Indie Comics Showcase #100! Bonds, Super Dead, Tweeter & the MonkeyMan

 

 

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!

 

TWEETER & THE MONKEYMAN
by Benjamin Wigmore

The year is 1972, two draft-dodgers known as “Tweeter and the Monkeyman” are on the run from the law. Detective Burke (a maniac cop) is in pursuit as the wild car chase comes to a gritty end, in a desert near Mexico. The encounter triggers memories of past events for our doped-up duo. No amount of drugs or alcohol can bury the suffering they’ve been through… Prepare for blood, violence and bad language!

Check it out on Amazon and keep up with Ben on Twitter @BenJaminWigmore

 

John: Welcome to and thank you for being a part of Indie Comics Showcase. 

Ben: Thanks ever so much John. I really appreciate you giving me the chance to waffle about my comic.

 

 

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

 

Ben: I started off as a cartoonist, selling a few cartoons to a printing firm that made posters and flyers for various companies. Later I got into animation, trained as a 2D animator in Bristol and ended up working in TV graphics in London. For the last 10 years I’ve been working on the Graham Norton Show and The Jonathan Ross Show doing “Live Graphics” which basically means you turn up on the day and produce whatever production need to make a show. It’s mostly “stills” images put up on a screen during an opening monologue or chatting with a celebrity guest, then occasionally you may have to get a little more creative if they want to play a game or mock something up for a visual gag.

Since coronavirus hit and lockdown was issued, these studio shows have been on lockdown too, with some interesting results. But it puts studio personnel at a disadvantage as they can’t go into work, people who work in the studio on camera, in the gallery (directors, script supervisors and vision mixers) and not to mention all the technical staff. All these people are freelance and since lockdown started we’ve had to adapt. I adapted by working from home on whatever projects were available but I also started drawing comics. Drawing for me helps me de-stress and lets me be totally creative. People say to me “What were you smoking when you drew that?” and I can honestly say I’m totally sober when I draw. The “high” is putting a story together with characters that have been in my head for years.

 

 

John: Without giving away too much, what can you tell us about Tweeter & the Monkeyman ?

 

Ben: Imagine if you will a comic that brings together Mad Max:Fury Road and Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas!!! I’ve always loved the artwork of Ralph Steadman, I saw an exhibition of his a few years ago at The Cartoon Museum in London and it was fantastic. Tweeter and the Monkeyman is about two guys on the run from the law and they have to be super high all the time to deal with it! It’s bloody, violent and fast paced action, that’s definitely for the mature reader.

 

John: Can you tell us a little bit about how TWEETER AND THE MONKEYMAN came to be, how the characters and story were conceptualized?

 

Ben: It was hearing the brilliant super group The Traveling Wilburys song Tweeter and the Monkeyman sung by Bob Dylan way back when I was young that started the fascination. In 2004 I animated a short cartoon featuring “Tweet and Monk” which your readers can probably find somewhere on the internet if they look hard enough. If you look at their design (Tweet and Monk) it’s pretty much Lennon and McCartney from around the time The Beatles made The White Album. There is a story is in my head for Tweeter and the Monkeyman but it comes to me in dribs and drabs so that’s how I tell it, hence Issue 187.

John: Was wonder about the #187… where does your love for comics come from?

 

Ben: A distant cousin of mine called Marc Wigmore used to draw comics for 2000AD. He illustrated Judge Dredd, Judge Hershey, Outlaw, Sinister Dexter and Vector 13. My Nan gave me a whole heap of these 2000AD comics when I was say 11 and they just blew my fucking mind! Before that I was reading Beano, Dandy, Calvin and Hobbes and Peanuts but 2000AD was a craziest shit I’d ever seen. There was a great comic in 2000AD by Jamie Hewlett called Hewligan’s Haircut which I’ve never forgotten and influences me to this day. I think 2000AD started me on the right path and led to me reading some excellent comics!

 

 

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

 

Ben: I like the idea of two guys on the run from everyone… I really like American road movies like Easy Rider and Vanishing Point. I was quite rigid with my cartooning early on because I thought I was going to become the next Matt Groening or something but Tweeter and the Monkeyman were the first characters I created that let me be loose with the style and story.

 

John: What are some of the things that have serve as a source of inspiration or influence you when you’re working? Do you read anything, watch any shows, listen to music as you work?

