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!
by Art Thibert
Chris: What is the ‘elevator pitch’ for Chrono Mechanics ? Briefly tell our readers what it’s about, how you came up with the character, and give us some background on it.
Art: In a nutshell, Chrono Mechanics is about Time Repairmen who fix the Big Machine known as Time. This book is a self-contained 48-page PG-13 comic. This action/adventure time travel story follows a team of highly diverse and ego-driven Time Repairmen as they race the clock to keep the earth’s erratically merging timelines from imploding. To compound their problems is a self-centered work-a-phobic new recruit who may be the one thing they can’t fix before the whole earth falls apart! I came up with these characters as a tribute to my old man who was a knuckle-busting machinist at the Long Beach Naval Shipyard. I remember as a kid watching him come home tired and beat up. He was an unsung hero to me, because he would work on the Naval ships, and he took such care and pride to keep them running smoothly to protect all of us. Yet no one knew about his contribution and hard work. He was like the people all over America and the rest of the world who keep power going, work on roads, keep the plumbing and electric in our homes working, etc. These are all unsung heroes. Then I took that premise and turned it into a really fun sci-fi action/adventure story.
Chris: Time travel stories can be tricky, was this a challenge, or have you had a lot of time to work through all the nuance and details for time travel adventure stories?
Art: Yes, it can be tricky, but since Chrono Mechanics is a wacky and fun time travel adventure, we can play with the time travel conventions that are available — and even contradict those if it’s funny. This concept isn’t meant to be serious, but to play on everything that’s out there.
Chris: Tell us a little about the campaign, what’s being offered, and so on.
Art: The high points are obviously the book itself, but we also have a cool themed work-in-progress sketchbook and a variant cover collection done by artists Sean Galloway (from Hellboy fame), Tom Bancroft (Disney animator who drew Mushu), Aaron Lopresti (every comic book reader knows his name), & Carlo Barberi (my artist partner on DC’s Super Sons comic). Each one of the book tiers comes with an accompanying trading cards. The Ultimate Tier is the only place to get the full ten card set. There are other cool tiers & stretch goals. I’m sure there is something for everyone. Come on by the campaign and grab a tier of your own!
Chris: Tell us a bit about your creative team and what other creators (if any) have contributed to this volume?
Art: I’m working with my long time collaborator, Pamela Thibert (no relationship). Haha, just kidding. She’s my wife, and she works on all my creator-owned projects. Then we have Narwahl on colors and Render Contender to help out on breakdowns for some of the pages. Last, but not least, the great Jeff Eckleberry is doing the lettering. This would not be a Chrono Mechanics book without him. His last name is even used as an expletive in the book (as in — “Oh, Eckleberries!”).
Chris: Your art looks phenomenal, as expected, in this comic. What can you share about your creative process? How does it begin and take us through some of the process?
Art: Looking back, Chrono Mechanics is a hybrid of Disney animation mixed with Mobius, the French Illustrator. For my process, I mainly work in pen, ink and brush. I’m pretty traditional when it comes to doing comic books. I have a lot of pride about being in the comic book field. I grew up on the great characters and stories. I still remember those and want to create characters and stories for other generations to come. Personal process? I wake up, settle in at the drawing board and work until I’m too tired to go any further. (To be totally honest, I even dream some of this stuff while I sleep!) I wish I had some grand pretentious way of explaining the process, but it really is that simple. It’s hard work, but simple, and I have a great life doing that!
Chris: What else can you share about the crowdfunding project? And do you have any final words for our readers?
Art: Only 12 days left to get behind this project! Thanks for everyone who has backed us and ensured that the project is fully funded!
Chris: Thanks for chatting with us Art! Good luck and we are rooting for you and looking forward to Chrono Mechanics and your next projects!
Art: Thanks for your patience and support!
Check out Chrono Mechanics Campaign Page Here!
Girrion: The Chrysalis & the Stone
by Tom Lintern
Please Visit The Campaign Site Here.
John: Welcome Tom! Before we get started I was hoping you could tell us a little bit about yourself .
Tom: Sure! I work as a freelance illustrator in Brooklyn, NY. I’ve been doing comics on the side at least as a hobby since college. I never had any interest in working for Marvel or anything like that. I just wanted to develop my own comic series and of course, develop my art skills in the process.
