Indie Comics Showcase #72

 

 

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 backing one of these campaigns!

 

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!

 

 

YerStory Comics
with Eric Warwaruk

Original INDIE comics are being offered to kick off YerStory Comics! Supernatural, sci-fi, comedy & heroes! YerStory Comics is a start-up indie comic book and multimedia microstudio. They have invested in producing 4 original titles to showcase the range of storytelling and creative art that we can do!

Please Visit The Campaign Site here.

 

John: Eric, Welcome to and thank you for being a part of Indie Comics Showcase. I am happy to be discussing your Indie Comic Book Company, YerStory Comics, and your new titles with you today.

Eric: Glad to be here!

 

 

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

Eric: I’m a farm boy. I grew up on a family farm and started reading from a very young age, and I started writing stories when I was five or six, because on a farm you’re either working or you’re sleeping. In between those times–which there isn’t a lot of!–there’s not a lot to do, and we only had a tv with get this, three channels, no media player, no computer, these were pre-internet days so no internet either, imagine that…so you got to entertain yourself. Which in hindsight, is perfect for developing an overactive imagination. I collected comics growing up, and any superheroes I liked I’d copy and learn to draw that way. Eventually I started writing and drawing my own comics on looseleaf and staple together the pages. They were really bad! Hilariously amateurish but lots of fun.

 

 

John: What can you tell us about YerStory Comics? Where it’s been, where it’s going, and your plans for the future?

Eric: YerStory is the first name I picked for my freelance video production concept years ago. I had this idea of starting a video production company that focused on video archiving grandparents’ stories–so, “your story” became “YerStory”. The company didn’t go anywhere, but the name stuck. The goal of YerStory is to be a micro production studio where the ideas, stories and characters that I come up with can be expressed in different media of films, games and comics, while staying within an indie budget and spirit. And that’s not because I want to be fancy; it’s about being creative while exploring avenues to monetize those ideas as much as possible so I can be self-sufficient.

 

 

John: Can you tell us a little bit about how YerStory Comics came to be, how the characters and story were conceptualized?

Eric: I’m writing all the time and I have a bunch of scripts that I just want to turn into something in collaboration with a talented creator who’s on the same page as me, whether that be games, films, comics, or all of the above. Preferably all the above. The first comics I got going are “The River Knows” and “UFO: Undercover!”

 

 

 “The River Knows”, which is kind of like X-Files meets Mad Men, it’s set in the early 1960’s and is about a city detective and a government agent who couldn’t be more different, like the city detective is this blue-collar everyday guy and WWII veteran but a master tracker, and the government agent is a real tightwad introvert. But they somehow find they’re really good working together investigating abnormal and supernatural crimes and occurrences. The trick is, the government agent uses magic to solve the mysteries and the detective doesn’t know anything about it.

 

 

For “UFO: Undercover!” it’s more about two best friends, one is a conspiracy UFO blogger and a bit of a romantic who is trying to find meaning in the universe while still trying to pay the bills, and his best friend is the more 9-5 job guy who has his life on track, and yet keeps getting caught up in the first guy’s drama. And of course they’re investigating UFO sightings which may be real. I remember growing up there used to be this show I watched called “A Current Affair” which was basically a tv version of a 1950’s lurid pulp magazine, and they focused on true crime and supernatural stuff. That was a big inspiration for “UFO: Undercover!” as well. My next two comics “AEON” and “Through Space & Time & Stuff” were interesting in how they got started. “AEON” was an idea I had since I was a kid, it’s my spin on the whole “superheroes actually do exist!” trope; and “Through Space & Time & Stuff” is actually the most true story to my nature, which is a comedic story set in space. I really love comedy and readers will find my writing in general to contain a lot of comedic elements to it.

 

 

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

Eric: Spider-Man was a big one growing up; but when I seriously started collecting comic books, Justice League International, Justice League America and Justice League Europe, with Keith Giffen and J.M. DeMatteis and their run with those books, were my jam. I loved the comedy and the balance with more tragic or horrific storylines. They brought a personality to the superheroes and made them more like people. Plus, they showed that you could have your own unique approach to superheroes with such a big brand as Justice League. Huge respect for Giffen and DeMatteis. Also I should mention “Starman” with the Roger Stern and Tom Lyle run. It was the first comic I remember reading where the hero was just a normal everyday guy with a normal job, didn’t grow up rich or have some melodramatic backstory, struck by pure chance to be a superhero. And he has to figure out how to be a superhero, and there’s sometimes things he can’t tackle or easily solve with his powers, like poverty, I remember there was one storyline about that. Really interesting stuff. The personal dynamics and relationships between the characters were just as interesting as the superhero antics.

