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!
Sisterhood “The Fall Of Dymonos”: Love & Betrayal in Egypt
by Victor Kruithof & Markus von Renthe-Fink
Published by Richard Boom
Love, betrayal and an epic battle, Mummies and Monsters – all in ONE intense self-contained comic. Join the Sisterhood-armada fandom in the next installment of Richard Boom’s instant Kickstarter success, “SISTERHOOD”! Questions answered, secrets revealed! Love, betrayal, Mummies and Monsters and an epic battle – all in ONE intense issue. No nudity, No gore… just loads of fun, amazing art and a story spanning the centuries!
Please Visit The Campaign Site Here.
Richard Boom: Thanks John. I am happy to come over and brag a little, enlighten you or arouse folks with all the stuff I have been doing! Kidding of course!! Them lovely images might be titilizing (cause, cover, folks!!) yet the interiors are able to be read by all. No gore, nor nudity! The flavor of the book is a combination of Charlie’s Angels mixed with Supernatural and Indiana Jones and you get a good feeling of where this might be going.
John: Sounds cool, Richard. Before we go any further, I was hoping you could tell us a little bit about yourself .
Of course, I was a Spidey-fan before, but after I discovered Top Cow and especially Vampirella, the world of “bad grrl comics” opened up to me. Late Steven Hughes on Lady Death (all hail the queen!) and late Mike Turner on Fathom are big influences for me, yet a few characters (Vampirella, Spawn, Kabuki, Aria, Darkchylde) were my first loves. Well, I do have to add Yoko Tsuno here as well, but she is of French origin.
Working for 12 years on a comicon (aka FACTS in Belgium) as artist alley goon, writing for Broken Frontier and then setting up ComicsForSinners (news site) were my next steps. My art agency, Boom Art Department (or BAD as I like to call it), were the next steps, before starting with publishing comics via BAD PRESS COMICS, like Sisterhood and Jungle Queen Sheva.
John: Can you tell us a little bit about how Sisterhood “The Fall Of Dymonos”: Love & betrayal in Egypt came to be, how the characters and story were conceptualized?
I wanted to take the next step… and developed a team of resurrected ladies, each with powers of their own yet all were revived mummies. It of course did not stop them from looking amazing, but that was the way I wanted it. I also had help of a few writer-friends to create even more stories and one thing let to another. After 5 years of procrastinating (and a few life-moments) the idea became reality!
John: What are some of the first comics you remember reading?
Richard: Obviously I am European so I started with Storm, Yoko Tsuno, Red Knight and Blueberry, reading it in the library. I even moved into soccer-stories (even though I dislike that sport) and girl-stories (Tina, Debby, Penny) before discovering translated Spidey, Supes and Bats.
John: What are some of the comics that have made the biggest impact on you?
Richard: Death Of Vampirella, Aria, Darkchylde, Spawn, Witchblade, Kabuki, WE3.. I even made a list here: http://www.comicsforsinners.com/confessions-must-read-must-have-definitive-list/
If you want I can tell you which ones for which reason, if you want 🙂
John: What are some of the things get your creative juices flowing when working on Sisterhood “The Fall Of Dymonos”: Love & betrayal in Egypt? Tell me about your creative process.
John: Who or what have some of your influences been over the years and how have they affected your work?
Richard: Tom Sniegoski, Justin Gray, Amanda Conner, Jimmy Palmiotti, Randy Queen, Mike Turner, Dan Schaffer, Dan Brereton, Jim Balent, Eric Basaldua to name a few…. Again, I am not an artist, but all these folks have had immense impact on the way I perceive comics to this day. The storytelling, the way art is used to tell stories and the way writers use artists to portray characters… those are inspirations for me. And I adore diversity… in characters and in artists and influences. Via my Sketchbook and collecting 250+ Mummy-pieces over the years, really made me realize how artists can be real magicians!
John: What are your hopes for Sisterhood “The Fall Of Dymonos”: Love & betrayal in Egypt for the future?
Richard: I hope these first 2 comics will develop into a real series. I have 2 more books finished and a 3d halfway in production with 4 more books fully written. I also want to develop more merchandise, from pins to statues! And trading cards… I soooo love trading cards! And I have even more plans, but those are in need of more ‘thinking’ and ‘time’…
John: Richard, I want to thank you for being a part of indie comics showcase. We wish you the best of luck on this campaign and all future projects.
