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!
Pizza Boyz: Season 2
The Sitcom Styled Comic Book Series
Pre-Order the Pizza Boyz Season 2 Graphic Novel in physical prints, digital copies & other fun goodies!
Please Visit The Campaign Site Here.
John Lemus: Welcome to Indie Comics SHowcase, Spencer! Tell our readers a little bit about yourself!
Spencer S. Holmes: My whole life I’ve worked with just about anything multi media, starting with playing music, to making movies, audio engineering, podcasting, animation and leading all to comic books now. And what really got me into making comics was that I could do the whole process by myself. Beyond creations, my other passions are working out, retro gaming and classic films. And I do live in the middle of the California mountains, Yosemite area.
John: Tell our readers what this story is about and what inspired it.
Spencer: Pizza Boyz: Season 2 is created in a sitcom like style, so each issue is treated episodically, and anyone can jump into any part. It starts off with Death of a Television which is a story for anyone who has every loved their television set like a member of the family and then that sad moment when it finally works no more. I take it too the next level and have the boyz put on a public funeral for the TV, getting the whole town to come to what they believe was a poor, sick Japanese boy who died named Mitch Mitsubishi. My issue 6 is treated like a trip to the action figure section of a store only to be caught up being kidnapped by two 11 Year Old Girlz with Swords who want to go to a My Bratty Kitty convention in Vegas by any means necessary.
I take it from lighthearted to partial horror which I always dig in a comedy. Issue 7 is all about Audrey, the female main character having to move out and find a new place to live, while staying at her dads place for the meantime and the B story is about Cisco discovering he can receive discounts from stores by wearing service member hats and shirts to exploit a system in a kinda, affiliate marketing style. Then Issue 8 is about that last big snowstorm of the year and having a grand bonfire on the mountain, where you can drink beer and eat pizza all while sharing stories of the past with the best of friends. Yeah buddy!!!
Future plans are all ready for 2 more volumes, story wise that is. I’m going to have another 4 episodic stories for Volume 3 about lazer tag, Vietnam movies, skateboarding challenge, Final Fantasy addiction, Kyle taking up the extra rent at Audrey’s new place and Mission Impossible pizza. Then Volume 4 will be a 4 part story arc of kung fu and surfing. If all goes as planned. There’s always new stories and ideas popping up. So, you never quite know what may be next.
John: That sounds like a riot! Where do these stories come from?
Spencer: Pizza Boyz is generally real stories from my life that I take the concept of and turn them up to 11. Each one of the characters is based off one of my friends with some characters being combo versions of people I know. I feel myself and from what others have said about the comic who come from all different places around the world, is that the characters have a connection to their life, whether it be growing up in the 80s, 90s or 2000s. So, it crosses a nice spectrum of generations and lifestyles.
John: What are some of your first experiences with comics, Spencer?
Spencer: Some of the first comics I ever got as a kid, when you just get the random single issue from the “Hey Kids! Comics” spinner racks was an Uncanny Xmen with Wolverine and Archangel on the cover. Then 1st issues of Dark Horses GI Joe with the Frank Miller cover and a Real Adventures of Johnny Quest book. You can see that my start all came from animation to comics here. But I really didn’t get into full on reading comics till high school when my buddy, Ryan Dunigan (My co-host on Old Man Orange Podcast and fellow comic creator) met in a multi media class over a love of Street Fighter. He let me borrow the Udon comic series and I let him borrow the Street Fighter V Anime set and off we were.
Spencer: Some comics over the years that have made the biggest impact on me are Scott Pilgrim with its great story, full of witty humor and relatable characters just enjoying life and fighting in the streets for love. Which was also one of the books where I looked at that really gives the feeling, of yes, anyone can draw comics with a bit of practice. Unlike, probably my favorite Batman comic run of Hush, that has that so perfect Jim Lee artwork in it but leads an inspiring artist to turn full on Eeyore of, “What’s the point in trying, will never be Jim good.” Ha ha.
