Indie Comics Showcase #136: Star Circuit, Siamese & Columns of Creation

 

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!

 

Siamese
by Brian Menard

 

Check out the campaign here!

 

Chris Braly: Tell our readers your elevator pitch for your Siamese, Brian.

Brian Menard: Siamese is a trade paperback collecting the four-issue mini-series previously published by Dojo Kun Comics. The women are Chinese-American twins whose “Deviation Gene” makes them extraordinary enough to become superheroines. They have super agility, balance, grace and poise, prehensile tails and sharp claws. In this four-issue series you will also be introduced to Breathtaker, Psionica, Brickhouse, The Scarlet Archer and The Countryman, plus a bevy of supervillains too!

 

Siamese TPB IndieGoGo Trailer by Red Gaze

 

CB: What was the genesis for this project?

BM: I have been publishing comics under the Dojo Kun Comics banner for more than five years now and we have a dozen comics available. This is my first foray into crowdfunding and the funds raised will go toward the making of the follow-up mini-series titled Deanna, Hammer of the Angels.

 

 

CB: What kind of comic fans do you is this best suited for?

BM: Comic fans who are nostalgic for the days when superhero stories were light-hearted and the lines between good guys and bad guys weren’t being blurred by cancel culture. Our heroes and villains are diverse without being preachy about it. We’re here just to make fun comics with great art that fans will want to come back to again and again.

 

 

CB: Let’s get into the creative and production side a little. Who has contributed to work on this project?

BM: I am Brian Menard and I am the writer of the series collected in this trade paperback. The first two issues were drawn by Mike Salter, a fine-art portrait painter from the States and issues #3 and #4 were drawn by Zilson Costa, a fantastic artist from Brazil. All four issues in this TPB were colored by Kevin Watson from Michigan and lettered by Kuen Tang, a Chinese-Canadian from Saskatchuwan. There are six different covers on this campaign by Gilbert Monsanto, Ariez Hernandez, Isiah Xavier Bradley, Zilson Costa and The Barton Bros (Clayton and Korey).

 

 

CB: What’s the workflow like? 

BM: I write a comic script as if I am writing a movie screenplay. I try to envision what the panels will have in them and write the dialog to match. Zilson and I have a fantastic rapport and his ability to interpret my scripts almost exactly as I saw them borders on uncanny.

 

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

BM: That the indie comics community is incredibly supportive of one another, extremely welcoming and very encouraging. I’ve met a number of people from around the world through this campaign and I am loving all the shows I’ve been on YouTube promoting it (over 60 shows now).

 

CB: Are there here more stories to tell?

BM: This trade leads into Deanna, Hammer of the Angels, which is also going to be a four-issue mini-series (#1 is almost done) and then all the characters introduced in these two mini-series will be featured in Dojo Kun Comics’ ongoing super-team book called Trident’s New Alliance.

 

 

CB: Good luck – we’re rooting for you!

BM: Thank you so much for the chance to talk more about the project! I hope your readers take a chance on Siamese!

 

 

 

Check out the campaign here!

 

 

 

Columns of Creation v1
by Aleandro V.S.

Check out the campaign here!

 

Chris Braly: Welcome to Indie Comics Showcase, Aleandro. What can you tell us about your latest project, Columns of Creation v1?

Aleandro V. S.: Columns of Creation VOL 1: Down to Earth is a fantasy comic about the embodied elements of nature. Seven cosmic siblings of immense power, who take a vacation in NYC. But along the way, they encounter Paradox, embodiment of black holes. Who’s been living on Earth peacefully for a long time, but after a tragic event impacts him and his family, he goes berserk. Can this family of dysfunctional beings, protect our world from an immortal creature of powers beyond comprehension?

 

 

CB: Where did the idea for this comic come from?

AVS: After finding myself on the short end of cancel culture, I was inspired in creating these characters who, much like me at the time, were searching for meaning in their lives. When I discovered crowdfunding, I realized that a creator no longer has to “hope” that the powers that be at the big 2 would notice him. Now one could trace his own path. And so that’s what I did.

 

 

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

AVS: Fantasy fans. In particular lovers of 90s Vertigo. But also really anyone who’s into grounded superhero stories and character driven comics.

 

 

CB: Let’s get into the creative and production side a little. Who is your creative team?

AVS: Matt Monaco is the artist. I’m the writer/creator, but also the editor in chief. My boyfriend Teofilo Velasco is my editor. Eric Weathers is the letterer and Von Klaus my graphic designer.

 

 

CB: How do you like to work?

AVS: I don’t really write. Ever. I have done it back to back for 3 years. I wrote 3 novellas. The I decided I wanted to make comic books (mind you, I’ve always been into comics). Now I only really write when I’m working on something. Depending on how long or intense it is, it might take me a few days, a week or 2. But once I start, I will not stop, not even for food or bathroom breaks. I can hardly sleep in those periods. Because all I want and all I need is to complete the work. I guess you could compare me to a supernova. Burn really bright and intense and then it dies ahahah

 

 

CB: What have you been learning from this process?

