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Five for Creating with Joseph Schmalke

FIVE FOR CREATING WITH JOSEPH SCHMALKE


Welcome to Five for Creating! An interview series here at ComixCentral where we focus on getting to know Indie Creators and what they are working on through a series of five questions. This week we chat with Comic Creator Joseph Schmalke who is currently Kickstarting his new art book CARPE NOCTEM.

1. Tell us about your love for horror and how its inspired your work including the upcoming art book Carpe Noctem.

My love of horror stated way early on.  I remember being a kid watching Phantom of the Opera (the silent one) and the classic universal monster movies with my Dad.  My mom was into the slasher horror that was coming out in the early 80’s and exposed me to Nightmare on Elm street and Friday the 13th.  So, for me its just from what I know.  I loved those movies then and I love them now. Every October I binge watch horror and love drawing my favorite monsters and maniacs.  This year I touched on several themes that I have wanted to draw like monsters of rock, classic monsters, slashers, and Kaiju monsters. 

2. This is more than just your run of the mill art book right?

It’s going to be a large format book (11×17″) and will have a prominent look just from its size alone, but it’s also a labor of love and I wanted to offer people something with more of a prestige format. I see a lot of people walking around at shows buying prints for their walls and then the following year saying to me that they love the prints they are seeing but have no more wall space. I’m remedying that with this book.  You get the large format art but you also get your wall back…this is an art print book you are meant to hold in your hand.  Outside the campaign I doubt I will sell any of these pieces as wall prints though many of them are frame worthy. 

3. Tell us about your Graphic Novels Cherry Blackbird and The Infernal Pact, Which will be available as ad-on rewards during the Kickstarter.

The Infernal Pact is about three friends that jokingly sell their souls for drugs and find themselves actually cursed. Transformed into monsters they find themselves being hunted down by Devil worshiping bikers and brain eating zombies on a cross country road trip to hell. Cherry Blackbird is about a rock and roll star that has to send seven demons to hell in order to save her own damned soul.  Both the Infernal Pact and Cherry Blackbird exist in the same universe.  Both are horror/grindhouse books with over-the-top violence, insane characters, salty language, sexual situations, nudity, drugs, and a dose of dark humor. They are my independently published horror graphic novels and both have a hard “R” rating. 

4. Do you have anything else on the table for this year that you would like readers to know about?

The biggest thing will probably be something that people will be bringing to my table.  The Electric Black is coming out in April from Scout comics and it’s the story of an antique shop filled with cursed objects that’s run by a demonic proprietor and his psychopathic employees.  It’s Tales from the Crypt meets Needful Things/Friday the 13th the series and as such works like an anthology with a larger story binding all the smaller stories togther.

5. Here at ComixCentral we are all about promoting all things Indie. With that being said, besides yourself and projects, what is one Indie property or creator you think people need to go check out right now?

Some of these are coming soon and some are available now.  Ben Bishop has THE AGGREGATE which is the worlds first Split Decision comic. Dylan Andrews continues work on his Archive: the Warhood odyssey series. Ryan Wing is coming out with his newest project the October Ghost , Rich Woodall is releasing both Space Force and Sgt. Werewolf this year (he’s also my partner on the Electric Black) and finally Walter Ostlie is releasing Metal Shark Bro also in April from Scout comics. 


CLICK HERE TO SUPPORT CARPE NOCTEM ON KICKSTARTER


Joseph Schmalke is a comics creator, writer, and illustrator residing in Westbrook, Maine. Joe is the author/artist on THE CALAMITOUS BLACK DEVILS (Broken Icon Comics), THE INFERNAL PACT (self published), and CHERRY BLACKBIRD (self published) and the upcoming THE ELECTRIC BLACK. A classically-trained painter, Joe got his start doing tattoos in the back of New Orleans barbershops. A lifelong lover of comic books and horror movies, he has worked behind the scenes in film and tv, but has always focused on making the type of books that he loves to read— full of dark humor and dark themes. You can find his work featured on Exclusive FYE t-shirts, Portland Maine’s comics zine ONE-PAGE STINKERS, Killer Bootlegs’ and Super 7 figure box art, and A Sound of Thunder’s IT WAS METAL graphic novel anthology.

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Five for Creating With Aidan Casserly


FIVE FOR CREATING WITH AIDAN CASSERLY


Welcome to Five for Creating! A new interview series here at ComixCentral where we focus on getting to know Indie Creators and what they are working on through a series of five questions. This week we chat with Aidan Casserly the creator of Scapula a comic which started its run back in 2007 and which has a new release  available through his active Kickstarter campaign.

1. Tell us a little about Scapula.

Scapula is a creator-owned comic series that I first self-published in 2007; it started as both an indulgence in everything I loved about comics (supervillains and monsters with a MAD-esque tone) and grew into a long-running series. Scapula ran as a webcomic from 2008 through 2015 (the first four years as a full-color Sunday page only, the last three with the insane update schedule of four comics a week). The series is now published as special magazine-sized issues, the most recent one being 2017’s Scapula and the Sinister Monster Doom Legion.
The brand new issue, Scapula-Doubly Dark & Deadly! is currently having a Kickstarter campaign to fund its publication, which you can find here!