And then I’d also say Terry Moore’s, Strangers in Paradise series. I love the just real life characters, in glorious black and white, with a mixture story that’s sitcom, drama and a bit of mystery all in one. With one more book that I used as one starting drawing style reference in Pizza Boyz, The Clerks Comic. It was black and white, with talking comedy and characters that are real with a cartoon twist.
John: I notice that your comic is in black and white also. Let’s shift gears to the creative part of the comic. How does it work for you? What’s your creative process like?
Spencer: A good way to get the creative juices flowing is to crack open a comic book. One with just ok art but that isn’t a bad thing now, just gives that motivation of yes, anyone can do this. And after one issue or so, I’m pumped and jazzed to go. But mostly I just start my day working on comics. I wake up ready to go to town on them just after my workout. Beyond all that, movies always inspire me too. I watch something every night. TV shows, unless animated or classic sitcoms, not so much into. Too much time commitment and filler scenes galore. And while working on the comic, I’ll throw on a podcast, books on tape or listen to the rabbit hole of sweet jams to be found on Spotify. But sometimes the nice sound of silence is all that’s really needed.
My creative process on Pizza Boyz goes this way. I’m always thinking up ideas for new stories or comedic bits which I continuously write down in a notebook so that by the time I’m ready to write the next script I’ve thought about the new episode for a long while and it only takes me a couple days to crank out the script. Then I do all my drawing work on a PC with an older style tablet, the one’s where you look at your monitor while your drawing hand is on the desk. I start with making the panels and drawings in a pencil sketch. Then I like to do all the lettering and word bubbles next so that I never fully ink something just to realize I didn’t leave enough room in the sketching part for the size of balloon actually needed. Plus it gives me more pass throughs of reading and checking the writing out. Then I ink, add details and use tones. Finish off with the multiple edits and read throughs before prepping the book for digital and physical release. With the next half all being the classic world of advertising, sharing and hustling. Oh boy!
My influences to create mostly come from movies and video games more than anything else. Followed by comic books, regular books and animation. I’ll see something from some multi media experience and get a joke or an idea and then run with it down the rabbit hole to its final destination on page. But really influences are everywhere. Sometimes if you need a new story idea grab a buddy or the whole gang and take an adventure. Go on a hike, take a road trip, meet some new folks, explore a town and/or even just grabbing a pizza.
John: Does this story have any special meaning to you?
Spencer: What Pizza Boyz is to me, is a group of good friends, both life long and some just met, sitting around a big ole pizza, talking grand stories of the past, big ideas of the future and making each other crack up with laughter and skits along the way. Those moments are what I want to turn into Pizza Boyz stories.
John: What’s next for you and your comic? What are your next steps?
Spencer: Well now that Pizza Boyz Season 2 is just about complete, I plan to have the Kickstarter launch finish off nicely, then the digital uploads to Amazon, Comixology and the works and next start hitting up the comic cons again with both Book 1 and 2 now at my disposal. Finding all the people who just love to have a good time. That’s the Pizza Boyz audience I’ve discovered.
John: I think that’s all my questions, Spencer. Is there anything you’d like to add before we sign off?
Spencer: The last little tidbits I’d like to share before taking off are, of course go out and check out Pizza Boyz, the sitcom styled indie comic book series. That’s Boyz with a Z. And then I’ve got 2 podcasts I create, Old Man Orange and the Indie Comix Club. All this fun can be found at www.OldManOrange.com. Thanks for having the interview with me John.
Please Visit The Pizza Boyz Campaign Page Here.
By Trisha Cuffari
A professional boxer with a dirty little secret…
Due to a sudden change in artists, Orgasm Girl is not out yet, but you can still visit the campaign site and join the mailing list here.
John Lemus: Trisha, Welcome to and thank you for being a part of Indie Comics Showcase. I am happy to be discussing your Indie Comic Orgasm Girl with you today.
