Milestone Edition: Hey Kids, It’s Indie Comics Showcase #50!

 

Hello friends and readers to Indie Comics Showcase! Yes!! It’s the BIG 5-0! Can you believe we’re celebrating our first year with fifty installments of this weekly blog? Yes, as the United States celebrates their 243rd birthday of independence this week, we’re celebrating one year of great crowdfunding comics! And we’re just getting started bringing you some great, unknown indie comics projects that are currently crowdfunding their efforts! In addition to interviews with the creators, we try to include an ample portion of samples from the comics, and a link to be able to back that project. As usual, we have some truly outstanding crowd funding campaigns this week for you to learn about, enjoy, and hopefully support by making a pledge!

Remember that every little bit counts, from the single dollar pledges to the twenty-five dollar (and of course the higher ones)! Some of these campaigns have got some great higher tiers which add even more value by offering stuff you can’t get anywhere else. Please check them all out and “thank you” for being the best part of Indie Comics Showcase!

Let’s check out some REAL indie comics!

 


OFFWORLDER
by Mike Baron

 

Visit the campaign here!

 

Chris Braly: Thanks for chatting with us this weekend, Mike! Huge fan of your work! Tell me about your latest project, Offworlder!

Mike Baron: Seventh century Scotland. Henry Gunn leads his clan in a ferocious battle with Viking invaders. But with victory in sight, he is ripped from space and time by an alien race. The Ananaki seek a champion to stop another alien race from conquering all known space. Aided by the Egyptian goddess Sa’Ra, Gunn undergoes a hideous transformation, becoming something other than human, able to move through time and space at will, yet unable to save his wife and child. The fate of civilization rests on the shoulders of a troubled demi-god. In the tradition of The Stars My Destination and The Silver Surfer, Offworlder is a star-spanning science fiction saga that will keep you riveted from first page to last.

 

 

CB: What inspired you to make this comic?

MB: I don’t know how I met Ben Henderson. Somehow we met. Ben’s a security analyst who always wanted to do his own comics, and he’s had these ideas forever. I know how that is. I’ll drag an idea around for twenty years before I find a way to use it. Ben told me about his concepts and asked if I would be interested in writing. Offworlder is part of a shared universe that includes The Wraith, another title on which I’m working. It’s a sprawling, interplanetary world with limitless possibilities.

CB: What made you decide a comic book was the best way to tell this story?

MB: Ben wanted to start his own comic company. I like to write comics. I don’t think most comics use the form very effectively. Offworlder shows what you can do when every panel clicks.

 

 

CB: Tell us about your creative team members – who’s doing what and how did you all come together?

MB: Jordi Armengol’s another guy I don’t remember meeting. Seems like we’ve been FB friends forever. A couple years ago, he did the cover to my novel Skorpio. I’d been aware of his comic work, of course, and I offered him the gig. I wanted a different look than standard superhero. Something more graphic and intense. And all of a sudden he explodes like a thermonuclear bomb. I’ve never seen anything like it since Barry Smith hit his stride on Conan.

 

 

CB: Wow! What has the creative process been like? What tasks are you handling for this campaign?

MB: I took Ben’s notes and worked out a detailed outline. The outline has to be fun to read. After Ben approved it, I wrote a twenty-four page script. My scripts are simple but with enough detail for the artist to fully imagine the story. Jordi’s just nailing it. You’ve never seen anything like it.

 

 

CB: Can you tell us what stage is the project is in currently?

MB: The first twenty-four pages are done. You can see many of them up on our Indiegogo site. The first book will be a forty-eight page saga. We have variant covers, you’d have to ask Ben.

 

 

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

MB: My goal is to grab the reader by the throat. The writer’s first three commandments are to 1) entertain, 2) show don’t tell, and 3) be original.

 

 

CB: If this campaign is a success, what do you hope the future holds for Offworlder?

MB: Wraith would be our next project, followed by Florida Man.

 

 

CB: When does the campaign for ‘Florida Man’ kick-off??

MB: Before the end of the year.

CB: Promise? Thanks for chatting with us Mike! Good luck and we are rooting for you!

 

 

Visit the campaign here!

 


BOUNDLESS
by Robert Wollstein


 

This new action, adventure, comedy series is about Three colorful heroes fight a corrupted, superpower world where humanity has discovered the power to create, destroy, and alter the natural rules of the cosmos. When man found it, they used it to create super-powered humans called “Boundless.”

Check out the Kickstarter Campaign here

 

Chris Braly: What is the ‘elevator pitch’ for Boundless? Briefly tell our readers what it’s about.

 

Robert Wollstein: Boundless is an anime/manga starring people of color, but will still connect to all anime fans of any race. It is full of action, adventure, comedy, all that shounen goodness. And along the way teach strong moral lessons in life. Like Love, friendship, what is evil, and of course race.

 

CB: What inspired you to produce this comic? And can you let us in on who or what inspired you?

 

RW:   a couple things inspired me. First it was losing Great shows and artist that I loved the was canceled or changing don’t for the better. And I wanted to make something to fill that void and have full control of. The second was my curiosity and my desire of seeing real world diversity in the form of anime which has not been fully realized in a proper way. So I hired a talented local artist named Venisha to draw a black character based on my best friend and I just added all the other things I loved into this new character’s world. Until it’s less about the concept of a proper black character in anime and more about a vast limitless world of possibilities and imagination for this black character.