Richard: Thanks John. It was fun!! A special word of thanks, respect and friendship to Markus, since without that guy also being the Story Continuity Editor AND the artist he is and an overall genius and sounding board, this book would be not half as good nor half as fun let alone half as a learning process for me!
Maurice & The Metal – ISSUE 2
by Aaron Sammut
Maurice & The Metal is an urban fiction comic about a kid who has super strength whenever he listens to heavy metal. He is a slacker in a go-nowhere band until all this craziness is forced upon him by his walkman, which has been possessed by the spirit of a Black Sabbath roadie who acts as his guide against those that despise heavy metal.
Please Visit The Campaign Site Here.
John: Aaron, Welcome to and thank you for being a part of Indie Comics Showcase. I am happy to be discussing your Indie Comic Maurice & The Metal – ISSUE 2 with you today.
Aaron: Hey, thanks for having me and for supporting indie comic creators!
John: Tell our readers a little bit about yourself.
Aaron: I probably didn’t read enough comics growing up because of my other vices as a kid. For me, music and video games were almost all-consuming at the time. But I have always been fascinated by the mythology of superheroes. I did get hooked on those early Image comics like Savage Dragon, Youngblood and Spawn because they were first issues and it felt like something I could’ve grown up with, but living in a rural town in Australia made that difficult to follow comics issue to issue.
I was lucky that my first job out of University was working for a music magazine in Brisbane as a graphic designer and photographer. The job was amazing. I was designing the mag by day and photographing bands by night it was brilliant. In fact, it is something that I contemplated working into this comic that Maurice could’ve been a performance photographer but there are already too many parallels to Spider-Man. Sadly, after 8 years that magazine did close down but I learnt a lot about publishing and the music industry – heard some crazy stories, photographer so crazier gigs. I continued working in publishing and after 16 years I realized that I had done a little bit of everything; design, writing, photographer, art direction, video, editing, web development, motion graphics … basically, anything to do with content creation. But 16 years working the same job, even if it’s as varied as this was too long. I get depressed that I wasn’t working on something that I created or anything that was satisfying me creatively! From that depression came Maurice & The Metal!
I went from a kid who wanted to be a superhero, to a 20-year-old who wanted to be a drummer and now I’m nearing 40 and making a comic about a superhero drummer!
John: That’s awesome! Tell us a bit about Maurice & The Metal. What’s the story, this is the second issue too, yes?
Aaron: Yeah. For those who haven’t read the first issue, Maurice & The Metal is all about a slacker drummer metalhead in the mid-‘80s who unwittingly discovers he has impossible strength whenever he listens to metal – the heavier the metal the stronger he gets, but other genres of music can take his power away. The comic is out there online for you to check out!
I learned a lot about comics putting out that first issue and, despite my limited funds for production, I feel like I made good use of a 28-pages to introduce people to the world of Maurice. However, this next issue is going to be bigger and better! We get to see the height, depth and origin of his power – what it means to him, and what he intends to do with it. More reveals, more humour and more action. It’s going to be a fun issue. We also get to find out who the spirit is that has possessed his Walkman.
John: Can you tell us a little bit about how Maurice & The Metal came to be, how the characters and story were conceptualized?
Aaron: Sure! The concept came from a few catalysts, but the main one was the band Metallica. I was trying to get to work one morning, totally deflated. I decided to listen to the Master of Puppets, VERY LOUD. I started to feel better about my day. I was stronger just because of this one song. My overactive imagination stepped in and now we have Maurice & The Metal – all in the span of that 8 minute and 30 second song!
John: That’s metal AF! What are some of the first comics you remember reading?
Aaron: That first batch of releases from Image Comics, and because there was no reliable comic store around me growing up the occasional Spider-Man and X-Men.
John: What are some of the comics that have made the biggest impact on you?
Aaron: Hellboy for the world that Mike Mignola created, Usagi Yojimbo for the storytelling and Shirtless Bear-Fighter for downright unabashed craziness!
John: What does Maurice & The Metal mean to you?
Aaron: The story is close to me because of that concept of music giving the listener a sense of strength! You only have to go to a single metal show to see it on display. There are always these scrawny kids in the middle of mosh pit going crazy for 2 hours straight! But its not just about metal, but music in general and I think that a lot of music listeners will be able to relate to this comic. There is a reason why you hear intense music with a high BPM in a gym – no one is going to be breaking any personal records listening to Simon & Garfunkel.
