Welcome back to another installment of Indie Comics Showcase!The weekly blog where we try to spotlight and signal boost indie comics that are currently underway with crowdfunding campaigns, are crowdsourcing their funding in some way, or just completely self-publishing on their own. 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.
On Indie Comics Showcase interview the 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!
Thanks for checking these out and for being the best part of Indie Comics Showcase. Let’s jump in!
by Rob Shaffer
In the northern most realm. In the cold wintry valley of Valerium the barbarians of Storm Fall follow the way of the fates. One such Valerian, named after the valley itself, takes a journey of here own. Carving her own fate one bloody body at a time, Valeria finds defying the fates comes with a price.
DOOM FATE is a 48 plus page full color graphic novel that will take you on a sword and sorcery adventure like no other. If you like magic, monsters, blood and barbarians, this book is for you! The campaign was a success and it’s currently on In-Demand so you can still pre-order your copy and become a backer! Check out the campaign page here!
John: Rob, thank you for being a part of Indie Comics Showcase. Let’s talk DOOM FATE!
Rob: Thank you for the opportunity to talk about my project.
John: Before we get started I was hoping you could tell us a little bit about yourself .
Rob: I have loved comics and the fantasy genre since I was a kid. I started drawing at a young age and drew my favorite superheroes and monsters whenever I could. After I served in the military, I graduated college with an art degree. I worked in advertising and graphic design for many years. I decided to become a freelance illustrator about 5 years ago. I have done freelance work for roleplaying games, video games and comics ever since.
John: Without Spoilers, what can you tell us about DOOM FATE!?
Rob: DOOM FATE is the story of a clan of barbarians who honor the fates as gods. There are five fates that the Valerians follow. Each Valerian is guided upon one of these paths at an early age. The main character, Valeria, decides she wants to break away from tradition and the will of the fates. She finds that carving her own path comes with a high cost.
John: Can you tell us a little bit about how DOOM FATE! came to be, how the characters and story were conceptualized?
Rob: I am a big fan of the Hobbit, Lord of the rings, Conan the barbarian, Berserk, Dungeons and Dragons, etc. It is a culmination of all of my fantasy genre influences from my life. From movies, to books, to games of all types. Many of the themes and characters are taken from stories and themes I have retained from years of being in to the fantasy genre.
The basic idea has been in my head, sketchbooks and such for over 10 years. I started to refine it just in the past 2 years or so.
John: What are some of the first comics you remember reading?
Rob: X-Men 132. The Hellfire club. Phoenix saga. The Byrne cover. It just sucked me in. I still have it to this day. I am sure I read some prior, but this is the one that REALLY got me into comics. Everything else went from there.
John: What are some of the comics that have made the biggest impact on you?
Rob: Savage Sword of Conan. Groo the Wanderer. Bone. Berserk. Just about any horror comic that Berni Wrightson did. G.I.Joe. But the one that REALLY sparked the desire in me to draw comics was X-Men Annual #9. The Arthur Adams art. The mixing of the X-men and a fantasy theme. The story. Love every page of it.
John: Love those books! What does DOOM FATE! mean to you, what about it makes it a story you want to tell?
Rob: It is fundamentally about forging your own path and the perils of that. We are all told by society to“Do it this way.” or “follow this path”. That is fine. But we are also told “Do your own thing!” “Don’t listen to the nay sayers!”. I always found these both confusing.
I want to show that it isn’t so easy to strike out on your own. The road is perilous and fraught with danger. You cant do it alone. Things don’t always work out. But if you don’t quit, things may work out for you.
John: Rob, you a have rather unique style in your writing and art. Can you tell us a bit about you developed them?
Rob: As a kid I loved to draw the monsters and heroes out of my Dungeons and Dragons books and comics. Art school taught me the fundamentals of art so that I could apply them. Later, I refined my style. I think I have a rather large, what some call, a visual reference to draw from. If it is fantasy based, I can probably draw it from memory. I am constantly adding to it by practicing every day and observing as much as I can.
