Indie Comics Showcase #83: Oddity & Project I.M.P.A.C.T.

 

 

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!

 

ODDITY
by David Shawn

Variant Mash-Up cover by Ethan Van Sciver!

Deep in the heart of a strange bayou lives the Oddity. He emerges from his secret lair only when his watery home is in danger from outsiders. Or when he has to make a run to the bait shop to pick up groceries. Frankly, getting him off his couch is kind of a challenge most of the time.

Check out the campaign page here!

 

Chris Braly: What is the ‘elevator pitch’ for  ODDITY? Briefly tell our readers what it’s about and give us some background on it.

David Shawn: Oddity is a teenage dirtbag who is mutated into a frog creature. He lives near a magical swamp, and the spirit in charge assigns him as the guardian of all the urban legend type creatures that live there. Being an irresponsible teen he accidentally unleashes monsters onto the local town and has to learn to take his job seriously and stop the monsters from destroying the community.

 

 

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?

DS:  The character is actually the brain child of Sean Sweeney, the artist.  We met on my YouTube show and hit it off. I thought the character was so dynamic and cool and his art jumps right off the page! One night about a year ago, after his 3rd appearance, he asked if I wanted to write the book and I jumped at the chance! He gave me the first 15 pages that he had completed and asked me to script them. He liked what I submitted and we discussed how the rest of the story would go. We work well together and it’s been fun writing his character.

 
 

CB: Tell us why you felt this should be told in comic book form. Are you a big fan of the medium?

DS: I’ve been into comics since I was a kid. I collected a lot of indie stuff, especially Ninja Turtles. My collecting years were dead smack in the middle of the 90s collector bubble. I loved all the Image stuff back then, especially Sam Kieth’s The Maxx. This book is all about the character, and he’s got such an appealing visual style he had to be made into a comic book.       

 
 
 

CB: What are some similar comics readers may be familiar with that will find Oddity appealing?

DS:  Thematically it’s very Spider-man. Except where Peter Parker is the science nerd, Oddity was the kid smoking under the bleachers. Setting I guess is very Swamp Thing. But the book is an action comedy with horror elements. We were going for a lot of humor, but it’s also got some heart in it. We tried to make the character very relatable so you can laugh at all the over the top silliness, but still find a good story with good characters.      

 


CB
: Tell us a bit about your creative team and what other creators (if any) have contributed to this volume? You also have a special variant cover coming for this as well, correct? Tell us about that too.

DS: Sweens is a one man art team. He pencils, inks, colors, the works. As a result it takes him a while to do each page. We’ve recently hired a flatter, to speed the colors along so we can try to hopefully speed up the process, without losing any quality. We’ve also hired Eric Weathers as the letterer because, what the heck, he’s doing a hundred other books, right? For stretch goals we have pinups by Donal Delay, Miss Sashi, and Adventure Time artist, Matt Houston. When we first started the project there was another prominent frog character also running an IndieGoGo campaign and one of our backers tagged the creator on Twitter and asked if Sweens could draw that character alongside Oddity for a variant cover. A few DMs later and Ethan Van Sciver agreed to do a jam cover where he would draw Cyberfrog and Sweens would draw Oddity! We even got it colored by Kyle Ritter! It turned out absolutely fantastic.

 

CB: What else can you share about the project? And do you have any final words for our readers?

DS:  We want to bring a real sense of fun to our backers. It’s a good story, told with a lot of humor. And the Ethan Van Sciver cover will only get one printing! If you miss out on this campaign, that’s it. It won’t be available for future campaigns. So jump on it now while it’s available! 

Miss Sashi variant cover!

 

CB: Thanks for chatting with us David! Good luck with the book!

DS:  Thanks so much for the opportunity to talk about our book! I know your readers will love it!      

 

Check out the campaign page for Oddity here!

 

 

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Project I.M.P.A.C.T.
by Alan Russette

 

This series follows the adventures of Project: I.M.P.A.C.T. – a government-sponsored superhero team, operating to safeguard Canada from superhuman (parahuman) threats. Superhuman mercenaries have taken over a hydroelectric generating station in the Niagara Falls area and the team is called in to handle them, while one member -Seism – works on getting control over his powers and as their team leader gets called to stop a superhuman incident at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto.

Grab the first two issues on Comixology here

 

 

Chris Braly: Briefly tell our readers what Project I.M.P.A.C.T. is about and give us some background on it.

Alan Russette: Project: I.M.P.A.C.T. is a book about a Canadian government sponsored team of semi-costumed super-humans (called “parahumans” in the books) tasked with the protection of the Great White North from super-powered threats. The team functions in a world where the US has cornered the market on “real” or “legit” superheroes, which has, in turn, made Canada look ripe for the picking for less scrupulous sorts looking to make their fortunes or grab power. This team is Canada’s answer to the influx of “super villains.”



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?

AR: The initial idea has been brewing in my head for quite some time. I actually came up with the team’s acronym back in the mid-1990s, but had never done anything with it.  There was a resurgence in the Canadian indie comic scene dating back to around 2015 when Chapterhouse Comics decided to redesign and reboot Captain Canuck (Canuck is a character whose look is reminiscent of Alpha Flight’s Guardian, but who pre-dates him by several years) and that got the creative juices flowing.  There were a number of new Canadian superheroes being created and published around this time and I wanted mine to be a part of it. 

