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!
ROCKET GAL & THE MOLE MEN FROM MARS
Wyatt Holliday, Peter Gilmore & Mandy Summers
When the galaxy’s greatest scientists are lost on Mars, Rocket Gal is tasked with discovering their fate and returning them home. Accompanied by her faithful companion, Booster, Rocket Gal must face the subterranean denizens of the Red Planet – The Mole Men of Mars!
Get in on this campaign here!
Chris Braly: Give us the ‘elevator pitch’ for Rocket Gal & the Mole Men of Mars, Wyatt.
Wyatt: I like to describe it as “Don Bluth making a story for Heavy Metal.” It’s a little bit Barbarella, a little Flash Gordon, with inspiration even drawn from classics like The Jetsons. Overall, it’s a fairly tongue-in-cheek retro sci-fi adventure that doesn’t take itself too seriously.
CB: What inspired you and Peter to tell this story? How long you’ve been working on it?
Wyatt: I have always been a huge fan of classic movie serials, sci-fi b-movies, pulp novels, and comics, so something like this was a project I always wanted to get around to. And the timing just worked out right to be able to put something together with Peter.
Peter: We’ve been working on Rocket Gal and the Mole Men of Mars for around 6 months so far. I initially came up with a little concept art piece about two years ago, I’ve always been a fan of European comics like Barbarella and Tin Tin, so I guess it’s kind of an amalgam of those with a slice of humor in the vein of Mars Attacks.
CB: Tell us about your some other work you’ve done.
Wyatt: My first book was Ardanna #0, a sword & sorcery adventure featuring the titular heroine. During the time I was running that campaign, I had crossed paths with Peter a few times and it seemed we always talked about common interests – classic sci-fi b-movies, Saturday afternoon cliffhanger serials, that sort of thing. Once we started talking more, it was a no-brainer that we work on something together, and we went through a few ideas before we finally settled on what would become Rocket Gal.
Peter: I’ve been an artist as long as I can remember but only went “pro” around 6 yrs ago, until that point I’d only done commissions, etc as a side business. I’ve wanted to work on comics since I was a kid, so when I discovered the ComicsGate movement, I saw a chance to finally tell the stories and draw the stuff I’d always wanted to. I worked on a cancelled project called “Ducktor Satan’s Tales of Terror”, then moved onto That Umbrella Guy‘s “The Case of the Littlest Umbrella” and I did the ashcan and 2 back-up stories for that project.
We share a love of B-Movies and old Sci-Fi and action serials like Flash Gordon, Barabrella, Tarzan, so we kicked around a few ideas and when I showed him my old Rocket Gal character we agreed instantly that that was the direction to go, although we almost did a werewolf book instead. When we realized we needed another set of eyes on the project we brought Mandy on board as editor and to help with promotion. She’s a fantastic writer herself and she has a great eye for detail.
Mandy: When I was getting ready to launch Wart The Wizard, Peter Gilmore offered to do a piece of fan art for the book that ended up being so incredible I had to use it for the main cover. Since then, we discussed plans for a future book I had in mind called Super Dead and also about continuing Wart the Wizard with Pete picking up the pencils and inks moving forward. Wyatt and I became friends when I first came into CG after ending up on several live streams together, pitching our campaigns to various audiences. We all just kind of clicked and decided we wanted to work together to contribute to the incredible catalog of CG books.
CB: Who do you think is going to gravitate to Rocket Gal & the Mole Men of Mars? What kind of comic readers will get the most enjoyment from it?
Wyatt: I think if you like the classic Dave Stevens Bettie Page books, this will be right up your alley. It probably shares elements with some of the more recent Buck Rogers and Flash Gordon books, as well. I’m also a huge fan of Jim Starlin’s Dreadstar, so even though you won’t be able to tell just yet, there’s a lot of universe-building that’s yet to be revealed.
Peter: It’s kinda hard to find anything that’s similar to Rocket Gal… the closest you could find would maybe be the Barbarella, John Carter, Deja Thoris and Mars Attacks comics from Dynamite… actually, yeah, check out what Dynamite has to offer!
Chris: Any tips you have for other indie creators doing crowdfunding?
Wyatt: The only thing that works 100% of the time is networking and getting out there – whether that’s establishing/growing a YouTube channel, social media presence, or both. In any publishing venture, discover-ability is easily the biggest hurdle. Aside from that, there’s not really a handbook for all this and there’s no one right way to do it, so don’t get stuck too much on what worked for someone else. Figure out what works best for you and do more of that.