 

Ben: First of all, coffee. I recently watched Dorohedoro on Netflix and found it really inspired me to start getting my shit together. I listen to lots of music whilst drawing Tweeter and the Monkeyman. The Doors, Them, James Brown, Aretha Franklin, Bob Dylan, Tony Bennett, Jimmy Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Otis Redding, The Clash, Offspring, Rage Against the Machine, The Walkmen, Wolf Parade and the Traveling Wilburys of course. That list could go on and on… Also I want to mention that the book is dedicated to Moopi (which is one of the nicknames for my lovely partner Sophie) and Ely. Paul Ely was a very supportive friend of my work that sadly passed away in 2014. I think of him every time I draw Tweeter and the Monkeyman as the characters are very much inspired by chats we used to have.

Film, movies whatever you want to call it has been a massive influence. I love Martin Scorsese… I’m a real big fan of his films and his love for cinema. When I was younger I loved that gritty New York 1970 film vibe like Taxi Driver, Midnight Cowboy and French Connection. These were films made about characters who weren’t perfect but were trying to just get by. I started off wanting to make animations about these sort of characters and now I guess I’m drawing comics about them. But comics is such a great medium because there’s so much you can do with it. I bought this book about “How to Make Comics” and instantly realized how pointless it was as I wanted to draw comics my way.

 

 

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

 

Ben: I have another comic on Amazon called Mortimer about a lonely vampire who lives in London so if your readers would like to check that out that would be grand. Also I want to mention the love of my life, my partner in crime, my darling Sophie who supports me and loves me even though I’m a complete weirdo, my loving family and a pretty decent crew in East London (you know who you are).

 

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

 

Ben: Thanks John!

 

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BONDS: PROLOGUE
By Nyriam Nowa

 

Nothing is easy in the world of werewolves. Supernatural strenght, speed, senses and  other abilities are offset by the danger that lurks all around … what is the world of werewolves about … the world in which Leena lives? You will find out …

 

Read the Bonds: Prologue webcomic here and support the artist now on Patreon.

And follow the creator on Twitter @NyriamN

 

John: Thank you for being a part of Indie Comics Showcase, Nyriam! Let’s chat about your webcomic BONDS: PROLOGUE! Tell our readers a bit about yourself.

Nyriam: Thanks for having me on! I’m a 32 years old artist, who´s been drawing since I was 3 years old haha. But have been drawing digitally since being around 20 years old. Drawing is just in my blood and if you open any of my bag there is no way you wouldn´t find a pencil there! I also work as a teacher in our country, teaching young kids how to speak English properly. I also like the teaching process and interaction with my kids.

 

 

John: That’s fascinating! What can you tell us about your webcomic BONDS?

Nyriam: Bonds is a story – a romance / action drama – about a young werewolf girl called Leena Jensen who wants to become an Alpha in her own pack – in a land where women don´t usually get this high. She has it tough and needs to work hard to overcome many obstacles in her way to get there – family problems, personal heart affairs, her own flaws … and an enemy waiting for a hole in the defense.

 

 

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

Nyriam: Funny story is that originally it was called a lot differently and it was supposed to be a plain romance one-shot. But then I told myself that this isn’t the way I want to go. I didn’t want to make a story that has been made before so many times. So I started study a lot of things – the world of werewolves, the ranks, the hierarchy, the abilities and started building the world and universe piece by piece. Characters were quite easy – most of them carry the characteristics of real people that I know. That way I made sure I will always know how the character would react in a certain situation…it´s easier to imagine a person doing that. For example character of Liam is strongly based on my own brother. Leena – my main character has many of my own features when it comes to personality. And then I put it all together and that´s where the cogs started to work together.

 

 

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

Nyriam: It´s also a bit funny because I am more of a manga fan. I remember the very first manga I was reading wholeheartedly was Bleach by Tite Kubo. Also Naruto and Fairy Tail were one of my favorite ones. Currently I like reading Haikyuu, mainly because I also play volleyball : D

 

 

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

Nyriam: If we are talking about the biggest impact on drawing and writing the comic, I have only two authors. One of them is Z-Pico, an amazing young artist from France making a web-comic called The Boy and The Wolf. His art and story are just amazing, breathtaking and also he is a very nice person willing to share his own knowledge to help other artists which I appreciate so very much. The other person who influenced me a lot, I never met, he is a Korean manhwa writer and artist called Boichi. His story called Sun Ken Rock just kicked air from my lungs. The anatomy, inking and shading make a tremendous impact on the whole story. I highly recommend both even though if you look at them, they look nothing alike.

