Indie Comics Showcase #93: Lords of the Cosmos, Lynx & Descent into Dread

 

 

Welcome back to another installment of Indie Comics Showcase, the weekly blog where we signal boost a few truly independent comics that are currently crowdfunding their projects, crowdsourcing their funding in some way, or just completely self-publishing on their own. Every little bit of support for these creators matters, from a single dollar pledge to the twenty-five dollar bundle, and of course the higher tiers are usually fun too! Even if you can’t back a campaign or buy a book, you can share or tweet about these projects to your friends and followers. 

 

On Indie Comics Showcase, we interview the creators, show off some art, and tell you how you can check out the product for yourself. Below 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!

 

Lords of the Cosmos #3
by Jason Lenox

 

 

John: Tell our readers a bit about yourself, Jason!

Jason: Sure, I’m an artist from central Pennsylvania that likes to draw things like robots, devil-girls and talking plants.

 

John: Ha! Okay, without giving away any spoilers, what can you tell us about Lords Of The Cosmos Issue #3? Like where it’s been, where it’s going, and your plans for the future.

Jason: It picks up from the issue two cliffhanger, and then pushes the story forward.  There are two stories that highlight our intelligent mecha-flower and the bug with a shotgun who are in the main story.

 

 

John: Can you tell us a little bit about how Lords Of The Cosmos Issue #3 came to be, how the characters and story were conceptualized?

Jason: It was a response to wanting to tell a story in the genre i have dubbed “SCI-FI BARBARIANS”- which were first seen by me as a kid in properties like Masters of the Universe, Thundarr and Flash Gordon.

 

John: What are some of the first comics you remember reading? And what are some of the comics that have made the biggest impact on you?

Jason: Groot from the Marvel EPIC imprint was my first. But Akira and Metabarons had the biggest impact on me.

John: What does Lords Of The Cosmos Issue #3 mean to you, what about it makes it a story you want to tell?

Jason:  It’s exactly the book I would want to read if I was 13 years old in 1988.  Of course, it is the book I would want to read today as well!

 

John: What are some of the things that get your creative juices flowing when working on Lords Of The Cosmos Issue #3? Do you read anything, watch any shows, listen to music as you work?

Jason:  I listen to death metal  alot when I work.  Cannibal Corpse, Behemoth and Slayer are three favorites that spring to mind.

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

Jason: research and reference… then a solid execution on one project at a time- no splitting efforts, and staying focused while immersing myself in the world of that project- via music, movies, comics etc. to bring the world to life.

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

Jason: I am inspired by H.R. Giger- a true creative that lived his life on his terms.  His success is an example of what artists should aspire to.

 

John: What are your hopes for Lords Of The Cosmos Issue #3 for the future?

Jason: That we can make issue #4 next!

 

John: Anything else you want to share with us before we sign off?

Jason: please back our Kickstarter for Lords of the Cosmos!!

 

Physical Copies of Lords of the Cosmos #’s 1-3 for sale Here. With digital copies available Here, Here, & Here!

 

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LYNX
by Elkin Ordenana

Dinosaurs, G-d, super heroes, and amazing abilities. Star Wars meets Jurassic Park.An EPIC sci-fi action adventure by Awakened Comics

 

John: Welcome to and thank you for being a part of Indie Comics Showcase, Elkin. Before we get started I was hoping you could tell us a little bit about yourself .

Elkin: I am a programmer by trade, and a comic fan since I was very young.  I also practice martial arts and meditation.

 

John: What can you tell us about LYNX? Give me the elevator pitch so to speak.

Elkin: It is a story of science fiction, action, adventure, theology, and in the end, a very unexpected twist.  Lynx will redefine how we all feel about the history of dinosaurs.

 

John: How did this comic come to be, how were the characters and story  conceptualized?

Elkin: Believe it or not, Lynx came about one day to me in a vision while in deep meditation.  Following this meditation, I wrote a huge amount of story for Lynx…this 8 issue mini-series is only the tip of the iceberg.  The characters and story were developed as I added in more story to the first day I wrote after meditation.