Beyond all that, this comic has given me focus, a reason, it has not only satisfied that need for a creative outlet but it has been such a learning experience.
John: Love it. I presume you listen to metal when you’re getting your creative juices flowing while working on Maurice & The Metal? What have you been listening to while you work?
Aaron: I dare any reader right now to listen to Slayer’s Angel of Death and not get that sense of strength when the riff kicks in at 1:36! I listen (surprise) to a lot of heavy metal! It helps me create, power through deadlines, and
John: Can you tell us a bit about your creative process?
Aaron: I remember that first day coming up with the concept of Maurice, it was easily the best day of work I can remember. I spent every spare moment of that day jotting down notes on scraps of paper, and on the bus trip home I went crazy writing them all down on my phone. I ended up overshooting my bus stop by about 30 minutes.
Every idea I had I just kept on stockpiling them until one morning I woke up and committed to the idea to write the script. The interesting thing is that most of the process was about these scraps of ideas, converting them into scene ideas drawing parallels and connecting these ideas until it resembled a story arch that I later found out followed the hero’s journey exactly. I dropped ideas that weren’t working continued to work on a script with a bunch of friends who acted as soundboards and editors for me. That was a huge help. Getting different people, from different backgrounds and interests to read through. It gives you more clarity – it might make sense to you as a writer but it needs to make sense to others too. MATM is difficult too because it is so reliant on music, and for a visual medium sometimes that is hard to get across.
When I felt like I had a handle on the script I set out to find an illustrator who was available and understood, or could get behind the concept. After a few months, I was lucky enough to find Helioscope and after connecting with Jess Hamm we started going back and forth with ideas and creating the characters. The process has been really simple, script to mock up, sketch, pencil, inks and final – Jesse is an absolute genius and professional – which is more than I can say about my process!
For me, it is just about ideas! Pure creativity. I am a sub-par writer, but smart enough to know that and acknowledge it.
John: What ‘s next for Maurice & The Metal?
Aaron: After issue #2 I plan to focus on marketing and try to build an audience for this crazy comic. Marketing has been the biggest hurdle for me – the internet is such a big place and there are so many great indie comics out there. I will always be planning and contemplating where to take this story but I don’t have any dates yet planned for issue 3 but there is so much left to this story that I don’t think that I will ever finish it.
John: Is there anything else you want to share with us before we sign off?
Aaron: I hope that comic readers will give the comic a shot. I understand I’ve made a niche comic about heavy metal, but the story itself is bigger than that. I hope your readers will check out the Kickstarter campaign, as there are plenty of great rewards and reveals to come and please share this thing like crazy!
John: Thanks Aaron, we wish you the best of luck on this campaign and all future projects.
Aaron: Ongoing support for indie comic creators keeps people like me creating so thank you!
by Tim West
Imagine a world in which ALL conspiracy theories are true. A world of secret societies, shadow governments, aliens, monsters, and the supernatural. No need to imagine too hard, that’s the world YOU live in today. It’s all real and it always has been. And if such evil exists in the world, which it does, humanity is going to need a very special team of heroes to protect it from the horrors that lurk behind the curtain of our false reality. Don’t believe in conspiracies? You need to…GET WOKE
Check out the Kickstarter campaign here!
Chris Braly: What is the ‘elevator pitch’ for Get Woke? Briefly tell our readers what it’s about and give us some background on it.
There’s so many wild and wacky conspiracy theories that it made sense to combine them all together in one big story. The 4 issue arc contains aliens, ancient civilisations, Antarctican Nazis, hollow moon theory, monsters, secret space armies and all number of nutty concepts. It’s smothered with conspiracy jokes and celebrity references yet written to be extremely accessible to conspiracy ‘truthers’ and sceptics alike.
Chris: Can you let us in on who or what inspired you to tell this story and how long you’ve been working on this?
Tim: I’ve been writing indie comic for around 10 years, mostly just short stories that I’ve been lucky enough to have over 30 of published in the many small press anthologies we have in the UK. I was searching for fresh inspiration when I came across the conspiracy forum on Reddit and found a treasure trove full of crazy ideas just begging to be turned in to comic book stories. Initially, I had planned to take several separate conspiracies and write individual stories about each one to create a conspiracy based anthology. I’m a huge fan of the old E.C. style horror comics, which always made great use of a host character to tie the stories together. I wrote down a list of celebrities tied to conspiracies for the position of comic host and as the list grew I suddenly realised what a great superhero team they’d make if combined together. From there, Get Woke was born.
