Indie Comics Showcase #63

 

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!

 

 

Sharpshooter: The Blind Archer
Rob Nix & Tyler Martin

Blinded by a terrorist attack Olympic gold medalist and archer Chris Hill vows to bring those responsible to justice as Sharpshooter.

 

This comic is by creator Tyler Forrest Martin, the creator of Good Hood Comics and characters like Keisha Carter: Super Woman as well as many awesome characters. With art by Rob Nix who is an outstanding artist. I really like this universe these stories take place in and talked with them both about their newest project.

Please Checkout The Campaign Here.

John Lemus: Rob, Tyler, Welcome to and thank you for being a part of Indie Comics Showcase. I am happy to be discussing your indie comic Sharpshooter: The Blind Archer with you today.

Rob Nix: Sweet, thanks!

Tyler Martin: I’m the one that should be thanking you guys. I really appreciate it, a lot has gone into this project and it’s an amazing feeling to finally be able to talk about it.

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

RN: I’m Rob and I’m a comic book artist located in *censored*!

TM: I’m from Atlanta Georgia and I’m a huge Blerd. I love reading comics, Star Wars, Avatar and anything that the average sport guy would look at and go “what the hell is wrong with that guy? He’s almost 30” I enjoy a good story and more importantly I love writing.

 

JL: Without sharing any spoilers, what can you tell us about Sharpshooter: The Blind Archer? Where it’s been, where it’s going, and your plans for the future?

RN: Tyler (the creator and writer) contacted me about drawing the book.  I thought the concept was cool, and the design of the character sleek and badass.

TM: Sharpshooter has been something I’ve been working on since I was fifteen. To finally be able to share it with our supporters is a true pleasure. The best thing about this book is it’s relatability, it’s so plausible. An amazing story about revenge, heartbreak and how resilient the human spirit and body is. There are so many different scenarios in which to put this character in. It’s going to be a fun and long ride.

 

 

JL: Can you tell us a little bit about how Sharpshooter: The Blind Archer came to be, how the characters and story were conceptualized?

RN: I’ll leave this one to Tyler.  The story and characters were basically ready before I got there.

 

 

TM: Yeah so again I’m from Atlanta and it’s also where the story takes place. Our titular character Mega Woman is so powerful, I mean she’s a god after all and while it’s fun seeing her in action, I wanted something more simple. I wanted a character that was more relatable. Batman is hands down my favorite character in comics. Like the caped crusader it’s Sharpshooter’s mortality that’s the best thing about him. The stakes are high and while Mega Woman is fighting for someone else’s life, Sharpshooter has to fight for that same life and his. It’s going to be interesting to see how all these mortal characters do in a universe full of Aliens, Gods and monsters.

 

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

 

RN: X-men and Spider-man and Batman!

 

TM: The first comic book I ever read was Batman: The long Halloween. This was in the mid 90’s when cartoons where at an all time high. (Poor kids these days) Between that book and the Batman animated series it was the first time I fell in love with comic book and the stories that can come from them. 

 

 

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

 

RN: There was an issue of Batman I picked up when I was a kid.  I remember it had a lot of underboob and it made me feel dirty and weird, but I needed it!  I didn’t have enough money but the store owner was nice enough to let me have it anyway! I kept it hidden like a kid would with a Playboy magazine.  I lost the comic over time but occasionally feel nostalgic for it. Looking back it probably wasn’t that kinky, but it left an impression!

 

TM: Batman: The long Halloween, Batman: Dark Knight returns, Batman: Hush, Injustice series, Superman: Allstar, Spawn and The entire Walking Dead series.

 

JL: What does Sharpshooter: The Blind Archer mean to you, what about it makes it a story you want to tell?

 

RN: It’s a story of losing everything and working your way back up!  I think a lot of people can relate to that. I know I can. Other than that, I like the look of Sharpshooter himself.  I might also get the chance to draw Tyler’s other characters, which look just as cool! I’m also excited to see Chris get revenge on those who wrecked his life!  I wish I could do that in real life!

TM: It’s flaws. Chris Hill (Sharpshooter) is such a flawed character physically and mentally. By all accounts he shouldn’t be the guy he is. He faced tragedy and lost to it. He lost everything. The story is a lot like what so many of us go through every day. Everyday is a battle as we as a society fight depression while trying to do what’s right. For me it hits close to home. Overcoming the impossible no matter the cost.

 

JL: What are some of the things get your creative juices flowing when working on Sharpshooter: The Blind Archer? Do you read anything, watch any shows, listen to music as you work?

 

RN: Been listening to a lot of Kate Bush lately.  Lovely woman.

