a Scrimshaw art book. Dave’s work is phenomenal and the best of it deserves to be collected. So suffice to say I’ve got my work cut out for me.

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

EB: I want to thank everyone for taking the time to check out this interview and if this has sparked you curiosity we’d love to have your support for Scrimshaw Volume 3 on Kickstarter. If you’re interested you can keep up with me on my website at ericborden.com. I’m also on all social media channels. Twitter/Instagram (@hundredproofeb), and Eric Borden on Facebook.

 

 

JL: Once again Eric , 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.

EB: Thanks John. I really appreciate you lending me your ear for a bit and thank you for your support. It’s been a pleasure.

 

 

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CHECK OUT THIS WEEK’S FEATURED BOOKS!

+ MAGIC COP: DROP DEAD LEG

+ THE SEER CHRONICLES

+ SCRIMSHAW VOLUME 3

That’s it for this installment everyone! Remember, support indie comics!!!

 


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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