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Crowdfunding Roundup – May, 2018


Kaneesha the Graphic Novel

By Ben Miller

On Free Comic Book day I asked Ben Miller (the writer of Kaneesha) to pitch his book for me. He explained it as a character study of someone dealing with the most challenging decision of their life immediately after witnessing the most traumatic tragedy they’ve ever experienced… I was immediately intrigued.

The comic is about an African American female who’s brother is unjustifiably killed by the police. She now must choose what path to take for justice. Ben said the book is about her journey through grief and anger and what actions she struggles with choosing. Should she violently retaliate or rally her community to stand peacefully against the police department?


PLOT :

 From Ben: “On his way home from work Jerome is killed by the police.  His younger sister doesn’t know how to handle it. At the trial, even though Jerome was unarmed the officers are acquitted.   Enraged, Kaneesha sets upon a journey of Justice. Along the way she must decide if militancy or nonviolence is the correct path to seek equality.   I wrote this graphic novel after seeing multiple abuses visited upon the people of a neighborhood in Gary, Indiana. Kaneesha is a fictional story that is based on the reality of what it is like in places like Gary. “

 WHAT THEY NEED :

 $4,000 which will go entirely to printing the graphic novel.

 WHY YOU SHOULD BACK IT :

This book has been completed but shelved for some time now. I’ve heard him constantly asked at cons, “When’s this coming out?” or “How much longer ‘till we can get a copy?” It’s outstanding to see that it’s finally coming into the light. Ben’s almost halfway there from it finally being on your shelf. Back his book!

Follow this link to learn more and support this campaign »


The Maroon Volume 1: The Cursed Shadow

By Derek W. Lipscomb

I’ve ranted and praised Derek Lipscomb’s The Maroon in two different reviews. Once for CXC and another for Viddy-Well.com. The latter is a filmblog that encouraged me to share the review because of how cinematic Derek’s book was.

 It’s a Southern-fried historical fantasy that has its roots in classic western movies. This is one of my favorite series on CXC. There are equal amounts of imagination and badassness on each page.

 

PLOT :

Drawing from history, mythology, supernatural and high-adventure, The Maroon is a mature graphic novel series set in pre-Civil War America that follows the exploits of a mysterious Black Seminole fugitive, who is accused of a horrid act. Unsure if he has committed this atrocity or not, he must navigate lawmen, bounty hunters and supernatural fiends as he makes his way to refuge.

 WHAT THEY NEED :

 The goal is for $2,000. He’s just about halfway there with a little more than two weeks to go.

 WHY YOU SHOULD BACK IT :

 The $2,000 will go to printing a TBP of all 6 issues of The Maroon. Each issue plays out as a single arcing story that reveals more and more of our main character’s history. Its best read all at once, rather than single issue *in my opinion*!

Follow this link to learn more and support this campaign »


Thank you for checking out the Crowdfunding Roundup – May 2018  |  by Anthony Cleveland



After decades of lurking the backroom of his beloved comic shop, Anthony Cleveland released his first comic Silver Skin issue #0 in 2017. He spends most of his time tweaking his upcoming projects, reading an unhealthy amount of horror shorts, and slaving away at his day jobs.

Twitter & IG @ant_cleveland


 





 

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Superscript – Comic book Scripting Software | CXC Featured Kickstarter


Superscript

The first text editor built solely for writing comic books and graphic novels. Writers, meet your new sidekick.

About

Superscript is the humble, lovable, secretly powerful writing app designed exclusively for comic book writers. Superscript includes all the usual features found in other text editors, plus it automatically handles all the tedious and distracting tasks you would normally have to do manually when writing a comic book script.

Automatic Numbering

Automatic Formatting

Spoken Word Count

Autocomplete

Add Comments and Images

And more!

Preview Superscript for 7 days. If you like it, please back Superscript to make a wide release possible. If you think it could be better, please back Superscript to help us make it better.

Click here to be taken to the Kickstarter page to download your FREE TRIAL!

Notice: this is very much a work in progress. There are some known bugs and most likely several unknown bugs. This Kickstarter is meant to pay for testing and development to squash those bugs.

Hey, we interviewed Justin on the ComixCentral Podcast before he launched his Kickstarter.

[podbean resource=”episode=c9mcu-907972″ type=”audio-rectangle” height=”100″ skin=”1″ btn-skin=”103″ share=”1″ fonts=”Helvetica” auto=”0″ download=”0″ rtl=”0″]





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Crowdfunding Roundup – April 12, 2018

Colossal Chaos from Out of the Blue

I’ve outgrown most of the subgenres that I adored from my childhood. Superheroes bore me. Epic space fantasies just make me shrug and say “meh.” But for whatever reason, the ‘nostalgia tingles’ I get Kaiju genre haven’t faded for me. My nostalgia vibes were on overload with the teaser trailer for Colossal Chaos from Out of the Blue– a Kaiju anthology.

PLOT :

This is the fourth installment of the Out of the Blue anthology series. 57 comic creators from around the world helped put together this kaiju anthology. AmazingTales.net says, “Colossal Chaos is packed with twists on the theme, across a variety of genres. Oversized humans, gigantic space aliens, enormous city devouring monsters, behemoth insects, or just really big robots, every sci-fi trope of towering creatures is turned on its head.”

WHAT THEY NEED :

As I write this they have 20 days to go and a lot more to fund. They’re at $400 right now and have a goal set of $4,400. So there’s still a trek to go.

WHY YOU SHOULD BACK IT :

It’s a thick anthology — at 130 pages! The $50 + art rewards are awesome too. The standard trade paperback features cover art by Diego Galindo (Dynamite, Zenescope). There’s also a Kickstarter exclusive hardcover with wrap-around cover at by Kelly Williams (IDW, Dark Horse).  

Follow this link to learn more and support this campaign »


Chester & Grace: The Adirondack Murder

True crime is one of the most interesting genres I’ve seen done in the graphic novel medium, There’s classics like From Hell, Torso, Green River Killer, and My Friend Dahmer. Chester & Grace: The Adirondack Murder looks like a great addition to any true crime library.

PLOT :

Chester & Grace” is a story of love gone wrong. In the summer of 1906, young Chester Gillette drowned his pregnant girlfriend, Grace Brown, at Big Moose Lake in upper New York State. This is the true case that inspired Theodore Dreiser’s novel An American Tragedy and the later film “A Place in the Sun.

WHAT THEY NEED :

Their initial volume will be published in a small format (6″x9″), softcover, 92 pages, with one or two illustrations per page, and in full color. They’re really close to their goal and they only need a nudge to go over.

WHY YOU SHOULD BACK IT :

Because there needs to be more true crime comics that are done tastefully and with respect. This one looks like it does all that and adds a touch of class that is rarely seen in the genre.

Follow this link to learn more and support this campaign »


The Winter Year

The Winter Year first caught my eye with their cover. I loved the minimalist white outline of an owl with the title overlayed. As I went a little deeper into the pitch,  I was hooked by the description of the desperate tundra that the characters inhabit. This one looks bleak, bloody, and somehow hopeful in the midst of it all.

PLOT :

“Such things were once only whispers, though Garai, this family’s provider, has now proven them to be true – leaving him with little recourse in training with his son, Eshe.

As the arms of  this vicious winter wrap around Garai, he must come face to face with those who wronged him, and seek for dark truths amidst the tundra that he once called home.”

WHAT THEY NEED :

They’re about a grand and 22 days away. The budget for the comic is divided between reward fulfillment, artwork for issue 2, and Kickstarter’s fees.  

WHY YOU SHOULD BACK IT :

The artwork sets the tone for the book. It’s fridged and bleak, but there’s hope. It’s great to see a series where the art perfectly matches the script. If you’re looking for a meditative, brooding winter story — back this book!

Follow this link to learn more and support this campaign »


Thank you for checking out the Crowdfunding Roundup – April 12th 2018  |  by Anthony Cleveland



After decades of lurking the backroom of his beloved comic shop, Anthony Cleveland released his first comic Silver Skin issue #0 in 2017. He spends most of his time tweaking his upcoming projects, reading an unhealthy amount of horror shorts, and slaving away at his day jobs.

Twitter & IG @ant_cleveland



 




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So You Think You Know Comics with Professor Donnalyn Washington | Episode #36

So You Think You Know Comics with Professor Donnalyn Washington

Wanna learn the REAL reason indie comics are better than mainstream? Wanna know how comics and graphic novels could, should and are used in college English to teach storytelling, character development and even social psychology? Maybe you want a list of really good writers to learn from or maybe you just want to hear about the awesomeness of The Maroon comic. Look no further than the mistress of comic language and storytelling, professor Donnalyn Washington.

[podbean resource=”episode=ntxve-8e4ac9″ type=”audio-rectangle” height=”100″ skin=”1″ btn-skin=”108″ share=”1″ fonts=”Helvetica” auto=”0″ download=”0″ rtl=”0″]

Holy majestic brain power batman; we’re out-riddled this time for sure! I’m not gonna lie nerd nation, I could barely speak during this interview and thank goodness for that. After a mad-awesome power hour of comic knowledge download, I’ve come to realize that I’m undeserving of words. Donnalyn is the latest and final winner in our Comixcentral Birthday giveaway series and I could not have asked for a better surprise guest.

Donnalyn Washington

Things happened for a reason my friends and her podcast appearance was nothing short of on purpose. Just a few of her chess pieces on the comic information board include: multidimensional character development, subtlety in comics, how to approach a message inside a story, writing from experience and making the supernatural believable to an audience. If you want to learn how to be a better writer, this is THE episode. If you want a slice of this indie college knowledge, click the link to subscribe and download this gem. The skill is all on her side of the table ladies and gentleman, I just nodded my head in amazement.

Not only is this passionate professor a graphic novel junkie, she also dives deep into the research realm of our original African American writers, illustrators and influencers. She’s a contributor to the Encyclopedia of Black Comics. She’s a reviewer and senior editor over at reviewfix.com and she tells it like it is. True love of the comic medium (indie comics in particular) has never been manifested more elegantly than in this weeks interview. Did I forget to mention she’s an interviewer herself as well? I want to give special thanks to her older brother for introducing her to this world of comics at an early age. She supports numerous Kickstarter projects and will give you a list of indie comic companies that are changing the game one book at a time. Her desire to understand the language of heroism and humanity has brought a new level of respect to this art form that is sure to inspire writers and fans for years to come.

Twitter: @Notingshaw

Review website: www.reviewfix.com

Encyclopedia link

 






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Crowdfunding Roundup – February 2nd, 2018

crowdfunding-roundup-feb-2-2018-comixcentral

 

ZOMBIES’ END

The zombie sub-genre is a blast, but it’s a bit saturated with the “same old, same old.” How many zombie outbreak stories do we need? How many wasteland wandering zombie stories are there? …Well, how about a zombie story that deals with the end of the plague. We don’t have very many of those, do we? And that’s just ONE reason to back Zombies’ End!

PLOT :

“A living head in a bucket and his zombie daughter, who are said to hold the key to mankind’s survival, are transported by three brave soldiers through the apocalypse. As the head struggles to maintain sanity and focus, he realizes his disjointed visions are not entirely unreal and must convince mankind that the solution to this zombie horror will be more extraordinary than anyone imagines.”

WHAT THEY NEED :

FUNDRAISING STATUS: URGENT!!! 14 days to go and $6,000 to needed! Funds will go to production, printing, and shipping.

WHY YOU SHOULD BACK IT :

It sounds like a blast! A last stand / final mission type of story with a touch of Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia or Sin City’s The Big Fat Kill thrown in there. Give this unique zombie story a few bucks and see how the plague finally comes to an end!

ZOMBIES’ END- comixcentral

Follow this link to learn more and support this campaign »
twitter @garyscottbeatty  / Fb https://www.facebook.com/garyscottbeatty


GORE SHRIEK

New Gore Shriek issues could be on the way if this Kickstarter is successful! For those that aren’t familiar with Gore Shriek — This was one of the best horror anthologies of the 80s and featured many creators that are now huge names in the industry. A staple of this series was its no-holds-barred horror with some darkly imaginative artists.

GORE SHRIEK-comixcentral

PLOT :

A horror anthology that will produce three 48 page issues in 2018.

WHAT THEY NEED :

Previous Kickstarter and a demand from Gore Shriek fans led to the idea to create subscription plans and new comics. There’s about a month to go and $19,000 to get there.  A highlight of this Kickstarter is in the rewards. At just $10 you receive a digital subscription to the books for 2018. That’s a steal. And the rewards only get better and better.

WHY YOU SHOULD BACK IT :

Old school horror anthologies are making a come back ( check out Creeps for example ). Gore Shriek needs to be back too!  Who knows what other indie creators this book might launch or inspire!  
GORE SHRIEK-comixcentral 3GORE SHRIEK-comixcentral 2

Follow this link to learn more and support this campaign »

twitter: @FantaCoPublish


WE SHALL FIGHT UNTIL WE WIN

I’m a sucker for historical stories in comics, especially when they’re stories that don’t get as much attention as they should. We Shall Fight Until We Win is a graphic novel anthology that takes a look at some historical women from the UK over that last 100 years and tells their stories “in colourful, illustrated snapshots – some stories are well known, some less so – all worthy of note. “

PLOT :

The anthology features stories from a few women from each decade: “From suffragettes like Emmeline Pankhurst and Sophia Duleep Singh, through the defining ‘firsts’ in politics like Nancy Astor, the first female member of Parliament, and Diane Abbott, the first black woman to hold a seat in the House of Commons, to many of the women campaigning and heading up politics today, this graphic novel brings together a mix of creators across the UK to illustrate the numerous stories from the last century.”

WHAT THEY NEED :

They’re about a month away from a goal of $11K. Funds will be going mainly to their contributors and to printing.  “Both 404 Ink and BHP are publishers with numerous titles in their back catalogue and we’re comfortable with the process of creating publications and shipping worldwide between our two teams, and anticipate no problems.”