 

TM: The Blacklist with James Spader should be every writers go to! From the dialogue, character development and scene change. It’s seriously amazing and really helped me write this book. Other than that I have to listen to Drake anytime I’m writing.

 

 

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

 

RN: Hmm.  I usually sketch out crude thumbnails, then find the necessary reference pictures, then I sketch out a crude rough sketch.  Somewhere between inking and colors it becomes a decent picture.

 

TM: When I get an idea my first thing is to scourer the internet to make sure it’s original. After that I go into searching for references and influence. After all that I start writing an outline of what the entire series will be.

 

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

 

RN: Bryan Hitch, Akira Toriyama, David Lynch, John Williams!  The cinematic quality of Hitch’s work always amazed me. Toriyama’s memorable and expressive characters!  Lynch’s weirdness and uniqueness! And William’s amazing and timeless music has always inspired me!

 

 

TM: I get influence from many different creators and their stories. The indie community is so prevalent for my work. Over the past few years I’ve made life long friendships it’s been amazing.

 

JL: What are your hopes for Sharpshooter: The Blind Archer for the future?

 

TM: I think every creator wants to go mainstream right? Nowadays production deals are what gets us up. Netflix, Hulu some streaming service producer whose come across your book. For this book in general I just want those who like the character to enjoy the story. To tell us why they like it and hopefully continue to demand more. 

 

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

 

RN: I want to see Sharpshooter fight some cool supervillains and avenge that which was taken from him!

 

 

TM: The Sharpshooter Kickstarter is currently live and we’ve got some amazing rewards. We got to 77% funding the first week which was a good sign. We’re asking everyone to just check it out. If you can’t pledge an amount then please share and spread the word.

 

JL: Once again Tyler, 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.

 

RN: Just wanted to say thank you, and that I hope people enjoy Sharpshooter!

 

TM: Thanks for your time John again we really appreciate it you could of given this time to any other creator and yet you are here with us. It’s truly and honor. 

 

Please Checkout The Campaign Here.

        

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BRIC-A-BRAC #1: A Fantasy Christmas Story

By Ryan Haack

 

Nutcracker Armies, Good King Wenceslas, and yuletide creatures wage war on Planet Christmas. Can the holiday still be saved?

Please Visit The Campaign Site Here.

 

John Lemus: Ryan, Welcome to and thank you for being a part of Indie Comics Showcase. I am happy to be discussing your Indie Comic BRIC-A-BRAC #1: A Fantasy Christmas Story with you today.

Ryan Haack: This story is so important to me and I appreciate you taking the time to talk to me about it! 

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

RH: Well, I’m a comic book writer residing in New York City. I have successfully funded a Kickstarter for my book Unspeakable Text and I’ve been published in Oneshi Press, Future Quake, and Hyper Epics. Comics are my passion and they have been for many years. I only tell stories that are personal to me, because I feel that if we tell personal stories we get closer and closer to our spiritual destinations, and that should be our true focus as creatives. 

 

JL: Without giving away too much, what can you tell us about BRIC-A-BRAC #1? 

RH: So Rafael and I had been talking about this story for a year before we started actually working on it together. It was originally based on Earth but then I realized it should be on a whole other planet entirely, Planet Christmas, where we would have an excuse to bring so many fantastical visuals to light. The story is about believing in yourself, believing in your goal and sticking to it, and facing new challenges that threaten your goals and beliefs. The book is about 25% which is why we are crowd funding it.

In terms of the future, this comic is part one of an epic three part story. So yes, there are plans for 2 and 3 of course! 

 

JL: Can you tell us a little bit about how BRIC-A-BRAC #1: A Fantasy Christmas Story came to be, how the characters and story were conceptualized?

RH: I’ve always been fascinated with Christmas. I can’t really explain why it’s so special to me, but I’ve always felt connected to it and all its images, songs, decorations and ideas. The story came about because I felt this war brewing between the Christian Christmas and Christmas ideas in culture–so I decided to create a planet where there was truly a war raging against different Christmas objects to illustrate this ideological war going on today. I am a Christian myself and I was always told not to love Santa Claus or all that classic Christmas stuff in elementary, but I just have a huge admiration for Santa and stockings and reindeer and all that. So this story, in short, is about the ideological war going on about Christmas while also showing people how Santa Claus and elves and reindeer are very valuable ideas that are important. 

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

RH: I didn’t start reading comics until I was in middle school. I remember reading Batman: Long Halloween and loving it a lot, especially the Tim Sale artwork. 

 

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

RH: I have always loved Grant Morrison’s Batman and Robin for it’s uniqueness and creativity. I would have to say that that comic is very inspirational to my comic making. 

JL: What does BRIC-A-BRAC #1: A Fantasy Christmas Story mean to you, what about it makes it a story you want to tell?

