Welcome friends, readers, and fellow indie comic enthusiasts 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!
ASYL: A Horror Comic
by Nasser Rabadi
I recently got to chat with long time Indie Comics Showcase friend, Nasser Rabadi and talk about his latest comic that he’s crowdfunding on Indiegogo.
John Lemus: Welcome to and thank you for being a part of Indie Comics Showcase. I am happy to be discussing your latest indie Horror Comic ASYL: a horror comic with you, today.
Nasser Rabadi : Thank you so much for the opportunity to talk about it.
JL: While we have featured and reviewed a few of comics you have been on, I think this is the first time we have had an interview with you. Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
NR: I’m a comic book writer and novelist, primarily working in horror/suspense/mystery.
JL: Without getting into spoiler territory, what can you tell us about ASYL? What’s it about and tell me your plans for the future!
NR: Asyl is about a lady named Lena who’s hunted by Dracula in an insane asylum. It’s based on the lost film Dracula’s Death. It’s a 20 page one shot story, but we’ve got plans to do future issues of different horror stories that happen in this asylum.
JL: The last comic of your we featured was Brutas, before that it was Stardust. Can you tell us how things have changed since then, and what are your thoughts on the current state of indie comics?
NR: After Brutas was Trixie Cain: Blood Reaper. Guess I forgot to reach out about that one! Things have changed in quite a few ways--sometimes you have connections and lose them, sometimes you work with someone and think you guys work great together, then they steal from you. But things aren’t always so dreary--sometimes you find your way back to old connections. Things have also changed in that I write more novels than comics now (although, overall, I’ve written more comics than novels).
As far as the state of indie comics, I think things are doing better than ever. Kickstarter recently had their best year in the comics category, a record they had broken the year before. It looks like more and more people are getting funded. And as far as the comicsgate side of things, campaigns like Cyberfrog and Graveyard Shift continue to make more backers and more money book to book, unlike the mainstream, and new books like Black Flag are making $200k right out the gate. Another couple books I think that look great are The Buckler, and Charlie’s London.
I used to wonder back then if this would be viable and if it would last, because until you really jump into the indie comics community, you almost think it’s the mainstream and that’s it--but now I’ve seen so many people who do this for a living, and it’s definitely possible to achieve it. I think I was on the way to doing that before things… went south, and I’m hoping to get back to that place.
JL: What was the most challenging part about your last campaign?
NR: Well, last campaign as in Secret Comics Presents? That was a collection of horror stories that failed. We reached half of what we needed. We needed to double our backers to get funded, and it just seemed that there wasn’t enough enthusiasm around the project to get people to help me promote. Getting on other YouTube channels to promote can be tough. If we mean last to fund, then Trixie Cain: Blood Reaper’s only challenge was that I got in some of the art late.
JL: Any lessons learned with that last campaign?
NR: Well if we’re talking about Secret Comics Presents, which, again, didn’t fund, I guess I learned to try and make more connections and to make sure you have a better idea of the goal you can reach with the audience you have. If we’re talking about Trixie, the last one that funded, the thing I learned is to make sure the art is on a better schedule and to have as much of the book done before launch as possible.
JL: Can you tell us a little bit about how you tackled this campaign as compared to your previous one or ones?
NR: Kept it at a $500 goal because we both just want to get this made even at a sure small print run. If we only made $500 we would’ve been fine with that.
JL: Is there anything did in this or the last campaign that you feel you could do better next time around?
NR: The thing I really need to get better at is making connections. But the thing I’ve learned to do best on this campaign is pitching it--we’ve it got it down to one simple sentence “A lady is hunted by Dracula in an insane asylum.”
JL: Media wise, is there anything that you are consuming while working on this project?
NR: Just horror movies.
JL: Is there anything you want to do that you have not been able to, yet?
NR: Make enough on a book to justify an ongoing series. Something long lasting.
JL: What are your hopes for ASYL for the future?
NR: I just hope that we can get as many backers as possible so that we can pay Vic something decent, and I hope that everyone that backs us likes the book--I definitely think they’re going to enjoy it. It’s one of the best scripts I’ve written, and there’s so much to explore with future issues and just what sort of things lurk in this asylum throughout the ages.
JL: Is there anything else you want to share with us before we sign off?
NR: I’ve got four novels and a short story collection on Amazon--Eternity, Inner Demons, Locked Coffins, Duality, and The Eclipse Theater--if anybody is interested in reading those until Asyl fulfills.
