This week we had the distinct honor of landing an interview with a true self-made Indie Comic Entrepreneur, Lance Lucero — owner and founder of Warehouse 9 Productions Ltd.
Lance’s company publishes one of the most original comics we at ComixCentral have ever had the pleasure of reading, BOB: Non-Union Psychic. Not only is the illustration work of Francisco Resendiz a stunning feast for the eyes, Lucero and Volle’s writing keeps you turning the pages, giggling, eyebrow lifting and wanting more of that less than ordinary spunky hair stylist, BOB.
So without further adieu. Here is our interview with Lance Lucero- Non-Union Comicbook creator extraordinaire! Get out your pencils creators-in-the-making, he’s got some great advice you’re not gonna’ want to miss!
Hi Lance! Could you tell our readers a little bit about your company? When did you get your start?
Lance: The late 90’s. Warehouse 9 Productions, Ltd. was launched for the production of my independent feature film debut HUNTING FOR FISH (in the re-mastering process at present). https://vimeo.com/user2463860 . Originally, I considered myself a filmmaker, first and foremost, but then realized that it is important to keep producing projects in many different forms of media.
In 2015 I expanded the company into publishing, testing out the waters with the indie digital comic book BOB: NON-UNION PSYCHIC. I was a hit! So the series continues!
What made you decide to start creating Comics?
Lance:I had worked with Adam Volle (co-writer, editor BOB: NON-UNION PSYCHIC) on a screenplay many years ago. He’s a talented writer and a really big comic book fan. At the time Adam was about to get a segment that he had written and produced titled THE KLANSMEN IS DEAD published in a SHOOTING STAR Comics Anthology. That was really exciting to see! Adam is the real deal, so I knew he would be the person to work with if I ever wanted to dip my toe into the comic book industry.
In 2014, I thought the time was right, so I tapped Adam on the shoulder and pitched BOB: NON-UNION PSYCHIC to him. The rest is history.
What kind of comics does your company publish?
Lance: Warehouse 9 Productions publishes commercial without being typical, independent, underground, quality renegade stories. If a comic book fan is tired of the same-old-same-old, look to Warehouse 9 Productions and check out the BOB: NON-UNION PSYCHIC series! We will entertain.
Could you tell us a little about the team behind BOB:NON-UNION PSYCHIC?
Lance: Lance Lucero – writer, producer, director, editor, graphics designer, and comic book creator. / Adam Volle – writer and editor extraordinaire! A scholar, a teacher, a world traveler. / Francisco Resendiz – brilliant illustrator and colorist. Destine to be a star! / Cottrel Burks – Master web designer and graphics artist. Without Cottrel we would have no place to call home on the Internet. http://warehouse9pro.com/
What about Warehouse 9 stands out? What makes you guys unique?
Lance: What’s interesting about the comic book team at Warehouse 9 is the age difference, the cultural diversity, and living location. We reside in the United States and abroad. Of course, this is nothing new because of the digital age, but it’s reassuring to know that despite all the differences, there is a love and passion for storytelling and art. It’s the glue of the team and is helps create fun and exciting entertainment.
Everyone has moments that they’d like to throw in the towel, how do you get and then keep momentum on your projects during those times?
Lance: “Throwing in the towel” is not an option. That would be too easy to do in the independent realm.
They key is NOT to wait to be accepted by the gatekeepers. It’s the BOB mantra – “Bob Holbreck is not just a character in a comic book – he’s a STATEMENT. Why let the gatekeepers dictate who gets in?”
We live in a special time where a person can create a product and throw it out into the world without the backing of a major entity. Oh, sure it would be nice to have some major company knock on the door and offer a deal of some kind, but one has to be realistic and understand that’s probably not likely. Paying your dues is taking a risk on yourself; creating a quality work; standing on a table and yelling, “Look at me!”
It’s a long-term investment and rewards do not come initially in the way of a big payday, but rather in the way of a budding fan base and positive reviews.
In order for me to keep the momentum alive, it’s all about keeping the team together and creating awesome stories and promoting them any way you can.
Is there any advice you wish someone had given you when you were first starting out in the Comicbook industry?
Lance: I have always been a self-starter. I wish someone gave me advice, but I have just had to do my research and trust my gut.
What do you think the “big publishers” like Marvel and DC could learn from the Indie scene and vice versa?
Lance: That’s a tough question… I don’t believe Marvel and DC want to learn anything new, especially from the indie scene. They (Marvel and DC) are all about “re-inventing” the same materials that have existed for decades. I don’t think the big two are interested in new content. Plus – Marvel is owned by Disney and DC is owned by Warner Bros., which means they have nothing to worry about; they will continue to milk their titles to the end of time in all forms of media.
What have I learned from the big two…? Don’t get me wrong, I’m a long time fan and that’s the problem. I think it’s okay to be different. I want to create something that does not fit into the usual “standard. Independence is tough, but it’s also very liberating.
Do you cosplay?
Lance: I don’t cosplay, but Halloween is my favorite holiday. Which means special attention is paid to creating awesome costumes for parties and special events. Have a look at the amazing seamstress work of my significant other, Lori.
Reed Richards and Susan Storm of the FANTASTIC FOUR. Constructed out of athletic fabric, not spandex. We worked out for nine months before we stepped into these form fitting super hero outfits. Hey, if you want to be a super hero, you better get in shape like one!
And our crowning achievement to date, the famous 18th Century hairdresser Legros de Rumigny and doomed Austrian queen of France Marie Antoinette. Legros is featured in BOB: NON-UNION PSYCHIC #1 “The Legend of Legros.” There’s nothing cooler than dressing up as one of the characters from your own book!
Those are amazing, you guys are a creative powerhouse! Back to the questions: What is your ultimate goal in comics? What does the future hold for Warehouse 9?
Lance: The ultimate goal is to create more entertaining content and branch out to other forms of media. Hey, might as well think big, right?
Knowing what you know about the publishing industry and self publishing, what advice would you give an up-and-coming creator looking to get their comic into the hands of readers?
Lance: Incorporate. Protect yourself legally. Be prepared for a long-term investment.
Be prepared to run a marathon when it comes to promoting your product.
And with that sage advice kids, we’ll wrap it up!
We want to thank Lance for taking time out of his busy schedule to touch base with us and give the world a look behind the curtains at Warehouse 9.
If you’d like to learn more about Warehouse 9 Productions Ltd, connect with them or get in touch with Lance and his team, you’ll find great links below.
That’s all for now, go make some Comics!
Connect with Lance and Warehouse 9 Productions: