Indie Comics Showcase #85: Red Eyes, Kith+Kin, & Surfgirl!

 

 

Welcome back to another installment of Indie Comics Showcase! The weekly blog where we try to spotlight and signal boost indie comics that are currently underway with crowdfunding campaigns, are crowdsourcing their funding in some way, or just completely self-publishing on their own. Every little bit of support counts, from a single dollar pledge to the twenty-five dollar bundle, and of course the higher tiers are usually fun too! In fact, some of these campaigns have got some great higher tiers which add even more value by offering stuff you cannot get anywhere else.

 

On Indie Comics Showcase interview the creators, show off some art, and tell you how you can check out the product for yourself. Once again, 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!

 

Red Eyes
by David Feed

 

It’s like 46 pages of Conan with Guns!  Our dark fantasy comic is about a group of insurgent fighters on a desperate mission to save their land. Twenty years ago their beloved kingdom Fayan was conquered by savage Hunters from the north. Most bowed down and surrendered. Only a hand-few dared to fight on against all odds.

Check out the Indiegogo Campaign Page HERE!

 

Chris Braly: What is the ‘elevator pitch’ for Red Eyes? Briefly tell our readers what it’s about and give us some background on it.

David Feed:  “It’s like Conan the Barbarian, but with freaking guns!” It’s a dark fantasy saga, of military action, monsters and magic. I wrote a novalization in 2013 and starting working on this story as a comic about a year ago when Ya’ Boy Zack started his own Indie comic projects. I’ve heard him and others talk about Conan the Barbarian and John Carter losing the copyright protection and becoming public domain and how cool it would be to make a story with those characters. However I decided to create my own originals and skip the waiting and the whole trouble with trademarks and such.

CB: Can you let us in on who or what inspired you to tell this story and how long you’ve been working on this?

DF:  I’ve been working on this story in some shape or form since I was 13 and got into mechanography and read the Lord of the Rings trilogy. I was inspired by the X-Men, because of course I was at that age, and movies like Vampire Hunter D and its sequel. Of course with time I have refined the story, and also went through periods where I worked on other stories. Red Eyes as it exists today is a mix of many things… but mainly the movie “The Dirty Dozen” (1967), the Tales from the Crypt season 3 episode 14 “Yellow” (1991) and “Basilisk” the manga (2003).

  

 

CB: Tell us about your previous work and how you’ve brought your experience to this project and how you came together.

DF:  I have worked as freelance PA in small and big productions, I was an intern for Edge of Darkness, Green Lantern and The Foreigner. Movies a relative worked on, so there was some nepotism there is you like. Unfortunately as I’m not American I can’t really work there because I don’t have a Green Card. I studied Design and Biology and have worked as Language teacher in Mexico and have worked as Translator in Switzerland where I live now. So my “work experience” has been very chaotic, at least up until I got married and had kids. I have worked on the background of many films and books and I hope to bring all that experience into my own projects.

  

CB: This book is definitely unique, but what are some similar comics readers may be familiar with that will find Rocket Gal appealing?

DF: Rocket Gal? I think Rocket Gal is unique no doubt about it, I like the retro style and the music from the trailer. If you want to know about Red Eyes. European comic readers may find it similar to series like Lanfeust des Étoiles, Chronicles de la Lune noire and maybe some Conan le Cimmérien (at least from what few issues I’ve seen of that). For American readers, maybe they’ve heard of The Metabarons. Red Eyes will not be a blood fest but there is graphic content for sure and the story is more serious.
 

CB: What advice would you share with other indie creators doing crowdfunding?

DF: I’ll give you some mom wisdom. If you never go out of your cocoon and do what you want to, you will never fail… but of course you will never do anything. So grab yourself by the balls and get out of your shell.

 


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

DF: Christian Culicelli is an awesome penciler and inker and he is SUPER fast and clean. He is doing the art for everything in Red Eyes. Interiors, Covers and Pin-Ups. He introduced me to Andrea Guardino a star artist from my point of view that works as professional illustrator, he is doing the colors for the covers and posters. He is a beast of an illustrator. And Frederika Valova, my colorist, I found her searching ArtStation, she is also insanely talented as illustrator and as colorist. Finally Eric Weathers is the letterer, because of course he would be. He is literally lettering EVERYTHING in CG. He also helped me out a lot with tips and tricks for the logistics “behind the camera” if you will.
 