Peter: However long you think it’s gonna take to make your book, add a few months! Make sure you give yourself plenty of breathing room on your delivery date. Network with other promoters and other creators out there, you’ll need their support and help. Build yourself a platform, whether it be on social media or Youtube. Potential customers like to get to know who you are and what you’re about. Treat your backers well… without them you’re not gonna get anywhere. I also recommend that you check out Jon Malin, Mandy Summers, Ethan Van Sciver, CrowdfundingComics and Adam Post‘s Youtube channels. These folks are a wealth of information on crowdfunding comics.
Mandy: Get out there and get on as many live streams as you can! Big ones, small ones, it doesn’t matter! Find your niche and start a YouTube channel as well! Bring in fans from other genres and help other creators whenever you can!
CB: What else can you share about the project? Any final words to your supporters?
Wyatt: We will be delivering in July, so if you support Rocket Gal & the Mole Men of Mars, the book will be in your hands soon. I’d also like to thank everyone out there who has backed and supported us, as well as our future supporters! Thank you, Chris!
Peter: I also want so say a big THANK YOU to everyone that’s backed the book and helped to promote it so far. None of this would be possible with their support. As soon as the campaign ends I’ll be drawing in the backers that bought into the “drawn in” tiers of the campaign and we’ll be going straight to print, with fulfillment starting as soon as we get the books back from the printers, so there’s not gonna be the long wait to get the book into peoples hands that we see with other projects.
Next up for myself and Mandy is our Zombie Superhero book “Super Dead”, a 52 page dark and bloody tale that I think people are gonna love. We’ve got a mailing list on indiegogo right now and folks can get to it via SuperDeadComic.com
Mandy: Thank you so much for the opportunity to speak with you guys!
Get in on this campaign here ~ it wraps up this weekend!
by Kevin Sharpe
“…On the faraway world of Mysterra, when an ancient evil arises to threaten the cosmos, an long forgotten order of warriors called the Dragonguard returns to protect and train a legendary sword bearer…..the young son of a humble Blacksmith!”
A jaw dropping tale of fantasy by cartoons of the 80s and epic comics of the 90’s
Check out the campaign here!
Also, keep pushing your book in social media. Its such a uncomfortable discipline for someone who is not outgoing, but you have to keep going and on top of that try to be creative with promoting.
Basically I just tried to get better and better , work at getting my deadlines down and that just trains you to better at being more consistent. I want to give you a pro looking book in a indie context. I’m kinda road tested where maybe some first time creators enter crowdfunding not really understanding how to tell a story sequentially or how comics work. Regardless, Its a great market for everybody to enter. This also gives me the room to do my best art work and better control my vision for a team that you don’t get being a fill in guy.
CB: Love some of those books! Tell us a little more about the story of The DragonGuard. Who do you think it will appeal to the most?
But also, I just like drawing kick ass barbarians , monsters, witches and warrior chicks!
CB: Can you tell us anything about your crew or creative team?
Death Row Sorcerer
by Nick O’Gorman
Death Row Sorcerer is a whimsically dark 48-page psychedelic supernatural/prison adventure written, drawn and coloured by Nick O’Gorman with Kurt Belcher as co-writer.
Visit the campaign site at Kickstarter.
John: Welcome to and thank you for being a part of Indie Comics Showcase. Tell us a little bit about yourself, Nick!
Nick: Thanks so much for having me! I’m a big fan of the indie comic scene and I look forward to continuing to release independent projects for years to come. I’m a comic creator from Ottawa, Canada. I have been working on comics for 6 years or so now, in pretty much every position: penciller, inker, writer, colorist and letterer. I grew up reading a variety of comics, both indie and mainstream, from America, Europe and Japan. I was a voracious comic reader from a really young age, I grew up with a great public library that had a formative collection.
For the last two years I’ve been doing a bunch of Lovecraft adaptations, as well as working on a sci-fi kids comic called Adventures of Gumpan among others. I do freelance stuff as well, though less and less as my creator owned projects are picking up.
John: Let’s talk about your latest project. What can you tell us about it?
Nick: Death Row Sorcerer is a comic about crime, prison, redemption and black magic. A mafia lackey named Dresden Lang is up to his eyeballs in gambling debt, so he is put up to rob a made-man of his prized possession to settle it. The robbery goes sideways when Lang startles the old Sicilian made-man, who then suffers a heart attack and dies.
After being taken in by police and taken to trial, Dresden is sentenced to death as he (accidentally) killed a man in the commission of another felony. He goes through appeals, even studying law and representing himself, but it is all for naught. All hope seems lost… until he is struck by sudden inspiration; where legal-craft had failed, perhaps a (slightly) blacker, darker art may succeed!