WHY YOU SHOULD BACK IT :

I’ll let them explain why-

“We wanted to create a reminder of how far women’s rights have come over a century and, conversely, where we have left to go. We’re looking back to the women who shaped our current climate or trailblazed.”

WE SHALL FIGHT UNTIL WE WIN - ComixCentral

Follow this link to learn more and support this campaign »

twitter @404Ink  @BHP_Comics


Thank you for checking out the Crowdfunding Roundup – February 2nd, 2018  |  by Anthony Cleveland

 





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2017 Comics Of The Year Awards

blog-headers_2017-comics-of-the-year-awards-comixcentral

 

The First Annual Comics of the Year Awards – 2017 Edition

2017 was an astounding year of firsts here at ComixCentral. When we opened the doors in March of 2017, we could have never imagined that so many incredible Comics of exceptional quality would be added to our marketplace in such a short time. We are overwhelmed with gratitude that the community we love so much has embraced us and chosen to sell their work on ComixCentral. We thank you all for joining us on this amazing journey, and we look forward to growing together for many years to come.

With that said, this year’s nominations were excruciating to choose. We love each and every comic on our site, and the competition was fierce! We’d like to thank all of you talented creators, and I hope you know how hard it was for our team to vote this year. But, as my 10th-grade gym coach once told me, “A little competition is good for the soul!” and we’ll add, great for our industry!

 We can’t wait to see what you have in store for 2018! And with that… here are this year’s winners!


“Best Fantasy” 

Comic”Skylin 001: Old Remnants

Long ago, the six nations fell victim to the ruthless tyranny of the Demon King and his Serpen. He burned all who opposed him and spared few. With little hope for liberation, nobles from each nation journeyed to an ancient floating city where they pleaded to the Spirits for help. Six warriors, one from each nation, were granted a powerful Serpen of their own, which they used to defeat the Demon King.

Buy Now »

 “Best Mystery”

The White Room of the Asylum

The White Room of the Asylum focuses on the tape-recorded memoirs of an old man named Steve who recently committed suicide. The tapes tell of the last period of his stay at the Soraberg Asylum and his discovery of what he came to call ‘The White Room.’ The White Room is an infinite space of pure white in which the residents can create anything they can think up. Over time more residents gain access to this mysterious place- Thus beginning a series of events that stretches Steve’s sanity to its limits, offers a chance at redemption, and leaves a man too broken to fix.

Buy Now »

 “Best Action”

Smart Bomb!! Level 1-2

Imagine an alternative gamingverse. One where TV games you’ve never heard of (yet, somehow, find oh-so familiar) are the norm. If only there was an awesome mix of comics and video games magazines to let you in on what’s going on? Thank Mr.Jump!’s ghost, it’s SMART BOMB!!

Buy Now »

  “Best Thriller”

Daughters of Knights – Chapter 1

Seraphine, accused of witchcraft, recalls the demon who slaughtered her companions and framed her. Daughters of knights is a medieval horror story about a disfigured girl, slaying monsters, and an uncomfortable, unconventional attraction.

Buy Now »

  “Best Superhero”

Humalien #1

In a future where humans are extinct. One was engineered in a lab to be a living biological weapon

Buy Now »

 “Best Horror

Bastard Son: Murderborn

Busted Knuckle Press presents: ‘Bastard Son: Murderborn’, a horror graphic novel. ORIGINS OF A SLASHER – 120+ PAGES OF BLOOD AND MADNESS! Created by Frank T. Allen & Marco “Sbrillo” Fontanili. Lettering by Taylor Esposito of Ghost Glyph Studios. Chapter One cover by Jacen Burrows.

Buy Now »

 “Best Sci-Fi”

Folklore Issue 1

A band of survivors travel across North America after a biological weapon turns the world’s greatest superheroes into horrifying abominations. The first issue of Folklore’s ongoing story, collected in this easy to enjoy PDF! Purchased issues help support the ongoing creation of Folklore, but you can find all our pages for free at http://folklorecomic.com/ or support Folklore directly by visiting our Patreon at patreon.com/Folklore

Buy Now »

  “Best Mature”

Dildo Boy Origins

Dildo Boy Origins is an XXX rated short comic which satirises the chauvinistic, adolescent male power fantasies of the superhero canon. Written, coloured, and lettered by Doktor Geraldo. Illustrated by Stefani Magician’s House. @DoktorGeraldo @MagiciansHouse In association with Digital Pastiche.

Buy Now »

 “Best Manga”

Samurai Shin Issue #1

Samurai Shin is highly influenced by anime such as Afro Samurai, Samurai Champloo, and Sword Of The Stranger

Buy Now »

 “Best Comedy

BOB: NON-UNION PSYCHIC #0 TRUE TALENT

Renegade Psychic. Professional Hairstylist. This is not your usual paranormal adventure. This is about the rise of a new kind of hero. Or, rather, the reluctant rise of a hero. Meet Bob Holbreck, a talented guy who has mad hairstyling skills. He owns and operates a nice little shop in the trendy part of town. His clientele is building with loyal customers. Bob truly knows what looks good on a customer before they do. How does he do it? How does he know what to do with a head of hair? Well, Bob has other talents. There are those who may consider it a gift. Like his great-grandfather, who is at odds about Bob’s future career choice. Bob just wants to be a hairstylist and make people feel good about themselves; Gramps wants him to cash in on his psychic abilities.

Buy Now »

  “Best LGBTQ+”

Alex Priest #1

In a world where vampires and demon ilk are very, very real, two agencies work to keep the world safe from the forces of darkness. Demon Eradication And Denial (DEAD LLC) is a corporate entity that charges itself with the training and employment of demon slayers – specialists in combating magical beings. Living Corpses that Bite (LC & B) is a tax exempt public entity that relies on time proven traditions to keep humanity safe from vampires. When hunting evil evolved into blue collar work, the evil had to evolve.

Buy Now »


 “Best Story Arc”

Project Shadow Breed #1

In the new millennia, SinTech, a private government contract corporation began developing a serum to turn ordinary soldiers into werewolves. With the backing of the US military, SinTech perfected the serum. In 2014, they created the first “wolf pack” of soldiers. What they didn’t expect to create was Marrok.

Buy Now »

 “Best Series”

WOLF HANDS: Season 1

Vaughn Miller is a mild-mannered cellphone plan salesman who was bitten by a dying werewolf. Now, whenever trouble rears its ugly head, he transforms into a werewolf….IN HIS HANDS! Pursued by the evil Professor Orchid and his army of Frankensteins, Vaughn turns to his far-more-capable girlfriend Jenny Rose to get him out of this increasingly sticky situation. Madcap adventures and cartooney ultra-violence ensue! Written by Justin Heggs with art by Nick Johnson.

Buy Now »

 “Best Overall” 

RAGS: PROLOGUE

Marine Corps Veteran Regina Ragowski is trapped naked and alone in the town of Paso Robles during the Zombie Outbreak. In order to survive she’ll need to avoid the zombies and find food, shelter and weapons…but most importantly….a clean pair of pants.

Buy Now »

Congratulations to all our first annual Comic of the Year Award Winners!

You can check out all the Nominated Comics here:

Get your Comics uploaded and available for sale on ComixCentral.com to enter the 2018 Comic of the Year Awards! 

 





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Episode #28 | Newton Lilavois

comixcentral_carousel_homepage_Episode-28-Newton-Lilavois

Do you struggle with juggling 9 to 5 obligations with your comic creativity? Are you a new writer in need of support? Are you desperate to find inspiration for the first page of your graphic novel?

Check out this new indie comic craftsman originally hailing from Haiti. Have no fear, Newton Lilavois is here! He’s also a genuine indie comic convert who started with our generic superheroes and graduated to the world of indie comics via Walking Dead. Like I always say, need an army? Zombies got yo’ back… unless they’re… hungry…

In addition to being a tremendous supporter of the indie comic movement through Kickstarter, he also happens to be a brilliant writer originally from Haiti. It doesn’t get much more topical than that and we’re grateful to have him on The Comix Central Podcast. He talks about the creative process behind Crescent City monsters. Both the story and the interview focus on the invaluable support that comes from family and what happens when it’s taken away. It’s a zombie twist with a backdrop of Haitien mythological history. Check it out or be left out.

Crescent City Monsters Page

He doesn’t shy away from his support of other indie comics. We talk Cognition, and The Werespider (a reimagining of the African folktale Anansi).  He admits drawing inspiration from other mediums like television. He references the online program Master Class as initial support though he doesn’t always take their advice. Most importantly, Newton talks about the love of the process. Storytelling is a long arduous task. As we all know, it’s not for the faint of heart. Simply “liking” your story just isn’t in the cards. Love is the only way to survive in this business. Luckily, most of the time it’s contagious. As the most successful members of the nerd nation will tell you, learn by doing. I’m excited to see Newton’s story develop. Keep up with him at www.Dreamfurycomics.com and remember friends, you can’t finish what you don’t have the courage to start in the first place.

Love the stories you tell, because they’re gonna be with you for a long time. – Newton Lilavois

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Connect with Newton

twitter Instagram




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Adam Ma & Colin Tan of Random Encounter Comics | Episode #12

Episode #12 – Interview with Adam Ma & Colin Tan of Random Encounter Comics

On this episode, Chris Hendricks goes behind the scenes with the dynamic duo creating the heroic horror, Folklore.
Learn how this awesome creative team handles long-distance creation, comes up with jaw-dropping new concepts and keeps the fires burning for the passion project, Folklore.

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Connect with Adam & Colin using the links below:

Adam Twitter  |   Colin Twitter   |   cxc profile: @folklore_comic   |  Folklore on Twitter


Our sweet intro/outro music is brought to you by Pleasure Pool! Thank you so much guys for letting us use your awesome tracks!

 


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CrowdFunding Round Up – July 15, 2017

comic book kickstarter

It’s the Mid-Month Crowdfunding Roundup Ya’ll!

How often do you utter these words… geesh, I wish I wasn’t bored right now! Well be bored no more friend! We’ve searched the Kickstarter vault & the web once more and found a treasure trove of eye popping entertainment to crush even the deepest bouts of boredom to death! Come, joy is waiting!!

With that, may we present the CXC Crowdfunding Bi-Monthly Roundup, July 15, 2017 edition.


by Ricky Lima  |    Kickstarter

http://kck.st/2swrW2l

Happily Ever Aftr is about a kidnapped princess who uses a dating app to find knights to come and rescue her. It also follows the princesses captor, Gretchen Grimhold, as she comes to terms with what love means to her. For generations, the firstborn Grimhold child has kidnapped a bride for marriage. So naturally, Gretchen follows tradition and kidnaps a beautiful bride for herself. This, unfortunately, does not sit well with her father who is not so accepting. Gretchen must now come to terms with her own sexuality as well as deal with the pressures put on her by her father.

The full graphic novel will continue the story of the kidnapped Princess Emily and her captor Gretchen. We’ll explore the struggle Gretchen has trying to understand how she fits into the world as she discovers her own sexuality. We’ll meet more hilariously pathetic suitors that try to rescue Princess Emily. And hopefully, the King will stop being a butt about the whole thing! The Happily Ever Aftr graphic novel is fun, heart-warming, and best of all THE WHOLE STORY.

A whole graphic novel?! You dang right a whole graphic novel. Over 110 pages of princesses, knights, dating apps, cheesy suitors, and self-acceptance.

Hooooweeee! It’s getting pretty gold in here! Come and throw some support and money at this amazing Graphic Novel project from Mr. Ricky Lima himself! Kickstarter has deemed this project worthy of the Gold standard and having supported the first book ourselves, we’re stoked to see what’s going to happen to all the Happily Ever Aftr characters. Will they find love, will they die excruciating deaths? Who knows?! Let’s make it happen people!

Kickstarter Campaign   |   Facebook 


 ‘Murder Most Mundane’ – Original Graphic Novel

by Mad Robot Comics |    Kickstarter

http://kck.st/2uNAaE7

Everyone loves a disturbingly gruesome murder mystery.

But how many murders are too many?

Murder Most Mundane is an original graphic novel set in a tranquil, idyllic village where the type of murders are inventive and the murder rate is somewhat high….

Inspired by TV detective shows where, each week, we tune in to find another poor victim brutally slain – shock and horror echoing throughout the local community – but no-one ever mentions the exact same thing happened just last week.

 

Barely a day goes by without a cold blooded bludgeoning or a calculated cruel poisoning. The death rates in these small towns or villages is higher than most war zones. 

Everyone remembers the murders – but no-one actually seems to care. Are we actually looking at a village full of serial killers?

Or, do the origins of this unusual status quo lie in the mythical traditions and unspoken dark secrets of the village’s historical past?

So we’re not sure who is going to be collecting the money for this one considering the team died in the trailer.. but we have faith it will find it’s way to SOMEONE who will send the swag! With all seriousness though, love the concept, love the art, love these guys! You’ll want to get your hands on this fantastic book and some of the great stuff that goes with it! So don’t miss out on pledging your support to this great Kickstarter project.. or they’ll murder you;)

Kickstarter Campaign   |   Facebook     |   Twitter


by Pixabits |    Kickstarter

http://kck.st/2skW8wB

Future Girl follows the story of a pre-teen girl with time traveling powers, as she – and her anxiety ridden best friend – learns how the choices we make shape the world around us. It’s got a “Captain Planet” kind of feel – with villains representing real world issues that the young heroes must face and overcome.

We’re super excited to see where this project goes. An inspiring story for boys and girls of all ages, Future Girl has an empowering message of hope. That your actions can make real change and everyone is responsible for the future we are creating together. Get behind this wonderful project and let’s bring Future Girl to pages near you! 