 

 

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

Eric: After the Justice League/Giffen & DeMatteis period, I left collecting comics for a time and focused reading more fantasy and sci-fi novels and really working on my craft of writing; when I got back into comics, it was through more graphic novels than comic books, like “Red Son” or “Y: The Last Man”, “Sandman” or “Constantine” or “Watchmen”. The biggest influence though was Garth Ennis’ work…all his stuff. He’s just such a great writer with a really unique voice who can also render a character with some personality. I also really liked Joe Hill’s “Locke & Key”. There’s tons of graphic novels and comics that are really well-written. You get to a certain point as a writer where it’s less about enjoying the great story, and more about figuring out how they did it, how each writer has developed and applied their craft and unique voice in adapting the story idea, and how you’d do it yourself.

 

 

John: What does YerStory Comics mean to you, what about it makes it a story you want to tell?

Eric: For me it’s really about just making a great story everyone can enjoy that’s approachable; and if one were so inclined, if you want to look under the hood, there’s something there as well to discover. So I strive for simple but smart. That to me is the very definition of grace in writing and it’s very hard to do. Depicting the little truths of life, those details, that everyone can recognize and identify with is very important to me.

 

 

John: What are some of the things get your creative juices flowing when working on YerStory Comics? Do you read anything, watch any shows, listen to music as you work?

Eric: I’m constantly watching tv and films and listening to music. The last season of “Twin Peaks” that came out recently was fantastic; I’m a big fan of “Twin Peaks” and in fact I’d say my “The River Knows” comic book is an ode to Twin Peaks in some ways. But I do watch a lot of tv and films, and read indie comics especially when I get the chance. Lovern Kindzierski is a fantastic comic creator talent, and he’s from my hometown of Winnipeg. Actually there’s a few talented comic book artists, writers and colourists from here that have worked for the big guys.

 

 

John: Who or what have some of your influences been over the years and how have they affected your work?

Eric: Aside from Giffen and DeMatteis, and Ennis, my first loves for writers are J.D. Salinger, and the big one–no one will know him probably–Gordon Korman. Gordon Korman is a young adult writer, and he wrote a series of books with these two characters, Bruno and Boots, about these two kids at a private boarding school and the hijinks they get up into, that have indelibly shaped my joy of reading and my writing sensibilities. It’s interesting because in most of his books, now that I look at them, the stories are fueled as the dynamic between two unlikely partners: one is more offbeat and eccentric and risk-taking, and the other is the “normal” one, or really the one who represents the perspective of the reader. Anyone who’s read “Don’t Care High” or “A Semester in the Life of A Garbage Bag” or “Son of Interflux” knows exactly what I’m talking about. If John Hughes was the conduit of high school angst for Hollywood, Gordon Korman was his literature equivalent. 

 

 

John: What are your hopes for YerStory Comics for the future?

Eric: Just to manage my productions as efficiently as possible, work on my sales and marketing for YerStory, and slowly expand my line-up of comics with a group of talented people that I can rely on and that I can in turn, help build them up too. My goal is to collaborate with as many great artists as possible and help create that whole ecosystem around YerStory between creators and audience, and ultimately be a sustainable original content production company.

 

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

Eric: When first coming up with a concept, a few ideas will come to me, and I think on each one a long time and work out the characters and possible scenarios in my head first and basically get 50% of the writing done mentally. Then I write the story down in film script format. I work on multiple scripts at a time and I write pretty fast and furious with some time in between to rest. After a couple of revisions and giving the script some time to marinate and make some tweaks, I’ll give scripts to my artists and they can run wild with it. They give me a draft and unless there’s something really glaring that needs to be changed, I approve and they ink or colour. Then I get the finished pages back to letter them, and I reinterpret my script back to the pages. This is an ideal process and one that works very well for me and my artists because it gives them a lot of creative control over the story, and it make us more partners in the process; and when it comes back to me to letter, I can make final tweaks, which actually helps take out the parts that don’t work. So it’s a process that’s probably a little more improvisational, but I and the artists love it, it works great. And the reader gets something that’s hopefully more energetic.

 

 

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

Eric: Writing and creating is fulfilling to me, and I can’t not do it. If it was my only option, I’d still be doing comics on loose-leaf and stapling them together. Thanks very much for the exposure!

 

Please visit the YerComics campaign page here.

NEOTHERIC
by Michael T. Gonzalez

NEOTHERIC centers around anthropomorphic, asshole dinosaurs who have been used by alien slave-masters as biological terraformers. For millions of years, they have traveled from planet to planet, transforming hostile wastelands into lush ecosystems to advance the evolution of life across the universe. But, the dinosaurs themselves have evolved. And some of them yearn to live wild and free. So, a small group of audacious dinos escapes and heads to modern-day Earth, where the shit immediately hits the fan because they are, after all, savage mother-fucking dinosaurs.

Please Visit The Campaign Site Here.

 

John: Welcome to Indie Comics Showcase, Michael!