 

John: What are some of the first comics you remember reading? And can you tell us which comics have made the biggest impact on you?

Elkin: Wolverine, Incredible Hulk, Spiderman, Batman, a bunch of Image Comics such as Youngblood, Wild C.A.T.S, Savage Dragon, and Spawn. Those comics have had the biggest effect on me.  Also, to add on to the list, Sin City, old Conan comics, and a lot of old manga (like DBZ and Fist of the North Star).

 

John: What made LYNX a story you wanted to tell?

Elkin: Since I was a child, I absolutely loved dinosaurs, and I saw that my little nephew, Daniel, was always very into them as well…it made me want to delve deeper into it, in a non-scientific kind of way.  The story means a lot to me, and I have put in a lot of hard work to it.  Other than that, comics (and martial arts) saved my life, they provided an escape from living in poor conditions and in a very bad environment, so, it is super important that I share this with the world.

 

John: Elkin, you a have rather unique style in your writing and art. Can you tell us a bit about you developed them?

Elkin: My writing style is very haphazard, I put out a huge amount of writing, and it is all over the place.  I really couldn’t live without my buddy Jordan Troche (the Lynx Editor) who helps me pinpoint my ideas and whittle down my stories. 

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

Elkin: I usually tend to exercise in martial arts, meditate, and read to enhance my creative process.  I used to swim to help me as well, but, ever since this damn pandemic, I haven’t gone to the beach or pool.

 

John: What are your hopes for LYNX and for the future?

Elkin: I am looking to complete the series 1-8 first.  Then, there are back stories that need to be told, perhaps 3 or so one-shots.  Then, I would like to pursue Lynx as a video game, and toys, who knows, maybe even a Hollywood film or animated tv series.

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

Elkin: It’s really a unique comic, and a fun read.  Not for the faint-hearted.  Give it a shot, and share with friends.  Us indie publishers have to look out for one another.  Please check out and share my Kickstarter here!

 

 

John: Once again Elkin, I would like to say thank you for being a part of indie Comics Showcase. We wish you the best of luck on this and all future projects.

Elkin: Thank you so much, you guys are great, and I really love what you are doing for the creative community and will be in full support as always.

 

 

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DESCENT INTO DREAD
by Dalton Shannon & Wells Thompson


In the tradition of THE TWILIGHT ZONE and BLACK MIRROR. A cosmic beast that feeds on time; a curious creature made of filth and bile; a ruthless empire hunting the sun itself — experience horror for a new generation in this haunting anthology of 12 collected tales realized by modern talents and diverse styles. Explore the anxieties of twenty-first century life through unknowable monsters, oppressive dystopias, and the worst entry-level job of all time. Prepare yourself for a deadly Descent into Dread.

Get it now on Amazon.

 

John: Thank for being a part of Indie Comics Showcase guys!

Wells: We’re super happy to be here!

Dalton: For sure!

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

Wells: I was born and raised in Little Rock, Arkansas, I went to school to be a prose and film writer and wound up falling in love with comics. I currently live in Nashville, Tennessee with my fiance and our several cats. We’re getting married this Halloween. I’m a vegetarian and I’ve been spending my quarantine time learning to garden and bake bread like the painfully generic millennial I am.

Dalton: Mostly, I’m just a normal guy from Arkansas who just so happens to be obsessed with giant monsters and comics. That’s normal, right? 

 

John: Okay! Now tell us about DESCENT INTO DREAD!

Wells: It’s an anthology of short horror stories made by a team of really talented and wildly unique artists. The goal was to capture the sort of background dread we all have in our day to day lives with crazy monsters and horrible dystopias as the backdrop.

Dalton: Also, Frankenstein with a broadsword.

Wells: It’s just as dumb as it sounds. It’s awesome.