CB: Do you have any concerns about using real people in the comic? I presume since they are all deceased and this is probably for comic effect/satire then you’re in the clear. Is that right?
Tim: It’s always been a concern that we’re infringing some sort of IP, so much so, I made it clear in my first email to the artist that there was a good chance this could backfire horribly. The right to parody is first amendment territory and this story is undoubtedly a work of fiction. No legal team is going to argue I’m being serious given the content of the comic. However, I’m no lawyer, and the UK and US have different laws when it comes to this. It’s a minefield really but some stories just have to be told regardless of the risk. I always figured if the comic did get shut down, it gets immediate cult status in the conspiracy community!
CB: Tell us why you felt this should be told in comic book form. Are you a fan of the medium? If so, what are some comics that you remember as your firsts?
Tim: I love reading and making comics. As a writer with an active imagination I find myself with stories to tell, so why not tell them in the coolest medium that exists? I grew up on classic UK comics such as The Beano and Dandy, eventually moving on to more serious comics such as Eagle and 2000AD and then in to Marvel. I must admit I fell out of love with comics during my teenage years but rediscovered my passion in my early 20s and proceeded to immerse myself in the indie comics scene. I’m writer and editor for an indie anthology called Hallowscream, which gets released once a year. I developed an online sales portal for indie comics called Comicsy, used by hundreds of comic creators to sell their products. I’m an active letterer and editor within the UK indie circle. I just love making comics and I figured what better way to get good at writing them than jumping in with both feet.
CB: What are some similar comics readers may be familiar with that will find Get Woke appealing?
Tim: I’m a fan of Alan Moore’s League of Extraordinary Gentleman and the way he took characters from literature and molded them in to the character tropes from superhero teams. It works perfectly for the cast of Get Woke; Bigfoot assuming the Hulk type tank role, Princess Di in a Black Widow role, JFK as a Professor X type character, Elvis as a Captain America type team leader. It gives a familiarity to readers who likes heroes, but not always of the super variety.
Get Woke’s artist, Kevin McCullough, used Chew as a basis for the art style so fans of that will appreciate it has a shared humour too. Above all, the comic is a comedy, so anyone who enjoys some good belly-chuckles is bound to like it.
CB: Tell us a bit about your creative team and what other creators (if any) have contributed to this volume?
Tim: It’s an international collaboration across 3 continents. I’m based in the UK but artist Kevin lives in Canada and the colourist, Dimas Mohammad, lives in Malaysia. Kevin and Dimas knew each other prior to Dimas returning to his home country, so they have a good bond. Kevin is a full-time illustrator and animator, who’s worked on some well know cartoons such as Paw Patrol and Shimmer & Shine. He’s also an amazing caricature artist, which couldn’t be a more perfect fit for a comic that’s full of celebrity cameos.
I met Kevin on Reddit’s ComicBookCollabs forum. It’s normally a place full of writers begging for artists, but in a strange twist of fate, Kevin put out a post looking for a comic to illustrate, and I replied with Get Woke. I can’t imagine exactly how many respondents he had (loads) but the fact he picked my script over all the others was a brilliant turn of events. I’d just finished writing it that week and had no way of funding the project. Kevin read it and we agreed a 50/50 split on all future profits (LOL, indie comics) and rights. It was a writers dream come true for me and Kevin has done an amazing job with the art.
CB: What else can you share about the project?
Tim:This comic is littered with famous celebrities, as well as tons of jokes there’s also multiple of references to Elvis and Michael Jackson songs, official JFK quotes, and plenty of cultural references that are weaved in to the script. Spotting them all is half the fun. And one more thing about being independent, the best advice I can give is to aspiring comic creators who don’t know where to begin. Just reach out. Use the internet. Connect with other comic creators and you can end up making something unbelievable.
Tim: Thanks, Chris. I hope readers will check it out. This comic isn’t just for fans of conspiracies, but also for those who like laughing at the crazies who believe in them (I’m kinda one of them now). And if you don’t believe in conspiracies… you need to Get Woke!
That’s it for this installment! Support indie comics!!!
Follow Indie Comics Showcase on Twitter at @Indie_Comics!