2. You published the first Scapula story in 2007, Eleven years later what drives you to keep telling his story.

In all honesty I just really enjoy creating Scapula comics; there are times when creators have stories and characters that they have to struggle to work with, but sometimes they hit on something where the ideas just  never stop. After I had done the original Scapula zine and a year of the webcomic I no longer had to struggle to come up with ideas; a few years later and the stories started to become dictated by the whims of the characters as if they were real people.
Some stories, such as ‘Blessed be the Damned’ and ‘Love and War’ (collected in Scapula: World’s Worst Villain) were completely rewritten when I started thinking about the plots from the characters’ individual perspectives and thinking about how they would emotionally and logically react to situations; once a creator reaches that stage of understanding their own creation then I believe they’ve hit on something great.
…that and I like drawing monsters and bad guys getting clobbered.

3. Scapula seems to has both a horror and comedic theme. Is this tough to balance when writing the story?

Not at all! Humor and horror have had a long-standing relationship in comics, film, rock, theatre, etc, and the mixing of creepiness and comedy is my goldmine. Sometimes the horror is fun and nostalgic (such as the ‘House of Scapula’ story from Scapula Vol.2 Fear the Failure, an homage to the Universal monster movies), sometimes it’s played deadly serious (as in the majority of Scapula: Memento Mori); the tone may shift depending on what kind of story I want to tell, but in the end there’s a lot of freedom and range when you’re going for chills and laughs.

4. You mention in the Kickstarter campaign that you are showcasing the Female characters from the Scapula Universe. Other than the fact that Woman totally rule, was there another factor on why you chose to focus on them?

Even though I had a ton of fun making Scapula and the Sinister Monster Doom Legion I did take another look at it afterwards and realized that there were barely any women in it (the only ones of note being the seductive vampire and the completely ridiculous alien girls); I decided that the bad boys had their fun in that issue and that it was time to return to the female cast of Scapula.
The two-headed gangster Jemini, who has been Scapula’s main nemesis since the first year of the webcomic, has always been a challenge for me to both write and draw, which is oddly enough the reason why I return to her stories time and again. There’s something strangely funny about having a character who is smarter than the idiots around her and yet still falls victim to their exact same stroke of bad luck. She appears as a central character in the main story of Scapula-Doubly Dark & Deadly!; we’ll see how she deals with Scapula this time…
Aside from Jemini we’ll also be seeing the return of some of Scapula’s former lovers in the final story of the new book. I will confess that the ‘soap opera’ angle in the webcomic was one of my favorite things to explore (I’m a softie at heart) and even if the romances usually turned into tragedy they still made for interesting stories. I’m very happy that readers will be able to revisit some of these strange and unusual women once again.

5. Here at ComixCentral we are about promoting all things Indie Comics. So, besides your own work, What is one Indie property or creator you think people need to go check out?

I really want to thank Bill Walko, who has generously helped promote my own Kickstarter while accomplishing his own goal for The Hero Business: Season Two with flying colors; we launched on the same day and he still took the time out of his own promotion to help spread the word about mine. That’s a real class act right there!
We’ve even had fun with it in the form of a ‘drinking contest’ cartoon series between his main bad guy (the show-stealing Dr. Eli Malefactor, who would be my favorite character from The Hero Business if not for Louie the Lounge Lizard) and Scapula. Let’s see how drunk they get by the end of the campaign!
I also want to thank Howie Noeldechen, creator of the ongoing Tara Normal comic and the graphic novel Float, who created an exclusive Scapula piece for my campaign, which is currently being added as a new Reward for certain level backers.
Thank you everyone for reading my ramble and check out the campaign; enjoy the horrorshow!


Aidan Casserly is a California-based artist, formerly from San Francisco and later relocated to Los Angeles. He received art training at several institutions, namely the American Animation Institute in Burbank.

Aidan works as a storyboard artist, primarily with Animatics & Storyboards Inc and Smorgasbord Productions, having worked on commercial and animation properties as diverse as Barbie, Talking Tom & Friends, Chop Chop Ninja, Gorillaville (DreamWorks TV), AllState Insurance, Mercedes Benz, Ace Hardware, and Disney Interactive.

Aside from freelance work, Aidan continues to create his own brand of comics, including his creator-owned series Scapula (currently in its eleventh year of publication).

Aidan is heavily involved in the SoCal horror scene, with a series of monster-art books and live caricature appearances at spooky-themed stores including Dark Delicacies, the Hyaena Gallery, Toy-Zilla, Black Cat Comics, and the California Institute of Abnormalarts. He is also a frequent collaborator and performer with the shock rock band The Rhythm Coffin.