AVS: A LOT. I was able to network with so many wonderful creators and backers. Becoming friends even. I learned technical aspects of a campaign as well as refined my skills as a story teller. I suspect every campaign will get better and better.

 

 

CB: What are your plans beyond this book and are there more stories to tell?

AVS: I always wanted my own power Rangers, you know? My own Avengers. And I always knew I wanted to do something with elemental powers. Sandman by Neil Gaiman is by far the greatest practical inspiration for this comic. It was very important for me that we would capture a similar vibe. Indeed I have more stories I wanna tell. I already have one ready. An action adventure fantasy, focusing on a family. It’s an ALL AGES title. I very much look forward to that also!

 

CB: Thanks for chatting with us! Good luck!

AVS: Thank you for providing me and so many others with this platform 😊

 

COLUMNS OF CREATION: Down To Earth (Teaser Trailer)

 

 

 

 

Star Circuit
by Joe Catapano

Check out the campaign here!

Chris Braly: Tell our readers your elevator pitch for Star Circuit, Joe.

Joe Catapano: STAR CIRCUIT is the first chapter in a cyberpunk, fantasy adventure with heavy inspirations from Akira, Bladerunner and F-Zero. After all human attempts have ended in tragedy, one street-racer is still convinced that with the help of a long-forgotten racing legend he can win in a championship full of unbeatable androids and save what’s left of his broken family. It’s the classic man v. machine story but taken to exciting proportions.

 

 

CB: What was the genesis for this project, and what led to you deciding to crowdfund it?

JC: In late 2016, I decided it was time to put my creative efforts toward something that I really cared about instead of drawing other company’s characters. The whole concept for Star Circuit was spawned by delivering to myself what I’ve always wanted in a comic book. Since I first read/saw Akira, I’ve always wanted a story similar to that but where it focuses solely on the motorcycles and not the superpowers. I also love how the genre of science-fantasy works. It’s the more reserved version of sci-fi. I find it amazing how Star Wars makes you feel like it’s believable even though the film never “hard magic’s” it’s way to explain it realistically.

Finally, Cyberpunk is a genre that is more relevant than ever and I’m a huge fan of the futurist designer behind Blade Runner, Syd Mead. With all these influences I set out to make the most exciting book that I could. As far as why I am crowdfunding it; it’s a situation that kinda fell into my lap. I was originally planning to pitch it to publishers, but right as I was ready, COVID hit and the majority of publishers were really not looking. Then I saw a few of my peers in the indie scene start crowdfunding their own books and for the first time I seriously gave it some thought.

 

 

CB: What kind of comic fans will entertain the most?

JC: It’s a mature read so it’s not for everyone but fans of cyberpunk and sci-fi for sure will love this. The story’s stakes are very steep so I think even folks that like ‘against all odds’ superhero stories will really enjoy this too. I’ve put a lot of time into making interesting characters that react believably in relatable situations, so even the slice of life readers will have something to enjoy here.

 

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

JC: So far I’ve been working mostly solo, so this is no exception. It’s created, written and illustrated by me. I couldn’t do everything so the other collaborators are Eric Weathers on letters and Lee Carver on editing.

 

 

CB: How do you like to work?

JC: My workflow is what I now like to call “The Circuit Method”. It’s essentially the Marvel method but without multiple collaborators. If people are unaware, the Marvel Method is where you don’t write a full script but instead write plot blurbs that describe what’s happening on each page. After the art is created, then you edit anything and everything possible to make a story that’s exciting and irresistible. This book is also unique in that I do the pencils traditionally, then skip through the inking and digitally color. You definitely can still see the sketch lines in the final art and I really love that, especially for cyberpunk.

 

 

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

JC: I’ve learned so much about what fans want to purchase and how much work it really takes to get the word out about your book. It’s really an entire job itself. With crowdfunding it’s really cool because since it’s direct to consumer strategy, it’s easy to get fans exactly what they want. So not only do people get the book on my campaign but they can also get a supplemental concept art book, art prints, patches, shirts, albums, and even a 3D-Print of the motorcycle in the story. Crowdfunding is also a way better work cycle than the normal monthly release schedule from the past. You dictate the time it will take per project and welcome the fans to stay involved with the process through social media and youtube. That direct relationship with the readers is so exciting and it inspires me to work hard for their buck.

 

 

CB: Are there more stories to tell?

JC: I wrote this book to play around with a question that has lurked in my mind for a while. And it’s a question that anyone who is striving and sacrificing for a goal will relate to. So pretty much everyone. The question is: In the grand scheme of the cosmos, does it even matter if we strive for greatness? Given that we will eventually die and be lost to time, does it matter that we achieve our dreams? I have mixed feelings on this and this debate is the sole focus of the entire story. This campaign is only the first chapter of the mini-series so there’s a lot more to tell. I plan on doing another campaign for the next huge chunk of the book and continue on. I think this story will make some waves and hopefully lead to bigger and better things. Outside of this story I have plenty of drafts in the works for future sci-fi projects.

 

 

CB: Thanks for chatting with us Joe!

JC: Thanks for the opportunity!

Star Circuit TRAILER - Indiegogo

Check out the 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

JUST KEEPING THE LIGHTS ON