JL: Thank you for being a part of indie comics showcase. We wish you the best of luck on this campaign and all future projects.
NR: Thank you so much for the interview, John!
Check out the campaign Here!
DREAD & ALIVE: NINE NIGHT
by Nicholas Da Silva
This is a very special installment of Indie Comics Showcase this week, as I’m interviewing Nicholas Da Silva, the creator of one of my personal favorite comics, Dread & Alive. Nicholas is mixed media artist and the founder and editor-in-chief of IRIE Magazine, a publication focusing on Reggae music and culture. For More information on Dread & Alive please visit the site here and check out IRIE. Follow Nickolas on Twitter.
John Lemus: Welcome Nicholas, thank you for being a part of Indie Comics Showcase! I am so happy to be discussing your latest indie comic DREAD & ALIVE: NINE NIGHT.
Nicholas Da Silva: Give thanks for this opportunity to share Dread & Alive: Nine Night with you!
JL: Before we get started I was hoping you could tell us a little bit about yourself, how you got into comics.
NDS: I am a mixed-media artist; I draw, write, code, animate, publish, and produce music. I’ve been drawing since I was 2. I got into writing in my early teens after getting hooked on reading sci-fi books and comics. At the time, sci-fi books and comics took me to another place where I could just be myself and enjoy the strange worlds presented to me. The interaction between good and evil in comics also fascinated me.
JL: What can you tell us about DREADS & ALIVE and the upcoming NINE NIGHT ?
NDS: In Nine Night, Drew will have his work cut out for him as he will have to battle Shadowcatcher and his army of darkness across two worlds, the human world, and the spirit world. Drew must protect the amulet and learn how to survive Nine Night or be forced to walk the earth as a duppy.
Nine Night will be a 12 chapter maxi-series, and each issue will release with an exclusive reggae soundtrack including original tracks written by me under my artist name, ZOOLOOK.
The first two chapters make up the story arc ‘Hide Your Soul.’
JL: I’ve read in other interviews you have done, how Dread & Alive came to be from your research into Jamaica’s History, I was hoping you would be able to touch upon that a little bit with us.
NDS: The song ’96 degrees in the Shade (1865) by Third World inspired me to develop Dread & Alive into a comic book series. When I first heard the song, I had to play it again and again. I was surprised by the lyrics because it was a history lesson for me. The reggae ballad was a tribute to Paul Bogle, the Jamaican freedom fighter hanged for leading a slave revolt in 1865. After hearing that song, I wanted to know more about Jamaica’s History. My research on Jamaica’s history would take me back to the Ashanti people, who are part of the Akan ethnic group from the Ashanti Region of modern-day Ghana.
JL: What are some of the first comics you remember reading and what are some titles that have had the biggest impact on you?
NDS: I started reading Lone Wolf and Cub, followed by The Hulk, Iron Man, Black Panther, and Green Lantern, but the books like Alan Moore’s Watchmen, Brian Azzarello’s 100 Bullets and Kazuo Koike’s Lone Wolf and Cub, Todd McFarlane’s Spawn, and Mike Mignola’s Hellboy have definitely made the most impact on me.
JL: You released the first issue of DREAD & ALIVE back in 2010 and kept up the publication as on ongoing series till 2011. The original run was Six Issues. What happened between then, now, and the release of NINE NIGHT?
NDS: After the sixth issue, I began working on issue #7 when an opportunity came knocking at my door. Having worked in advertising as a lead designer for ten years, I received a Creative Director position for a new startup focused on developing an online learning platform for teenagers. They made me an offer I couldn’t refuse, and I got to keep my soul. My role lasted two years, culminating with a successful launch of the final product, which has 12 million active users in 120 countries.
I left the startup in 2013 to get back into the comic world. I continued creating comics with soundtracks. I decided to research the history of reggae. I was eager to learn everything about reggae. That journey got my creative juices flowing, and by July of 2013, I had secured the domain name, iriemag.com. On December 26, 2013, I launched issue #1 of IRIE, which featured Third World on the cover. The band was celebrating their 40th year together, and I got to interview Cat Coore, Richie ‘Bassie’ Daley, and Bunny Ruggs for the issue. Next year, I will start my 8th year with the master of Dub reggae, Mad Professor, on the cover.
In 2017, I received my 23andme DNA results and found out that I was 39 percent West African. This news just added more fuel to my fire.
JL: What are some of the things that have served as a source of Inspiration when working on DREAD & ALIVE: NINE NIGHT ? Do you read anything, watch any shows, listen to music as you work?