John: Cool! How about you tell us about Girrion: The Chrysalis & the Stone? Where it’s been, where it’s going, and your plans for the future?
Tom: Well, Girrion Volume 1 (issues 1 – 9) was really just an introduction to the world the characters etc. Volume 2 the main character’s journey is actually just starting. He’s lived in the same place his entire life and now he’s been thrust into the outside world, and its a pretty strange place where’s he’s ended up. This is one of the darker parts of the story. There’s not much dialogue in a lot of the scenes. There are also some things coming up I don’t think readers are going to expect. Volume Three will have a different tone. It’ll be like a war adventure story. I’m excited to start on that. Lots of cool vehicles battles etc.
John: Tell us a little bit about how how the characters and story were conceptualized?
Tom: The main character I wanted to be your average guy who is caught up in something much bigger than himself– not a superhero or anything. I get more attached to characters like Frodo Baggins or Luke Skywalker than someone who is purely badass. A lot of my characters started off very simple and developed over time as the plot did in sort of an organic way. Since it took me so long to draw the story there’s been lots of time to say” oh, it would be cool if….” or just some great idea just pops in my mind randomly which gives it something unique.
John: Fascinating. What are some of the first comics you remember reading?
Tom: It was actually Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. The comic was much darker and grittier than the cartoon or movies. I was obsessed! Appleseed by Masamune Shirow has been one of my favorites of all time. I just loved his style of art and the worlds he created. Most of my other big influences, at least towards Girrion, come from animation and film.
John: What are some of the things get your creative juices flowing when working on Girrion: The Chrysalis & the Stone? Do you read anything, watch any shows, listen to music as you work?
Tom: Haha, I actually listen to heavy metal at a very loud volume! That stuff is pretty motivating. I watch a lot of documentaries on history and philosophy too. Meditating. All these things I think help with creativity.
John: That sounds great. Who or what have some of your influences been over the years and how have they affected your work?
Tom: HR Giger and Zdzislaw Beksinksi both influenced me particularly when I was starting the project. There was a mood to their paintings which I felt wasn’t seen in comics and I wanted to mix the two.
John: What does Girrion: The Chrysalis & the Stone Issue 13 mean to you, what about it makes it a story you want to tell?
Tom: Stories like Lord of the Rings and Star Wars really inspired me just in terms of the type of story I wanted to create. I liked the idea of world-building. My story started off very simply but with time the world I created started to develop and the art seemed to tell the story itself. I’m also fascinated with the story of the ordinary foot soldier and what he endures. Girrion is really simply just one ordinary foot soldier’s journey who happens to go on an epic journey.
I still have a long road to completing the series. I just want to get it done and of course, get it out there to people. I’m excited to get into gaming with it in the future and would love to explore mediums outside of comics as well.
John: Besides heavy metal music, what else can you tell us about your creative process?
Tom: I’ll typically start off with a very loose script. I sketch the key scenes and start a storyboard. That is enough for me to tweak the script. After the script is done I’ll draw out each scene. There’s kind of a back-and-forth of writing and sketching until I’m happy with everything. It helps me a lot to see the story actually illustrated. Sometimes I can’t tell if a script is working until its sketched. The artwork also help with writer’s block.
John: Once again Tom, 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.Is there anything else you want to share with us before we sign off?
Tom: It was fun!Thanks again for having me. I also just want to say thanks to everyone on Kickstarter and everyone who supports indie comics.
Tom Lintern is raising funds for Girrion: The Chrysalis & the Stone Issue 13 on Kickstarter! Girrion is an epic Sci-Fi Fantasy graphic novel series written and illustrated by Tom Lintern
TALES FROM THE CLASSROOM
by Rob Muerto
TALES FROM THE CLASSROOM is a fun-packed postmortem romp following a teenage Zombie, Rob Muerto, as he struggles to adapt to his new school. Back in Romero (his previous, all-Zombie high school) Rob used to be the coolest, most popular kid around. But when he transfers to K. Thulhu High — a multi-species school where the student body include vampires, wolfmen and every creature in between — he must come to terms with being at the bottom of the proverbial social heap.