 

 

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

Nyriam: Bonds is something that comes deeply from my heart and I pour all my being into writing the story and drawing it. And that´s what I´d like my readers to see. As I already mentioned – for me it´s a life project. I spent so much time just studying and preparing it just to make sure everything is perfect and as original, coming from inside of me as I can.

 

 

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

Nyriam: Since it´s a werewolf story, many people recommended me different stories and movies with the theme, starting with Twilight (which I really don´t like being compared to for specific reasons), Teen Wolf, Blood and chocolate, An American werewolf in London and many others. And I would always tell them that I don´t want to watch any of them because for me it´s a kind of influence that may work for the film or story but I want my story to come from me.

What I do rely on when drawing is observing a lot – because that helps with anatomy and object movement. Sometimes people just stare at me awkwardly because I stare at them 😀 😀  I also got some good anatomy and perspective books that I often turn to when I am not sure.  Last thing that is ´Alpha and Omega´ for me is music. I need to have music in my ears all the time. Headphones or PC, doesn´t matter. Most of the scenes that pop in my mind are from walking and listening to various music. Sometimes I turn back to old stuff I used to listen, sometimes it´s something I would normally never listen to and sometimes it´s good old reliable Epic Rock or Thomas Bergensen/Two steps from hell.

 

 

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

NyriamWell I’ve been drawing for a long long time. When Bleach got really popular, people used to ask me to draw their OCs in Bleach style. That´s when my handwriting changed to the style a bit and I was worried a bit that it wouldn’t turn back.

So when I started to draw Bonds characters and single pictures I forced the style into more of a semi-realism. But it was forced to such extent that I wasn’t content with it (Leena would always look so man like and angry and I didn’t like that…I wanted her strong, but not a masculine-ish type) so I followed Z-Pico´s example who once wrote that he draws his characters multiple times a day from different angles that he eventually got used to them. I did the same and found a kind of style that fits me so far. But I think it will evolve by the time similarly as Bleach did in the past 😀

 

 

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

Nyriam: It depends. Most of the time I work with pencil and then work on it in my PC – ClipStudio Paint EX. But sometimes I start the drawing straight in the PC – usually the minicomics and some pictures.

When I am supposed to draw ANYTHING first I check tons of references. I watched this guy called Ethan Becker on youtube where he was explaining this exact thing. Before that I was relying on my mind. But after starting to use reference pictures I noticed that even if I draw a picture without them, the picture is a lot better than it used to be in the past. So I highly recommend using ref pics. J

 

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

Nyriam: People around me are the greatest influence. When you have people around you that support you in what you do then you will do even better than you would if you didn´t have those people. My family is the top. And also my friends. Currently also a great influence for me are the two authors I already mentioned above – Z-Pico who I follow on Patreon and I am literally beaming when he posts something new and Boichi, who´s story is unfortunately finished but he is working on more nowadays.

 

 

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

Nyriam: I would really like to thank you and all the great people I met on Twitter for the last few weeks and who helped me to take off a little bit. I will work really hard not to let you down and I really hope you will like Bonds as much as I do.

 

John: Thank you Nyriam! We wish you the best of luck on this and all future projects.

Nyriam: Thank you very much as well and see you soon John! Also, thanks to the people who’ve helped me most on Twitter: @comic_is, @Tonpa2, @JeroenVanDuinen, @MangakaMom

 

       

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SUPER DEAD
by Mandy Summers & Peter Gilmore

 

He gave his life to save a world from extinction, and now he will take from them all that remains.

Visit Super Dead on Indiegogo

 

John: Welcome to and thank you for being a part of Indie Comics Showcase. 

Mandy: Me too! Thanks so much for having me!

 

 

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

Mandy: Sure! I’m Mandy, thirty-mumble-something years old, LOL, and married with a couple kiddos. My older brother got me into comics when I was a kid, and now I’m getting the opportunity to make them myself! I’m also a video game and movie nerd and a sucker for anything sparkly.

 

 

John: Without Spoilers, what can you tell us about SUPER DEAD?