My style of art has so many influences I don’t know where to start. It is a soup of watching to many Saturday morning cartoons, reading comic books, taking in fantasy art and watching to many movies. I like to think of it as “Cartoony realism”. Thick bold lines with an eye for details. And my writing is really drawn from the many books, comics and roleplaying adventures I have read over the years. I draw from Tolkein, Gygax and the many Dungeons and Dragons games I have run over the years.
John: What are your hopes for DOOM FATE! for the future?
Rob: Well, I drew so much we are at almost 2 books of content. The original campaign did not make the numbers to publish all of it. So I have decided to do a volume 1 and quickly follow up with a volume 2. I have at least 8 more volumes I want to tell in this story line. I have more stories to tell in this world. I want to go beyond comics with Doom Fate. I want to do a roleplaying game. Card game. Board game. A book or two. Maybe a movie some day. You name it.
If awesome sword and sorcery books are your thing, you won’t be disappointed. I also have many other projects coming out soon. As well as a coloring book named Mythzar’s Menagerie of Monsters funding on Kickstarter. I also stream on Mixer Tusedays and Thursdays at 1pm central. I draw and chat with all who come on by. https://mixer.com/PASSION4DRAWING
John: Once again Rob, 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.
Rob: Thank your for taking the time. I appreciate it.
Be sure to check out Rob’s art on Instagram!
Check out the DOOM FATE campaign page here!
by José DeFord
Chris Braly: What is the ‘elevator pitch’ for John Knight? And what is the official title of the graphic novel. Briefly tell our readers what it’s about.
Jose DeFord: John Knight is an espionage/thriller, and the story takes place in the not-too-distant future where citizens across the world are assembling into militias to bring down their governments. During this revolution, John Knight and his elite team of US Marines called “The White Eagles” serve and protect. While The White Eagles are on duty protecting America, a new underground terrorist organization emerges called “The Red Vultures,” who plan to bring the revolution to a whole new level using Biomolecular Nanotechnology (B.N.T).
CB: Can you let us in on who or what inspired you to make this comic?
JD: I recruited my team off the website, Deviantart.com. I wanted to hire the best, and at the same time, I always ran out of money. I write my chapters like storyboards and supply my artists with enough details, and reference images so they can see my vision. The visual process is the usual, a script is written, the pages are sketched, inked, colored, and texted. Tan Ho Sim did a great job on the main cover, and the others did a great job on Chapters I and II. When Bong Kimyan was inking Chapter III, I ran out of money, so I wasn’t able to get it completed. I see myself as a perfectionist, but it’s hard to accomplish when money keeps running out.
CB:Are you a fan of modern comics? What titles are you a fan of?
JD: I’m a big fan of the comic book medium, and I respect all the creators whose work from the golden age has survived the test of time like “The Shadow,” “Conan the Barbarian,” and “Batman.” It isn’t easy to be specific, but I enjoy all the work of Alan Moore, and Mark Miller.
CB: This book is actually copyright 2011 from, Lunatico Entertainment. Have you ever considered crowdfunding campaigns to get the comic printed?
JD: In 2011, I wanted to get all my ideas out and copyrighted immediately. I didn’t feel comfortable openly discussing, “John Knight” throughout the years unless it was protected. As for the crowdfunding, yes, I’ve tried numerous times. My vision won’t come cheap, because I’m trying to appeal to a large market. Currently, people can purchase the comic via the website Payhip.com where we sell digital copies for $5.99, while we use Etsy.com to sell physical copies for $10. Until we can get enough attention to sell them primarily online, we’ll have to continue selling them on the streets of Baltimore, MD, and Washington, DC!
CB: What kinds of comic fans do you think this will appeal to? What are some known comics you might compare this to?
JD: I try to appeal to a broad audience between the ages of 17 – 35, who not only enjoy comic books but also films. I do Lyft on the side, and drove a scientist in DC who read, and approved page 15 in Chapter II, so I believe my comic has potential. When it comes to comic book comparisons, I’d say “Watchmen” & “V for Vendetta” by Alan Moore, “Wanted” & “Kingsman” by Mark Miller, and “The Coldest City” by Antony Johnston.