RH: As mentioned, this story is about how both the Santa Christmas and the Jesus Christmas are equally valuable. I know it’s a kids story, but as a child I was also grappling with this idea of religion versus fun and I have always wanted to write a story about it. 

 

JL: What are some of the things get your creative juices flowing when working on BRIC-A-BRAC #1: A Fantasy Christmas Story? Do you read anything, watch any shows, listen to music as you work?

RH: I created a playlist of many different Christmas songs along with great instrumentals to get me going. I did get some weird looks from friends for listening to Christmas music during the summer, but that didn’t bother me. 

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

RH: I just write the scenes I like first, then connect the dots. 

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

RH: I would say Grant Morrison and Kanye West are my biggest inspirations. Both of them believe in their artwork whole-heartedly regardless of what others say, and greatness must be appreciated. 

JL: What are your hopes for BRIC-A-BRAC #1: A Fantasy Christmas Story for the future?

 

RH: I want to keep telling this story. It’s something I can’t wait to look back on and smile at, because I got to say everything I wanted to about Christmas with an amazing artist like Rafael. 

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

RH: Back BRIC-A-BRAC #1 if you can! We need your help right now! 

JL: Once again Ryan, 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. Also, I know it’s early, but Merry Christmas!

RH: Thanks for the opportunity! I hope people are interested in the book! 

 

Please Visit The Campaign Site Here.

       

 

 

 

Balancing Act: Issue #1

By Yavi Mohan

Balancing Act #1 is the first issue of a planned 4-issue superhero buddy comedy miniseries. 

Please Visit The Campaign Site Here.

John Lemus:  Thank you for being a part of Indie Comics Showcase, Yavi! Let’s talk about Balancing Act: Issue #1 with today.

Yavi Mohan: Thanks John, it’s a pleasure to be here! 

JL: Tell us a little bit about yourself.

YM: Sure! I’m 31, born and raised in London, and I’ve been doing various forms of comedy writing since I was a teenager. I wrote some sketches for the stage at university, and I’ve had a go at writing a couple of sitcom pilots here and there. I’ve been an obsessive comic reader since I was about 17, but Balancing Act is my first time writing one. I was always intimidated by the idea of describing the exact layout of the pages and panels. Fortunately I’ve now realised that an experienced artist can figure out a lot of that for themselves! 

JL: Let’s get into Balancing Act. What’s it about?

YM: Balancing Act is, at its core, a buddy cop comedy. I was really trying to capture the vibe of the type of movies I miss from the 80s and 90s like Beverly Hills Cop and Rush Hour. Neither of my characters are actually cops but one is a private investigator, and they’re trying to solve a crime. The story does also involve superpowers, but it’s not a ‘superhero universe’, nobody is wearing lycra. The story stayed in my head for a year or two, and then a few months ago I decided to try to make it happen. I found the artist, Lee Milewski, online and now issue 1 is on Kickstarter! I have the whole story planned out, and it naturally reaches an end point after 4 issues, so that’s how far I intend for it to go. 

JL: Can you tell us a little bit about how Balancing Act: Issue #1 came to be, how the characters and story were conceptualized?

YM: I was having a Skype brainstorm session with Broadcast Comics founder Kieren Stevens, as I’d been helping out a bit with one of their comics. At the time I had a bit of writer’s block on a solo superhero story, and Kieren suggested I try out a duo or a team. It was the perfect solution for me – as someone whose writing uses a lot of comedic dialogue and interactions, having multiple protagonists made everything click into place. As soon as I decided on having two heroes, I knew it had to be a buddy comedy – one of my all-time favourite movie genres. I then came up with the main storyline being an homage to Beverly Hills Cop, but I won’t give away more than that! I also thought up the nature of the superpowers pretty quickly, and they haven’t changed much since I first had the idea. Again, I’ll leave the details as a surprise for the reader, but the power set is very much part of the buddy comedy dynamic.

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

YM: I started off on UK kid’s comics like the Beano and the Dandy, and newspaper strips like Garfield. The first proper 24-page comics I read were Simpsons Comics, which were nearly as good as the TV show! They also had a lot of what I now realise were references to classic Marvel and DC moments, and comic book culture in general. They still hold up well today, at least the first 50 or so issues!

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

YM: This is a tough one. I’ve recorded an hour long podcast episode on just this topic before! Ultimate Spider-Man got me properly into comics as a teenager, and showed me how they can contain epic storylines, character development, great comedy and pretty much every emotion on the scale. Preacher was a revelation that there are comics that definitely aren’t for kids. Locke & Key is in my opinion the best piece of fictional media in existence, and my ultimate goal in life is to write a long-form comic that’s even 5% as good as that is. 

