Indie Comics Showcase #130: Shotgun Samurai, Double Cross & Joe King 2

 

 

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!

 

JOE KING 2
by George Gatsis

 

Check out the campaign here!

 

Chris Braly: Welcome back to Bleeding Fool, George! You’ve contributed many articles to this humble site, but this time we get to talk about your latest comic project!

George Gatsis: Currently I am crowdfunding two books for Joe King. Book 1: The only way for Joe and the crew of the Ladystar to stop a growing evil from taking over the universe, is to prevent the Dinosaurs from going extinct. Book 2: Joe ordered a deluxe pizza as the Earth is taken across the universe right in the path of a SuperNova! The crew of the Ladystar has 120 minutes to save the Earth before the pizza gets delivered! Basically, you can read book 2 in real time. Each page is a minute. How cool is that, eh?

 

CB: Cool! What was the genesis for Joe King, where did the idea for this comic come from, and what led to you deciding to crowdfund the books?

GG: I was inspired by the original Road Runner Coyote cartoons. In 1998 I premiered Joe King and Cryplet in my first color book of The Black Diamond Effect comic book series.

I have been self publishing since 1990, which is in-it-self crowdfunding. Put an add in the distribution catalogues, wait for the orders/buy in from retailers, go to print, send the printed books to the distributor, distributor sends books to retailers, distributor sends money to me. Only difference now is… the distributor is replaced by Indiegogo platform. Joe King book 1 is actually issue 20 of The Black Diamond Effect. The current book being funded is Joe King book 2, which is issue 21 of The Black Diamond Effect.

 

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

GG: If you like SuperHeroes, Star Trek, Star Wars, Doctor Who, Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy, Guardians of the Galaxy, Anime, Galaxina, Red Dwarf, Pizza… and multiple narratives which include visual easter eggs… These are the books for you.

 

CB: Let’s get into the creative and production side a little. Tell us a bit about your creative team. Are you solo or are there others that have contributed to this project?

GG: The artist is mostly self taught. The writer is well versed in story construction and the heroes journey. Funny thing about the writer, after his grade 10 Teacher warned him to do better or fail the whole year, he took crafting stories seriously and used The Art of Star Wars as his blue print for everything afterwards. I usually don’t mention these two guys and take credit for all their work.

 

CB: Let’s get into the campaign a bit. What’s available to your backers in this crowdfunding campaign?

GG: There are 3 options. Book 1, Book 2 and the ComboPack of 1 and 2. In the addons, you have the option to get 3D printed spaceship, 3 different figurines, a set of 52 trading cards and original art. This campaign allows the customer to choose his purchase experience, without having to choose a preset package. Plus there is no delivery cost sticker shock. Free shipping worldwide. The prices you see are the prices you check out with. The combopack of the two books clock in at a total of 240 pages!

I have 2 stretch goals. 1) if we get 150 backers, the books will go from standard comic book size of 7 x 10 inches to soft cover 10 by 15 inches… at no additional cost to the customers. 2) if we get 300 backers, the books will go from soft cover 10 x 15 inches, to hard cover 10 x 15 inches… at no additional cost to the customers. That’s it.

No. One more thing. I am offering a free spaceship with everyone’s purchase!

 

CB: What?!? Haha! Moving on, what have you been learning from crowdfunding and creating through this process?

GG: People are now custom to spend on average $25 for a book that is between 32 to 48 pages. Plus shipping ontop of that. Over time that ends up costing alot for 120 page book. So I decided to offer 120 pages for $25 plus shipping. 3 time the value per book!

 

 

CB: What is your purpose for telling this story and what are your plans beyond this book? Are there more stories to tell?

GG: The story is on-going. I have created the universe and the stories around 30 years plus ago. Now I am just visualizing them. There is no other way to describe it other than show you the link to the hidden online store on my domain site. http://www.georgepetergatsis.com/GPGstore.html

 

CB: Thanks for chatting with us again George! Good luck – we’re rooting for you buddy!

GG: Thank you for taking the time with me.

 

Check out the Joe King 2 campaign here!

 

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Shotgun Samurai Vol 1
by The Quaff

Check out the campaign here!

 

Chris Braly: Tell our readers your elevator pitch for Shotgun Samurai tell our readers the pitch.

The Quaff: In old Japan, there lives a Samurai whose weapon is foreign and misunderstood. Reflecting on his past life, his road to redemption is paved with shotgun blasts!

 

Shotgun Samurai Volume 1 Trailer

 

CB: What was the genesis for this project, where did the idea for this comic come from, and what led to you deciding to crowdfund it?

TQ: It was a complete stroke of inspiration. Back in college, a friend of mine needed a character to cosplay as for a presentation. Thanks to my quick wit, I noticed he has a Samurai robe, and I had a fake shotgun so why not the Shotgun Samurai?! He retorted “That doesn’t exist!” I spitefully replied “It will now!” So that night, I made the first 3 pages of Shotgun Samurai. We knew we struck gold so we ran with the idea, and 200+ pages later we have a book!

 

 

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

TQ: Firstly, I’m hoping everyone will like this! haha but more specifically, I designed this book to interest people who like both western, American comics and Japanese manga. It has a manga-ish style to the art and pacing, but with a lot of themes commonly found in classic western, cowboy films. So basically, if you like Samurais and Shotguns, you’re gonna love this!

 

 

CB: Let’s get into the creative and production side a little. Tell us a bit about your creative team that have contributed to this project?

TQ: So right now, It’s just my friend from college and I working on the book. I am the artist and co-writer, he co-writes and edits the book. I see it as he is great with the technical details, and keeping everything in canon, and I am good at giving the characters an emotional weight.

 

 

CB: When did you first create this? It began as a floppy, right?