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

Dalton: I’ve been wanting to make comics since I was eight, it’s always been the dream. And, thankfully, a few years ago, Wells and I met at college and started working creatively together. Fast-forward a bit and we’re going to cons with our hand-stapled zines that we wrote and drew ourselves. Really fun eight-page one-shots that covered a huge array of genres. One of the zines was a horror title, also called Descent into Dread. A few of the stories that are actually in the new book began in those pages, though drawn with much less finesse by yours truly.

Wells: We found some success with that even though we were in way over our heads, going to places like New Orleans and Planet Comicon as baby vendors. We ran into Andrea, who works over at Caliber, and he suggested we reach out to some professional talent to elevate what we were doing. As for the stories, it started as a writing experiment, y’know, what can you do with 8 pages really? Once we realized we could do a lot with that format, I started writing stories based on the stuff I worry about on a regular basis. Things like backbreaking entry level jobs and the pervasiveness of rape culture where I’m from, and that got mutated into CEOs that hunt you for sport and a world where it’s normal to get literally eaten by a woman if you wear something as enticing as a tanktop. I’ve got anxiety, so there was a lot to work with there.

Dalton: I just like watching cool monsters eat people.

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

Wells: I got into comics kinda late in my life (relatively speaking), but I think my first comic that I really cared about was Watchmen. I know that’s really pretentious, but it blew me away. After that I got into Batman with The Long Halloween and some larger indie comics like Umbrella Academy. Dalton has been really good for my comics education.

Dalton: It was four color boot camp. But I think the first for most people are the funnies, right? The newspaper strips like Garfield and Far Side were probably my CANONICAL first comics, but the one that really matters would be Spider-Man. I picked up a copy of Peter Parker, Spider-Man #15 off the spinner-rack and it’s been downhill ever since. 

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

Wells: Maus had a big impact on me for extremely personal reasons. Scott Pilgrim is one of the greatest stories ever told across mediums, I love the absurdist nature of that series. From an influence perspective, I think Blankets hits hardest for me. The character work Craig Thompson does in that book is stunning. Recently, Coffinbound made me rethink what can be done in a comic from an artistic and, frankly, musical standpoint. You can nearly tap your foot to that book. 

Dalton: From a formative standpoint, the biggest influence of comics in my life really comes from Dav Pilkey and his (sorta-graphic) novel series Captain Underpants. In those books, I got to see young kids making their own comics about their own characters and having a blast doing it. Sure, I was eight and reading Spider-Man and Batman and loving it to death, but now I could actually do it myself? That was just a wild concept. So, naturally, I had to try it out. Haven’t put down a pencil since. 

Of course, there were other works as I grew older that also had a huge impact on me like All-Star Superman, Doom Patrol, and Asterios Polyp, but, honestly, the kind of works that have that impact on me never really stopped. There are always new books I’m falling in love with everyday that make me SO jealous I didn’t think of it.

 

John: What does DESCENT INTO DREAD mean to you, what about it makes it a story you want to tell?

Wells: To me, every story in Dread is an answer to the question “what is the worst case scenario.” Like, everyone has irrational fears that spiral in their heads to ridiculous places and I wanted to capture the energy of that. Do you feel stuck in your life? Maybe you’re trapped in an endless time loop with a cosmic being. Sometimes those fears are ridiculous and funny when they get pushed to that extreme and sometimes they’re entirely justified. I wanted to explore where those boundaries are and hopefully recontextualize what we should find terrifying and what we should find kind of funny.

Dalton: Dread means having fun and making art with the coolest people in the biz. It means everyone gets a chance to be a part of a story that means something different to them than it does me and the end result is a creature-feature that can leave you on edge or laughing your head off. I like telling stories about monsters because IN stories you can do something about them and maybe, if you’re lucky, just maybe, you can take what you’ve learned and do it in the real world too (just without eating people, hopefully).

John: What are some of the things that have served as a source of Inspiration when working on DESCENT INTO DREAD? Do you read anything, watch any shows, listen to music as you work?