What else. Well my family is helping me out as much as they can. They are not so much into comics but they are getting excited with me. My wife is my producer and she is helping me keep my feet on the ground and the budget in check. My mother is a profesional translator, so she will help me (hopefully) with the Translation to make it perfect.
 

 

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

DF: I designed a Trading Card Game in school and we will be offering TC with the physical perks of our IndieGogo, unlike most campaigns out there 😀 our cards have an actual, playable game designed for them. I hope to make this a USP (unique selling proposition) of our project. And during my biology studies I wrote an entire bestiary of original monsters, animals and fantasy races for my novel. Mainly because I found it boring that all fantasy stories have the same species and monsters. We are creating an expandable Bestiary that will grow with each Episode of Red Eyes.

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

DF: Thank you very much, I thank you for your time and effort. I also hope that it was entertaining and good luck to you and the people involved in Bleeding Fool. Stay Safe and Cheers.


Check out the Indiegogo Campaign Page HERE!

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KITH+KIN:An Anthology

by Brittany Matter & Heather Ayres



Ancient demons, ghosts, and golems come to life in this supernatural comics anthology that unearths what lies beneath the family tree.

Please Visit The Campaign on KickStarter.

 

John: Brittany & Heather, welcome to, and thank you for being a part of Indie Comics Showcase. I am happy to be discussing your Indie Comic Anthology KITH + KIN with you today.

 

Heather: Thank you for including us! I’m excited to get into the nitty-gritty details of KITH + KIN.  

 

Brittany: Thank you kindly for the invitation. Let’s get to it!

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

 

Heather: For sure. I have been fascinated with the stories we tell ourselves and one another and how that shapes how we view the world around us for what seems like forever–although I don’t think it was that deep when I was making my Barbies reenact soap operas. I dabbled in writing stories throughout my life but didn’t really decide to make it my craft until about five years ago. By then, I’d met Brittany and a whole bunch of other people who really fostered the idea of becoming a writer and made it seem like it wasn’t a ridiculous idea. I think that is definitely part of what drew me to want to work with her on creating our own stories together.

 

Brittany: I’ve been a writer since I can remember, writing poems and short stories here and there, but didn’t call myself one until I had a job with the title–actually working alongside Heather, as a product copywriter! I simultaneously worked at comic cons with Image Comics and met creatives who were so welcoming and inspiring, and let me edit their comics! Now I write for Marvel’s website, write comics, and help others develop their stories. Heather and I collaborated before as she had edited my comics, and it seemed like the next step in our relationship to write them together and create something new in KITH + KIN!

 

 

John: Without Spoilers, what can you tell us about KITH + KIN?

Heather: At its root, KITH + KIN is about family in all its forms and how the personal struggles we go through in those groups have such universal reach. Whether you have a found family or are bonded to your biological one, these stories really get at the heart of what those connections really mean to us and our lives as explored through a monstrous lense. 

Brittany: It’s all that with art too! Above ground, KITH + KIN is a collection of comics that explore the concept of family through stories chock-full of relationship drama, mystery, and horror balanced with heartwarming messages about humanity. Heather and I sought out 10 artists to help us make each one, plus two extra for our stretch goal comics!

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

Heather: Brittany and I had worked as editors for one another on a couple of different comics and it just felt like the time was right for us to write something together. It was early May 2018 when we first started brainstorming the ideas that would then become the 10 comics and two stretch goal comics featured in KITH + KIN. One thing that binds us together as writers is that we explore our personal lives through our writing. We decided to really focus that viewpoint on families with some stories loosely based off of our own. 

Brittany: Definitely. Incorporating aspects of our personal experiences was the impetus for KITH + KIN. We spent some time writing down the themes we wanted to explore alongside the monsters and supernatural creatures we wanted to incorporate. The characters then came out of the different family relationships we wanted to write about. 