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Comic History Mysteries Episode #12 | Horror


The Horror!

Join The Rambling Phoenix, The Voice and the Janitor who just works here, as they talk HORROR in Comics on this terrifying episode of Comic History Mysteries on the ComixCentral Podcast.

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Anthony Cleveland’s Mini Review Roundup!



Sometimes you just don’t have time to read a bunch of reviews and choose which great Indie Comics you’ll get into next, and when that happens, Anthony Cleveland has got your back and some great picks! It’s Mini Review time!


1. EELMAN CHRONICLES

I fucking love Eelman Chronicles.  There it is; Out of the way. 

There’s just so much heart and thought into this low-fi DIY comic. Eelman Chronicles is Chris Spalton’s (writer & illustrator) retellings of his father’s stories from being..well..an Eelman– someone who catches eels for a living. The stories are about his father’s bizarre run-ins on the job and about his town as a whole. Each story is fun and usually pretty absurd at times–and they stick with you! 

Chris is in the process of putting together a collected volume now, so follow him on social and keep an eye out for updates!

Rating

5/5


2. GUNPOWDER WITCH

What drives me crazy the most about the superhero genre in comics is its lack of originality. If I crack open a superhero book it’s usually because there’s some new ideas that were able to pull me in– for example: Gunpowder Witch’s original pitch. 

Gunpowder Witch ( great title, by the way ) has a very simple question: “What if the accused in the witch trials in the early American colonial era were actually superhumans with powers?” It’s X-Men meets the Crucible in this alternate timeline and it’s a blast! 

There’s a very simple art style here that matches well with the story and the characters are impossible not to connect with. At about 150 pages, it’s a great ride that is well worth your time. Pick this one up!

Rating

5/5


3. TALES FROM DREAMSPACE

While perusing CXC’s horror comics I came across Tales From Dreamspace. The $0.00 price tag made it an easy pick up and I was in the mood for an anthology.

 The horror anthologies I liked as a kid were the ones that were a bit more grudgier and left you feeling that icky horror feeling long after you set the book down

 Several of the stories in Tales from Dreamspace this hit that mark. There’s also few that have classic horror reveals and reversals that feel familiar with the EC horror comics. I was impressed with some stories that committed to challenges like: “How to make a bathroom rug scary?”

 Sprinkled throughout are mini-stories, quotes, and short narratives. It has a feel closer to a digital horror zine than to a classic horror comic you’d find in the backroom of a comic shop. –By no means am taking away points for it being a digital horror zine, but some of the stories didn’t hit the ball as hard as the others and the payoffs didn’t match the stronger narratives.

 Regardless, the stronger stories make it well worth a full read, especially if you’re a horror fan looking for a free and fun fix.

Rating

3/5


Thanks for reading! Don’t forget to subscribe to “the Pulse” for indie Comics new, CXC Updates and more great articles and reviews from 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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Crowdfunding Roundup – February 15th, 2018

 

Velthaneus: Issue 01 – A Sci-Fi Comic

This is the book I’ve been the most excited for on this week’s Round-Up and I can’t wait to share it with you guys.  The art is insane and the story is a blast. The book has the look and feel of a Skottie Young fever dream done with an old school black and white manga style. It’s cyber-punk, it’s fantasy, it’s kinetic, and it needs more love!

PLOT:

Thane is a crazed pervert that busts out of purgatory with some newly gained bizarre supernatural powers and hits the streets of Karst.  Will Thane liven up the city with his new very NSFW party trick, or lose his mind to the same destiny that swallowed the city nearly three decades prior? You can check out the webcomic here.

WHAT THEY NEED:

This is a solo creator doing both story and art in this book. Ashley West needs $4,000 to help with all printing costs and she’s a bit ways off to get there.

WHY YOU SHOULD BACK IT:

It’s a book that’s wholly unique but has a familiar classic indie look and soul. This story and art is the stuff that great indie comics are made of! As I write this, the book is about $3K from its goal with only 12 days to go. When I said it needs love I meant it, folks! Back this book!Velthaneus_ comixcentral

Velthaneus_ comixcentral 2Follow this link to learn more and support this campaign »
Twitter https://twitter.com/gangfeather


Gunpowder Witch: The Graphic Novel

Comic shops are drowning in superhero books and it can be excruciating to get your indie superhero comic noticed because of that.  You need something new or unique to make the possible reader say to themselves, “Oh, that’s different. Cool!”  Gunpowder Witch accomplishes this by setting the story in an alternate history that combines the Salem Witch Trials with X-Men.

PLOT:

Set in 17th century New England: Rebecca Bell manifests supernatural powers and she is branded as a witch. She becomes hunted by a fanatical preacher and is aided by other outcasts with their own unique powers. The fight heats up to a fiery confrontation showing that the flames of justice cannot be extinguished by hatred and intolerance.