Mandy: SUPER DEAD is the superhero/horror comic you’ve always wanted. It’s Superman meets The Darkness meets Spawn meets The Boys meets Silent Hill! In the story, for years our main character (Captain Valor / Later known as Devour) defended the city of New Astoria from the threats of evil. He eventually fell while defeating an enemy so dark and powerful, his powers transferred to our hero and left him forever cursed and mutated. He began losing his sanity and sealed himself away in the sewers for a decade to stop himself from harming the humans above who were trying to find a cure for him. But unfortunately for our hero, a cure was never created, as a new hero had arrived to the city almost out of nowhere to replace him (Omega Atlas). Upon finding out he’d given up his life for those that have forgotten him, he loses the last remaining bit of humanity he was holding onto so tightly, and now vengeance begins to form beneath the city’s surface… 

 

John: Woah! Can you tell us a little bit about how SUPER DEAD came to be, how the characters and story were conceptualized?

Mandy: Sure, originally SUPER DEAD was intended to be an all ages book with more of a cartoon style approach, but my artist Peter Gilmore began sketching up the concept art for the main character and I instantly knew SUPER DEAD was meant for much more, and it would also give me the opportunity to really express my true writing style, which I would say is similar to some of my favorites such as Garth Ennis, Alan Moore, Neil Gaiman, and Robert Kirkman.

 

 

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

Mandy: Rainbow Brite & the Star Stealers was the first comic I ever read or owned. My older brother got me into his favorite comics at the time, which were Amazing Spider-Man, Uncanny X-Men, & New Mutants.  Amazing Spider-Man 300 is one I’ll never forget. It shows you exactly how to tell an entire story in just one issue. Everything about it was incredible. I am also heavily inspired by early issues of The Darkness, Preacher, Spawn, and The Boys.

 

John: What does SUPER DEAD mean to you, what about it makes it a story you want to tell?

Mandy: When I write, I like to try to grasp the reader’s feelings and create emotional reactions. In SUPER DEAD, the readers will have a choice. Which hero is their hero? Do you sympathize more with the forgotten hero that lost everything to save a city from annihilation, or is he now nothing more than a psychotic enemy returning for revenge? SUPER DEAD will be the ultimate tale of both remembrance and revenge.

 

 

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

Mandy: Definitely! I listen to music pretty much all the time, especially while I’m outlining and writing. Anything from Pop to Hard Rock to 50/60’s, it just depends on the mood or vibe I need for the scene.

 

John: MANDY, you a have rather unique style in your writing. Can you tell us a bit about you developed it? And can you tell us a bit about your creative process?

Mandy: I suppose I’ve always practiced writing throughout the years, but I never knew it would ever lead to creating and writing comic books. I’ve done everything from short stories, to poems, to songs I play on guitar. When I’m working on SUPER DEAD, I like to try to keep the dialogue realistic and far from robotic with as little stiffness as possible. To me, it needs to sound and feel like a movie scene. I try to target the reader’s emotions and work on attaching them to relatable traits of the characters I create.

The first thing I do is create an outline of the entire story based on how many pages it’s going to be. Then I plot out each page onto a storyboard so I know how much room I have to tell the story I’m wanting to tell. After that, it’s frame by frame breakdowns of everything that is vital to the story. I always write the dialogue as I’m writing the scene as well, because I’m in the moment and in my mind I’m watching it play out like a movie, and I don’t want to lose that moment.

 

 

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

Mandy: I’m honestly a huge fan of anything nerdy. D&D, Magic The Gathering, comics, video games, movies… and I feel that each project I work on takes on some of everything I love. With my first book, Wart The Wizard, I was more influenced by Dungeons and Dragons and the early games by Sierra, like King’s Quest. With SUPER DEAD, it definitely relates back to my love of comics like The Darkness and Spawn and video games like Silent Hill and Clock Tower.

 

 

John: What are your hopes for SUPER DEAD and for the future?

Mandy: We’re hoping to turn some heads with SUPER DEAD! LOL! But seriously, we plan continuing the story and moving on to many more issues, and delving a bit deeper into who Omega Atlas is and where he came from, and how that affects the characters and the world going forward.

 

SUPER DEAD INDIEGOGO TRAILER!!

 

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

Mandy: I’d like to give Jon Malin a shout out for everything he’s done to help with the project. For me, this is absolutely a dream come true. Oh, and be sure to keep your eyes peeled for Pirate Queen coming soon, by myself and Clint Hilinski (Youngblood, Justice League, Lady Death, GI Joe)! 

 

John: Thanks for being a part of Indie Comics Showcase, Mandy! Good luck.
 
Mandy: Is Thank you SO much, John! This was a lot of fun and I really appreciate it! Follow me on Twitter @WartTheWizard

 

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

 


Follow Indie Comics Showcase on Twitter at @Indie_Comics!

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