TQ: I first created the character in 2014 with the original 3 pages. I first started by stapling photocopies together and handing them out to friends at school. I made some youtube videos with the character too. I eventually figured out how to produce actual floppies and put them up in local shops around NYC

 

 

CB: What is your purpose for telling this story and what are your plans beyond this book?

TQ: Essentially, the world we’ve built has attained a life of its own. Right now I can’t help but tell their stories, it’s burning inside me to get out. I want Shotgun Samurai to achieve his redemption, I want to see the characters develop and get to know each other, fight with each other, and grow together. We have plenty of stories planned for this world. We do have a definitive end, and I can’t wait to finally get there!

 

 

CB: Thanks for chatting with us! Good luck!

TQ: Thank you so much! This was fun!

 

Check out the Shotgun Samurai campaign here!

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DOUBLE CROSS #1
by Ludie Sexton

 

 

 

Check out the campaign here!

 

Chris Braly: Tell our readers your elevator pitch for Double Cross #1 – Briefly tell our readers the pitch.

Ludie Sexton: Double Cross  is a 32-page gritty and chilling alternative-history comic book set in the events leading up to the 1936 Berlin Olympics and ultimately World War 2. It follows the story of a German spy, Garrett Spears, as he witnesses firsthand Hitler’s rise to power and realizes the abhorrent effect it will soon have upon the world. Garrett and Hitler’s lives soon become dangerously intertwined in a thrilling cat-and-mouse game of spies and warfare – complicated further by the arrival of a mysterious alien bearing strange gifts.

 

 

CB: What was the genesis for this project, where did the idea for this comic come from, and what led to you deciding to crowdfund it?

LS: The story of Double Cross grew from a few aspects of my life. My time in the Army and the historic units I’ve been a part of shaped my love for both history and the impact that war has had on our lives – both past and present. The characters in this story are primarily based on soldiers I’ve worked with during my time in the Army. Their personalities, senses of humor, and strange quirks make them some of the most unique people I’ve ever met, and in turn, some of the most unique characters I could create. The ending for Double Cross came directly from my love of science fiction and the idea of the modern-day-superhero. Who most closely resembles that type of superhero? And who better personifies fame and absolute physical prowess than Olympic athletes? But again, being a science fiction fan, I wanted to push the character even further, so I thought: what would happen if an Olympic athlete was given superpowers?

 

 

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

LS: I think that there’s a unique clique of comic book fans who go after alternate history tales, spy thrillers, and supersoldiers. Fans of Nick Fury, X-Men’s Cable, and Captain America will probably pick this series up and find some common ground with it. I didn’t want the familiarity to end there, so there’s also something for fans of abandoned aliens, greek mythology, costumed crusaders, and time-traveling antics.

 

 

CB: Let’s get into the creative and production side a little. Tell us a bit about your creative team that has contributed to this project?

LS: They’re all insane…. probably not in a healthy way. Ken Krekeler has been the primary artist on this passion project for over a year now. We met during my first Kickstarter, where he worked for me as a manager. We enjoyed working together, and ever since then, we usually goof around until an issue is magically created somehow.

There’s a slew of ghost readers, editors, printers, and others that helped bring this project to life, but I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention a few of the big ones. Colleen Palmer is an incredible horror writer and did the variant cover for XX1. She’s currently working with me on two other Warden Comic properties and is one of my biggest sounding boards. Tadd Galusha, a good friend, and mentor in the comic book game, is a pretty big deal, and if you haven’t heard of him, you should definitely google the man after reading this. He did the insane cover work for our Kickstarter and an exclusive Kickstarter poster for our campaign. Finally, we have Matt Cubberly, my Kickstarter Consultant. He’s responsible for making me famous. So far, he’s doing a pretty good job, but we’ll see.

 

 

CB: What’s your workflow like? How do you like to work?

LS: I wish writing comics was my full-time job, but unfortunately, I’m not that big of a name yet. I’m still active duty military and have a family that requires a lot of my focus. However, once the day job is done and the family goes to sleep, I put on my writer hat (not an actual hat) and get to work every night.

 

 

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

LS: Crowdfunding is difficult. It forces you to look inward and be passionate about your project. I know that sounds weird, but if you’re not passionate about your project, how can you get others to back it? I think what I like to learn most is what works and what backers want. One of the best things about the whole process is that every time I do one, I meet more amazing people and create other things with them.

 

 

CB: What is your purpose for telling this story, and what are your plans beyond this book? Are there more stories to tell?

LS: Leaving ideas stuck in your head isn’t healthy. I never want to be that guy 30 years from now, saying I wish I would have done that story. I think part of the purpose is to get people to read the book and care for the characters. I want you to love some, and I want you to hate others. The other part is I want people to realize that they can write comics if they want. They can be in a comic book, and they can create the worlds swirling inside their minds. I want those people to see that normal people can do these things.

 

As far as plans go, we’ve already finished Double Cross #3 and are starting on #4. I have at least 10 issues scripted out with plans of doing more. Warden Comics currently has 3 titles, all dropping Kickstarters this year, and two more titles being added soon. There’s so many more stories to tell.

 

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

LS: Thank you! I appreciate the opportunity to geek out over my passions.

 

Check out the Double Cross campaign here!

 

 

 

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

 

 


Follow Indie Comics Showcase on Twitter at @Indie_Comics and reach out to them if you want us to consider featuring YOUR crowdfunding comic project!

 

Chris Braly

I'm a collector, a speculator, and one opinionated, based geek. My friends call me Braly, but those who know me within the hobby generally refer to me as Bralinator. I can be heard monthly on the Comic Book Page Previews Spotlight podcast with several other comic book nerds. Follow me on Twitter @ChrisBraly

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