WHAT THEY NEED:

They’re very close to their goal, and they just need one good nudge to send them over to the finish line. You don’t have to dig deep to help this comic come to hardback.

WHY YOU SHOULD BACK IT:

This is a type of book that belongs on paper and bound in a hardback. After reading the pitch, I can’t think of a better way this story should be presented.  It needs to be cracked open like a witch’s old spell book…minus the dust.

gunpowder witch_comixcentral

Follow this link to learn more and support this campaign »
twitter / @Stache_Comics


FolkTales Of The Cryptids

You like horror anthologies with great art? You like Cryptids (Bigfoot, Chupacabra, Mothman)? You wanna see them combined? Hell yes, you do.

PLOT:

FolkTales Of The Cryptids [30 pages] is a collection of 4 short horror tales each centered around a Cryptid legend. 8 Artists were paired up to bring each dark tale to life, resulting in a unique collection of short stories. (You can read one of the stories here.)

WHAT THEY NEED:

This campaign is just starting out and there is still a long way to go. Funds are going towards the Art, Colouring , and Printing.

WHY YOU SHOULD BACK IT:

This is the crew’s 4th Kickstarter. They also have a good track record with fulfilling pledge rewards.  “The risk potential for this project is fairly low as the project is 80% complete we’re just colouring the last remaining pages now then finally lettering.”

folktales comixcentral 2folktales comixcentralFollow this link to learn more and support this campaign »
twitter: @joeyafterlight 



Thank you for checking out the Crowdfunding Roundup – February 15th 2018  |  by Anthony Cleveland

 







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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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Episode #29 / Determination Perfection and Art Direction with Kyle Hester

 

Do you have a passion for film and comics? Wanna know how the creative process for one can be an asset to the other? Honestly,  does your determination just need a kick in the pants?

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This is the perfect episode for you. We’ve got the indie Hollywood man who does it all. Kyle Hester is an actor, producer, art director and more. He’s got plenty of credits to his name and all the humility and wisdom that comes with it. He’s a spitfire king of the road mix master who knows how to handle everything from emotional transformation to social media sorcery. He’s a tremendous storyteller with humor for days, and that’s just me getting started.

Kyle and I definitely get into the nature of Hollywood hustle but Kyle’s not your run-of-the-mill camera king. He could have gone full Hollywood like some of his counterparts but he chose to keep it indie and his advice reflects a passion for new projects that deserve to be seen. Of course, we get into his upcoming films like Preacher Six and Zombie with a Shotgun, but we also got to share in the hard times that come along with running on all four cylinders for the sake of success. We talk about everything from crowdfunding to set building. We talk mentorship and creative growth. We talk about Kyle working with his wife on Preacher Six and how it came about and of course we talk about similarities between indie film and indie comics. Hey, we even talk about Peter Simeti of Alterna Comics and Kyle’s work on the film adaptation of his horror graphic novel The Chair.

Other head nods include talk around Trey Parker and Matt Stone’s Team America World and our mutual respect for Naomi Grossman of American Horror Story fame. She plays The Blue Nun in Preacher Six so you definitely don’t wanna miss this. He’s the most inspiring man you’ll find in indie this side of the Netherrealm.


Don’t forget to follow the #PreacherSixArmy on Twitter: https://twitter.com/PreacherSix

Follow Kyle on Instagram @Kylehesterland

Preacher Six IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt6135560/

Support their Indiegogo: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/preacher-six-horror#/

Kyle’s CXC promo vid: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ilObkdnkNPk&t=1s

Website: http://preachersix.com

No art without indie

 






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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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Episode #22 | Anthony Cleveland

comixcentral_carousel_homepage_anthony-cleveland

Comic Creator Anthony Cleveland

On this weeks episode of “Adventures in Interviewing” Chris Hendricks interviews Anthony Cleveland. The incredibly fascinating Comic writer of the comic Chris calls, the #1 Horror Comic with Heart, Silver Skin.

We’re getting personal and awesome up in the Podcast this week with Comic creator Anthony Cleveland. We chat about Anthony’s creation process and you have to tune to hear how he funded his latest comic book project, Silver Skin. It’ll make you lol!
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Connect with Anthony Cleveland 

Twitter  |   Website





 

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Episode #21 | Joey Oliveira

comixcentral_carousel_pod-cast_-joey-oliveira

On this weeks episode of “Adventures in Interviewing” Chris Hendricks interviews Joey Oliveira. Comic book writer, filmmaker and founder of British Comics Publishing house Afterlight Comics.

Come meet Joey Oliveira! A fascinating look what into it takes to be a Comics entrepreneur and the many lessons he’s learned along the way. Find out about his Kickstarter campaign, Comics, how to find an illustrator, the founding and running of a publishing company and so much more.
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Connect with Joey Oliveira

Twitter  |   Website





 

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Joe Francis Totti | Creator Spotlight

inktober-winner-joe-tottie-2017-creator-spotlight

Welcome to our first ever “Inktober Winner Edition” of CXC Creator Spotlight.