Kickstarter Campaign | thefutureiswatching.us  |


Lacey & Lily #1 and 2 – a girl and her dog saving the world

by Dave Dellecese|    Kickstarter

http://kck.st/2tLRjA9

Whew! This looks like a lot of fun! Takes us back to when comics where all about kicking ass with your dog and taking names of bad guys! This kid friendly, fun story with lively illustration is sure to delight and if you looking for a comic you can share with your little ones (you know, hooking them on comics;) then this is your chance! Come get involved and help Lacey & Lily find more adventures! 

Kickstarter Campaign  | laceyandlily.com


by  Carter Hutchison|    Kickstarter

http://kck.st/2urGxja

Not just a Comic being created here guys! This is a super cool idea we dig in a big way! Check out the video above to get a clearer idea of what these guys are up to, but believe us when we say, big things are happening here! Come get involved, support this kickstarter and submit your own work!  

Kickstarter Campaign  | Facebook 


Folklore Volume 1

by Folklore Comic |    StoreEnvy

Pre-orders are now open for Folklore Volume 1 hard copy edition! Volume one collects the first three issues of Folklore

 

Folklore is a superhero horror story that explores the aftermath of an era where the world’s greatest heroes have become the world’s deadliest threat in the blink of an eye. Most heroes are stripped of their powers, and the ones who remain are left twisted into shadows of their former selves — wandering the land crazed and without purpose. Survivors must band together to build new lives in the aftermath, but the more time passes the harder it is to remember the difference between history and the legends that remain.

The awesome guys from Random Encounter Comics are now taking pre-orders for Folklore Volume 1! You won’t want to miss out on this amazing story and gorgeous full color artwork in that signature painterly style we love so much. Come support these rad indie creators and get your paws on what is sure to be a comic collectors must have!  

unartifex.storenvy.com |  Facebook   |  twitter 


by Curtis|    Kickstarter

WOW! I have to say, the art in this one just jumped off the page and kicked me right in the.. uhem. Point being, the art is astounding. This team really knows what they’re doing! When they say they want to make a name for themselves in the Comicbook industry, they aren’t screwing around. This project MUST be funded! So let’s get behind this young up-and-coming international team and help them bring their dreams to life!

Kickstarter Campaign |  twitter   |  toinfinitystudios.com


by  Incarnate Games|    Kickstarter

http://kck.st/2tMcdPk

Here is what when through my mind as I watched this trailer. “WHAAAAAT???? oh my god. WHAAAAAAT?? I want this. SHIIITTTT! Take my money!” I think that says it all. So you get a badass board game and a graphic novel! I’m telling you, Kickstarters don’t get much better than this for people who dig games and comics. Come and back this amazing project; help the deserving creators get to the finish line!

Kickstarter Campaign incarnategames.com


And that’s it for now! If you’ve got a Campaign you think belongs on our list, let us know!

@comixcentral





 

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CrowdFunding Round Up – July 1, 2017

comic book kickstarter

Crowdfunding… AWAY!!

After digging through the fabulous Comicbook campaigns available on Kickstarter this month, we have found some real gems in the mix! This roundup features Cats, “Freaks” and a great medieval fantasy! So sit back, get yourself comfy and get ready to support some deserving Indie creators!

We give you the CXC Crowdfunding Bi-Monthly Roundup, July 1, 2017 edition.


by By Sky Ark Comics    |    Kickstarter

http://kck.st/2sjfoO1

An expansive new fantasy series, Hiraeth was written and created by Brent Hodges, featuring art and color from Peter Cacho and Gustavo Mendes.

Hiraeth centers around a group of strangers whose lives intertwine after they begin to see visions of an encroaching, lifeless void as it tries to swallow up the last known light in existence.

Trapped between colliding worlds, our protagonist Karina is one of many connected dreamers that will be tested beyond their limits to navigate the truth behinds the Gods responsible for their visions, their sins, and the fine line between good and evil – in a world filled with bloodshed, betrayal, magic and the need for redemption.

We came to this party a little late with only 5 days left for this all or nothing campaign! We really want to see this Comic funded guys, it’s a beautiful story crafted by expert story tellers and all around awesome guys. Come throw your support behind Hiraeth, get some great rewards and be part of bringing this exciting story to life!

Kickstarter Campaign


By Daniel Crosier  |    Kickstarter

http://kck.st/2tEepbN

SHOWDEVILS #4, based on the very real sideshow performance duo SHOWDEVILS featuring THE ENIGMA (X-Files, Ripley’s Believe It Or Not, Making Monsters), and SERANA ROSE with SHEA FREELOVE of CIRCUS EMPORIUM. The comic book depicts the Show Devils misadventures best summed up as Scooby-Doo meets Rob Zombie’s The Devil’s Rejects. The new book concludes as a series of short stories with Daniel Crosier (Distortions Unlimited, Vincent Price Presents) writing and providing cover art, with artists DION HARRIS (The Burning Metronome), J. JAMES MCFARLAND, and RIO BURTON published by Misassembly.  We hope to unveil SHOWDEVILS #4 at DENVER COMIC CON, 2017, with The Enigma in attendance.

SHOWDEVILS #4 picks up where #3 left off with The Enigma, Serana Rose, and Shea Freelove en route to their next gig.  This leads them having to deal with self-abusive serial killer, a voltron creature made of many burlesque performers, and ultimately their arch-rival, the maniacal Mr. Osgone.

Whew! This one hit us right in the creative hole! Just watch the trailer and you’ll get an idea of what we’re talking about. It might be our fascination with old timey “freak shows” or it might be the artwork that kicked us right in the junk, but anyway you cut it.. this comic looks like a lot of eye popping fun! Step right up folks and lay your dollar down to get a hold of some great swag, an opportunity to be part of the creative process and of course, a dope comic to blow your mind!

Kickstarter Campaign    | odamfeimud.com   |   Facebook


By Sebastian Chow |    Kickstarter

So France shot a cat into space?!! Yup this comic is waaaay up our alley! Weird history, sci-fi, CATS! Sebastian’s obvious love of the comicbook medium shines through every inch of this one man Comic creation machine; color us impressed! Come support this fascinating and exciting comic, get some sweet rewards and help CATapult this book to the finish line!

Kickstarter Campaign    |  sebastian-chow.com |   Facebook


By  Caleb Thusat |    Kickstarter

If we had to pick one word to describe how we feel about this comic, it would be FASCINATING. Support this brilliant Sci-fi creation by Caleb Thu, exploring reality and get great rewards and a mind bending, though provoking comic for the curious at heart. 

Kickstarter Campaign    |  villagecomicbooks.com


By  Mike Slade|    Kickstarter

A comic where accidents happen. Or maybe it’s just your super-powered sister causing you to explode while in the gymnasium. Same thing.

http://kck.st/2sRpIxc

We love this campaign for a couple of reasons. 1- It’s about social tolerance and acceptance and we’re all about inclusion, diversity and loving our fellow humans! And 2 – the art and story look amazing! Come support a wonderful, and much needed comicbook and feel good about doing it!

Kickstarter Campaign | Facebook


And that’s it for now! If you’ve got a Campaign you think belongs on our list, let us know!

@comixcentral


 

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CrowdFunding Round Up – June 15, 2017

indie comic kickstarter

My Kickstarter Sense is Tingling!

It’s the middle of the month, and that means it’s time for us to dive into the crowdfunding comics world again and bring to surface some awesome campaigns that deserve to see the light! Let’s do it!

We give you the CXC Crowdfunding Bi-Monthly Roundup, June 15, 2017 edition.


By Jonathan Goff     |    Kickstarter

BIG HITTERS #1, kicks off a sci-fi comic series by Jon Goff (Destiny), Travis Sengaus (Adventures of Spawn) & FCO Plascencia (Batman).

BIG HITTERS is a full-color sci-fi, buddy comedy, action/adventure crime story about a pair of hitmen trying to make a living on both sides of the law in a post-war galaxy.

Just watching that trailer gave me goosebumps! Killer art, killer story line… this one’s a winner! I mean really, who could say no to a description like this “Think Lethal Weapon in space-meets-Guardians of the Galaxy in the streets, raised on Saturday morning cartoons and R-rated movies.” Come pledge your support for these talented guys, get some comics and some sweet swag while you’re at it!

Kickstarter Campaign    |    Twitter


A UK original independent comic about three of the WORST best friends ever!

By Paul Harrison     |    Kickstarter

Urban Squirrel is all set to hit the streets with a dull furry thud. Crazy comic stories and down the track, animated adventures. The first comic episode is here, but if you want to know what happens when a fruit war gets hopelessly out of hand, then you will have to give me your support to get the rest done. With your help this squirrel can live.

http://kck.st/2sxYs6B

Urban Squirrel is a young teen growing up in the big city. An ice cool head in a rough and tumble world. Luckily acid wit and lightning reactions is just what it takes to get by round here.

 

Interactive animated 360 media is where Urban Squirrel adventures is headed but first we’re dishing out classic comic book pages! Here’s a little tasty interactive 360 YouTube HERE!

Not only can you get involved with bringing more of this hilarious urban squirrel to comic pages, but you can also get your hands on some awesome swag! Including hand painted figures.. what??? Yes! Paul Harrison has really created something special here and his obviously creative skater personality is showing up in everything he touches. Get behind this campaign guys, and as Paul says, “Let’s get this squirrel off the ground!”

Kickstarter Campaign    |   www.urbansquirrelisthenuts.com 


By Benjamin Kreger  |    Kickstarter

http://kck.st/2sPux6G

These guys just might have the best Kickstarter trailer of all time! Give it a watch and then throw your money at this insanely talented team who are not clumsy, amateur Hacks! 

Kickstarter Campaign    |   blacksuitofdeath.com   |   Facebook


By Allen Watson  |    Kickstarter

Drachein is an American fantasy epic set in a vast continent bearing the same name: Drachein. Drachein is a nation made of many tribes, collectively known as The Drachein. The Drachein are divided by their endless differences, yet united in their stand against the mighty Second Empire. With their enemy initially vanquished, the Drachein fell when their internal differences grew too tall. The malevolent survivors of the Second Empire regained strength in the cracks of the divided nation of Drachein and with a final blow destroyed the remnants of this once mighty people. Hence forth, the nation of Drachein was nothing more than ruins and empty memories.

Aiyana, just a young girl, faces the aftermath of this conflict, not knowing that she is the last of the Drachein royal bloodline. Living as the protégé to Kanna, Aiyana must overcome her obstacles and reunite the Drachein once more.

Just 2 highschool buds creating an epic fantasy comic. We can really feel the love from these guys being poured into this book and we’re sure you guys will too! Pledge your support and get your hands on Drachein!

Kickstarter Campaign    |   shrptooth.deviantart.com


By Swamp Line Productions    |    Kickstarter

http://kck.st/2tiVmjJ

This one just jumped right off the page at me! Love the energy and excitement on every page! Just so much fun to be had reading this comic! Get behind ToothVille and let’s make it happen!

Kickstarter Campaign    |   swamplinecomics.com   |   Facebook


And that’s it for now! If you’ve got a Campaign you think belongs on our list, let us know!

@comixcentral





 

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Evian Rising: A Lesson in Love

evian rising comic review

What’s up manga misfits? Today we examine the architectural odyssey of Evian Rising. I do not use the word “odyssey” lightly.

As it stands, if Stephen King’s Pennywise is considered “the eater of worlds,” then Latravious Calloway may very well be the clown’s antithesis. A kind, meticulous designer whose love and devotion for his wife and daughters created a universe. That’s a pretty strong monument to unity and family compared to your last-minute-no-thought-sad-sack-cuz-girls-like-singing-things-sometimes purchase of Pitch Perfect 2 from Walmart ‘ay Jim.

Evian Rising’s creator seems to have the corner market on lavish love letters in the form of a martial arts fantasy/anime mashup.

His journey is crafted upon a sculpture of feminism that is both timeless and modern, broken from the mold of diversity, mythology and vengeance. The magnetism of the main character comes from her decisive nature. It’s up to you as the reader to decide whether the ends justify the means, but I can appreciate the story’s attempt to demonstrate the power human charisma can have over blind faith. The protagonist is both blunt and empathetic, similar to the likes of Salt or Lara Croft, and she’s just as mysterious.

With only one issue thus far, backed up by an unfinished 60 plus wikia page chalked full of backstory, character descriptions, and skill trees, it’s clear this arc is going to be a very long trip. Thankfully, we could all use a new heroine addiction. It feels a little bit like Dungeons and Dragons grew lady parts and flew into space. I’m down with that.
Since Latravious uses the graphic novel medium as a means to redefine the term “passion project,” I thought it might be best to express the creative process of Evian in the form of a sonnet, one love letter for another, if you will. A bit strange perhaps, but more than appropriate considering our topic is a little out of this world.

Evian Rising: A Sonnet

When stars could not keep locked the heaven’s lore

And humans learned the truth from stranger things

The beings with new faith were slaves no more

God’s idle hands were tricked by freedom’s ring

But while her ring burst forth with good intent

Her voice broke through the masters lazy rest

His morning fury came without consent

And stole the light the new believer’s blessed

But though the night brings monsters in his wake

The light gave birth a wish upon her death

A star with mother’s skin and daughters strength

Who would return the power that hope left

A warrior countess born without a past

Will fight to give the cosmos truth at last

~

While I’m not as familiar with our story as Latravious must be, the vast nature of its lore along with our author’s attention to detail must be nothing short of poetry.

Though it might be easy to label this tale as 2 years in the making, there’s something about the venture that is honestly timeless. While love may be the most widely worded topic in the land of art and literature, that’s only because it reminds each of us why we tell stories in the first place. That is, to tell the truth.

While I wish Evian’s rise to be a successful one, she can rest easy above the clouds knowing she’s supported via a rare and devoted romeo who really wanted to put a new spin on those three little words we all know in a big way. While we all want our creativity to shine far and wide, we often forget the value of genuine depth under all that noisy expectation. It’s all pretty wild considering a universe this big can exist around a single focal point.


This is the kind of creative journey we can always feel more than anything else.