Michael: Thanks for giving me this opportunity to raise some awareness about it. That’s like gold to an indie creator!

 

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

Michael: Well, by day, I’m a powersports mechanic, a husband and a father. By night, I punch at my computer keyboard trying to come up with compelling works of fiction. I’ve been doing that — the writing part — since I was a kid. I submitted springboards to Marvel when I was 11, pitched a bunch of projects to Dark Horse when I was in my 20s and wrote several screenplays that will never be produced. But, once, I was actually paid by a producer to write a screenplay. So, I can honestly say that I am a professional writer. That and $5 can get me a cup of coffee.   

 

 

John: Without Spoilers, what can you tell us about NEOTHERIC – First Print Edition!? Where it’s been, where it’s going, and your plans for the future?

Michael: NEOTHERIC is violent, mature, dark humor tale about highly-evolved dinosaurs who are used by aliens as biological terraformers and the small group that escapes to live free on modern-day Earth. Their brazen act upsets the natural order and they are besieged by a non-stop barrage of enemies from all corners of the cosmos. My plan has been to produce individual issues digitally to build a following that can support printing a collection every 4 issues (or so). The idea was that it was better to first spend the money on producing content and using the free, online avenues of distribution to reach people. Figuring out how to fund printing would come later. I’ve developed the story so that it runs in 4-issue mini-arcs inside of one 12-issue main arc. So I have a detailed synopsis for the first 12 issues with the primary theme coming to a head at that time. But I have enough ideas for these characters to do 50 or 60 issues, easily. I even already know how it will all end because the story does have a specific point to make.  

 

John: Can you tell us a little bit about how NEOTHERIC – First Print Edition! came to be, how the characters and story were conceptualized?

Michael: For anyone interested in the gory details, all of the perks in the campaign include a PDF called “The Evolution of Neotheric” which tracks the concept development. But, just to give a quick summary, the first spark of an idea was, “What if modern man had to live by the savage rules of the animal kingdom?” Of course, there have been many comic books/cartoons with animals (even dinosaurs) living/working peacefully alongside humans but my warped mind wanted to see dinosaurs acting like mother-fucking dinosaurs. They’re not docile. They’re not friendly. They don’t give a fuck about your feelings. For them, it’s all about “eat first, ask questions later”.  

 

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

Michael: I was first exposed to comic books when me and my brother found a small cardboard box in a shed at my grandparents’ house filled with random Gold Key/Harvey/Charlton comics, like Hot Stuff, Richie Rich, Billy the Kid and whatnot. Then my brother had a friend who indoctrinated us to “collecting” comics — taking care of them to maybe one day resell them at a higher price. As a kid, the idea of being an entrepreneur was intriguing (even if I had no idea what the word “entrepreneur” meant.) Also, as an Army brat in the 80s, GI Joe was everything to me. And GI Joe #5 was the first comic I bought with my own money.

 

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

Michael: This will probably not come as a surprise. GI Joe #21 “Silent Interlude” blew me away. First, it had ninjas. That already brings it up to a whole ‘nother level. But, seriously, I don’t rightly know why it had such an impact on me. I just know that it changed what I thought comic books had to be… or could be. And “Kraven’s Last Hunt” is the greatest comic book story of all time. Forget “Watchmen” and “The Dark Knight Returns” J.M. DeMatteis doesn’t receive the recognition he deserves.

 

John: What does NEOTHERIC – First Print Edition! mean to you, what about it makes it a story you want to tell?

Michael: At its heart, it’s about the everyday struggle each of us goes through just to live our lives. To be free. To be the masters of our own fate. So, it’s not just a wild, off-the-wall, no-holds-barred sci-fi adventure. It speaks to a very basic concept of the indomitable spirit of the rugged individual forging their own path in the face of overwhelming hardships. I think everyone can relate to that to some degree.

 

John: What are some of the things that have served as a source of Inspiration when working on NEOTHERIC – First Print Edition!? Do you read anything, watch any shows, listen to music as you work?

Michael: There isn’t one specific thing I can point to as a direct inspiration for the foundational ideas in Neotheric. It’s more that it’s the coalescing of a thousand different things — with the main one just being my life experience and outlook.

 

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

Michael: On my Youtube channel, I’ve made a few videos talking about the process/structure that I use to write comic book scripts. Comics are such a unique medium that I think it takes a very disciplined approach to do it well. (Not to say that I’ve acheived that but, rather, that I strive for that.) The page turn is the key, in my mind. That slight pause allows you to create tension and shocking moments and dictate the pacing. Once I’ve developed the basic plot of the issue, I’ll break it down to figure out the flow of the story on each page. And, a lot of times, I will work backwards from the last panel because I know what I want that moment to be before the page turn. So, I basically get the general idea then start whittling it down to its component pieces (i.e., each panel.)  

