Hello friends and readers, welcome back to another weekly edition of Indie Comics Showcase! It’s our weekly blog where we try and bring you our picks of some of the coolest indie comics that are going it alone and crowdfunding their projects. We interview their creators, show off some art, and tell you how you can check out the product for yourself. Once again, we have some outstanding crowdfunding campaigns this week for you to learn about, enjoy, and hopefully support by backing one or more of them!
Every little bit of support counts, from a single dollar pledge to the twenty-five dollar bundle, and of course the higher tiers are usually fun too! In fact, some of these campaigns have got some great higher tiers which add even more value by offering stuff you cannot get anywhere else.
Thanks for checking these out and for being the best part of Indie Comics Showcase. Let’s jump in!
GRAYSKALE: Welcome to Glitter City
with Michael Derrick
GRAYSKALE: WELCOME TO GLITTER CITY is a 60 page full color graphic novel about a trash-talking vigilante with the power to control the forces of karma! In this city where everything is legal, it’s gonna take someone outside of the law to deliver the retribution the colorful and deadly villains of Glitter City so richly deserve! After running afoul of a notorious casino boss, the protagonist GRAYSKALE finds himself targeted by a gauntlet of increasingly dangerous supervillians and the question is whether or not his mysterious karma control and trusty truncheon will be enough to save the day.
Chris spoke with the creator and writer, Michael Derrick.
Check out the campaign page here!
CB: How did you come up with the idea for this comic? And was it always your intention to do it as a comic book?
with Romane Black
Fireshine is like x-men meets the Matrix. Its fantasy and fast paced action like you’ve never seen before. Uncover family secrets and sidling rivalry, With Genetic abominations and interdimensional reptilians. New enemies show up and old friends reappear. The Dracon is the rulers of the world below the realm of fire and they want what belong to them, the twins Sasuke and Sasamei the key to open up dimensional portals to enter heaven to start a war to control all creation!
Please Checkout The Campaign Site Here.
John Lemus: Welcome to aIndie Comics Showcase, Romane! I’m happy to be discussing your Indie Comic FIRESHINE with you today.
Romane Black: Thanks John I am honored to be a part of your beautiful website. For us indie creators, you provide above and beyond services.
John: Before we get started I was hoping you could tell us a little bit about yourself.
Romane: I’m a very private person, but I can say that I have been doing comics since I was a child. I came here to America in 1994 at the age of 7 and I fell in love with cartoons and videogames as well as comics.
John: Without Spoilers, what can you tell us about FIRESHINE? Where it’s been?
Romane: Well FIRESHINE is a love letter to my childhood, it’s very much my first born lol. It is about a family of genetic mutants or bioweapons created to break into heaven. However, they escaped that life and made a new continent. They call it home where their free and able to help others in need. There is a lot of action in the first book. So if you like over the top action, this is the best manga out there.
John: Can you tell us a little bit about how FIRESHINE came to be, how the characters and story were conceptualized?
Romane: As a child, I loved watching/reading Dragonball Z and Naruto as well as Spawn and Witchblade too. Also playing fighting games for many years. Playing Final Fantasy got me itching to create something of my own and so FIRESHINE was born.
John: What are some of the first comics you remember reading?
Romane: Archie, Sonic, X-men, Spawn, and Witchblade are some of the first comic books I remember reading and studying the art as well. A lot of Image books and Marvel has a huge impact on me (Witchblade, Spawn, X-men and Berserk).
John: What about Fireshine makes it a story you want to tell?
Romane: I think it’s awesome as a story and as art because it’s made up of the things I love to see and read. It is my love letter to the medium of graphic storytelling in all I think it could be a game-changer. like the Fantastic Four or Dragonball did and I strongly believe that and I will continue doing it until it is fact, I love this so much and I have been doing this book since I was 13 years old and I am continuing to improve the book all the time.
John: What are some of the things that have served as a source of Inspiration when working on FIRESHINE ? Do you read anything, watch any shows, listen to music as you work?
Romane: well I like to listen to a lot of music of all kinds and I like podcasts and lectures on youtube as I draw and write. Also, other artists drawing or painting videos to pickup little golden nuggets of advice.
John: Romane, you a have rather unique style in your writing and art. Can you tell us a bit about you developed them?
Romane: Well as I said I love anime and videogames so the art and story came out of ( Dragonball Z, Berserk, Metal Gear Solid, Final Fantasy, Street Fighter ) and the Bible as well as the occult.
John: Can you tell us a bit about your creative process?
Romane: It all started in my head and then I do sketches of the characters and the full page and then I do the ones I love. so I then do the inks and then the colors and texts last. I have been doing scripts first but this book I did it all out of my head after I wrote 12 chapters already. I wanted to start the book far into the future, then go back to the origins of the charters Sasuke and Sasamei after the second book. So my next fireshine book campaign will be the end of that little story arc so about 4 chapters or so.
John: What are your hopes for FIRESHINE for the future?
Romane: I hope that people like it and it becomes something special in people’s hearts and i could build a comic book company to rival the big companies of the world and that it adds value to fan’s lives.
John: Is there anything else you want to share with us before we sign off?
Romane: well I would say check out Fireshine on Indiegogo and help this poor man take care of his children and start off a new Golden age in comics and bring back the excitement in comics again and I love you all good night!
John: Once again Romane, 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.
Romane: Thanks for letting me have your great platform to talk to people about my comic book, to tell my story and shear my dreams and goals thanks again John for the amazing opportunity I appreciate it.
Please check-out the Fireshine campaign Here!
47 FURIOUS TAILS #2
with Sam Quinton
47 Furious Tails is a 12 issue limited series which tells the story of the 47 Samurai in a new and exciting way. Participants of this historic event are depicted as members of the animal kingdom. Join us as we tell the tale of this legend from Japan’s rich history.
Please checkout the pre-launch site here.
John: Sam , welcome back and thank you once again for being a part of Indie Comics Showcase. I am happy to be discussing your latest indie Comic 47 FURIOUS TAILS, ISSUE TWO with you, today.
Sam: Pleasure to be back John.
John: Before we get started can you catch us up to how and what has changed since we had you on the last we had you on?
Sam: I was last on for issue one 😊 and it was a great time. Thanks for having me back. We funded issue one in 2019 and fulfilled our KickStarter a little later than intended, getting copies out to backers in June. Since then I’ve been taking feedback from backers and folks who picked up the issue post-KickStarter campaign and working to refine and improve my writing to make this series the best comic I can make.
John: What can you tell us about 47 FURIOUS TAILS without giving away too much?
Sam: Well, I did some re-writing to include more narrative and dialogue text than we had in issue one. We’re still using strong imagery to convey the feeling of the story, but I’ve gotten better about transitioning scenes. Issue one was good, issue two will be better. We’ll get issue two out to backers by end of June/early July (depending on shipping destination). I’ve got a RPG project launching on KickStarter after that, but after that is fulfilled I plan on getting issue three to KickStarter as soon as we can to continue the series. 47 Furious Tails is a 12 issue series and we’re going to get it created at the highest quality level I can, while paying our artists well.
John: We had you on for your campaign for issue one of 47 Furious Tales, which captivated over five thousand people, what do you think it is about the story of the 47 Ronin that draws people in?
Sam: Well, John I think you have me at a disadvantage on that. Issue one had 172 backers who pledged over $6000 to bring that issue to life. Since then we sold out of all but a few print copies at convention and appearances at local shops. We’ve sold digital copies from the Sinopa Publishing page on drivethrucomics /drivethrurpg site, plus we donated digital copies to support a number of causes I believe in. With all that we haven’t yet reached 5000 people to date 😊 but I am doing all I can change that.
John: How does this campaign as compared to your previous ones?
Sam: Certainly. With issue two’s campaign I’m trying to wholly fund it from the KickStarter campaign. With issue one’s successful campaign I had funded much of the costs ahead of time from funds left over after fulfilling other KickStarter campaigns. This campaign brings the most popular rewards from the first campaign (signed copies, shirts and original art) and also includes art prints. I’ve been reaching out to friendly channels like yours and working to raise awareness of the series.
I’m also making issue One available as a free download from the KickStarter campaign page so that people who are new to this series will have the opportunity to see what it is like so they can make an informed decision on supporting issue two’s campaign. I hope people will enjoy issue one and decide to support issue two to help me to continue the series.
I’ve also changed up our shipping model a bit. With most of our tiers including art prints, we can’t ship those via media mail, so all but the $10 tier are shipping via USPS priority mail. This incurs a higher shipping cost but is necessary due to the contents. It will also give us the ability to track shipments within the US. Our overseas shipping is still via USPS international first class and, unfortunately, due to increases in shipping costs I had to account for that in the tier shipping amounts. There really wasn’t a way around it.
John: What does 47 FURIOUS TAILS, ISSUE TWO mean to you, what about it makes it a story you want to tell?