 

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

Heather: Without a doubt Spider-Man: One More Day and House of M. One More Day was the first comic arc I can remember where I took time afterward to digest what I had read and it always came to me at the end of my teens when you’re making so many big life decisions. House of M sticks with me for so many reasons. My favorite comics character Wanda Maximoff takes a starring role and it also just really got under my skin. I don’t think I had ever been mad at a book before, but I thought that if I could ever inspire that much passion in a reader with my own work then I did my job. I strive to bring both those things to everything I write. 

Brittany: Joss Whedon and John Cassady’s Astonishing X-Men, the Batman books from Tim Sale and Jeph Loeb, and Alan Moore and David Lloyd’s V for Vendetta stick out the most in my mind. I think having grown up with the ‘90s X-Men cartoon, reading Astonishing in college was like the world grew up with me, and I related to its emotional resonance. Sale and Loeb’s Batman: The Long Halloween influenced my understanding of layouts and how to carry a story across panels, and it’s just so pretty. V for Vendetta hit me at a real political point in my life, when I was studying political science. It spoke to my desire for justice in an unjust world, while spinning an engrossing narrative, and I wanted to pour that same passion into my work so that I could use my skills to inspire others as well. 

 

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

Heather: For these stories, we really dug into our love of monster lore and mythologies. I know for myself, I spent time reading Dante’s Inferno for a specific comic in the anthology. I also listened to a lot of sea shanty-type music because I was trying to create a real eerie vibe. 

Brittany: For sure, monsters and myths were key sources of inspiration. I read a lot of biblical and Celtic lore for some of the stories, and sometimes listened to Sigur Rós to capture a real emotional and ethereal mood.

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

Heather: On the writing end, Brittany and I’s individual voices are unique from one another. In bringing those two different perspectives together, I think it pushed us to bring the best aspects of our writing to the table which created a voice that spoke with a purposeful perspective. While neither one of us are artists, I would say that we both have a deep appreciation for artists who have a unique perspective that drives their pen stroke.  

Brittany: A lot of editing. 

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

Heather: We alternated between writing the scripts together and writing them separately. When we weren’t co-writing a script, Brittany and I would act as each other’s editors, allowing us to still have a really collaborative process. I think the fluidity we brought to these scripts and the different creative processes helped us to see each story from so many angles. 

BRITTANY: That sums it up pretty nicely. I would add that formatting was also a part of our process. I think it helped not only to guide the creative process, but also ensure that the scripts would be usable documents for our collaborators. One of my favorite things about our live-scripting process was when I didn’t get something, and Heather would draw me a picture as we video chatted, then I could visualize how to write it out in a panel description.

 

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

Heather: The first time I read Marjane Satrapi’s work I knew that comics could be a creative avenue that did more than just send you off on a heroic adventure. They could be a place to tell deeply earnest stories about what it means to be human. In recent years the novelist Han Kang has inspired that same sense of awe and it’s something that I strive to achieve with every word I write. 

Brittany: Over the years, definitely comics creators like Kurtis Wiebe, David Andry, and Marian Churchland. They all have a distinct voice but seemingly so easily convey character connections that vibrate through me. I think also Charles Burns’ Black Hole affected my work in KITH + KIN to an extent. It’s depiction of how isolating it can feel to be different in a group of people that are all going through similar things, was jarrying and evocative, but also completely relatable–I think that idea of feeling alone despite being surrounded by others comes out in some of KITH + KIN’s stories.

John: What are your hopes for KITH + KIN for the future?

Heather: My hopes for KITH + KIN would be for it to continue to connect us with people and get to share these stories with them. The amazing people we have met on the journey to create this book have been by far one the best things. 

Brittany: My hopes are similar, that KITH + KIN will be a bridge to deepen the relationships we’ve formed and introduce us to new ones. I also hope that it has a positive and lasting impact on the people that read it.

 

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

Heather: Framed against a backdrop of monsters and mythologies, KITH + KIN looks at the heart of families with honesty, compassion, and the mindset that the future is full of hope. 

Brittany: Beautifully said. KITH + KIN’s monstrous family drama and heartwarming messages of connection can be found on Kickstarter here through this Sunday, May 3.

John: Once again, I would like to say thank you for being a part of Indie Comics Showcase. We wish you the best of luck on this campaign and all future projects.