Today we are joined by the 2017 CXC Inktober Winner, Joe Francis Totti!

During this year’s Inktober, Joe took the road less traveled and created an entire Comic over the 31 day period. Slow rolling a terrifyingly good mini-horror, delighting his Instagram followers with every gruesome panel. It’s for this reason our selection team chose Joe as our winner and we thought you’d all enjoy getting to know this talented writer, illustrator and graphic designer as much as we did.

Let’s get to the interview!


Hello Joe! First off, congratulations on winning our first ever CXC Inktober Contest! The hundreds of entries we received from incredible artists made choosing very difficult, but your work came out on top as the clear winner this year. A truly exceptional execution of Inktober, we tip our hats sir!

Now, please tell our readers a little bit about yourself and your work.

Joe: My name is Joe Francis Totti, I’m 29 years of age and based in Liverpool in the Uk, My profession is Freelance Graphic Designer, but my love, life, and passion are reserved for comics (and my wife haha). I have worked in the creative industry for the past 7 years. Only in the past few years did I puck up the courage to jump into indie comics and social media and try to find my footing in the industry. That is something I am still working on daily to find haha.

What kind of comics do you create?

Joe: So far they all seem to have a dark tone, I find myself working on Horror or Science fiction, but I like to make sure there is humour in everything I work on. It brings you out of the misery and grimness.

When did you get your start?

Joe: I like to think I’m still waiting for it haha!

What made you decide to start making comics, how did you get into it?

Joe: I have one of those personalities, I cant just enjoy something I have to be involved in the things I love, so naturally, I found myself craving the idea of making my own stories up and drawing them.


How about your graphic design career? Did you attend art school, or are you self-taught?

Joe: I studied under two amazing teachers, Alan Baker and Paul C, but even they would say University sets you deadlines and it’s your job to teach yourself.

How do the two occupations complement/ clash with each other? Do you have a favourite?

Joe: It really helps me with compositional work and understanding programs like photoshop & illustrator. So this helps with the colouring and lettering of my work and understanding the print process, but I love comics, they wipe the floor with design hahaha!

What do you see as the biggest obstacle to your success?

Joe: I like to feel like I’m yet to be successful to help me keep pushing haha (ever the pessimist haha) but I would say allowing people to work with me and not being a control freak and doing all the work myself.

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

Joe: My Mac (computer not jacket) haha.

What resources do you rely on for illustration?

Joe: I love to use my little notebook and fine liners (when traditional) and my Yiynova graphics tablet when working digitally.

Who are your biggest inspirations in the comic realm?

Joe: I would have to say, Tony More, Rick Remender, Daniel Warren Johnson, James Harren, and Mike Spicer all masters of there craft!

Where do you get your inspiration and ideas from?

Joe: Usually, a situation sparks a weird idea then I jot it down and develop it from there. Conversations are really important to the process as well, tell people about your ideas it really helps.

What does your workspace look like?


Tell us a funny story JOE!

Joe: Aha! Last year at thought bubble festival I had an opportunity to meet one of my heroes in comics, Jeff Lemire, creator of one of my favourite books Sweet tooth.  We had a conversation at my table and he said come over and say hey and I’ll draw you a quick doodle of Gus.  So I head to his table I stood there like a deer in headlights and he said: “what’s your name again so I can sign this?”  I said, Joe. The room was loud so he said “Jon?” (I thought) so I said, “With an N?” And he said “Joe with an N?” I said “I’m not sure” ….. he then said “do you know how to spell your name?” haha so I went red-cheeked and slumped away from the table embarrassed, but he gave me the drawing below. He was a great guy, gave me multiple prints and books.

Where do you hope to be in 5 years creatively?

Joe: Like most creators, I have dreams of releasing a book with image comics, but I will be happy as long as I’m still making comic books.

What do you think the big publishers could learn from the Indie scene and vice versa?

Joe: I like both for different reasons, I would say they both serve a purpose as well, but there is a real sense of levity with characters in indie comics I would love to see in the big two but, would that be destroying what I love about them? Haha tricky question.

That just about wraps it up Joe, any final thoughts?

Joe: I would love to share my projects I’ve recently been involved with. They are: The Landings, being published through Markosia. It’s a sci-fi horror, super hammy like the old cinema, a bit like (it came from beneath the sea) this is with writer Elijah James. Also a project with Matt fitch and Dead Canary Comics called “Eye in the sky”. This is part of an anthology called “Adventures in science” out next week through the Dead Canary Comics website, http://www.deadcanarycomics.com/product/adventures-in-science/  Another is Self-made hero’s The Corbyn Comic. I worked on a 3-page story in this anthology called – Lethal Corbyn III – with Chris Baker also of Dead Canary Comics. I realize I’m rambling now, but look out for my social media for news on the printing of mine and Matt Fitches Inktober comic that we will be printing in the next few months! 🙂

Lethal Corbyn III
Eye in the Sky

Awesome! This has been such a pleasure Joe! How can people find out more about you and the work you do?