 

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

Michael: I think film, in general, may be my greatest influence. When developing a comic script, I steer more towards the cinematic than the literary. That’s why I like to write comics rather than novels.  

 

 

John: What are your hopes for NEOTHERIC for the future?

Michael: In the immediate future, obviously, I hope the campaign is successful and a printed version of the book can be made. My greatest hope, though, is that enough people will support the project so that I can have the funds to keep making more issues and tell the complete story. 

 

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

Michael: I’ve invested quite a bit of time, effort and money to create this book. Everything is done and ready to be printed. But all of it will have been for nothing if I can’t get support from readers. So, I just ask that anyone reading this to consider checking out the campaign and getting yourself a copy (or two) of the book. Even just spreading the word on social media can be a great help. Also, big salute to my creative team, Dave Mims, Andrey Portilla, Rob Willis, and Steve Myers!

 

And thanks to you, John, and Bleeding Fool for the opportunity to state my case, as it were.

 

Please visit the Neotheric campaign site Here.

_________

Machi The Lazy Witch
by Raven Monroe

Please Visit The Campaign Here.

John: Raven, thank you for being a part of Indie Comics Showcase. I’m happy to be discussing your indie comic Machi The Lazy Witch with you!

Raven: Thank you for having me! I am so grateful for this opportunity! 

John: Tell our readers us a little bit about yourself .

Raven: Right! My name is Raven Monroe, I served in the Marine Corps after high school and I have been doing freelance digital art since. 

 

 

John: Alright! Thank you for your service. Now tell us about Machi The Lazy Witch? 

 

Raven: It’s basically a fantasy slice-of-life that follows the day to day life of a freshmen in a magical art institute. Issues 1 and 2 introduce the world in which Machi lives, and a very colorful cast of characters. 

Through the series, Machi will face exams, group projects, finding her familiar and hopefully graduation. Right now the plan is to make Machi The Lazy Witch as a 12 issue series, with a spinoff later on down the line.  

 

 

John: Tell us a little bit about how Machi The Lazy Witch came to be, how the characters and story were conceptualized?

Raven: I started working on Machi when I reached a difficult point in my life. I needed something to give me hope and project my hope into. It all started with a sketch. Inktober 2016. I drew a little witch character for one of the prompts that day. I ended up jotting down “Machi- The Lazy Witch” on the drawing. The name stuck with me, and I got to thinking “Hey, I think we can do something with this.” I am an artist first, and a writer second. So I began developing some concepts for Machi, and then got to work writing out what would become the comic.

 

The cast of Machi is dear to my heart because each character has qualities of a loved one in my life. Machi was inspired by my little brother, Reina by my big sister, Smiling Bob by my godfather Smiling Bob Lewis, and so on. I created characters that I hope everyone can fall in love with. 

 

 

John: What are some of the first comics you remember reading? And did any comics have an impact on you?

Raven: When I was little, My aunt got me a comic subscription to The  Power Puff Girls. I was obsessed with it, I read every issue front to back and back to front. I even tried to color in some of the black and white pages! Little did I know, I would be doing that as a profession as I got older. 

As for comics that made an impact on me, I was very fortunate to meet Brian Ball, the creator of RAGS in college. In reading RAGS and talking to Brian, I was inspired to take my little wish and make it a reality. 

 

John: Very cool! Love RAGS. Now what does Machi The Lazy Witch mean to you, what about it makes it a story you want to tell?

Raven: Machi is a young girl who is thrown into college, not by choice. Her story is that of a girl who wants desperately to make everyone happy but keeps tripping over her own feet in the process. Issues 1 and 2 introduce Machi to the readers, the goal of these issues is to allow the readers a chance to see themselves in Machi, new to this magical world. 

 

John: Love it. What can you tell us a bit about your creative process?

Raven: I am a note taker, I love jotting down ideas throughout the day and sitting down at my computer desk and putting them together like a puzzle. Thinking to myself “ah this would be a cool character! But where would he live? How can I tie him into the world of Machi?” this process is freeing and so much fun. 

 

 

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

Raven: The work done by Studios like Ghibli, Ponoc, and Trigger have really inspired my art and storytelling. I love the vivid colors of Ghibli, and the relaxing stories they tell, just as much as I love the characters and animation of Trigger!

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

 

Raven: With 2020 just around the corner, I hope to get Machi issues 1 and 2 into conventions here in San Diego. As well as expand the available translations to readers. Right now Machi is available in English and Spanish, but I would love to add Japanese and French soon. 

I want to thank everyone for taking the time to look at Machi. Issue 3 will begin production in late February so I hope you will all look forward to it! 

John: Once again Raven , 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.

Raven: Thank you so much! Again this was such a wonderful opportunity and I am very grateful! 

 

Please Visit The Campaign Here.

That’s it for this installment! Support indie comics!!!

 


Follow Indie Comics Showcase on Twitter at @Indie_Comics!

 

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