It reminds us that “I love you” is never boring and always matters. Don’t take my word for it. You don’t need a class in Shakespeare or a course in etiquette to tell a good story. You simply need to place your heart in the hands of someone you love and let her do the talking. I have a feeling she’ll have a lot more to say than you think.


For more information about Evian Rising check out her home on the web: https://www.evianrising.com/





 

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Crowdfunding Monthly Roundup – May 2017

comic book crowdfunding may

Hoooooweee, have we got some incredible Crowdfunding Campaigns to share!

Guys, we scoured Kickstarter this month to find you some amazing options on which to spend your dollars, make some dreams come true and be entertained AF! We’ve got some real gems in this May edition, so sit back, get that scrolling finger warmed up and let’s get started… KICKSTARTED that is!

And with that amazing play on words, may we present, the CXC Crowdfunding Monthly Roundup, May 2017.


KICKSTARTER

Emily Green is a struggling politician. She is the second-in-command of the British government, but her personal life is falling apart, she doesn’t believe in the political system anymore and she is preparing to quietly step down from her position after the upcoming General Election.

Jump into the Queen universe that Graphic Policy’s Brett Schenker, who works in politics, describes as

“About as authentic as you can get.”

After reading about the personal struggle that led creator Jamie Me to create Queen, we knew this was an important series and wanted to do our best to get the word out so he can continue to bring these incredible stories to life.

We think you should check out this campaign and throw your support behind this extraordinary team as well. Whether that means backing or sharing, let’s help these guys reach the widest audience possible, and help Queen find it’s home among every indie fan’s collection. 

Kickstarter Campaign   |    Twitter    |    Facebook


KICKSTARTER

Seemingly unrelated Horror and Sci-Fi stories in one gnarly 66 page comic book. Gross, gore, guest artists, grind-house style goodness!

http://kck.st/2p2Y5vc

What the Hell is KURU Anyway?

This phenomenal team would like their associated, Rod, to clue you lovely folks in about what exactly this sexy new book is all about!

Kuru is a horror comic book series that creator Brian Flint has been working on for the past year. The stories lean towards a Monster Movie/Science Fiction vibe with elements of Body Horror and a few Occult themes. His goal was to create a comic with crazy visuals, scary supernatural creatures and that grisly gory good stuff we all love to see in our favorite horror media. Couple that with unique, funny, likable characters and BLAZAM! You’ve got HELLBO-(ahem!)-you’ve got KURU!

This campaign has left us a little more than speechless. From the artwork to the professionally produced trailer to gripping storylines, Kuru #1 is more than a horror comic… it’s an experience. And in our humble opinion, it’s an experience everyone should partake in.

Drink heartily from the well of creativity being offered here my indie brethren, you are sure to have your thirst quenched! 

Kickstarter Campaign   |    Website    |    Facebook


KICKSTARTER

Issue one and issue two packages available – “What you see, what you can see, what you think you know; it tilts.”

http://kck.st/2qFJEBW

Show this campaign some love in its final days and get yourself some of these insanely creative comics and sweet swag too!

Kickstarter Campaign   |   Twitter    |   Website


KICKSTARTER

Derik Diaz is funding a print run for the over-sized second volume of his retro 90s action-adventure comic, The Adventures of Toad!

http://kck.st/2ppAd56

YES!! Get in on this guys! To quote the trailer, “Let’s destroy this goal with a webfooted kick to the face!”

Kickstarter Campaign   |   Website


KICKSTARTER

MONSTERS! LOST WORLDS! UFOs! The strange and unknown! Karl Kesel and Tom Grummett finally finish the comic they began 17 years ago!

http://kck.st/2qzV0UG

These dudes have a lofty goal, but totally doable with a book and team like this! Let’s make this happen! Also.. guys, these books take me back to 90’s X-Men.. and my nostalgic tears are flowing. 

Kickstarter Campaign   |   Facebook


And that’s it for now! If you’ve got a Campaign you think belongs on our list, let us know!

@comixcentral


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Gilbert Deltrez: Demons, Dreams, and Determination

Hello again, my fellow spawn of supernatural storytelling.

Today, I’m tempting the pentagram in an effort to understand the tortured tenacity of Gilbert Deltrez. Let us join him on a foray of flesh flying fanaticism. We’ll delve into various dark projects, crush some Kickstarter, and learn about the inspiration monster within. If you’ve got the courage, let’s do some dimension hopping with a devilishly kind comic chameleon. If we’re lucky, we’ll get back here in one piece, covered in a new shade of red of course.


Chris: Hey Gil, thanks for joining us man! First off, how long have you been dreaming up demons? Sometimes people use art to release the nightmares they have in their heads. Is your process more cathartic, or do you simply love the macabre? For me, it’s a little bit of both I’m afraid.

Gil: As an 80’s child I kinda grew up with a deep infatuation to horror. Movies like The Pit, Child’s Play, Nightmare on Elm Street, and The Exorcist ruined me in all the right ways. As much as I love a good ghost story, they don’t do anything for me. Ghosts can’t hurt you. Demons can. Their effectiveness stems from the morality of one’s spirit. For me, the demonic subject alone has compelled me to flesh out narratives that evoke people to search within themselves. 

Gilbert Deltrez

Chris: Did your parents have any influence on your artistic choices, or even your vision to pursue art as a career? Sometimes it’s harder for parents to get behind a young artist’s obsession, especially if it has darker themes. As an artist myself, I’d love your take on things.

Gil: My artistic endeavor came after much soul-searching, and coming to the realization that a career in the arts wasn’t something that’s inherently viewed as attainable in my cultural circle as a Latin American. But in a general sense, my parents were behind me. Realistically, they didn’t view comic book writing as a career worth pursuing, or investing money in, but for me, obviously it goes way beyond a means to make money. It’s a way of life. It’s sharing a distinct viewpoint that only I am capable of. It’s a voice. Although the darker themes may spurn some, my message is ultimately one that brings light. 



Chris: Tell me about “Under the Flesh.” Is that the story that got you started with indie comic dreams, or were there prior attempts? Why did you have to tell that particular story?

Gil: “Under The Flesh” is very special to me. It was my first jump into the world of comic book creation. I learned by making tough mistakes. What started as my personal love letter to the zombie genre evolved into a psycho-spiritual apocalypse story. We’ve already completed three issues of a six-issue arc.

Chris: My understanding is that LAIR is a 60- or so page, one shot graphic novel, as opposed to broken down issues of UTF. As a writer, what freedom do you experience in a one-and-done scenario like LAIR? What challenges do you experience that didn’t apply to UTF?

Gil: LAIR is all about closure. As an avid comic reader, it gets hard to keep up with all the glorious comic book fodder available for our optic spams. So many Issues. Volumes. Trades. Because of that, I wanted to write a complete story. Something with a beginning, middle, and end, where readers can gauge my work. Like a mini movie in comic book form.

Chris: What’s your process like? I love storytelling but I struggle with outlines. I tend to start with a situation and let my brain figure out the story from there. Do you feel outlines are necessary? What’s your best advice for new writers?

Gil: Everyone has his or her own method. Style. Routine. Mantra. I don’t mind outlines. I’ve written stories which started from a cool title that just popped in my head or a scene that manifests subconsciously from something else. I’ve even created a project that sparked from a bizarre dream. Usually, once key pieces are in place, I figure out the cast, plot, overall direction, and then start handwriting before I type it out. But outlines are pivotal. And in other cases, not so much.

Chris: How does the off-duty cop in LAIR differ from the super-soldier in UTF? They both seem like gritty individuals with their own personal struggles, but I’d love to gain an understanding of the character depth.

Gil: In UTF, our super-soldier is eager to channel his untapped power in an apocalyptic world. He’s unaware what he’s capable of and wants to push his limits, even if it puts himself in immediate danger. He’s a man of faith. He’s not utterly hopeless. In LAIR, our off-duty cop is a brash, irreligious man who’s tired of being typecast by society, even though he’s a cop. His pride is so strong that he’s willing to walk away from the woman he loves because he can’t stand her elitist father.

Chris: You seem like a Kickstarter veteran. As an indie creator who has learned a lot in a relatively short period of time, what is the most important piece of advice you can provide?

Gil: DON’T GIVE UP. If you’re determined, you’ll tough it out. I’m as marginalized as they come, and my path to publication is double the uphill with triple the battle. My goal is to finish what I start. As a comic book writer, there are many things out of my scope of control, so I like to focus on what I have power over.

Chris: Speaking of which, you’ve got a lot of faith and courage attached to the 10k goal for LAIR. Where does that kind of courage come from, and how can we help get it out there (besides just telling our friends, of course)?

Gil: Faith is what gives me my courage. I believe in LAIR. I financed the finished cover and first page out of pocket because I’m confident in the strength of the project. Sadly, since I don’t have a disposable income, I need to rely on crowdfunding to shoulder the burden. Anyone that knows comics can see that the creative team behind LAIR is of the highest order. We’re all self-taught artists, respectively, and we all suffer from delusions of grandeur. We’re unknown, which makes getting word of our project all the harder. We’re banking on word of mouth because my voice doesn’t hold much weight in the comic world right now. Hopefully that will change slightly with LAIR.

Chris: I see various influences in your work. I like the “Walking Dead” vibes, and with all these demons, The Exorcist has got to be in there somewhere. Based on a limited understanding of our heroes, I’m gonna guess… Frank Castle is hidden in the shadows as well? Who’s your biggest influence as a storyteller?

Gil: Frank Castle is one of my favorite superheroes after Batman and Spiderman. As far as influences? I’ve got many. Romero, Fulci, Tarantino, Stephen King, Koontz, Joe Hill, Kirkman, Snyder, James Wan, and Jordan Peele. But my biggest storytelling influence comes from a prophetic humble man who rode a donkey while claiming to be king for his people.

Chris: Finally my friend, what’s the most exciting thing in your life outside of LAIR at the moment?

Gil: The most exciting things outside of my life are the underprivileged third grade students I serve five days out of the week. I hope to inspire them as if I was clad in spandex with a gust of wind winnowing beneath my cape.


There you have it, admirers of the underworld.

My expectations were exceeded yet again. Gil is not only a well-read dreamer, but as humble as they come. He’s brave enough to explore a harsher side of humanity, and I, for one, am brave enough to follow him into the depths. We’ve not only managed to survive a stroll in the gorgeous midnight gardens of good and evil, but also somehow managed to come out brighter on the other side. Gil’s work is indeed a worthy search of the soul. Like the best storytellers, he entertains us in the most “graphic” sense of the word while also telling us the truth in secret. It seems we must grab hold of the darkness tightly if we are to find the light within.

To contribute to Gil’s Kickstarter, learn more about his work or just connect, you’ll find all those links below:

Kickstarter – Lair

twitter: @GilbertDeltrez

Website: http://www.undertheflesh.com/





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J Adam Farster: The New Blue Bomber

j adam farster

What’s up, super seekers? It’s time for another life dive dance, and I’m happy to cut in.

For today’s episode, I get to slice through the mental majesty of J Adam Farster and his 4 piece 80’s arc explosion, Humalien. It’s wild whack-attack, GotG meets Family Ties vibes sound like the Happy Days, all-ages, oddball orchestra everyone hears coming from the pit of their soul. It’s accidental humor meets an electric slide surprise. By the way, he does all the illustration and storytelling himself. Enough jib-jab. Let’s explode onto the scene.

J. Adam Farster / Humalien

Chris: Hey Adam. Thanks for joining us. First off, where do you fit into Humalien? Why was it so important for you to tell THIS story?

Adam: Well, in the 1900’s (’99) I had the idea and self-published a book called Y4K.  It is essentially the same as Humalien, just not as polished.  I hit some cons and showed my work around with overwhelming rejection.  I had a lot of negativity at cons, too.  It was extremely defeating.  In reality the work wasn’t great.  So I backed away and was working as a graphic artist.  I drew little comics here and there.  There were a lot of starts and stops, all the while still loving the story I had created in Y4K.  

It was almost 3 years ago talking with a friend, and then with my wife, and them both telling me to “just make the thing.”  So I re-branded, put together a Kickstarter, and made the thing.  

It was nice to make it through the project and have some extremely positive responses to the book.  It had to be time, and what I put into it, this time it feels different to be making comics.  I think it was important to complete the first 4-issue arc. There were ups and downs along the way, but ultimately having a completed project was rewarding.



Chris: Did you always intend on being the illlustrator and the storyteller? In my experience, collaboration makes it easier to market because you have more than one person pushing the content. What was it like being the lone genius? 

Adam: I like being a storyteller.  I like illustrating, but writing and coming up with ideas and figuring it all out is part of the fun.  I also have control issues; I like to be the one making the creative decisions.   Making an independent book is also a lifestyle.  You get back what you put in.  I can’t blame anyone for my failures/successes.  It all falls on me.  Not to say I don’t and won’t collaborate in the near future (foreshadowing). It just wasn’t my goal starting out.  

J. Adam Farster

Chris: Speaking of that, I read that one your most challenging things was building a brand. What was your process like? Do you have any specific MUSTS for fellow creators out there? Did Midday Monster sketches come out of that process? 

Adam: It was really just finding an audience, which I’m still looking for.  Exposure is tough in a crowded market.  I’m really just figuring it out as I go.  

As far as a MUST, I think creators need to be ok with failure. You are going to do it a ton.  Working out of that and learning is a big part of being a creator. Also, find a group of creator friends.  Start a group. Go to local drink & draw events.  Having people to bounce ideas off of is a great resource.  Plus it makes you become more social.  Sometimes you can create with them.  The group I am part of released an anthology book earlier this year called Lush.  

Midday Monsters was a plan I had that hasn’t really happened…YET.  I would like to do more live streaming and teaching/tutorials.  I just need to make time. 

My process is this:  have an idea, write a rough outline, then sketch, thumbnail, and get to work.  I have an idea and try and hit all the beats I want.  I work 100% digital with Sketchbook and Photoshop using a Cintiq, so it all goes fairly smoothly. 