Joe: You can find me @thelifeoftotti on both Instagram and Twitter thank you for all the support through Inktober.


Well, that’s it for this Creator Spotlight! Thanks so much for joining us. Make sure you follow Joe on all his social platforms, you’re gonna’ want to keep an eye on this talented guy! I think we’ll see great things from Mr. Totti! Who knows, maybe one day he’ll misspell your name at Comic-con!

Instagram  twitter


 

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Review: Project Shadow Breed #4

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Project Shadow Breed #4
Different Breed Comics/Dim Throat Comics
Written by: Justin Bartz
Art and Colors by Stefani Magicianshouse
Lettered by: Justin Birch
Story by: Josh Schneider and Justin Bartz
Reviewer: Rob Wrecks


Project Shadow Breed has been an interesting read for me so far. As one of the main things I really like about this is the fact that the main character Marrok is a Werewolf! And not necessarily a traditional kind either. But more man-made for one of those black ops type military projects. You know how it is, man playing God and all that just to get themselves a good ol’ fashioned weapon to better fight their enemies with! Yes, I’m talking about you, SinTech! You naughty fellas! I’m curious though, does Marrok get affected by the Full Moon? Making him stronger during it? Maybe a bit more feral? Or is he completely unaffected by it since this was basically a Science Experiment by folks who shouldn’t have been mucking about with things greater than them? Answers that perhaps one day, we’ll get from Justin Bartz when the time is right!

And while I enjoyed Stefani Magicianhouse’s art and colors, there were points in her art that were a little off. For example, I’ll go into the early pages of #1 where a mother is holding her (dead?) mixed little girl after a shootout occurs. I don’t know if this was done intentionally, but instead of holding the little girl in her arms, she’s holding the little girl in a way one would probably do so in a sacrificial way. And looking very stiff as well instead of actually looking like a body. Its possible this was done on purpose because the panel’s not exactly a big one but still, the whole thing looks really weird.



It’s also clear to see that the city of Seattle has a big problem. One that Marrok and his partner/mentor/friend Leroy are trying to do something about. Even if one’s a lot younger then the other but they don’t necessarily let that affect them too much! I love the friendship between these two and you nearly wanna’ climb into the pages yourself to help Marrok put a hurting on some folks after Ol’ Leroy ends up in the hospital. Ol’ Leroy’s the reason Marrok himself didn’t end up becoming anything more than a Government Black Ops pawn that probably woulda been seen as expendable at some point in the future. PSB is also a lesson in why the Government should NOT be doing business with Businessmen. Especially those who aren’t good people and will use a place like Seattle for anything they please.

The trucker villain who’s got a Van Dyke look going on (which is weird considering he’s a trucker and a villain for Marrok) is someone who is unapologetic about what he does. And you wanna just hate him for it, especially once you see what he’s got in his trailer! I honestly had expected him to be a one time character after his first appearance but was surprised he wasn’t. Which makes me look forward to seeing how much of more a pain in the ass he can be for Marrok and Leroy in the future. I’m also a little curious about if whether or not Justin and Stefani are Rick and Morty fans since in the 4th issue there’s a Scientist who has a resemblance to one of those characters. Or close to it at least! Issue 4 also gives the lovely Goddess known as ‘Red Hyena’ and she’s certainly a handful! Not to mention a bit sneaky!

I honestly hope she’s around for future issues, and armed with more armpit gas as that’s not necessarily something you see someone use a whole lot of! Has me curious about what got Justin to go for an idea like that! Near the end of the 4th issue, however, is a little jarring. I don’t know if this was intentional or what, but seeing Marrok talk with Leroy and practically pleading with him to wake up from his coma-like state and then a panel away discussing some bad business the two’s been looking into it (like I said before) pretty jarring. Though I’m curious if any more of Leroy’s old friends are gonna show up with intent to be a problem for him and Marrok. Then again, that nurse of his might cause him more trouble than any other old friends of his!

Andrews and his cohorts clearly have some bad intentions in mind and I can’t wait to see what those are. If only to see Marrok and Leroy stop them but good! As Andrews and his bunch definitely need to be stopped before they can do any kinda real serious damage!

So Justin? Bring on #5 so we can all have a howlin’ good time!


Find more great Indie Comic reviews from Rob Wrecks on indiecomix.net


 

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Episode #20 | Thom Burgess

On this weeks episode of “Adventures in Interviewing” Chris Hendricks interviews Thom Burgess. Writer of dark shadowy things, creator of Ghoster, The Eyrie, Malevolents and Hallows Fell.