Trisha Cuffari: Thanks for inviting me to talk, John!
John: Before we get started I was hoping you could tell us a little bit about yourself .
Trisha: Sure thing. So I’ve been a comic creator since my elementary school days, and was shooting for a degree in animation and storytelling around the same time I was starting up my Youtube channel. I ended up going back to my love of comic making instead. I did a bunch of random webcomics throughout the years experimenting with different styles of both writing and drawing, and now I’m looking to get something new to the printers with the help of some great artists.
John: Without Spoilers, what can you tell us about Orgasm Girl? Where it’s been, where it’s going, and your plans for the future?
Trisha: Orgasm Girl is all about sexy fun fighting. At first, this was going to be an idea for another experimental webcomic to see if people could enjoy an action comic brimming with dirty jokes. To my excitement, there was a decent crowd of people who were genuinely interested in this! So I re-worked the idea to be made into a comic series instead, got together a team of talented people, and started working my butt off to make this first issue an decent origin to what could be a fun mini series. What to expect from this? Funny faces, double entendres, and a whole lot of ass… kicking.
John: Can you tell us a little bit about how Orgasm Girl came to be, how the characters and story were conceptualized?
Trisha: I liked the concept of a low-level superhero with a very dumb super power that could actually be useful in an odd way. I was coming up with a bunch of weird superpowers someone could have that would be oddly useful for fighting crime, and the ability to make someone orgasm came to mind. Next I had to imagine what kind of girl would have that power and how she would use it in daily life, and how eventually she would use it to fight crime. It was only when I was writing this to be a comic series that I thought of this origin to make her a cheating boxer who uses her power for something wrong. In a way, this story of her becoming a hero is her way of redemption.
John: What are some of the first comics you remember reading?
Trisha: The very first comic I remember reading was this one I picked up from the book fair we used to have at our elementary school. It was called Babymouse, and it was the perfect comic made for little girls at my age. It was all about silly 4th-wall breaking, school drama, and a nice moral lesson about standing up for your friends. Some of the more mature ones I remember binging was the New Teen Titans series, Time Guardian, +Anima, and I remember checking out some Batman comics too.
John: What are some of the comics that have made the biggest impact on you?
Trisha: A lot of comics have inspired me in different ways. Fruits Basket was inspirational for feel-good writing and romance. Comics like One Piece and Uncouth Slouth were inspirational for letting go and letting yourself be goofy sometimes. Superhero comics from DC and Marvel hit me hard from the emotional standpoint. They knew how to build up characters you loved, and tear them down so we can see them climb their way back up.
John: What does Orgasm Girl mean to you, what about it makes it a story you want to tell?
Trisha: I always feel like we’re stuck in a stiff climate. Honestly, I want people to lighten up. Orgasm Girl is sexy, it’s full of action, and it’s silly. It’s made to be enjoyed for those reasons. We don’t have to feel guilty about it, or pick it apart.
John: What are some of the things get your creative juices flowing when working on Orgasm Girl? Do you read anything, watch any shows, listen to music as you work?
Trisha: This comic has a lot of juices flowing, that’s for sure. I watch a lot of comedies, mostly. Cartoons, RomComs, even improve shows like Whose Line is it Anyway. As long as I’m smiling, I’m motivated. If I need help waking up, I’ll start blasting some rock music. I also enjoy checking out well done choreography to get some ideas on how fighting scenes should be done and how cool we can make it look.
John: Can you tell us a bit about your creative process?
Trisha: I always need something playing in the background. I’m told it should be the opposite, but I’m not good at working in silence. My mind is more distracting than the background noise. I started off this comic with rough concept art for all the characters. Then I started sketching thumbnails for pages. I don’t start with a script since I’m so used to writing and drawing at the same time. It feels difficult to write without visually being able to see what’s in my head, so I sketch it out roughly and then translate it into a script for the artists.
John: What have some of your influences been over the years and how have they affected your work?