J. Adam Farster

I’m working on a couple ideas right now, and I draw a lot in a sketchbook to understand the feels of characters before I can commit 100% to doing an entire book with them.  It needs to feel organic.

Chris: I checked your review on Roast.com. That must have felt pretty good. How do you handle criticism of your work? What was the most constructive advice you’ve been given as a creator? 

Adam: There have been some kind things said about Humalien and a few pretty terrible things.  When someone GETS the book, they get it and it makes me happy for days.  Some people are turned off by the art or the limitations of the story.  I’m just trying to make something fun. Everything doesn’t have to be for everyone.  I make stuff I would like to have read or would like to read and see.  You don’t see me doing a lot of superhero art because everyone does it.  How many versions of Deadpool or Batman are there out there?  They are great characters and have amazing talents working on the books.  It just isn’t what I set out to make.

The most constructive advice I’ve ever gotten was to keep making comics.  You don’t need a major publisher or anything. Anyone can make comics.

I tell this same thing to people when they ask how to get into it.  Just make your thing, put it out there.  Rinse.  Repeat. 

Chris: As far as the Humalien heroes: Ed and Plato seem brave and reckless, whereas Kuhl and Kyrja look before they leap. Which pair is more like your life style? 

Adam: I’m totally Kuhl.  He is the one who has to overthink and be the one hiding rather than right in the mix.  Ultimately I’m Ed though, even though he is all action, he is an outsider with a bunch of weirdos around him.  However, I’m sure I am the weirdo surrounded by normal people.

Chris: Speaking of reckless. I love the humorous dynamic between the characters. The dialogue seems natural. Was it easier to write the dialogue than the big picture details of the story, or was it the other way around? 

Adam: I write all the dialogue last.  I have all the art done and go in and make it flow the way I feel that is natural. Dialogue is tough to get the beats, and most of the humor is accidental.   

As long as the art hits all the story beats, then it seems to work. I have completely scrapped pages because they didn’t work sometimes 2 days before printing.

Chris:  I definitely see the 80’s vibe in the comic. You’re also clearly a Star Wars fan (Me too– WHO ISN’T?!). I also read that you were much more influenced by film and cartoons than comics themselves, at least initially. Is that true, and how has that impacted your animation style? 

Adam: I still am.  I think that film and animation are great.  There are some great comics that inspired me to take a shot.  Ultimately, it’s 80’s action/toy cartoons and movies that made me want to be a storyteller.  

Chris: I saw a sketch of Jason in your collection. I loved it. Do you have an appreciation for the hack-and-slash horror genre, and has that impacted your story telling in any way? 

Adam: I have a huge affinity for the Halloween, the first few Friday the 13th’s, and Nightmare on Elm Street movies.  I don’t think it has impacted me at all other than I love creating monsters and menacing villains.

J. Adam Farster
J. Adam Farster

Chris: Where did the idea of spontaneous combustion come from as a superpower? That’s really unique to me. Is that where the Chuck Jones/Looney Tunes influence comes into play? 

Adam: I read something about spontaneous combustion in high school, and it always fascinated me.  I thought about it a lot.  I thought of it like an electrical fire, and how cool it would be to harness the electrical power from your body and be part alien. 

Chris: I saw you went to animation school. What did you love about it? What was challenging about it? Was there a lot of critique involved (like a typical art school), or did you experience a lot of freedom? 

Adam: I did.  I went to Columbia College in Chicago.  It was great. I wanted to be Chuck Jones or Bob Clampett.  I really loved Ren & Stimpy and what John K was doing, too. While we had projects to do, we were allowed to do what we wanted with them. Critique was more on technical skills, rather, so you had a lot of room to experiment creatively.   I still love 2D and stop motion animation more than a lot of what we have going on right now.  

Chris: What’s the most exciting thing happening in your life right now outside of comics/creativity? 

Adam: I have a 3-year-old daughter, and she is the most exciting thing ever.  Everything is new, and seeing something through her eyes is so much fun.  

Adam really embodies everything representative of the indie spirit.

His grace while walking the tightrope of encouragement and criticism has provided space for a master class in independent artistry. His storytelling abilities have been crafted into a reliable catharsis of sorts. I’m excited for the next arc. If you want charming lessons in sibling rivalry, action and loyalty than look no further than Humalien. If you need a wise friend to help you navigate the oddities of life, look no further than Adam himself. He may not be a blue robot from the future, but I’d hop on the Ed express if I were you. There’s something truly “mega” in store for the man who’s just alien enough to sketch a new shade of the human experience.

J. Adam Farster

To learn more about what Adam is up to, buy his work or just connect, check out the links below:

AdamFarster.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/adamfarster

CXC: @farster13

ComixShop: Floor 13 Studios 





 

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Masks: An Apocalypse Worth Dying For

indie comic masks

Let’s start with Stanley Ipkiss. Remember? The 1994 comedy smash hit you loved when you were 7 years old because, well, Jim Carrey? ALLRIGHTY THEN!

Take his mischievous nature, and turn the psycho factor up really high.

After that’s done, move him from Eagle City to Los Angeles (because let’s be honest, it’s L.A. anyway). Easy right? Now, start lots of riots; blow up everything; kill almost everyone; fast forward about 70 years or so, while somehow feeling stuck in the past; find a way to act creepy and nonchalant at the same time; and become oddly obsessed with finding the one comic that’s really a book, that’s really a bible (maybe, I think). Congratulations! You’ve now sort of skimmed the surface of Masks #1, a new indie comic from story magician Daniel Warner and illustrator extraordinaire Matias Zeballos.


Wow! What a war-torn western celebration of mysterious sadness!

It’s like Stephen King and Quentin Tarantino made sweet dude love in a cave, and a whole population of identity-crisis-covered children came marching out the other side.

Our dark, quiet world sugarcoated in mystery and death is divided into two types of people.

The Maskless (straight shooters with well-revealed intention) and yes, you guessed it, The Masks. It seems that these shady types are the bread and butter of our massacre meal. Thankfully, though, the basic concept is merely an appetizer.

The story gnaws at a basic, enduring, and natural question of identity; however, our main protagonist does a brilliant job of walking the line between a likeable mystery man and a time bomb whose ticking pulls our eyes toward an explosion we can only hope to get caught up in.

The pacing might be overwhelming given that it’s a little over twice as long as your average indie comic, but I implore you, as the reader, to have patience. The burden is shouldered well with Zeballos’ seasoned and gritty horror-color choreography keeping you company. Think Breaking Bad with masks instead of meth.

I’d argue that there’s a little more time dedicated to backstory than Stephen King might prefer (even for Volume 1), but the influence of his Dark Tower hiding inside the panels is much appreciated. I’m also a little biased, because there’s a nice nod to my favorite indie comic—and favorite indie comic film—early on in Issue 1. It would be rather vicious of me to give it away.

All in all, it’s a slow burn worth the read.

The absence of the overall population strengthens the deafening knock of doom that overwhelms the reader. My somewhat limited understanding is that Warner and Zeballos wish for this series to expand 12 volumes, perhaps more. I certainly hope so. I want to meet the Masker. I want to get to know the Bookkeeper. I’m excited to see where the violence takes us. Most of all, I’d love to see where Warner takes such a relatable theme. Can we exist as solely deceptive or open? Do we need both worlds to coexist? Will human identity survive the apocalypse? I don’t know the answers to these questions, but I do hope that the story continues to take its time. There’s a bloodbath just waiting to occur, and the dark wanderer in all of us is dying to go for a swim.

A solid 4.5 out of 5 stars! 





 

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Crowdfunding Monthly Roundup – April 2017

comic book crowdfunding

You may not know this, but ComixCentral started out as an IndieGoGo campaign! So we know the stress and difficulty of running a campaign first hand.

Because of this first-hand experience in a process that can only be described as “Nerve-wracking”, we have decided to shout out some of our favorite Crowdfunding projects (comics!) on a Monthly basis.

We have also started a forum just for showing off your campaigns and grabbing a little extra attention. Everyone can use some more attention! Don’t be shy, the squeaky wheel gets the grease guys!

And with that, may we present, the Crowdfunding Monthly Roundup.


Galahad and the Far-Off Horizon

Kickstarter Campaign

Galahad and the Far-Off Horizon is a 130 page collection of five stories, set in a fantastical world of witches, golems, and magical creatures. The interconnected stories, written by Hansel Moreno, are each illustrated in a unique art style by Julian Adkins, Chan Chau, Devin Kraft, Maria Frantz, and Julie Godwin. The book also includes companion illustrations for each story by multiple artists. It’s fascinating to see the artists’ different interpretations of the characters.

The Garden of Galahad (49 pages) is a story about love and dedication. Galahad, an enchanted suit of armor, carries out the wishes of its master until the young witch Brynne interrupts its peaceful routine. Over hills, by seasides and past the ruins of old castles, the pair embarks on the journey of a lifetime. This story introduces the world in which the rest are set: The Witches Laugh (8 pages) introduces us to a powerful coven.

Broken Keep(14 pages) looks back at the early life of Galahad’s creator, Lance. Tougher Than The Hills (26 pages) uncovers a mistake Brynne made in her youth. When Magic Was Free (14 pages) details the tragic beginning of the series antagonist. The stories explore themes of friendship, responsibility, determination, and self-discovery amid the backdrop of a magical world and fantastic creatures. The anthology is a product of over two years of collaboration between the writer and artists. Galahad and the Far-Off Horizon is now live on Kickstarter and is expected to be available in summer 2017.

 Come throw your support behind this awesome project that has been in the making for 2 years! A labor of love, comes across in every page.
 
Website    /   Twitter   /     Campaign

Kickstarter Campaign
Two mismatched detectives hunt a prophecy obsessed serial killer through a post-apocalyptic seaside town. The Last Exit to Brighton from Mad Robot Comics – Matt Hardy making Comic Books. Really Quirky Comic Books.

“How sordid, how vile could you be? – Could you commit great evil to save your immortal soul?”

Check out Ed Bentley’s stunning first page for Last Exit 2: Robo-Nazis of Hove. We are going to punch so many Nazis in this story.

This is a completed project – an extra Special Edition of an existing work (but thankfully without George Lucas’s involvement). The book is just waiting to be sent out to backers – so unless the world ends we cannot fathom a reason why this book wouldn’t be in your hands immediately.

If the world does end – they’ll still get the book to you somehow 🙂

Get this awesome Graphic Novel Here: Kickstarter


Barnstormers!

Kickstarter Campaign

http://kck.st/2nYEjDS


Kickstarter Campaign

Guys, these books look badass. Let’s help these guys make it happen! 

Back this campaign here: Kickstarter


Kickstarter Campaign

http://kck.st/2om26z0

If it’s from Enjoy Comics, you know it’s gonna be gooood! 

Support the campaign here; Kickstarter


And that’s it for now! If you’ve got a Campaign you think belongs on our list, let us know!

@comixcentral

 





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The Voice of Kryptonite: Top Ten Reasons Indie Comics will Conquer Superman

10 reasons indie comics

Good evening, purveyors of powerful paraphernalia, and welcome to a new edition of indie comic exploration.

Let me begin by apologizing. I know that Facebook fever has you sick with Top Ten-donitis. No, I’m not funny, but I am compassionate toward millennial attention spans and the fact that we’re losing to goldfish. So while we’re trapped in this electric desert whirlwind of media madness, we may as well get to it.

Here are my top 10 reasons you NEED to roll the dice in the game of indie comics. Don’t worry. I promise no more Monopoly metaphors.




#10. An Aardvark Said So!

That’s right. An aardvark. It is with great honor and respect that I insist we bow our heads to yet another amazing Canadian. No, he’s not an aardvark, but he is brilliant. His name is David Sims. He created the very first technically successful indie comic in 1977. Now I love that date for 3 reasons: Star Wars, Cerebus the Aardvark, and the year my girlfriend came into existence. Seriously! This dude was a mastermind behind breaking every rule in the comic universe. What started out as roughly a parody of Conan the Barbarian would go on to tackle serious territory where other comics didn’t have the matza to really tread at the time. The art style changed. The page layout was sometimes randomized. The topics were literally whatever David wanted. It survived the bellowing battalions that were DC and Marvel because it was so unique, so well drawn, and so well crafted that people literally HAD to read it. If I may be so bold to say– it is the first indie comic that was truly undeniable. Dave even said up front that the character was going to die after 300 issues and people STILL went for it. Lastly, the hero is an aardvark. An AARDVARK! Arthur’s got nothing on this pimp. Screw him and his after-school jingle.    

Image credit: David Sims

#9. The Numbers

Like I mentioned earlier, our attention spans are sad to say the least. However, have no fear of any lack in mental staying power. Our membership amount will keep your ADHD mind short-circuiting ‘til rapture, and you’ll keep begging for more during the transition of the soul, I assure you. Okay, let’s take “success” out of the equation because its definition varies from artist to artist. Have you ever seen A Bug’s Life? There’s a scene in it I’ll never forget where the main villain, Hopper, is explaining to one of his underlings the value of numbers. Essentially, if the ants ever figured out that they outnumber the grasshoppers exponentially, then the grasshoppers would lose their power. We, the seemingly indecisive and insignificant inciters of indie incident, are the ants. The great gargantuans, Marvel and DC, know this, but there’s nothing they can do. Make no mistake– they’re still sitting healthily at the top of Money-Maker Mountain, but we have surrounded them with awesomeness. The indie arena is an ocean of creativity, and the original golden palace is eroding.

#8. The Speed

DC may have created Barry Allen, but we are The Flash. Why do I separate it from numbers, you ask? Well, my frequently friend-zoned compadre, it’s because of my meticulous nature. You see, while the two goliaths are indeed taking risks, they have to go through an approval process. We do not, for the most part, have to deal with red tape. While there’s certainly major advantages to having a well-paid corporate team on your side, that’s a lot of cooks in a big kitchen. Individual creators may indeed be the sole chefs of their destiny. Indie comics have an edge in both output and volume as long as creators have enough passion under their feet. We can produce what we want, when we want, however fast we want it (sort of). We don’t have the marketing or production budget of Detective or Marvel, but we have other advantages.