Sam: 47 Furious Tails, Issue Two means a great deal. First, it will tell me just how much people thought of issue one as we look to backer turn-out. I’m hoping to see a large percentage of our issue one backers returning as that will be a tremendous indicator that people are enjoying the comic.
From a personal perspective it means more than most people would realize as I’m a pretty new comic creator, this is something I’ve wanted to do for decades, and getting this series moving with momentum from fans would be simply wonderful. I’m also a big fan of samurai drama, and the story of the 47 in particular. Seeing the comic for the first time when I opened the cases from the printer was an unbelievable experience. I look forward to cracking open the cases containing issue two!
The story of the 47 is one of dedication to duty, commitment to one’s beliefs and role in society. The 47 ronin who avenged Asano Naganori have earned a place in Japanese history and their legend is powerful both at home in Japan and abroad. When you first hear the tale, you can’t help but be impressed by the absolute devotion these legendary warriors possessed. It is literally a story for the ages and I want to bring it to life in comics in this unique way.
John: What are some of the things that get your creative juices flowing when working 47 FURIOUS TAILS, ISSUE TWO? Do you read anything, watch any shows, listen to music as you work?
Sam: When I’m writing and conceptualizing the panel layout, I often think of Akira Kurosawa films like 7 Samurai and Yojimbo. There are some incredible images in those films that have always struck a chord in me. It’s one reason that with 47 Furious Tails our combat scenes are structured as they are. Combat is deliberate, deadly and very swift.
John: Can you tell us a bit about your creative process?
Sam: For 47 Furious Tails I did a lot of reading. I read at least three different accounts or descriptions of the Ako incidents as well as read over excerpts from theatrical sources. I built a timeline, wrote an outline for what I wanted to cover of that timeline in each issue and filled in some of the blanks with narrative that made sense with the overall history. The comic isn’t meant to be 100% historically accurate, I mean, we do have the characters portrayed as anthropomorphic animals! 😊 But it is meant to tell the story of these legendary figures in as genuine a way as I could while creating a comic that is entertaining to read.
Then I took book one, planned out the panels and what I wanted conveyed. Alexia and I went over the script, she made some suggestions, we implemented most of those, then I went back and did some final revisions. Issue two was planned out and writing was basically done before we launched the successful campaign for issue two, but I held off on finalizing it until I heard back from backers. I wanted objective, constructive criticism and the backers were very helpful with it. I did some rewrites for issue two then Alexia and I put our heads together and went over it. That version had two more revisions before I settled on a final version. There were a couple of panel sequences that changed during this process to make the action easier to follow. When I couldn’t find a way to improve the script any longer, the script went into Alexia’s hands. We’ll be launching with a pair of example pages from issue two on the campaign page, as well as the cover art, so everyone can see what the book will look like.
John: Has anything changed in your creative process since your started crowd funding indie comics?
Sam: I think I’m more critical of my writing than I was before issue one. When I’m planning panels I ask myself if it plays to the artist’s strengths as well. Can this page space be better served with fewer panels? Do we need another panel for a transition in the action? Is there to much dialogue? Not enough? I find myself spending more time considering how the art and text are going to compliment one another.
John: What are your feelings about the current state of Indie Comics, and have they changed since you started?
Sam: I believe that indie comic creators are producing some of the best work we’ve ever seen in the indie community. Every month we have new and exciting ideas coming to life as people work to get their stories told. There are several fantastic creators out there who are producing magnificent comics.
I would be lying though if I said things are all sunbeams and roses.
There are a number of high profile creators and their respective fans who are seemingly at odds with one another. It’s painful to see, as all of these folks have a love for the art form. Personally, I stay out of the arguments and try to make the best comics I can. I hope that one day soon, people can agree that comics are for everyone and that a comic that might not appeal to one person may be the best, most beautiful work another has read. Comics have a funny way of touching us. The stories tend to linger in our minds and the lore finds its way into our society. Everyone should have a chance to tell their stories and make their comics. I hope we can all celebrate the successes, learn from the shortcomings and see comics continue to grow.
John: Is there anything else you want to share with us before we sign off?
Sam: I’m very happy to be bringing 47 Furious Tails, Issue Two to KickStarter. I hope everyone will take a look at the campaign, download the digital copy of issue one and enjoy it. If you like what you see please do support the campaign, get your copy of issue two, and do please share the campaign link on social media. The more people who support the title, the better.
John: Once again Sam, 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.
Sam: Thank you so much for speaking with me again. It is, as always, a pleasure.
That’s it for this installment! Support indie comics!!!
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