CHECK OUT THE CROWDFUNDING CAMPAIGN HERE!
Chris Braly: What is the ‘elevator pitch’ for Tales from the Classroom? Briefly tell our readers what it’s about and give us some background on it.
Rob Muerto: Well, the basic premise of TALES FROM THE CLASSROOM is that it takes place in a world populated exclusively by monsters, where we humans don’t exist other than as the figments of their imaginations. They dream about us and tell scary stories about us and watch horror films with us…
In this world, we follow a teenage Zombie called Rob Muerto (whose name I borrowed as my own alias) as he goes from being the coolest, most popular kid in Romero High — his previous, all-Zombie high school — to the bottom of the social pecking order after transferring over to K.Thulhu High, a multi-species school whose students include Vampires, Mummies, Wolfmen and everything else you can think of that goes bump in the night.
And in K.Thulhu, Rob must come to terms with his newfound status as a misfit while at the same time fending off the constant bullying of Drake, a vicious Nosferatu Vampire with an especially pronounced distaste for Zombies. It’s basically “Ferris Bueller” meets “Revenge of the Nerds” by way of “Beetlejuice”.
CB: Wow! Can you let us in on who or what inspired you to tell this story and how long you’ve been working on this?
RM: I think we’ve all felt out of our element at one point or another. Transferring schools often involve a sort of resetting of one’s social status. No matter how popular, unpopular, well-liked or reviled you were in your previous school, when you start off in a new one it’s tabula rasa. I thought that was an interesting—and relatable—predicament from which to unveil the rest of a narrative that centers around themes of angst and alienation.
As far as how long I’ve been working on this, it’s a project that’s been germinating for many years—going on a decade—first as a screenplay, and now as a comic. It was actually supposed to be published by a fairly well known indie publisher in 2011/12, but the project fell through as said publisher fell on hard times and eventually stopped operating.
CB: Tell us why you felt this should be told in comic book form. Are you a fan of the medium? If so, when did you first get into comics, and which ones?
RM: I grew up reading comics and have always been a massive fan, ever since I can remember. My older brother would read them and passed on the habit. But I became a much more dedicated reader than he, later on in life. Some of the earliest books I remember reading was Miller’s Daredevil run, which to this day remains one of my favorites, alongside Stern & Romita Sr’s Spiderman, Peter David’s Hulk, Millar’s The Ultimates, Alan Moore’s Top 10, and—possibly my favorite run of all time—Grant Morrison’s JLA.
As for why it should be told in this medium? TALES FROM THE CLASSROOM takes place in an incredibly visual world populated with all manner of species and subspecies of monsters, each with their own very specific look. The sort of stuff that doesn’t necessarily lend itself well to a screenplay, for instance, where the writing needs to be economical and more focused on dialogue than world-building. Comic-books are one of the most visual mediums, and a perfect starting point for a property I hope will live on in other formats, like, say, television. That’s the ambition, anyway…
CB: What are some similar comics readers may be familiar with that will find ‘Tales from the Classroom’ appealing?
RM: I think there may be some parallels with early-era Spidey, when the comics delved more into the Peter Parker-as-outcast side of things. Before he became hip.
CB: Tell us about your creative team and what other creators have contributed to this volume? How did you get this team together?
RM: I’m very fortunate to have gathered an incredibly talented and experienced team. A lot of them are from Argentina, strangely enough. I often joke that they must put something in the water there, there’s so much talent springing up from that country. Sebastián Bronico, the penciller, is from Buenos Aires. Lucas Gattoni, who is a wonderful letterer, is also from there. And Matias Laborde, the colorist, is also from Argentina! The only ones who aren’t is myself (Portugal), and Juan Castro, the inker (Mexico).
CB: What else can you share about the project? And do you have any final words for our readers?
RM: The campaign is nearly done with its initial goal, but I’d love to hit some of the stretch goals on offer. There’s a two-page short story I’d love to include in the book that will unlock if we hit $3000. Help us get there before time runs out!
CB: Thanks for chatting with us Rob! Good luck and we are rooting for you!
RM: It’s my pleasure, and I thank you for the opportunity to talk about TALES FROM THE CLASSROOM.
Learn More About TALES FROM THE CLASSROOM HERE!
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