#7. The Variety

Both DC and Marvel have created some incredible heroes, no doubt. Here’s the thing: you know them all! And even if you don’t, you’re going to burn out on fan service way before indie comics come close to dying. Want a horror comic that’s also a comedy and doesn’t mind destroying 1950’s purity? Try Afterlife with Archie. How about Final Fantasy meets drug use, alcoholism, rats, and a spoon-full of friendship? Take a stab at Rat Queens. Need a comic about orgasms stopping time? Try Sex Criminals. You won’t find any of this in Marvel or DC. I’m not saying they don’t have variety of their own.

However, when you have the courage to step away from the original superheroes and see what magic exists in our world, you’ll level up faster than you think.

#6. Easy Integration  

This one may require some clarification. The major players in comics these days usually have lots of overlapping and complex storylines requiring you to buy multiple issues of various comics in order to keep it all straight. It’s a gimmick big companies use to get you to spend more money. If you’re loyal to the brand, it works. There’s nothing inherently wrong with this tactic.

In the indie world, though, you can become a part of the community instantly and easily.

The stories are intricate and interesting, but not a lot of insane crossover and backstory is required. We love people on this side of the fence, and we don’t judge you for loving the giants. We love them, too. However, for our new ink-addicted travelers, our rides are easier to manage. Marvel might be able to afford a subway system, but we’ve got Ubers waiting for you wherever and whenever you need them.

Image Credit: Stephen Smith

#5. Image Comics  

Anyone who loves indie comics knows that this company was and is a game changer for our side of the table. Here are the basics: some really talented people over at Marvel were like, “We want more creative power,” and Marvel was like, “No,” and the angry peeps went, “We’re gonna start our own company,” and Marvel went, “Good luck losers,” and then Todd McFarlane  went, “Spawn!” Yes, another amazing Canadian to the rescue. Image is one of the main gatekeepers for the indie(ish) artist. The print is real high quality, and the company is still driven by creativity. They are technically keyholders, but in the best way. Image Comics is more about creative quality and less about following trends. The company has a decent market share and has earned a great deal of respect in the comic and storytelling community in general. I give props to Kevin Eastman and IDW of course, but there’s something really special about creators breaking away from the safety of a conglomerate and taking a huge risk based on their collective skill level. Spawn of course went on to be a massively successful franchise, despite doubt. The whole thing reminds me of a frisky aardvark for some reason. 


#4. Freedom+Risk= New Trends  

Sugar, spice, and everything not necessarily nice. Let’s not forget accidentally spilling some well thought-out storytelling in the mix. Yes, that was a painfully produced Powerpuff parody, but alliteration is like medicine to me, and I needed my fix.

Trends are now the natural byproduct of speed and creative freedom. When it comes to risk, the Big Two need time to adjust. The idea of weaving new characters into an established comic to determine marketability is effective, but ultimately an old business model that began in the 40’s and 50’s.

Indie comics, on the other hand, are less about testing the market and more about jumping for the sake of the free fall. While superhero stories still live in a maze of rules, Indie comics have no walls. While that amount of freedom is certainly challenging, indie comic creators are brilliant at creating their own rules within the world they establish. We could talk about Image again, and how their critically acclaimed Walking Dead is bringing horror back to life. Maybe we should mention Frank Miller and Dark Horse blending indie with Hollywood. Remember what I said about speed advantage? I think the most exciting thing is how quickly Indieland adapted to Internet culture. We were doing digital way before DC or Marvel, and this is just one of many examples where the masters of mainstream had no choice but to follow suit. This brings me to my next point…

#3. Indie Marketing Magic  

Thanks to the budget of the industry giants, they can shove stories in your face with massive paid ads and suite-wearing sadists. We, however, get to be shameless in our own way. We can vomit an origin comic at the drop of a hat for free. We have the luxury of “pay what you want” campaigns. We can do cheesy low budget ads that give our audience an immediate glimpse of our own vulnerable reality. In some ways, the heroes we’ve been loyal to forever have to remain in the past to be successful. Modern stories don’t have the luxury of overdosing on member berries (check out South Park to understand that reference). In order to compensate we have to reach into a bag of tricks that the Big Two are simply too big to understand.  

#2. Deep Impact (Gravity Always Wins)  

Yes, I’m sort of referencing a terrible movie with Morgan Freeman, but it’s also a metaphor for how we reach our audience. I nodded to this a bit previously. Authors of indie comics can create grassroots movements rather easily. There is a strong desire to have real relationships with fans. It’s why crowd-funding isn’t frowned upon in our world. While bigwigs live in the money palace, we get to hang out in the slums of sensational storytelling.

At their center, indie inventors’ hearts beat with want and desire. We love how a story brings people together. It’s less about privacy protection and more about forming a support system where fans and artists work as a collective.

We can’t win by force, so we win with genuine emotion.

We not only bring new audience members to our world, but we also have the courage to bring them back down to earth with us. That’s the beauty in all this. We won’t make you go anywhere, but once you show up, you never want to leave.

#1. We Are an Underdog Story (and the underdog always wins)

Everyone wants to root for a new hero, and we have new heroes coming out of the woodwork everyday. The ultimate twist is that this is not a competition. Even the big guys want us to win. We’re all creators here. The whole reason we love this art form is because the world needs heroes (yes I’ve said that line before). Indie comics fill a need that nature is desperate for, and through it all, Batman and Superman are actually on our side. If we stay the course, they will follow us anywhere. Unlike a lot of art, comics haven’t been damaged by the digital age. Online love is just as hyped as holding the real pages of a freshly unwrapped comic. Why? Because comics are as much about collecting gems as they are about the stories themselves. In other words, the internet hasn’t driven away a desire for the real thing.

Image credit: dannycruz4.deviantart.com

Final Thoughts

Here’s the secret, and it’s the best news. Superman will never die, as long as he dodges Doomsday of course, but he WANTS to be conquered. He’s tired of bearing the gold crown of goodness. Batman is no help because you know those two constantly bicker. Rich dudes always be bitch’n ‘bout things. I love me some Stan Lee, too, but  he’s got to be exhausted!

That’s where we come in. If we can reach our hands to the sky as a team, the burden of heroism will feel lighter than air. Who knows, maybe the gravity of our situation is really just the force that teaches us how to leave the atmosphere. Trust me. Superman is up there somewhere waiting with a smile on his face, and he’ll probably say something like, “It’s about time. I told you, you didn’t need a cape to fly.”  


Thanks

    I want to thank CNBC, ComiXology, IGN, Wikipedia (yes Wikipedia), Image, Darkhorse, www.thecomicbooks.com, Amazon, www.creatoratlarge.com, Comics Beat, and of course my amazing nerd friends for some of this source material. Thank you for helping build a universe that makes me feel right at home.

 





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Jared Muralt: The 2-Dimensional Illusion of a 3D Life

jared muralt

Welcome weird wunderkinder!

How’s your creative genius treating you this morning? Mine has gone into hiding, thanks to the mental magnificence of Swiss illustrator, Jared Muralt. I had the pleasure of interviewing this tremendous talent and it was clear to me that the content of his character is as colorful, multifaceted and exceptional as his body of work.




Whether he’s doing freelance work or running the business rails of his Blackyard Studios, a co-founded Swiss design collective, he really has a people-first approach to his craft. It’s so interesting how microcosm moments, like a young 5-year-old mind crashing headfirst into a sci-fi adventure comic book, can create a relationship with life that no one would’ve seen coming. I’ll let him give you the gritty details, but Jared dispels the illusion of easy art with joy and grace. His tone is playful, yet serious. Much like his style, his insights come alive with a sense of innocence, vulnerability and an undeniable respect for the craft. Join me as we jump off the page and share in Jared’s love of Moebius, Star Wars, nature, and Indiana Jones (except Crystal Skull of course).

 


Chris: Hey Jared, I understand you’re from Bern.  Did that community have an influence on your style?  Did you find art or did art find you?

Jared: No, I wouldn’t really say that the community had an influence on my style, but when art found me was when I found art. When I was five years old, I found a comic book by Moebius, “Le Garage Hermétique,“ that belonged to my mother in our living room. It must have been around our house for much longer, but this is when I found it and when it found me. I was instantly mesmerized!

Chris: I understand you started with sci-fi drawings, did any early sci-fi stories influence your developing style? FYI: I came across Grand Moff Tarkin on your Instagram – AMAZING!

Jared: Again, sci-fi stories by Moebius. Of course, my early fascination and affixation with Star Wars is undeniable and prevails to this day, but I know I am not alone with this!

Chris: Tell me about your year in art school. I’ve been told it’s nothing but criticism.  You either grow from its constructive nature, learn to create despite judgment, or maybe both.  Was that your experience?

Jared: What I really took from art school was the realization that I was too young back then, too young to take life and my education and my career seriously. The following year, I worked as a cashier in a supermarket and that was much more valuable life experience than my year at art school – in that it showed me what I don’t want to do. And that I really, really have to accomplish myself and work on my skills and career unless I want to end up in a job I don’t want to do for the rest of my life. After years of school and then art school, it was this very real work experience that showed me the responsibilities that come with being an adult. It made me thing seriously about a career and how to get one.

Chris: I also understand you have a preference towards the stippling technique.  Can you share a little about what that is?  Do you find creative power in the world of dots?

Jared: To me, it did indeed start with stippling and this helped me to convey surface and structures in a black-and-white drawing. It doesn’t really need to be points – it could be cross hatching for example, but it is a good technique to successfully create the illusion of three-dimensionality in a black and white illustration.

Chris: I understand your mom gave you your first sketchbook.  How did your parents influence your art?

Jared: My father didn’t, he ran out my mom the second he found out she was pregnant, so I never knew him. My mother is herself a creative person and her creativity influenced me and I was raised in a creative household/environment. My mother supported me in living my creative impulses as best and as fully as she was capable. She once called herself my lab assistant because she was always supplying me with everything I needed to follow my creative instincts.

Chris: Do you have a favorite story or comic that has stuck with you or influenced you over the years?

Jared: “Le Garage Hermétique” by Moebius as I mentioned before. The whole Star Wars franchise as well of course. The Adventures of Tintin by Hergé. And let’s not forget Steven Spielberg’s original Indiana Jones trilogy (let’s forget “Crystal Skull“, please), just to name a few.

Chris: I also understand that you work with some graphic designer and art friends as part of your team now.  How has collaboration played a role in your success?

Jared: It very much the key point in my career. Since they are not only graphic designers but also illustrators, the creative exchange with my friends/colleges/coworkers brought me to the point where I am now.

Chris: What are your passions outside of illustration?

Jared: Walking and trekking and working in the garden and swimming in our beloved river are, though I only swim in it during the summer. Generally being outside and in nature is what I love to do.

Chris: What accomplishments are you most proud of up to this point?

Jared: Generally, that I can make a living as an illustrator – and whenever someone lets me know that my works inspire them, that makes me very proud.

Chris: Do you have any exciting upcoming projects and what is the most exciting thing in your life right now (even if it doesn’t have anything to do with art)?

Jared: The most exciting thing in my life would be my impending fatherhood – my girlfriend and I are expecting twin boys next month! And my other, (hopefully) soon to arrive offspring, my upcoming comic book series “The Fall“ should be mentioned as well.


Jared, I’m so appreciative of our time together. Thank you for your honesty. Your love of this profession gives us permission to use our imaginative energy without fear of losing our sense of responsibility. You are living proof that art is both a fountain of youth and a pool of wisdom that prepares us for life, freedom and family.

For more of Jared’s awesomesauce, check him out on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jaredmuralt.

Here’s a link to his design collective: https://shop.blackyard.ch and be on the look out for his new post-apocalyptic comic series, “The Fall,” to be released soon.





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Starving for Affection: The Nasty Business of Art

starving artist business

Welcome again, my friends, to another dashing dive into the depths of deplorable life choices.

I’m your host, CXC staff writer Chris Hendricks, and today we’ll be talking about everyone’s favorite Green Goblin (and no, I’m not talking about James Franco), talking about money. Either way, money and art don’t always mix for reasons unbeknownst to some but knownst to every brave person who finds themselves saying, “Pay me for stuff you’ve never seen before.” I thought this might be a good opportunity to do some exploring in the realm of real-life monopoly.

As an artist myself who has picked joyful starvation over responsible monotony, I thought I might be able to provide some insight into the herculean maze that is the artistic hustle. Let’s role the dice together, shall we? I’m not an expert, but I haven’t been to jail yet.

First, lets everyone take care of something. If you have the space, and your alone (or at least completely lacking in shame), then rise with me and yell that thing you’ve wanted to yell for years now. Ready? We’ll do it together. 3… 2…. 1… go. “Why the hell doesn’t anyone buy our s***?!”



Feel better? Now let’s get down to business.

Assuming you’ve chosen to cross the business bridge, don’t mistake a stroll over the abyss for a quick trip. Regardless of how long it takes, the steps are as sturdy as the emotions we carry with us. Turning something you love into something that covers the wage gap left behind when sanity quits working, is your classic “genie in a bottle” story. You’d be amazed how our emotional state can influence whether that genie is Robin Williams or Jafar on his final power trip.

Sorry for all the metaphors. Sometimes I get paid to put them on paper, and money is confusing sometimes, so they help. My point is there’s no need to be careful what you wish for unless you’re truly afraid to begin with. Either you believe your art is undeniably worth dollars, or you don’t.

If you can’t embrace the worth of your own stuff, you can’t expect the world to embrace it either.