Let’s get creepy with Thom, find out what makes a great horror story, how to build a ghost and learn more about this terrifying and darkly beautiful comic creator from another realm. Well, the UK. BOO!
 [podbean resource=”episode=ncd4s-7e9a31″ type=”audio-rectangle” height=”100″ skin=”1″ btn-skin=”107″ share=”1″ fonts=”Helvetica” auto=”0″ download=”0″ rtl=”0″]

Connect with Thom Burgess

Twitter  |   Website





 

 

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Episode #18 | J Francis Totti

j francis totti_podcast

On this weeks episode of “Adventures in Interviewing” Chris Hendricks interviews our 2017 CXC Inktober Contest Winner!

Inktober_comixcentral_winner.6

Join Chris and our 2017 CXCInktober Winner J Francis Totti as they delve into the comic illustrator’s creative process, work habits, the social impact and importance of “Friends” in the UK and why Joe self-identifies as a Chandler.
[podbean resource=”episode=88rg3-7e9a33″ type=”audio-rectangle” height=”100″ skin=”1″ btn-skin=”108″ share=”1″ fonts=”Helvetica” auto=”0″ download=”0″ rtl=”0″]

Connect with J Francis Totti

Twitter   |  Instagram





 

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RAGS: Creator Spotlight a Fireside Chat with Brian and Trent

creator-spotlight-comixcentral-rags

Hello readers! Today we have 2 badasses for the price of 1 Creator Spotlight!

We are delighted to have the opportunity to pick the brains of the creative team behind the jaw-dropping, action-packed, delightfully comedic and beautifully illustrated, RAGS: Prologue. If you haven’t read the first issue of this comic, stop right now, (well read this spotlight first) then, go get a copy, immediately.

“RAGS is a comic involving two military veterans and their quest for a sense of normalcy during a zombie plague that has wrecked the liberal state of California. But this isn’t a tale about Zombies. This is a tale about pants. A tale about PTSD. A tale about finding a purpose. About setting aside your own prejudice. About overcoming guilt and insanity. Things that most other authors are too afraid to tackle. Hold onto to your poopers and get your tactical onesies ready.”

So without further ado, may we present A Fireside Chat with Brian Ball and Trent Luther. Let’s do this! Oohrah!


To start, tell us a little bit about yourselves.

Brian: Well my is Brian Ball, I’m a 14year Active Duty Army Veteran, currently in the San Diego National Guard. I’m the writer of RAGS, and my partner in crime in this is Trent Luther. He and I came up with the basic premise. My friend Rudy help us polish it up with the Unicorn Onesie. I’m withholding the name of my artist for the time being as I’m unsure of how he wishes to be credited.

Trent: My names Trent, I’m from Fargo North Dakota. I work at an auto salvage yard. I don’t think I really known for much.

What kind of comics do you guys like to create?

Brian: I’m actually unsure of how to answer this one, as RAGS is the first Comic I’ve actually created, from concept to what it is now. I’m not quite sure what I’d call the genre. Maybe Black Humor is the most accurate as I subtly make take jabs at lots of things.

Trent: Zombie comics I guess. Though I used to draw some dope stick figure comics that had to do with the civil war and the supernatural (Ethan Allen was my main protagonist.).


What made you decide to start making comics and get into the business?

Brian: So what got me to create? I would have to say that I’ve always enjoyed writing. That’s been my passion since I was 8years old. The military came a very close second when I was 10. But what really pushed me is that Comics now, Marvel in particular, no longer speak to me as an Individual. I see a lot of push towards inclusivity and diversity but I’m not really seeing any characters with personality. I’m half-black, ¾’s Latino and there has yet to be a character that I could really get behind. So I figured, rather than complain about it, I’d just go out there and make my own.

Trent: Brian’s ambition. He’s been a rock that waves break themselves upon this whole time.

What do you see as the biggest obstacle to your success?

Brian: Right now, the biggest obstacle to success is marketing. Marketing, marketing, marketing. Some early feedback I’ve seen is that ‘Oh, it seems like another by the numbers zombie story.’ It’s not. In many ways, the zombies are a bonus.

Trent: Marketing. Marketing has been rough. Mainly lack time and funds to do so. I try to make an enticing post on Imgur and Reddit. But getting them rolling can be tough

Coffee or Tea?

Brian: Coffee. Definitely Coffee. There’s this saying amongst me and my battle buddies; “If it wasn’t for caffeine and hate I would have no reason to wake up in the morning.”. But honestly, I need about three cups of coffee just to get the old brain synapsis plodding along.

Trent: If you ain’t down with Alwazah tea you can get outta my life.

Who are your biggest inspirations in the comic realm?

Brian: My biggest inspirations are Adam Warren, the old crew from Antartic Press. Eric Johnson, if you’ve ever seen his work, he’s drawing the book for Vikings. Masamune Shiro, Kentaro Muira, Hajime Kanzaki, I read a lot of manga. Akira Toriyama for his pun-based naming structure. John Kantz and Christopher Reid for their EXCELLENT book: Legends from DarkWood. I was really sad they didn’t continue this, it was great series!