JL: What does Balancing Act: Issue #1 mean to you, what about it makes it a story you want to tell?

YM: Well firstly, I see comics as the ultimate storytelling medium. They’re visual like a movie or TV, but you’re not bound by runtimes or episode counts, or by special effects budgets. Any story you can tell in a movie or a TV show or a novel, you can tell in a comic book. So Balancing Act is a combination of all the elements I’d use if I were just writing one of those things. It has the action of a 90s summer blockbuster, the dialogue of a sitcom, the fantasy of a superhero comic, the plot twists of a detective novel. I really enjoyed being able to put all of that into one (hopefully!) cohesive piece of work. As a British Asian, it also means a lot to me to be able to write a protagonist who looks and sounds a little like me – although I cannot stress enough, he is not intended to actually be me. 

JL: What are some of the things get your creative juices flowing when working on Balancing Act: Issue #1? Do you read anything, watch any shows, listen to music as you work?

YM: I have a full-time job, so I really just write whenever I find time. A lot of the time it’s on the train to work, or perhaps sitting in a coffee shop waiting to meet some friends. In those cases yes, I’ll be listening to music as I write. I mostly listen to hip-hop, although I do also love the music my parents played when I was growing up – a lot of 70s Motown and stuff like that, which is less invasive as background music than the rest of my library! 

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

YM: Before I started work on this comic I was used to winging it as a writer, I wouldn’t know where the story was going until I got there. But making a comic, I knew that before I got in touch with an artist and actually started the crowdfunding process, I needed to decide on the full story, how many issues it would be, and how the mini-arc of each issue would go. It actually turned out to be a fairly methodical, iterative process. 

 

I came up with the full plot, and from my many years of comic reading experience I broke it down into segments of what seemed like about an issue’s worth of action. It ended up being 4 issues. Then for issue #1, I broke the plot down into pages, with a one sentence summary for each page. Then I went back to each page and expanded that sentence into a few panels, with full dialogue and actions. Sometimes one of my summary sentences would need more than one page, sometimes less, but it evened out. Then finally I’d go over the dialogue a few times until it was all as tight and as funny as I could make it. Occasionally the ‘wing it’ side of me came back out and I let a short scene expand because I liked where the jokes and the dialogue were taking it. 

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

YM: Balancing Act has a lot of influences, I’ve not been shy about advertising that! I love buddy movies in general, not just the cop ones but films like Trading Places, or Planes, Trains & Automobiles. Pretty much every character Eddie Murphy played in the 80s is an influence for my writing! I also watch a LOT of sitcoms, both British and American, The Inbetweeners is one of my favourites for the way the characters insult each other like real friends. Michael Schur is a real idol of mine for his work on The Office, Parks & Recreation, Brooklyn 99, and The Good Place. I love it when characters verbally battle with each other, or end up in awkward situations, and I think those influences come through in Balancing Act.

JL: What are your hopes for Balancing Act: Issue #1 for the future? 

YM: I don’t know where the Kickstarter will be by the time this interview goes out, but right this minute we’re 96% funded after less than 2 weeks. I just can’t believe it, I’m still in a state of shock! But with those figures, it’s obviously looking very likely that we’ll get funded and go ahead with production of issue #1. Once it’s complete and the backers all have their rewards, I’ll be looking into getting the comic out there onto various digital marketplaces and trying to build up a really solid audience that will come back for the issue #2 Kickstarter, which I hear is usually the tricky one! I’ll have to be very careful with the timing in terms of building up that audience up as much as I can, but not keeping readers and backers waiting so long that they lose interest. You could call it…a balancing act. Sorry.

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

YM: Just a massive thank you to yourself and the entire indie comics community, including anyone who reads your blog. I’ve only been a part of the community for a few months but it is a wonderful group of people who are all so ready to help and support each other in achieving their creative goals. The creators are awesome, and so are the readers. Indie comics usually have to be a little more expensive than the big publishers in order to break even, and it’s amazing that there are so many fans willing to pay that bit extra to support them. There’s some incredible talent out there and it’s great to see it being appreciated. I’ve received a lot of support and I will definitely be paying it forward to loads more awesome crowdfunded comics.

JL: Once again Yavi, 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.

YM: Thank you John, and thanks for having me. I’ve really enjoyed it!

 

 

 

Please Visit The Campaign Site Here.

 

CHECK OUT THIS WEEK’S FEATURED BOOKS!

SHARPSHOOTER: THE BLIND ARCHER

BRIC-A-BRAC

BALANCING ACT

 

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

 


Follow Indie Comics Showcase on Twitter at @Indie_Comics!

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