Heather: Thank you so much!

Brittany: Many thanks for discussing KITH + KIN with us, John!

Please Visit The Campaign on KickStarter.

Follow Brittany Matter @brittanymatter & Heather Ayres @__helloheather

   

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Dark Threads: Surfgirl Graphic Novel

by Asche Adair


Following the Border Wall Bombings, the country is on edge. When cult hero and Suprahuman vigilante Sparrowhawk is arrested by S.T.A.C., the Suprahuman Tactical Action Command, protest break out in the streets of New Grimm City. Meanwhile, across the country, a crashed spaceship starts a runaway forest fire that threatens to kill thousands.

The all-new 90 page graphic novel introducing the Dark Threads Universe.

Please Check Out The Campaign on IndieGogo

 

John: Welcome to and thank you for being a part of Indie Comics Showcase! Tell us a little bit about yourself.

 

Asche: Thank you for having me. I’m the founder of Smart Whimsy, an indie comic publisher and home to the Dark Threads Universe. I’m also the author of the debut graphic novel Dark Threads: Surfgirl.

 

 

John: What can you tell us about DARK THREADS: SURFGIRL?

 

Asche: It’s set forty-three years after an exotic particle ribbon from of deep space irradiated the planet, killing millions, and leading to the emergence of individuals with powers. The rest of the world hasn’t adjusted to having people with powers living among them, and the political situation has become a powder-keg. In the story, the suprahuman vigilante and cult hero Sparrowhawk has been arrested and is being transported by Agent Justice to the dark metropolis of New Grimm City.

 

 

The main story thread for the graphic novel follows Lanmé Noel, a sixteen-year-old who lives in Coastal Hills near the sprawling city of Las Animas, California. She inherited a totem, the veve of the loa La Sirene, who is the goddess of the sea in Haitian folklore. While wearing it, she gains the ability to draw on extra-dimensional energies to manipulate the atmosphere and control the weather. She tried, and failed hard at becoming a superhero named Surfgirl. So, she quit. That’s where the story starts. When things goes pear shaped, she has to face up to the decision she made to abandon that destiny.

 

 

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

Asche: I set out from the start to build complete comic universe. That’ll obviously take time to put in print, but I felt it was critically important that I have the framework in place from the very beginning. I’m planning ahead. Characters I introduce in the first volume will anchor key storylines as the universe grows.

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

Asche: I think a Wolverine comic from 92 or 93 was my first, but I can’t say for sure. My parents wouldn’t buy me comics often, and I was broke in college, so I didn’t really start reading comics in earnest until I was an adult.

 

 

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

Asche: There’s something about Superman: Red Son. It’s one of those stories that really stimulates my imagination. As far as biggest impact, I think it’d have to say it was the Death of Superman. I was still pretty young when it came out, but I remember how it changed everything. It was the first time I really saw how comic books mattered to people.

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

Asche: This project has been my chance to explore what I feel like is missing from contemporary comics, but within the framework of something familiar.

 

 

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

Asche: I draw inspiration from a lot of places. I can learn something from virtually every story I encounter, even if it’s just what not to do. As far as what I do while I’m working, it varies quite a bit. Sometimes I sit in my apartment in complete silence. Sometimes I work from a noisy coffee shop. The atmosphere that works best changes depended on my headspace. I try to operate from the perspective of, even if I fail, I can always get better.

 

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

ASCHE: It’s a chaotic mess. I’m constantly going down research rabbit holes. The main thing, at least with this project, I wanted to chase inspiration wherever it led. So, it took a while for the graphic novel to come together.

 

 

John: What is your hope for this project?

Asche: The aim is to firmly establish the Dark Threads Universe. I really do believe this story has an incredible amount of potential and I would love to explore it for a long time.

John: Once again ASCHE, I would like to say thank you for being a part of indie comics showcase. We wish you the best of luck on this campaign and all future projects.

Asche: Thank you!

Don’t Forget to please follow Asche on Twitter @SmartWhimsy

      

Please Check Out The Campaign on IndieGogo

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

 


Follow Indie Comics Showcase on Twitter at @Indie_Comics!

John Lemus

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