CB: Are you working on any other comic projects? Anything else in the works?
JD: As an aspiring storyteller, I have three projects I’d like to develop. The first is a science fiction, Ancient Aliens story; the second is a supernatural horror about a privileged character selling their soul to the devil; and my own Sin City like satire.
CB: What else can you share about the project? And do you have any final words for our readers?
JD: Without any spoilers, I believe I said everything that I can. If the readers are fans of any of the movies or comic books I stated, I know they’ll enjoy John Knight. Y’all can follow me on Twitter under the surname Apollo_Muscle, check out my comic on Etsy.com, and help me raise enough funds to complete Chapter III, IV, and V.
CB: Thanks for chatting with us! The comic looks great!
CHECK OUT THE JOHN KNIGHT COMIC HERE!
JONAH’S VOYAGE TO ATLANTIS
by Philip Kosloski
The ancient city of Nineveh is under the spell of a malevolent demon who thirsts for souls. In an effort to break free the people of Nineveh from the evil darkness that enslaves them, God sends the prophet Jonah to deliver a message of warning. However, Jonah turns timid and flees in the opposite direction, away from his divine quest. A violent storm at sea puts Jonah at the mercy of a mammoth creature that takes him down into the watery depths. Down in the coldest, quietest waters, in the forgotten elder city of Atlantis, Jonah learns how black the shadow is that falls over Nineveh, and is given a legendary weapon in hopes that he can save the city before it is too late.
Check out the campaign page here!
Chris Braly: What is the ‘elevator pitch’ for Jonah’s Voyage to Atlantis? Briefly tell our readers what it’s about and give us some background on it.
Philip Kosloski: Jonah’s Voyage to Atlantis is a comic book centered on Jonah, as he travels to the legendary city of Atlantis after being thrown overboard at sea. It takes the traditional story told in the Bible and explores various legends and myths that have been passed down over the centuries. It is a mix of biblical history, fantasy and mythology, all merged together to tell a story of mercy, forgiveness and the light that shines in the darkness.
CB: Can you let us in on who or what inspired you to tell this story and how long you’ve been working on this?PK: I have been exploring this idea for the past several years, ever since I read J.R.R. Tolkien’s translation of Jonah in the Jerusalem Bible. His translation is unique and it is the only place where it says Jonah,” went down into the countries underneath the earth, to the peoples of the past.” (Jonah 2:7) I couldn’t let go of that single verse and what surprised me is that there exists an ancient Hebrew tradition that narrates how Jonah visited the “underworld,” and met the Jewish Patriarchs (such as Adam, Eve, Noah, Abraham, etc.).
CB: This isn’t your first outing. Tell us about some of the other books Voyage Comics & Publishing has produced and what your involvement has been.
CB: What are some similar comics readers may be familiar with that will find Jonah’s Voyage to Atlantis appealing?
CB: What advice would you share with other indie creators that you’ve learned from your time in the business?
PK: I would say starting out, you need to define your audience. Who are you creating for? This has helped me understand where to focus my energy as well as understand what my audience will like (and not like). In the end, you need to write what you are passionate about, but you also need to write for someone else, not only for yourself.
CB: There’s several samples showing off some strong artwork featured on the campaign page. Tell us a bit about your creative team and what other creators (if any) have contributed to this volume?
PK: The artists involved are led by Jesse Hansen and his Cornerstone Creative Studios, which boasts a large group of very talented artists. Jesse has been published in over 90 comic books, magazines and periodicals, including Cracked Magazine. Lewis Helfand is one of the editors and is known for his award-winning Mother Teresa for Campfire Comics and Nelson Mandela: The Unconquerable Soul; named graphic novel of the year at Comic-Con India.
CB: What else can you share about the project? And do you have any final words for our readers?
PK: I am really excited about this project, as I love J.R.R. Tolkien. His works continue to inspire me and have been a driving force behind all of my projects.
CB: Thanks for chatting with us Philip! Good luck and we are rooting for you!
PK: Thanks for letting me share our latest project!
That’s it for this installment! Support indie comics!!!
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