 

 

 
CB: What made you decide sequential art, or a comic book was the best way to tell this story?

RW:  because it was much easier and cheaper than making an actual video Anime series. Lol.  but really it’s because Anime/manga IS sequential art and Venisha (Penland) can always deliver on that. 
 
CB: Tell us about your creative teams – how did you come together?
 
RW: I was looking for a local artist so I could talk face-to-face and help me make this a reality (because I can’t draw very well.) I found her on the internet, I asked her for help, and she except. Venisha is one of the few Anime artist that can actually pull off a true traditional anime style because the characters she draws have spot on expressions and a soul. I had all these ideas in my head but I needed someone to help me Focus them and build a foundation for us, so I searched online again and found Leonard Langford. He is such a flexible writer and can come up with so many things with just a simple idea. He can make such top notch chapters, plot, and dialogue with such efficiency and creativity. And last I found John Miller at a local convention when I needed to find a backup writer just in case and not only is he creative, he’s also a genius when it comes to fight scenes because he’s a martial artist himself. He gives the series that extra “POW!” Lol. But sadly we all haven’t come together yet because we are in different places. I really do wish one day we can all finally come together face to face and fully realize where this series Will take us.

 

 

 

 

 
CB: What has the creative process been like? What tasks are you handling in this campaign?

RW: I can’t really describe it. I just have a lot of interesting ideas that I want to incorporate but never really know how. I have loads of ideas for characters, for plot, for arcs, a hard magic system, and I even have an ending. But I suffer from highly functioning autism. Arguably it makes me think of all these cool ideas but it cripples my efficiency to fully concentrate and deliver it on paper. That’s why my team is the greatest. I swear I will put more and more into this and make my talent grow.  I’m already learning to draw and write on my own, but I will do everything to keep this team together till the end.  
 

 

 

 
CB: Can you tell us what stage is the project is in currently?
RW: Right now it’s only in chapter 1, but we have written two dozen scripts for the next chapters and we plan on writing another arc someday. I have an ending planned out, but just haven’t quite figured out EXACTLY how to get there yet. 

 

 

CB: What else can you share about the project? And do you have any final words for our readers?
 
RW:  there is a character called “Ronin” that was in the pilot but we won’t see him again until chapter 10 or so and he has his own “trait” that will really defy him from any other anime badass. My final words are please give us a chance and support us. This book represents every struggling soul in this world. And I hope this series will inspire you all to be boundless!
 

 

 

 
CB: Thanks for chatting with us Robert! Good luck and we are rooting for you!
RW: thank you so much Chris for you and all of the support from Bleeding Fool! Take care to you all. Be Brave, Be Bold, Be Boundless!
 

Check out the campaign page for Boundless here!

 

 
 

 

SANCTUS

 

 

On an alternate Earth, the nation has been ravaged by the Sanctus plague, which plunged civilization into three sectors- The Holy Sector (home of the zealots and Dark Pope), The Federal Sector (Home to an oppressive government regime), and the Untamed Regions (An area ruled by warring gangs). The Main characters include an ex-police officer, a young girl, and a foul-mouthed possessed doll, named Molly.

 

John Lemus: Welcome and thank you for being a part of Indie Comics Showcase, Jeff. Let’s talk about Sanctus #5, your indie  horror graphic novel!

Jeff Hass: Hello, John. Thank you for inviting me to be a part of this showcase.

John:First off, tell us a little bit about yourself.

Jeff: I am currently an English teacher at a special needs high school. I have also written seven comics, one graphic novel (Sanctus), and several short works for 123! Go Productions. I also wrote trading card bios for Planet-X Asia.

 

 

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

Jeff: I have always been a HUGE Green Lantern and Batman fan. I also, read Fantastic Four when I was younger.

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

Jeff: Sandman by Neil Gaiman has been a major influence on my writing. I also was heavily influenced by Midnight Nation by J. Michael Straczynski.

 

 

John: Without giving away any spoilers, what can you tell us about Sanctus #5? 

Jeff: Sanctus is a story that centers on concepts of redemption and why we place our beliefs in others. At its center is an ex-cop, named Draven who is struggling to find his place in a world that has gone mad. There is also a young girl, named Cindy, who accidentally obtained angelic powers and a living ragdoll, named Molly. They exist in a world ravaged by the Sanctus plague that broke the world into three areas. The Holy Sector led by the nefarious Pope Augustus, the oppressive Federal Sector, and the gang-ruled Untamed Regions. Sanctus #5 continues the story told in Sanctus’s first graphic novel. The reader will learn the backstory of the mysterious Wandering Man. Also, the Untamed Regions will be explored which proves dangerous for Draven, Cindy, and Molly. The story will eventually be nine issues in length and will end with a final confrontation between our main characters and the Dark Pope Augustus and his arm of Shadowmen.

John: What does Sanctus mean to you? Why tell this story?