Trisha: I have a lot of heroes when it comes to art and writing. Walt Disney, who was all about creating lovable characters and charming art. One, who was all about mixing a comedic atmosphere with serious moments. And I’m not all sunshine and daisies either. There’s a dark edgy teen inside of me with memories of enjoying Elfen Lied and Future Diary for their absolute lack of restraint when it came to showing characters you love doing crazy and evil things.
John: What are your hopes for Orgasm Girl for the future?
Trisha: I hope people enjoy the first issue and want to see more! Honestly, I’d love to make this a total of, maybe 5 or 8 comics? There’s tons of villains ideas I have, story arcs, and jokes I never got the opportunity to use yet!
John: Is there anything else you want to share with us before we sign off?
Trisha: I really hope everyone enjoys what I have to offer. Orgasm Girl might not be for everybody, but I’m doing a lot of different comics and connecting with all kinds of incredible artists who will blow you out of the water every time. So keep an eye on me! If you don’t like sexual innuendos, I’ll make something else for you. We’ve just announced our new creative team to finish the comic and plan to launch the campaign in February, so sign up now for our newsletter so you’ll be reminded when we launch! We’ve got Sanity on pencils, Brian Lee on inks and letters, and Nick Caponi on colors!
John: Awesome! Once again Trisha, 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.
Trisha: Thanks again John!
GARBAGE MAN: HC Collection
by Aaron Lopresti
10 years ago, Aaron Lopresti created a monster/hero character called Garbage Man for DC Comics. Garbage Man was featured in two separate mini-series and developed a committed fanbase and following. Because it was a creator-owned property DC never collected the 120- pages of story in a single volume. Now that the rights to the character have returned to the creator and he is doing what DC wouldn’t. Now you can get a copy by backing his Indiegogo campaign!
Chris Braly: Thanks for agreeing to some questions about your crowdfunding project ‘Garbage Man’. before we get started, can you tell our readers a little bit about yourself and your career?
Aaron Lopresti: I went to film school at USC before trying to get into comics in the late 80’s. I finally go my start at Marvel in the early 90’s but it was my work on Malibu’s Ultraverse title SLUDGE that got me first recognized. Since then I have worked at DC, Valiant, Image, Marvel, CrossGen, back to Marvel and then back to DC. I have also managed to get some work done at Dark Horse Comics, Archie and Dynamite. I have worked on most major characters in my career but most notably – Amazing Spider-man, X-men, Planet Hulk, Ms. Marvel, Wonder Woman, Justice League International and Wonder Woman/Conan.
Chris: Wow! That’s quite a pedigree! Give me the ‘elevator pitch’ for Garbage Man? Briefly tell our readers what it’s about, how you came up with the character, and give us some background on it.
Aaron: An ambitious lawyer uncovers some illegal dealings by his client Titan Pharmaceuticals. He is kidnapped and experimented on by the corporate giant but when his body is disposed of in their chemical waste dump he is transformed into the justice seeking monster/hero, Garbage Man. He battles other monsters and his own uncertain destiny as he tries to find a cure and bring Titan Pharmaceuticals to justice.
Originally when I moved from Marvel over to DC, Dan Didio offered me an opportunity to create a “monster” comic to replace Swamp Thing which was being held in limbo by Vertigo. I came up with Garbage Man in hopes of recreating the same classic vibe that Len Wein and Berni Wrightson brought to the original Swamp Thing series. Garbage Man ran through two separate mini-series at DC, but when Swamp Thing returned to the DCU, Garbage Man was on longer needed, so eventually the rights returned to me.
Chris: Fascinating! Tell us a little about the campaign, what’s being offered, and so on.