Wells: I think I was watching The Haunting of Hill House when we started writing a bunch of the stories. I didn’t do much with ghosts that I can recall, but the vibe of that show was terrifying and I hope some of that juju transferred over. There are four stories that follow the same character in the book and for those were really inspired by the cheesiness of action horror from the 80s like Aliens and Terminator 2. Also, reviewing titles from Vault like Creature Feature and Money Shot really encouraged me to push the boundaries of genre. It’s no fun unless it’s weird, y’know?

Dalton: Weird is the word. I can’t really write unless I’m in a vacuum, though, so all those influences have to percolate in the quiet as I work. I’m a big genre fan, though, so any schlocky, over-the-top fiction is my bread and butter and is a springboard for something fun. Halloween-esque Slashers? Let’s go. Conan-esque Barbarians? Bring it. Other-dimensional entities that feed on time and force you to relive your greatest failure as it feeds on your future? Yeah, that too. It’s all there, all the time, and most nights I can’t sleep.

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

Wells: The ideas come usually when I’m not looking for them and it’s really inconvenient to try to remember anything. If I can get to my computer or notebook in time, I’ll write down two or three things that I think have potential. Something like “Two girls running away on a train, one has a broken arm, one has a black eye, they’ve never spoken before now.” Then I go to a coffee shop (when we’re not in quarantine), order a cup of tea, and bang my head against the keyboard trying to figure out what could happen in the story and who these people are. If I get far enough along and it doesn’t sound like something I’ve heard a thousand times before, I just start writing the first scene. Eventually I’ll try to figure out what a satisfying ending would look like and then work backwards to get to that first scene. I’m a very structure oriented writer, which works out because Dalton is super dialogue focused, so it balances out nicely. Also, I listen to a lot of music while I’m doing all of this, usually Canadian alternative rock with a female lead. It’s just my jam.

Dalton: I read, I watch, I listen, I play. Then I subject myself to the unearthly torture of creating something out of nothing and then a story happens. At least, that’s what I remember, anyway. I think it’s mostly sitting alone in a room and screaming, though.

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

Wells: A lot of my work in college was pretty joyless and stiff. I was worried about themes and story above everything else, but sacrificed everything that made it worth sitting through. So a lot of my influences are creators that remind me to bring the fun back into the work. People like Bryan Lee O’Malley, Scott Snyder, and Gerard Way. Outside of comics, older writers like Joseph Heller and newer ones like Jennifer Egan are definitely on that list. Also the Coen Brothers and Charlie Kaufman. They all make me happy and remind me to lighten it up. People will get the message, but only if they like it enough to read it all the way through.

Dalton: The Beatles taught me how to connect. Todd McFarlane taught me how to be true. Grant Morrison taught me how to dream. Jack Kirby taught me all of that and more.

 

John: What are your hopes for DESCENT INTO DREAD and for the future?

Wells: It being released is almost enough, but honestly I want Dread to inspire someone. Like, I live for the email or dm that’s just someone geeking out about how much they loved it. Also, I want it to do well enough that we can make the next project. We’ve got big plans and, one way or another, those projects are getting made. If this book does well, we get to start on those books right away. As a writer, I’ll feel like I’ve done my job if people can get a few moments of reprieve from the plague we’re living through by reading our book.

Dalton: Is getting Dread into every child’s hand for Christmas too much to hope for? But, honestly, I just want to keep making comics. It’s all I’ve ever wanted and all I know how to do, so this had better work out or my wife is gonna be PISSED.

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

Wells: If you’re at all interested in the project, go follow all the artists that worked on it, they deserve so much of the credit. Also, if you like what we do, feel free to talk to us on twitter @fourcolourfun, we love the outreach!

Dalton: Send us selfies with your copy! The Dudes and Dames of Dread need a showcase!

John: Once again guys, thank you for being a part of indie Comics Showcase. We wish you the best of luck on this and all future projects.

Wells: Thank you for having us!

Dalton: It was a blast!

     

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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