 
The initial draft of the script was done back in 2016, but it took me some time to find an artist who could bring this to life.  The first issue has actually been done since early 2018, but I wanted to find a publisher to properly launch the book.  Fast forward to January 2020 and I was sitting on two finished issues, so I decided to launch the title myself under ADR Comics on Comixology.  They unexpectedly put out both issues within a week of one another, so both issues 1 and 2 are now available on the platform.

 

 

CB: Tell us why you felt this should be told in comic book form. Are you a big fan of the medium? (If so, mention some you are a fan of)

AR: I started reading comic books in the mid-1980s, back before the Mutant Massacre crossover in Marvel Comics.  I always loved the Saturday morning Super Friends cartoons, Spider-Man and his Amazing Friends, stuff like that.  I also loved the old Marvel Superheroes tabletop roleplaying game by TSR, so creating comic book-style characters has been a part of me since my childhood.  If I was going to tell this story, it had to be in comic form.

 
I’m a huge fan of the medium, overall. DC Rebirth was pretty significant in getting me back into reading the mainstream books (I was a diehard Marvel fan growing up).  Currently, I follow specific characters as opposed to creative teams.  For example, I read Fantastic Four for Ben, Reed, Sue, and Johnny.  It doesn’t make a difference to me who’s writing or drawing it.  
 
 
I also try to support my fellow Canadian indie creators, like Scott Sawyer, who is putting out “North”, and Davis Dewsbury & Andrew Thomas who put out “Auric of the Great White North”, and A. Shay Hahn who puts out some really amazing titles like “Beaver Damn”, “Homeless G-Men”, and “Crypto Zombies”.
 



CB: What are some similar comics readers may be familiar with that will find IMPACT appealing?

AR:  Doing a Canadian superhero team is naturally going to invite comparisons to Marvel’s Alpha Flight, which I welcome. However, our heroes are less like caricatures and stereotypes of Canadians and more representative of today’s Canada than Alpha Flight has been.

 
I also wanted to go back to more of a Jim Shooter-style of storytelling. Today’s comics seem to have an over-emphasis on writing for the trade paperback, but as an indie creator, I don’t have that luxury. These books tell a full “A-story line” while seeding stories for future issues in the background. That should make them more accessible to readers as time goes on. If readers are looking for something familiar, but not a carbon copy of what they’re used to, then our books may be what they’re looking for!



CB
: Tell us a bit about your creative team and what other creators (if any) have contributed to this volume?

AR:  I’m the writer for both issues of the title. I also created each the characters and came up with the initial character designs, their backgrounds, power sets, etc.

 
Stephan Petersen is the artist for both issues. I met him at a local comic convention and was really impressed with his stuff. He was the artist for the indie book Paroxysms of Caesars, and is currently developing his own title, Thin Ice. Stephan tweaked some of the character designs, particularly Polar Knight and French Guardian. I’m thrilled with the work he’s done for us. He really leveled up between issues 1 and 2.
 
 
 
Gary Scott Beatty was the colorist and letterer for Issue 1, a consummate professional, and the sole American who worked on the book. He came highly recommended to us and brought a really cool retro feel to the book. He’s been involved with too many projects to list here, but he’s regularly involved with books put out by Caliber Comics. Most recently, he was part of the successful Kickstarter campaign for The Healing graphic novel.
 
 
Linda Scott Campbell is a colorist I met through Twitter. Like the rest of the creative team for Issue 2, she’s Canadian, and really blew me away with what she did. I believe this is one of her first books, but you’d never know it, based on the quality of what she put out. She’s excellent.
 
 
Richard Lumsden is a really talented artist in his own right, and came on to do the lettering and pre-pres for Issue 2. He also tweaked the designs for my Moose character in ways that will be more apparent as the series progresses. I can’t say enough about how helpful and supportive he’s been through the whole process. I can’t imagine putting out these books without his help.
 
Each of these people has been great to work with and I would like to publicly thank them for all their efforts!
 
 

CB: What else can you share about the project? And do you have any final words for our readers?

AR:   The comic is currently only available via digitally via Comixology, but we hope that positive reactions and support will help us fuel a print run at some point in the future.  Unlike so many indie comic projects, this was put together without any sort of crowdfunding efforts (no Kickstarter or Indiegogo here, just scraping and saving to put it out), so we hope we can find and grow an audience.  I believe we have a fun book here and I hope that readers will take the time to give it a read-through!

 

CB: Thanks for chatting with us Alan! Good luck and we are rooting for you!

AR: Thanks for the opportunity!

 

Check out this project on Comixology here

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

 


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Chris Braly

Chris Braly

I'm a collector, a speculator, and one opinionated, based geek. My friends call me Braly, but those who know me within the hobby generally refer to me as Bralinator. I can be heard monthly on the Comic Book Page Previews Spotlight podcast with several other comic book nerds. Follow me on Twitter @ChrisBraly

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