Indie Comics Showcase #129: Arachna, Ultra & Chateau Obsidian



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!


by Ai

Check out the campaign here!


Chris Braly: Tell our readers your elevator pitch for Arachna: The Adventure Begins! Briefly tell our readers what’s up.

Ai: Arachna is about a superheroine with a split personality that is going to bring the fun, adventure, and sexy back to superhero comics.



CB: Love the concept of Ditko’s Spider-Man meets Batman ’66 meets Lynch’s Twin Peaks. Where did the idea originate?

Ai: Ditko’s Spider-Man: When I was a kid, I loved the idea of Spider-man when Ditko and Lee were working on it. There was a sense of wonder to it along with the action. It’s insane what they were able to create in a few issues with Green Goblin, Sandman, Vulture, etc. The other part of Spidey I liked was the dual nature of Peter Parker and Spider-man. Here was a shy kid who suddenly gets powers and is able to do whatever he wants. It was almost like a split personality. This is where the idea of Arachna’s split personality was born.

Batman 66: The way the episodes ended in a cliffhanger was a lot of fun and part of the single issue nature of comics have always been cliffhangers. The hero/heroine are put into some sort of deathtrap. How are they going to get out? Raiders of the Lost Ark was also inspired from serials that ended in cliffhangers. I also enjoyed the humor in these episodes. Nobody took themselves too seriously. Adam West was an underappreciated actor with all that he brought to the role of Batman. So for Arachna, we have constructed cliffhanger scenarios for her. She’s going to get in a lot of trouble. How is she going to get out? You’ll have to read to find out.

I’m fascinated with Twin Peaks. David Lynch is always interested in exploring people’s darker sides and what goes on with them in private. There’s a weirdness and kink that people have that interests me and I want to explore it further. The characters we introduce in Arachna will have a lot of depth to them and there are going to be a lot of grey areas.


CB: What kind of comic fans do you expect this comic will entertain the most?

Ai: I think if you want something fresh that isn’t driven by corporations that know nothing about their readership, you’re going to love Arachna. I think mainstream superhero comics have been bland for years now and I don’t think anyone wants to take risks because they don’t want to be cancelled. I also think if you’re tired of the PC stuff, this book will be a breath of fresh air.



CB: Tell us a bit about your creative team / other creators that have contributed to this?

Ai: We have a great team and I love creating with them. Martti Kauppinen is the writer. He’s from Finland. He and I have co-plotted the first issue and it’s been a joy working with him. He is fully invested in this project. He has a great knack for dialogue and the descriptions he provides in the panels for the artist are fantastic.

Carlos Granda is the artist. I believe he is from Columbia. I was impressed with his work on Geek Girl, but he’s taken his work to a whole new level with Arachna.

Maksim Strelkov and Hellica. They are a husband and wife team from Bulgaria. Maksim is the colorist and Hellica is the letterer. I lucked out on finding the two of them.

Tyier Godette is the character designer. He designed the costumes for Arachna and Kumo. He is based in NJ. He is new but extremely talented.

Samantha Auch is a New York based actress. I wanted to go with an actress rather than a model for this role. There’s too much you have to do to switch personas. You can watch her videos on our Youtube channel.



CB: Is this your first adventure in crowdfunding. How did you first get into this and how did it lead to this?

Ai: Yes, this is my first adventure in crowdfunding. We live in a world now that if you have an idea and the drive, you can get that project funded. I love superhero comics but lost interest in them a while back. About a year ago, I decided to create my own character and create a book that I wanted to read. I sensed that there were a lot of people that were frustrated by what was being put out in mainstream comics. Hopefully I could create something that can connect with what these people wanted. I also despise these companies destroying beloved characters to appease people that don’t buy or support the books and turning their nose at the people who do.

This is my first foray into publishing comics. My background for the past twenty years is in marketing which includes video production, graphic design, digital advertising, etc. I’m originally from Pakistan and I picked up my first comic at the age of 9 with World’s Finest 247 and that started a love affair with comics that has always stayed with me. I am done with Marvel and DC, I don’t think these companies are being run by people who love these characters. My favorite all-time runs are Byrne/Claremont X-Men, Miller’s Daredevil, Moore’s Swamp Thing and Miracleman, Lee/Kirby’s FF, Lee/Ditko’s Spider-Man.

CB: What have you been learning from crowdfunding and creating through this process?

Ai: It’s a LOT of work, but I love the process of creating. Working with Martti and Carlos and then seeing the pages come to life with colors from Maksim and lettering from Hellica. That part of it is a lot of fun. After the crowdfunding started, it’s been fun talking to the backers. They give their hard earned money to support our project and I am so deeply grateful to them. Promoting is a lot of work from working social media to setting up interviews on YouTube streams. It’s been a fun journey so far.



CB: Thanks for chatting with us! Good luck and we are rooting for you! Any final words?

Ai: Thank you for reaching out to us and helping us promote the book. I also want to thank all our backers on the campaign. This project isn’t possible without them!


Check out the campaign here!

Learn more about the project at



by Henry Cox

Check out the campaign here!


Chris Braly: Tell our readers your elevator pitch for Ultra and your campaign. Briefly tell our readers what’s up.