NDS: Watching horror films are always an inspiration. I’m a big fan of Japanese horror films. I also watch Ancient Aliens for inspiration. Music also plays an essential source of inspiration. I work with music on my headphones, and my choice of music is diverse.
I live in San Francisco, and the city also inspires me on so many levels. First, when you walk around the city, you can look up at civic buildings or walk by private homes and apartment buildings, and you will find stylized lion sculptors and carvings. They’re everywhere. That was the inspiration for the cover of issue #1 of Dread & Alive.
The city also has several hidden cemeteries, including a pet cemetery where the thick fog hangs so low at night, it sends shivers down your spines. The fog is inspiring.
JL: Tell our readers a bit about you developed your unique style.
NDS: When I was a kid, I would peer into my dad’s studio before going to bed and watch him. He knew I was watching him but pretended to ignore me. He would be seated at his desk, his back to me, cutting newspaper clippings about history articles that interested him. He would then tape them up on a board on the wall. The next day, I would come downstairs after he went to work and look at the clippings. The stories were always about news from the past that involved our personal history. I believe those memories sparked my interest in history and helped shape me into the writer I am today.
When I write, I like to create stories that mix cultural facts with fiction. If you can blend the line between fact and fiction in your writing, you can hook the reader.
For the artwork, I find that attention to detail helps move the story along. I want my readers to pay close attention to each panel. Why? Because if you don’t, you might miss something important. I also give respect to other artists (musicians, artists, actors) who inspire me. For example, there is a homage to the band RUSH in Nine Night. Let’s see if fans discover it. I grew up listening to Rush, Ozzy Osbourne, and Pink Floyd (The Wall), and their albums have played a role in creating my mixed-media series.
JL: Can you tell us a bit about your creative process?
NDS: In creating a new comic story, I always start with a written draft of the story arc, made from notes and thoughts that I have collected and scribbled down in my journal. For imagery, I always grab my Canon camera and head outdoors to explore different locations that best fit within my storyline. Once I have the necessary photos, I head to my studio and create the official comic script with layouts.
In that script, I also determine every panel for every page before penciling so that the story flows. Pencils (Rodney Buchemi) come next, followed by the digital colors (Michael Kelleher) and lettering. Once all the art is complete, I use my design and print skills to put the comic book together and self-publish it. I love the independence of creating your own story from idea to finished product.
JL: What have some of your influences been over the years and how have they affected your work?
NDS: Music from artists of different genres has greatly influenced me. For example, I am a big fan of the Belgian electronic music group Front 242. The villain in Dread & Alive issue #1, Gryphon the Hunter, was inspired by the Front 242 song ‘Headhunter.’
JL: As a horror film enthusiast, Dread & Alive is in part a Horror Comic, and it’s also one of the most popular genres in indie comics. What do you think it is about Horror that makes it so popular?
NDS: I think horror films are popular because we can be scared of watching something terrifying unfold on the screen but know that we are safe from it. I also believe there is that adrenaline rush you get as the fright builds up in horror films. Horror fans also crave those shocking scenes that leave a mark on you. It’s the unexpected that leaves your mouth agape.
JL: What’s been the biggest challenge you faced while working on the Dread & Alive series, and has it gotten any easier working on NINE NIGHT?
NDS: The biggest challenge was finding the research tools to learn about the Jamaican Maroons and the Ashanti people’s past. I still can’t believe that I went through high school and graduated without knowing about the Jamaican Maroons.
JL: Is there anything else you want to share with us before we sign off?
NDS: I want to thank all the comic fans who explore, discover, and support indie comics. I’m a product of indie comics, and it’s rewarding when fans follow your work. I’ve learned that some fans dressed up as Drew McIntosh for Halloween and Cosplay events. Now that’s IRIE!
And give thanks! It’s a pleasure to connect and share Dread & Alive with you and your audience.
by Adam Stewart
Imagine the Aurelion Sol (from League of Legends) meets Mephisto (from Marvel Comics). A child is born for an intertwined destiny… but it’s shaped by the path she takes. Towards good or towards evil? As both become influences in her life, her adulthood will decide her fate and the fate of life as we know it.
Check out their launch page on Kickstarter here!
Chris Braly: Tell our readers your elevator pitch for Nightwave: Origin… Briefly tell our readers what’s up.
Check out their launch page on Kickstarter here!
That’s it for this installment! Support indie comics!!!
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