Aaron: The original DC work was never collected in a trade paperback or hardcover. Because I feel the work I did in Garbage Man is the best art of my career, I really want to see it collected in one volume. Batman appeared in the original mini-series so I am removing him and replacing the other DC elements with some of my own characters. So the campaign offers all 120 pages of the original DC material with 9-11 pages of new material added to the original story. To spice things up I am including a brand new Garbage Man story that will only be appear in this book along with a sketchbook chapter and some pin-up material from guest artists. The entire book will be a European-sized hardcover (9.25X12.25) approximately 170 pages in length. In a lot of ways it is a graphic novel dressed up like a coffee table art book. I am offering a standard edition, a signed and remarqued edition and a limited edition. All very reasonably priced.
Chris: Tell us a bit about your creative team and what other creators (if any) have contributed to this volume?
Aaron: I am the creator/writer/penciler and the inks are by Matt Ryan and the colors are by Dave McCaig and John Kalisz. Matt and John will be returning to ink and color the new material. Danny Miki is helping me out by inking a pin-up I drew and other artists helping out will depend on certain financial goals being reached since I don’t expect anyone to work for free. Some names that have agreed to contribute are Ron Garney, Kelley Jones, Jerome Moore and Hilary Barta.
Chris: Good grief! That sounds awesome! Lot’s of great creators. What can you share about your creative process? How does it begin and take us through some of the process?
Aaron: Interestingly enough, I have a YouTube channel that has a lot of process videos already posted about this project and my work process. But my mind is always working and I am constantly writing down notes about story ideas and characters. When I am writing my own stories I tend to work visually and plan out my layouts as I am writing. I use col-erase blue pencils for my under-drawing and layouts. Then I draw over the top of those blue pencils with a mechanical .3mm HB pencil. This allows me to avoid a lot of erasing because the blue pencil can be dropped out in photoshop when the art is scanned. I don’t like my pencils being inked on printed out blue lines so I still send my original pencils to the inker to be inked on the actual art board.
Chris: Are you still active in the industry and working on any other projects? Tell us what we can expect after this project is fulfilled.
Aaron: Yes, I will be starting work on Justice League for DC in a matter of days. I just finished up work on a Prestige Format book for DC’s Dark Multiverse line of books. It is a “What If” style book dealing with Infinite Crisis. That comes out the day before Thanksgiving and I am very excited about how it all turned out. Some of my work keeps popping up in the DC 100 page giants as well. I have a couple of upcoming Wonder Woman covers and an issue of Aquaman as well. I do my best to stay busy and productive while pursuing my creator-owned projects.
Chris: You’re a fantastic artist, Aaron. DC is lucky to have you. Speaking of DC, when it comes to creator-owned projects, the big publishers like DC or Marvel, they don’t really seem inclined to publish that kind of work due to licensing issues. Do you see this changing any time or do you prefer the indie route?
Aaron: DC has some interest in it, but they are obviously very selective. I don’t think Marvel is doing any of that these days or plans to. I know Dark Horse is always actively looking and of course Image is also always a possibility. Crowdfunding is difficult because of the promotional time required to get your message out and also being able to raise enough money to cover the cost of a given project is always a challenge. But the only way you can have complete control, not only of the content, but how it is packaged is by crowdfunding. How this Garbage Man campaign turns out will go a long way into determining my course of action as I try other creator owned projects in the future.
Chris: I hope it’s a success, Aaron. What else can you share about the crowdfunding project? And do you have any final words for our readers?
Aaron: I would just say that if you like monster books you will love Garbage Man. If you don’t necessarily gravitate to monster books, I think you will find that Garbage Man has something to offer you as well. There’s equal bits of tragedy, redemption, spirituality and superhero themes and action. It’s something that I am particularly proud of and believe it’s worth your time to check it out.
Chris: Thanks for chatting with us Aaron! Good luck and we are rooting for you and looking forward to Garbage Man and your next projects!
Aaron: Thank you, Chris. I appreciate your time and attention to my project.
Check out the campaign for Garbage Man here! Your opportunity to back this project ends in one week!
That’s it for this installment, everyone! Remember to check out each of these projects and decide which one you want to back, or just share the link with other indie comic lovers. And of course remember to support indie comics!!!
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