Start thinking “This is going to work” somewhere in your head, or guess what? It won’t. Once you believe your art is really worth something, proving it is where the fun really begins. An easy place to start is taking some of your savings and putting your own money where your mouth is. If you believe your masterpiece is worth someone else’s paycheck, then you won’t have a hard time giving it your own. Take a class, hire a coach, or trade in your old Crayola collection for some serious art supplies. It’s a quick-action step that tells this universe of ours that you mean well…and you mean business.

So you’ve got an honest desire, and now you’ve got the tools.

Congratulations kings and queens of creation! One more step and you’ve reached Mediterranean Avenue, but you still can’t afford it (and it’s the cheapest property). Screw you, Monopoly guy. Nothing says I’m going to be poor forever like the phrase “waiting for inspiration.” Waiting belongs to Greek statues and the restaurant industry. You, my friends, are seekers.

In the beginning good art is like bad tequila. She’s desperate for a good chaser.

I’ve also found that it’s a good idea to define oneself with the skill that drives one’s passion. For example, if you love to draw and you want to make money, then you should call yourself an illustrator. If you love to write, call yourself a writer. Take that definition and put yourself in any position possible to use it. I, for one, will write anything I can, including but not limited to songs, stories, blogs, poems, musicals, and even the occasional instruction manual on how to make money from art while living in a van down by the river. Art is the original pimp of the world and I will happily whore myself out for the sake of freedom.

Now we’re getting somewhere, hopefully.

So what if, in spite of all your hard work, people keep saying no? Well now, welcome to the dirty underworld of this sometimes-pretentious paradise. Welcome to the realm of the critic. These are defining moments for artists and creators that happen time and time again. In my view, what happens in these moments determines whether you really have what it takes to make money with your craft, but not necessarily the way you might think. The truth is, being told “no” is a luxury.

As artists it’s our responsibility to determine the difference between haters and heralds of wisdom.

There are absolutely people out there who don’t want you to succeed. There are people who just don’t understand you. Sometimes though, the truth really does hurt. You can swallow your pride and be flexible, ignore it and keep going, or quit. Luckily, only one of those three options means game over. If you’re stubborn enough to keep playing, you can’t lose.

Here’s the harsh reality. Most of the world wants you to lose, especially when it comes to giving away money if you win. We live in a consumer-driven Internet age where people are bombarded with attention-hungry mayhem during most seconds of their day if they own a smart phone. I know it sucks to not be supported as a new artist, but it’s a simple case of hating a game you chose to play in the first place. It’s going to be harder for people to gravitate toward something new because people like routine. It’s one less thing for people to worry about.

Artists need to stay in the arena long enough for the audience to trust them. You have to be the hero of your own creation.

Fighting for your brand of awesome is like wrestling waves over and over again. The only way to win is to keep coming up for air. Hating on the average consumer is not going to help you breathe any easier, and at least you’re close to the boardwalk at this point. Soon enough you’ll run the place. In all honesty, you don’t have to prove anything to anyone. My apologies for sounding like an afterschool special, but as always these are suggestions. The proof isn’t necessarily in the art itself, but the joy you generate when you make it. It’s funny how energy works sometimes. Often times, joy has it’s own gravitational pull and you’d be amazed who shows up in your orbit when you realize you’ve been worth it all along.

What we do have is each other, and that’s a force to be reckoned with.

We have a duty to be good Samaritans, especially in the Indie realm. New art will rise much faster as a community. The days of the Hemingway loner vibe are few in the new world. I realize it’s weird to view this new monopoly as more of a D&D team experience—complete with Funyuns and Mountain Dew—but that’s where we are now. The business world you live in is one big dungeon master. Lucky for you, we’re the “all here” and “all creative.” Together we have the tools we need to win the game.

Ultimately, art as a business is hard because the prize means getting paid for being you. Next to love, I don’t know anything more worth the fight.





 

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CXC Conversations with Creators: Featuring Michael Lent

michael lent

We are over the moon today, having scored an interview with professional Comicbook creator Michael Lent.

Most of you will know him as the writer behind the Marvel series “Prey”, and more recently, “i, HOLMES”, but his experience stretches across many entertainment genres from non-fiction literature to film and TV.

Michael shares with us a wellspring of information, advice and even imparts a few star studded stories to brighten your day. Whether you’re a Comicbook creator looking for insight or a big ol’ Lent fan, curious about this hugely talented guy, we’ve got the goods – so get comfy.



And with that, ComixCentral proudly presents… “An Evening with Michael Lent!” (Well, an interview. You’ll need to supply your own wine and easy listening tunes).


Hi Michael! Thank you so much for taking the time to share some of your amazing experiences in making Comics and other media with us! Could you tell our readers a little about your comics.

ML: Anyone who admits to knowing me might refer to me as that @!*% writer of the Prey series (Marvel), co-writer of Brimstone (Zenescope), writer of The Machine Stops (Alterna) and most recently the i, HOLMES, also for Alterna. I co-wrote four graphic bios of Keith Richards, JRR Tolkien, Stephen King, Stephen Hawking (this was during my “bios of guys named Stephen who don’t like to be called ‘Steve’” period). Incidentally, the Stephen King bio was cool because I actually got to interview him and was able to confirm some things that had only been rumors before then. The project also led to me adapting one of King’s short stories, The Reaper’s Image.

Presently, we’re wrapping i, HOLMES a gritty urban detective drama set in 2009. The story is about a brilliant loner, a streetwise 17-year old girl fresh out of juvie who knows very little about her past except that someone wants to kill her and is willing to take out most of New York. Who she is, in fact, is pretty special, as is the identity of her would-be killer. Art is by Marc Rene, who I most recently worked with on The Machine Stops series. Publisher is Peter Simeti at Alterna, which also published The Machine Stops.

Recently, television producer David Rambo picked up i, HOLMES to develop as a television series and has been instrumental in helping to shape the story. David has worked on EMPIRE, REVOLUTION and CSI, as well as the upcoming series on TNT, WILL. He’s one of the most creative people I know, so we are pretty excited and hopeful.

Outside of comics, I write and produce independent movies in Los Angeles. I was executive producer on IF YOU’RE SERIOUS, shot in China in 2012. The film won several awards and was nominated for a sound design award by the National Academy of Sound Editors in 2014 and I was able to meet presenter George Lucas.

In 2009/2010, I followed the Arctic ice road truckers made famous on the History Channel in order to write the non-fiction book On Thin Ice for Disney Hyperion. The main staging area was out of Yellowknife, Canada and I experienced temperatures as cold as 45 below zero (F). It was awesome.

Wow. Just wow! So what kind of comics would you say you like to create?

ML: Well, first and foremost, what I do is write sort of architectural blueprints, and any ”creating” doesn’t happen until I team up with an artist who knows how to turn my brain scribble blueprints into a house. Without an artist like Marc Rene who I’ve worked with on three, soon to be four series, I would be reduced to stick figures.

As far as subjects, I’ve only done one super-hero book on assignment that has yet to be released. Mainly, I do sci-fi, horror, action-suspense crime dramas, and non-fiction bios. I can do comedy, too.

When did you get your start?

ML: I’m a trained screenwriter and had come to Hollywood to work on the Hellraiser series for Dimension, the film production company that made Scream, the Halloween movies, From Dusk ‘til Dawn and many more, including The Road, which is one of my favorite books and films.

Coming from the world of movies gives me a certain recognizable style and pacing. I’d like to think that my stories are well-structured. These days, I create some stories that are best served as comics or vice versa.

What made you decide to start making comics and get into that side of the entertainment industry?

ML: In 2006, I wrote a screenplay called Prey, a sort of Jaws/Aliens story that was set off the coast of Southern California. My agent at the time thought it was some of my best writing to-date but as a live-action film, the budget was something like $120 million and there are a finite number of companies able to make a film of that scale. However, films that come from comics can have a stylized look that’s a lot cheaper to shoot. Films like Sin City and 300 had come out and my agent encouraged me to think about my story in that context. As a kid, I had been into the X-Men and Marvel universe so I went back to those roots.

The result attracted interest from Dabel Brothers Publishing in Atlanta. They wanted to publish Prey as a six or seven book arc. At the time, the Dabels were working with George R.R. Martin, Orson Scott Card and Laurel K. Hamilton among many others, so it was a pretty exciting time to be there. My first signing at Comic-Con San Diego was with George R.R. Martin just as Game of Thrones was about to happen. We actually had downtime between signings and chance to talk about craft and business. It’s nice to meet some like Mr. Martin as a fan, but even better as a fellow creator.

By the time we finished creating Prey, Dabel Brothers had become a [short-lived] imprint of the Marvel Universe. My mentor in comic script writing was Mike Raicht who was an editor at Marvel, and is a very good writer in his own right. Mike worked on a lot of series including X-Men, Spider-man and the Hulk, and he taught me a variation of the full script method. Lance Laspina was my first art director. Through him, I came to understand how an artist sees a project, as well as how writers and artists should communicate.

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?

ML: I know, it’s tough. The whole time we have been making i, HOLMES, artist Marc Rene and I have lived this question in the most gut-personal way possible. Just as I started to write out the initial story, my sister Shelly passed away unexpectedly. It was a difficult period. I thought I was handling it okay but the morning of the funeral my hair was coming out in my hands from all the stress. Luckily, I had my family and friends who supported me.

I soon realized that the only thing I could do to honor my sister’s memory was to finish what I’d started.

Then, early on in production, artist Marc Rene’s father was hospitalized with an invasive cancer. Every other week since August, 2016, he made a 450-mile drive each way from San Jose to Burbank to see his father. In early December, he lost his battle for life. In the aftermath, we continued to lay everything on the line to create this book and keep our dream alive.

In a more general sense, self-doubt is the biggest dragon we have to slay. It helps to realize, that the self-doubt goes hand-in-hand with creative expression. I’ve been on projects that appeared on the cusp of changing my stars but then they didn’t happen for some reason usually beyond my control. It can fill you with doubt and anger. To counter this, I focus on how much I enjoy creating and the community I’ve built. Usually, that causes me to reach out to friends, again for support, and then get back to work writing. Those are things that I enjoy and have some control over.

Also, I try to look at bad news dispassionately. Often, that leads me to ask “Why?” I’ll reach out to, say, a publisher and ask, “Can you tell me a little more about why you passed on the project?” Sometimes they tell you things that you can do something about. In one case, a publisher didn’t like the lettering style, which is an easy fix. I wouldn’t have found out if I didn’t probe for info. But lots of times you’ll find out it had something to do with elements outside of your control. You can’t beat yourself up about those kinds of things.

It helps a lot to have more than one project going at once.

When I’m stumped on one, I just roll over to the next. I also don’t pressure on any single project to be the ONE.

You’ve given some incredible advice here, is there any advice you wish someone had given you when you were first starting out?

ML: If you write, it has to be every day and not when the mood or lightning bolt of inspiration strikes. Same applies if you’re an artist. In school, my writing teacher used to say,

“Good days can come after good OR bad days but they can’t follow no days [days when you don’t write].”

One of the most important lessons Mike Raicht from Marvel imparted was a deferential respect for the medium and the stories. The business side of comics can be and often is brutal but Mike never, ever allowed these challenges to bleed into the creative side. He always made schedules and stuck to deadlines even when it was something just for himself. Especially in the case when you’re making something that doesn’t have a publisher waiting for it or a ready audience. If you don’t start with respect for the process when it’s just you by yourself, no one else will later on. I see creative types who are always chasing the next project as the be-all, end-all. When you do that, you’re less willing to make a project that’s right in front of you all that it can be.

A dozen years later, I still believe cynicism is a currency of dubious worth. I just don’t see much value in thinking success is all about “validation from strangers” or “who you know” and that kind of stuff.

If you’re meant to create, then that’s what you’re going to do.

I’d rather just get to it.

As someone who has worked with big publishers, studios and independently, I believe in DIY because I’ve learned the hard way that if you wait for someone else to pick up your project, you may be sitting around for a long time. Sometimes I’ll run into would-be creators at a con and they show me some great concept work or an ashcan, then a year later, I run into them again and see the same samples. That inertia comes from a lack confidence in either themselves, or the overall concept. You have to believe that what you’re doing matters.

Don’t let your story only exist inside your head.

Really crucial to partner with people with a strong work ethic who you respect and vice versa, too.

Again, what incredible advice! What would you say is one thing that you absolutely could not live without during the creative process?

ML: It would be hard for me to exist as a writer without my MacBook Pro and access to Google. I like to research and photo-reference things as I go so it would be tough to work off of a cave wall.

Here’s a weird question. If you could body snatch someone and take over their life for one day, who would that person be? And why?

ML: Real life person Barack Obama, especially if it was circa 2016.

Fictional person? Hmm. Gandalf… Harry Potter… Sherlock Holmes. Any of these people would be COOL and the bonus would be that I would get some residual value when I returned to my own form. I think it would be depressing to be Superman for one day, see through walls and fly around, etc. and then go back to being a mere mortal who rides the bus and looks bad in tights.

Your writing is so creative. Where do you get your inspiration and ideas from?

ML: I read a lot. 30-40 books/year. Comics, too. A lot of my ideas come from asking “What if…?” Also, I try to live with my writing so that when I’m walking around, everything I see, hear or do seems to pertain to the story I’m writing. Like I’ll see a billboard or my wife or kids will say something and I’ll think, “Wow! That’s exactly what I was trying to figure out!”

For the noisier fans out there, (uh-hum… you know who you are;) What does your workspace look like?

ML: I used to have a great office in our house with a couch and everything, but then our first child, my son was born, and I moved everything into a little bedroom that was barely big enough for my desk and an extra folding chair. The couch, the collectables and all the memorabilia went into the garage. Then our daughter came along and that little room went back to being a bedroom. I started working out of coffee houses around the Valley in Los Angeles. But then our second son arrived and there went the budget for bagels and Sumatra roast. So now most days I’m in a cubicle at one of two public libraries in Burbank, wondering what the hell happened. Seriously, it’s a great resource where I can go Old School and grab real books for reference. And the librarians are nice.