Jeff: Sanctus is a dream project that started as an idea for me almost seventeen years ago. It has gone through several stops and starts, but I have never quit on it. I feel the story is an important one to tell because I think it asks questions of the audience that needs to be asked. For instance, it asks us “why do we believe?” What truly binds us as a people…and many more.

 

 

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

Jeff: JMS’s Midnight Nation was a big influence on this comic. Anything by Gaiman influences my writing style. I always listen to music as I write. A lot of NIN and Marylin Manson. Sometimes classic rock, such as Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin.

John: Let’s get into your creative process. How do you start?

Jeff: Normally, I start with an image in my head that excites me. Then I just kick the image around and, eventually, a story evolves from it. Then I begin to map out the issues until I have the full story written out. Then I map out eat issue page by page. Once that is complete, I start writing.

John: What have some of your influences been over the years?

Jeff: I love Edgar Allen Poe. Particularly his concept of starting a story with an exclamation point and then every word/sentence/etc. must either add to the single emotional effect or be jettisoned. Gaiman influenced my desire to seek scope in my stories. Tolkien spurred a desire to world build. My father birthed my love for writing and taught me how to think about my reader as I write.

 

 

John: What are you hoping to accomplish with Sanctus?

Jeff: My primary hope is to complete the full series. I think readers will be amazed and excited by what is in store for them.

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

Jeff: I want to share that Sanctus #5 is now on Kickstarter and there are only a few days left. This is an important comic for me and I think readers will love what is coming. Please donate what you can. Even a dollar will help by showing support.

 

 

John: Once again Jeff, 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.

Jeff: Thank you very much! I appreciate your support!

 

Check out the campaign for Sanctus #5 here!

 

 

KYRIE: 
The Curse of the Macedonian Scroll
by Matt Crotts

_______________

 

A team of thieves and outlaws try to outsmart the Roman Army in the ancient North African frontier!

It’s Indiana Jones in Ancient Rome! Get ready for a high-adventure trek through 3rd century North Africa, as a team of treasure hunters and outcasts uncover the secrets of Alexander the Great on the frontier of the Roman Empire! KYRIE has been a beloved and critically-acclaimed digital comic since its digital launch on Kickstarter in 2014. Now, 240+ pages have been added to this sweeping epic of Roman Africa. But this story has never been put to print!

 

Chris Braly: What is the ‘elevator pitch’ for KYRIE: The Curse of the Macedonian Scroll? Briefly tell our readers what it’s about.

Matt Crotts:  Sure! I like to say that KYRIE is basically Indiana Jones in Ancient Rome – there’s treasure, travel, and supernatural adventure. A group of outlaws try to stop a Roman death cult from reanimating the corpse of Alexander the Great, and opening the gates of Hades.

 

 

CB: Can you let us in on who or what inspired you to make this comic?

MC:  Well! Other than Raiders of the Lost Ark, I’ve always been inspired by European comics, like Asterix, Tintin, Blake & Mortimer, and Spirou. I also grew up watching a lot of Golden Era epic films like Lawrence of Arabia.

CB: What made you decide a comic book was the best way to tell this story?

MC:  I would say that comics have always been a meeting point of several passions of mine – storytelling and illustration. I grew up wanting to work in film, actually – matte painting those amazing backgrounds in Star Wars. From that interest I discovered storyboarding, then comics. Nowadays I can’t imagine a better fit for a guy with a lifelong passion for art in the service of visual storytelling. 

 

 

CB: Tell us about your creative team members – who is doing what and how did you come together?

MC: It’s just me! I write, pencil, ink, color and letter KYRIE. I discovered comics as an Indie medium for a single creator to tell their visual narrative – building a team to tell that same story just doesn’t seem practical, at least at this stage in my career.

 

 

CB: What has the creative process been like? What tasks are you handling for this campaign?

MC:   KYRIE helped me stay sane while I got out of a difficult day job, taught me patience while I went I through grad school, and gave me something fun to do while I went through more school and into another day job. The work you see in the campaign is the fruits of over four years of production! And all done by myself, on a part time basis.

 

 

CB: Can you tell us what stage is the project is in currently?

MC:  This Indiegogo campaign is for Book 1’s printing, all of which is completed. There will be two or three more books in this series, depending on how much funding this campaign receives. It’s a passion project of a lifetime.

 

 

CB: If this campaign is a success, what do you hope the future holds for KYRIE?

MC:  I have dreams about tabling at a convention or two. But I’ve learned that printing a book is the best way for people to recognize and read your story as a self contained product, and if I have any hopes of building a readership with momentum towards a three or four book set, I need to start with offering Book 1 through a campaign and digital store.

 

 

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

MC:  I would just want to encourage would-be backers that this campaign is risk-free – the book is finished, and the low campaign goal is just for covering printing costs. If we don’t make funding, no one is charged – but if we do, the book goes straight to the printer this summer, and everyone is guaranteed a book a couple months later. 

 

 

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

MC:  It was great to talk with you. Thanks so much for the chance to share a bit about KYRIE – I know people are going to have a blast reading it.

 

 

Check out the campaign for Kyrie here!

 


That’s it for this installment! Consider backing these awesome looking projects and always remember to 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