Henry Cox: ULTRA is a sci-fi/horror revenge story centered around the main character, Jack, descendant of an ancient bloodline of gods; he must track down the killer of his only real friend, as he unravels his uncertain past.



CB: So this includes two issues already? Where did the idea for Ultra Comics originate?

HC: Yes, I have most of the artwork done for issues one and two, just putting the finishing touches on them. The idea for ULTRA pretty much came from combining different aspects of movies I like such as Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas, Blade Runner, etc, and turning them into my own thing.



CB: What kind of comic fans do you expect this comic will entertain the most?

HC: I think scifi/horror fans will love ULTRA because the story is dramatic, the artwork has a grittiness I haven’t seen anywhere else, and the realism of the drawings makes the story more believable.


CB: Tell us a bit about your creative team / other creators that have contributed to this?

HC: I am a bit of a one man army. I wrote and did the artwork for both issues.


CB: Wow! So what else are you learning from crowdfunding and creating through this process?

HC: The biggest thing that I’ve learned is how important promoting and marketing is when it comes to a successful Indiegogo campaign.



CB: Thanks for chatting with us! Good luck and we are rooting for you! Any final words?

HC: Thank you to all my supporters! Please contribute to my Indiegogo campaign so we can make ULTRA comic a reality!



Check out the campaign here!



by Ross Bampfylde



Support this campaign here!


Chris Braly: Welcome back to Indie Comics Showcase, Ross. Give our readers your ‘elevator pitch’ for Chateau Obsidian #3 and briefly tell our readers what it’s. Set the table for us.

Ross Bampfylde: I describe Chateau Obsidian as Red Dwarf meets Ulysses 31, with a tinge of Transformers the Movie (1986) and the movie Sideways.

Set in the far future, it’s the story of a young couple, Jack and Sarah, on the vast cruise liner Starship Mayflower, their discovery of a conspiracy conducting experiments into hypersleep and consciousness storage, and the effect the failure of these experiments have on the ship and the people aboard it much later, after it has been away from our solar system, untouched by the rest of the universe for centuries.

It’s a character-driven science fiction action story dealing with love, loss, destiny, what it means to be human, and where to get a decent glass of wine in deep space.



CB: So you’re up to issue #3, where has the story been so far and where we are we now in issue #3?

RB: Jack and Sarah’s search for Jack’s missing data has gotten them under the radar of Starship Security, and Jack is now on the run.
Meanwhile more dangerous individuals arrive in secret aboard the Ship to take part in the Mayflower CEO’s lucrative sideline in transporting powerful criminals across the solar system undetectably by storing their consciousnesses in the vast network of roots in the ship’s vineyards. A terrible force is unleashed when this technology fails spectacularly.

Centuries later, when the ship is in pirate hands, Captain Featherstone and Android first mate Bot:re19 have encountered their first major clue in their search for the Green Man, the mythical pagan wood god that has taken control of the ship.

At the same time, Helena, in training with Martian Gauntleteers, the future soldiers that somehow sense the Mayflower’s impending arrival, is finally progressing and recognizing her true destiny as a member of the team.


CB: What are some similar comics readers may be familiar with that will find Chateau Obsidian appealing?

RB: I’m inspired by the science fiction series in 2000 AD, the work of Alejandro Jodorowski and Moebius, and the sexy sci-fi stories from Top Cow in the 90’s like Aphrodite IX.


CB: Still working with the same creative team? Have any other creators (if any) contributed to this project?

RB: it’s still entirely my own work. I’m really enjoying taking on the process from beginning to end. As the series continues, however, I’d love to get other artists involved to do some variant covers for later issues.



CB: What was the genesis for this project? Where did the ideas come from?

RB: I first had an idea for a comic set on a starship – either a cruise liner or a pirate ship – when I first watched The Fifth Element by Luc Besson when I was 17, but stopped pursuing comics since I found their production unfathomably complicated at the time.

I added elements to the story from my life such as different jobs I held, an interest in wine, yet did nothing with it until I hit upon the concept of the Green Man, a medieval god brought to life in the future to hold the various story threads together. I attempted the story first of all as a novel, but after making pages and pages of notes, shelved the project again when I made the decision to learn how to draw comics.

About ten years later, and having done a lot of work in British small press, mostly unpaid, and being made redundant from an office job I hated, after being inspired by YouTube videos showing various crowdfunding successes, I decided to dust off the story and crowdfund a comic series in six parts. The rest is history and here I am on issue 3!



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

RB: So far, 3 backers have paid to become recurring characters through the whole series, and I have just one space available which I’m very keen to fill. You can also have a walk-on role in the story, and both of these perks are now discounted for the last days of the campaign.

The campaign is very close to finishing – its flexibly funded so the book is coming whatever happens, but if anyone is interested, get to Indiegogo quickly as it closes on Thursday night. Get involved ASAP!

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



Support this campaign here!







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Chris Braly

I'm one opinionated, based geek. I try to steer this tiny ship and can often be heard monthly on the Comic Book Page Previews Spotlight podcast with several fellow "comic book nerds." Follow me on Twitter @ChrisBraly. My preferred adjectives are brilliant/beautiful.