John: How did DEATH ROW SORCERER come to be, how the characters and story were conceptualized?
Nick: While I was coloring one of my Lovecraft books I dreamt up the story, replete with its many twists and turns. It all came to me all at once, pretty much in its entirety. For the lead I envisioned a man that was good at heart, but unlucky in circumstance and mental gifts. He doesn’t make too many friends in prison short of a mangy prison yard cat, but he is earnest in his attempts to better himself and somehow make up for his terrible crime. I kinda envisioned the tone to be fairly light, like Evil Dead meets Prison Break with an unlucky, mafia Doctor Strange in the lead role. I think when you see the covers, they scream all those aspects very loudly.
John: What are some of the things that have served as a source of Inspiration when working on DEATH ROW SORCERER? Do you read anything, watch any shows, listen to music as you work?
Nick: I tend to work with YouTube playing in the background, generally a lot of true crime and conspiracy stuff, stuff that’s engaging but not too engaging. I listen to audio books a lot too, usually my favorite stories, so if I zone out in my work, I am not lost in the audiobook. At Least once a year I listen to something by Rand, Vonnegut or Stephenson.
I got a record player in the middle of my studio, I tend to listen to Stoner Metal, Black Metal, underground hip-hop and riot girl when I ink. High on Fire, Mayhem, B. Dolan, Ceremony and Sleater-Kinney would be my go-tos. They’re all vastly different, and I love variety.
John: What does DEATH ROW SORCERER mean to you, what about it makes it a story you want to tell?
Nick: The story means the world to me. I wanted to make something that was fresh and original, to write a story that would pop off the comic page. I wanted to do a book that would allow me to do the most psychedelic looking book I could think of, much like my Lovecraft adaptations. It’s a self-contained story that anyone could pick up and read, from YA to veteran comic readers. Someone recently described DRS as the type of story that comic books were made to tell, and I really liked that, I hope readers feel the same as well. The stakes are personal and always in focus, and the way the story ramps up page after the page is a wild ride! It has been a blast to draw so far, and the conclusion will blow your mind!
John: You a have rather unique style in your writing and art. Can you tell us a bit about you developed them?
Nick: Sure. Writing-wise, I like outlining a plot, breaking it down into detailed thumbnails and then I worry about the dialogue and captions as I pencil and ink, often scribbling down little notes on the pages as I go. I tighten the script as I color, since I am already on the computer, and that’s when it starts really coming together. I kinda look at my approach as the old-school Marvel Method but with a team of one. I find the approach creates enough room to make changes if needed, so long as you start with a very distilled idea of what will be unfolding.
John: Can you tell us a bit about your creative process?
Nick: Creatively I run hot or cold on writing, and so I never try to force it. I’ve got a lot of books and stories in various stages of development, and let the muse tell me when they are ready to start production-proper. Luckily, I never find drawing a chore, so I always have something to work on if I am having problems writing. If I am ever in a creative block I just start designing creatures and characters and freewheeling it, see if I can create anything captivating or cool and then use them as a jumping off point; what is their world like, who are their friends, stuff like that.
As for inspiration, I’m definitely inspired by Ed Piskor and Jim Rugg, I really admire their dedication to the craft and their compulsive need to create. They’re youtube channel Comicbook Kayfabe is amazing. Looking back on older creators, I’m influenced by Ditko’s dedication and integrity and Wally Woods inks are top notch. More modernly Mike Allred, Daniel Clowes, Cliff Chang and Chris Sprouse are also big influences on me.
John: What are your hopes for DEATH ROW SORCERER for the future?
Nick: Although the Death Row Sorcerer is a self-contained story, I do have a number of stories planned for these characters. I’ve seeded a number of things in this first volume that can be developed later on. I also want to do some Lovecraftian tales with Dreden Lang as well, the possibilities are endless in this world I am creating. As for what’s next immediately for DRS? Episodes two and three feature the Baba Yaga and a Dresden being incarcerated at a magical prison in the netherworld!
John: Is there anything else you want to share with us before we sign off?
Nick: I am extremely excited for this book and I’ve got loads more projects on the way. If you wanna keep an eye on what I am doing day-to-day, I’ve got thatnickog as a username on most platforms. I also will plug my clothing shop at Teepublic under the same thatnickog name, got a lot of Lovecraft designs there.
John: Once again NICK, 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.
Nick: I want to thank you very much for having me, it was my pleasure. The only thing I like more than talking comics is makin’ em.
Visit the campaign site at Kickstarter
And to see more Nicks amazing work you can visit his Deviantart
That’s it for this installment! Support indie comics!!!
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