The breadth of your experience is so inspiring. Are there any funny or interesting stories you wouldn’t mind sharing with our readers might enjoy and maybe even learn a little from?

ML:  I don’t know if it’s funny or interesting but one story that jumps out is the time I was asked to be on a panel about writing in Hollywood. I arrived about 10 minutes early and the organizer took me aside and said, “Good, good, good, you made it. So, here’s the thing: we had a change of plans.” “Oh?” says me. “Yes, instead of a panel it’s going to be you and a surprise guest, so just go with it. It’ll be fun!” I immediately felt a tiny, tiny bit of sweat beading up on the back of my neck as I looked over at the stage that was empty except for a mic and two chairs. About thirty seconds later, the door opened and in walks the special guest, actor Michael Madsen, star of The Hateful Eight, Kill Bill, Reservoir Dogs and dozens of other movies. Now, normally, this would be real cool and a thrill but all I can do is look over at the two chairs, then over to Michael Madsen, then at the sweat pooling in my palms, as I realize that I am supposed to conduct a sit-down discussion with Mr. Madsen for which I had done ZERO prep.

Actually, Michael Madsen is a pretty cool guy and he usually pauses to size up and search for just the right words before he answers a question, which kind of gave me time to think of what to talk about next.

Truthfully, he didn’t really need my help, so it all worked out fine. Some audience members even thought me and “Mike” were friends who went way back. Might have worked out better that I didn’t know anything beforehand because I could have over-prepared and would have been more nervous. Afterwards, Michael Madsen and I bro-hugged like we had survived a plane crash.

You’ve already accomplished so much, but as a creator we know you can’t stop now! What would you say is your ultimate goal in making comics?

ML: I’d like to create and work on as many stories as possible. Right now, I have a number of projects stacked up waiting for artists. I’d like to get them moving forward.

It would be nice if some of those projects could stand the test of time, but at the end of the day, it’s a privilege to write anything that finds an audience. A few years ago, I had a signing in Santa Monica late one Saturday morning. It was raining which is a little rare for Los Angeles, so I wasn’t expecting much of a turnout. Still, I brought enough bottled water and candy for a few dozen people just in case. As soon as I set up the little table they gave me, crickets ensued. Some people actually avoided the area so that they wouldn’t have to say “hi.” Then, all of the sudden, this tour van pulled up and all these college-age Japanese cosplay girls got out. Most didn’t speak English, but they had flyers written in Kanji advertising my signing. Turns out I was part of their tour and someone was recording everything for a local broadcast. We took lots of pictures, I signed a couple dozen books and gave away the water and candy. It was surreal and wonderful.

Having had experience in the professional comics industry, do you think there is anything the big publishers can learn from the Indie scene or vise versa?

ML: Big publishers can become risk-adverse. You see the same story arcs over and over barely dressed up. Some of the freshest stories come from the edges and take the biggest chances. Indie books should take chances. Otherwise, they will never stand out from all the white noise. Not long ago, I was searching ComixCentral for something different and discovered the Lance Lucero series Bob: Non-Union Psychic. Such a fun story! Meanwhile, indies can emulate the fit & polish of mainstream pubs.

Editing and logic matters, as does making deadlines. A book riddled with typos undercuts the storytelling. One time I was reading a cool indie book where, on the climactic page, the main character takes a big wind-up swing with a sword but in the next panel, the follow-through was with an ax. I stopped reading and went back through the book looking for clues as to whether there was some sort of sorcery present and if so, to what end. I emailed the creator who responded with an “Argh.” There had been production issues and no one noticed the gaff that couldn’t be corrected now that book was in print.

Super important to fully vet your project before it goes out into the market.

Are you currently involved in any projects our readers might be interested in hearing about? Anything your fans can get excited about?

ML: People might be interested in Malevolent (https://malevolentmovie.com/), an animated horror film currently in post-production slated for completion by the end of this year. Basically, the story is Saw meets Groundhog Day. Cast includes Morena Baccarin, William Shatner, Ray Wise, Bill Moseley. Producers Jim Cirile and Tanya Klein who both love comics asked me to join their team about a year and a half ago. So many talented people are working on the project, I’m excited for the result.

This has been just amazing Michael, we at ComixCentral are so honored and thrilled you’ve taken an interest in what we’re doing here and can’t thank you enough for taking the time to answer our questions. You’ve been so candid with us and given indie creators a peek into your world and an enlightening taste for “how this is done!”.

Before we go, how can people find you and what you’re up to?

ML: Besides Facebook and Twitter, I’m on Quora.com (https://www.quora.com/profile/Michael-Lent), a global community of over 100 million people and a great place to share stories and ideas.

I hope people will check out i, HOLMES, as well as our previous series The Machine Stops, also from Alterna and in collaboration with artist Marc Rene. This series is adapted from early-20th century British novelist E.M. Forster who wrote only one sci-fi story in his entire career. Forster wrote The Machine Stops in 1909 but he was something of a Nostradamus. His 12,000-word story foretells our modern way of information gathering and social interaction through cyberspace, while expressing concern for our dependence on technology at the expense of personal experience and all that makes us human. Instantly, many of the best predictions about the future rely not on an understanding of technology and future industrial trends so much as an understanding of human nature, language and culture. That was Forster. It was a great journey for Marc Rene and the rest of our team to bring this amazing story to a whole new generation of readers.

Thanks, Leigh and everyone at ComixCentral for this wonderful chance to chat. It was big fun.

No thank you Michael! This has been such a pleasure! We look forward to all your future endeavours and can’t wait to see what you create next!

If you’d like to connect with Michael, buy some of his work or even just friend him, you can find those links below.

Now go make some Comics!


Twitter:  @michaellent2

Facebook:  MichaelLent

Quora.com (https://www.quora.com/profile/Michael-Lent)

ComixCentral: @michael_lent





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RANDOM ENCOUNTER COMICS

random encounter comics

Oh ho ho! Do we have a treat for all you Comicbook lovin’ good people. We managed to corner the gents from Random Encounter Comics and shake them until all their secrets fell out.

These guys are making some shockingly great stories, with some of the most unique art pages we’ve seen.. well.. anywhere! This is what indie comics are all about.

So if you are into making comics and are looking to pick up some tips, dig a behind the scenes peek into creativity or just have major crushes on Adam and Colin… get ready to have all your dreams come true.  We love these guys! Let’s get going!




Hey guys! First of all, could tell our readers a little bit about your book, yourselves and your company?

REC: Folklore is a post apocalyptic horror story set in a world where earth’s mightiest heroes have been warped and twisted into hungry predators. It’s the only series handled

Adam handles the writing and social media, Colin the illustration, and together they try not to be absolutely obnoxious while trying to excitedly show off their work. It’s a two man show and our first foray into the comic industry. They’re so new, they’re not even sure when it’s ok to talk in third person during an interview!

On ComixCentral we showcase our work under Folklore Comics, but our official studio name is Random Encounter Comics!

What kind of comics do you create?

REC: Right now we’re focused 100% telling Folklore’s story from start to finish. Although Folklore’s background is rooted in action-oriented superhero culture the core of our stories lay in exploring the nature of horror — whether it be through terrifying abominations or a more psychological kind of fear.

We want you to grow attached to the people and places you meet in our world, but maybe expect to lose a little something along the way.

When did you start working on Folklore?

REC: Folklore has been a personal project of ours for quite a while now, but we’ve only just begun to share it publically for the past year. Using our spare time between work and other professional projects we came up an initial concept and very rough storyboard. It took a while for us to finalize things like character design and comic layout, but the time spent working on it all really gave us the time to see how expansive the comic world really is.

Where did the idea for Folklore come from and what made you take the plunge into creating it?

REC: The original recommendation to start a comic was inspired by a mutual friend, who recommended we pool our talents to create something memorable! Our friend was British, so he recommended a time travel plot. We decided to go in a very different direction.

In a lot of ways Folklore is a collection of personal fears as much as it is a reflection of the way society builds history and legends over time.

Everybody gets discouraged wants to quit sometimes. How do you guys keep the motivation going?

Adam: What’s great about what we do is that our work is broken down in half, so there’s a lot of motivation between the two of us to make sure we’re both keeping Folklore up to par with our expectations. Not only that, we have an incredible group of readers. I don’t think we ever expected to receive the support we did on Patreon.

Colin: I think we’re both so absolutely excited about getting Folklore out there that when we do feel burnt out or throwing in the towel, we remind each other to keep on going. That kind of encouragement is a great form of motivation, as is support from our Patrons and supporters. It’s a pretty incredible feeling when we come across reviews of our work or when readers express their enjoyment.

Is there any advice you wish someone had given you when you were first starting out?

Adam: Plan ahead, and try to set realistic goals. We’ve overestimated the workload Colin could handle illustrating in the past, and it just adds a lot of unnecessary pressure. Take your time.

Colin: Agreed, the bulk of the work really comes from planning out each issue and we’ve learned it the hard way.

A solid plan can actually speed up the rest of the illustrating work.

Folklore is obviously a very unique and creative story. Where do you get your ideas from?

Colin: Plenty of films and stories, there’s such a rich library out there to be inspired from. I have my favourites like Star Wars and The Witcher novels, Mike Mignola’s work and Akira Kurosawa, as well as drawing from my own personal experiences.

Adam: Anywhere and everywhere. I wish I could say there was a single medium that inspired me, but I jump around a lot. Any good story that focuses on character growth and world building is bound to grab and hold my attention. It just makes me want to create.

What’s the one thing (tool, process, etc) that you absolutely could not live without during the creative process?

Colin: Thumbnailing. Definitely Thumbnailing. There’s nothing harder than jumping straight into a page and just winging it. Working from thumbnails allows me to lay out any ideas we have and to direct the flow of our art and writing.

Who is your favorite writer, illustrator, actor.. Etc. And what do you think you’ve learned from this person.

Adam: It’s hard to say who my favorite writer is, but when it comes to comics I think it was Matt Fraction and David Aja’s run on Hawkeye that really showed me how incredible comics could be. I always try to keep in mind their creative paneling when trying to highlight action. Their humor goes a long way in bringing humanity to each character. Plus, Pizza dog.

Colin: They did a bloody awesome job on Hawkeye and I love the way they treated the visuals and panel work. As for me I’m a big fan of Scott Snyder’s writing for Court of Owls, and Greg Capullo’s art really brings the thrill and mystery of Batman to life. Mike Mignola is up there as well. His use of negative space to direct the flow of his story is a fantastic study.

Are there any funny or interesting tid-bits you could share from your experience working together making comics?

Adam: I guess there was the time I thought we were really cool and progressive for having an elderly woman as a badass sniper. Then Overwatch’s Ana came out.

Colin: I’m still bitter about that, but was just as excited when I saw the reveal.

Adam: It was like a mix of ‘Yes I’m so excited for this character’ and ‘I hope no one thinks we’re copying this hype’. I’ve seen this kind of thing happen to plenty of other artists and storytellers before, so we can’t really feel too bad about it. Them’s the breaks!

What is your ultimate goal in comics?

Adam: I love entertaining others. Growing up I’ve always found myself sucked into stories, whether it be from a book, comic, RPG, or just a really exciting board game.

I’d love to always be in a position where I can help relieve stress through the worlds I help bring to life.

It would be incredible to be well known for creating those kind of immersive experiences. Comics are just one way to do that, and I’ll be writing for as long as there’s someone out there who enjoys my work.

Colin: A part of it is quite practical, I find comics to be a good form of practice for my art. Ultimately though, I think it’s the collective enjoyment of sharing stories. At first the work was quite overwhelming for me, but when readers started feeding back to us how invested they’d had become in these characters’ tales and how much enjoyment they receive. I felt all that work was worth the effort.

If you had a dollar for every comic you have started but not yet finished.. How many dollars would you have?

Adam: Comics, 0. Books? At least 4. I get to live out most of my ideas in my weekly D&D sessions, but some narratives just require a little less interaction from my audience.

Colin: Maybe about three. Usually I axe a lot of ideas before I even get started, haha. I’m definitely going to try to make another two bucks in the next year!

Any parting words for the people out there gentlemen? And how can people find what you’re up to?

Adam: I don’t think we have anything more to add, but we do want everyone to know how exciting it’s been to be a part of this growing community. Not just on ComixCentral, but in terms of indie comics in general. Everyone has been the best. There’s so much creativity out there, and everyone we’ve encountered and have spoken with has been so positive and energetic about their work. It’s been an incredible experience, and we’re so glad we can contribute to the positivity.

If you like the work we do on Folklore then you may want to check out our website, which has a lot of extra background information on our cast of characters, plus a short story we wrote for our fans on Halloween. All of our work is also available for free on Tapastic and Webtoons, but it’s your support that lets us continue to work on Folklore. Every purchase on ComixCentral helps our ongoing development, but if you’re interested in supporting us for a bunch of cool perks we recommend that you check out our Patreon!

In addition to regular weekly updates we have a lot of cool behind-the-scenes details, like WIP pages, monthly raffles, and the opportunity to appear in Folklore as a minor character! (Please note: We reserve all rights to terribly maim or dismember your avatar at our discretion.)

You can find all the cool details at patreon.com/Folklore, or just bug us via tweets anytime you’d like. [links below]


And with that, our time here is over, and we’re not embarrassed to say we’re a little choked up about it. We’ll have to do this again!

We want to thank the boys from Random Encounter Comics for taking the time to answer our questions and letting us dig a big fork into how things get done in their amazing world. I learnt some new things today and LOL’d more than once!

If you’d like to learn more about Random Encounter Comics, buy their books or connect with Adam and Colin, the links to do all that are below.

Now go make some comics!


Connect with Adam, Colin and Random Encounter Comics!

FolkloreComic.com

twitter: @FolkloreComic

twitter: @34thGingerbread (writer)

twitter: @unartifex (illustrator)

comixcentral : Random Encounter Comics

Grab Folklore issue 1  |   Folklore issue 2