Trent: For me Todd McFarlane, Frank Miller and R.A Salvatore (I know he doesn’t do comics, fight me.) But I grew up with Spawn comics and toys and everything Drizzt.

Where the inspiration for RAGS come from? Tactical onesies? WHERE?! We love!

Brian: So the inspiration from RAGS initially grew out of a drunken night of Left4Dead2 with Trent. The initial plot we came up with was just some chick running from store to store trying to find a pair of pants while fighting off a zombie horde. And each time she found pants, she’d lose them somehow or some way and have to go find some new ones. It was funny in our heads, but after initially writing the whole thing, I knew I could tell a better story if I just changed some things, so that story evolved into what RAGS is now. The idea for the tactical onesie though, that grew out of me, being absolutely sick and tired of seeing the skin-tight spandex suits that you saw in all these female superheroes run around in. I’m sorry, but Black Widow, in that lycra she runs around in, would constantly be splitting her the backside of her pants. Also, I dislike the idea of a woman in 5-16”inch heels being able to beat up 210lb guys with just her fists. So while trying to come up with a suit that would be practical, my buddy Rudy simply suggested ‘Why not a unicorn onesie…like they have at Wal-mart.’ Then it just grew from there.

Trent: The inspiration for RAGS. That’s tough. Brian came to me one day with a small idea of a story and it just kinda evolved. Tactical onesies…It seemed like a joke at the end of our story. However, it just worked so well. Then when we got a few illustrations and it was so damn amazing seeing it on paper.

comixcentral rags regina

You clearly love zombies. What made you decide to throw your talents into the zombie storytelling world?

Brian: I’m a HUGE Resident Evil Fan. I have the S.T.A.R.S logo and two of Rebecca Chambers tattooed on my arms. Since the inspiration for the story came from Left4Dead2 it was only practical that the zombies followed. But there’s a slight twist to mine, that make them much different….much more lethal than what we’re used to seeing. Creating a new plague was tough because I’m just a soldier and not much of a scientist. But I have figured out something that is very realistic and COULD come about if the right minds got together and were able to put two and two together.

Trent: To me… a Left for Dead 2. We talked a lot about it while playing an impossible to beat player made campaign. Also, Zombies fit perfectly for Regina’s main struggle in the story.

Your choice of coloring for RAGS is very unique. Could you tell us how you guys decided on this approach?

Brian: The coloring for RAGS is done that way, because I wanted people to focus on what the was important to the character, Regina. Her freckles are important, and obviously her tattoo’s, (which is a story arc I hope to explore much later.) I wanted to add to the tension by tricking the reader into focusing on things that I wanted them to focus on. I hope that makes sense. Color is going to come into play much later, I hope the audience appreciates what I have in store.

Trent: Brian’s call on that. I yes-manned cause it was a wonderful choice.

comixcentral rags

 

What would you say is your ultimate goal in comics? Where do you both hope to be in 5 years creatively?

Brian: My ULTIMATE GOAL is for everyone to be Cosplaying Tactical Onesies at all the cons. If that happens, I’ve met my goal. In five years I hope to have the entire story of RAGS completed and on the shelves of bookstores. Maybe a movie deal, or a t.v. series if it gets popular enough.

Trent: Super cheesy Syfy Movie with a dank cult following.

How far are you wanting to take RAGS? What do you guys see as the “Big Picture?”

Brian: I’d really like to get RAGS into the hands of a publisher. I have a story that’s actually inclusive, diverse (being set in California gives me a wide array of characters to choose from and topics to tackle) and I KNOW with the right backing would be a huge hit. Also, having someone else handle the marketing (you’ll see me spam twitter almost daily) would be nice.

Trent: All the way. I’d like to see our idea flower into a whole series of comics.

What do you find to be the most difficult part of creating a comic?

Brian: The most difficult part I would say is getting feedback. Especially when something is good and you personally know it. Sometimes I’ll hand over a copy for a friend to read and I won’t hear back from them for months….and when I see them again I ask about it and they’ll say “Oh, it was good.” Yeah, but how good? What did you like best? What worked? What didn’t? Finding the right people help steer you in the right direction. That’s pretty tough. Thankfully I had a few people give me honest reviews and critiques, so moving forward I know exactly what how to handle things.

Trent: Picking a genre. There is a lot of criticism jumping into any kind of genre when there is so much of it all readily available. Really have to make an impression right off the bat.

Are you for sale? I say that as a joke, but not really. Would you sell RAGS to a large publisher? And on that note, would either of you consider working for the Big guys?

Brian: I would SELL RAGS ONLY to the publisher that would handle it properly. I’m tackling lots of issues in ways that I have seen or experienced that are relevant to me and so I’d like to find a publisher that would appreciate the nuances that are baked into the story. I would LOVE to work for Marvel and write Spider-Man. I kinda feel old Peter could use some fresh blood. But IDW is actually my second pick if I had a choice.

Trent: Hmm. Definitely to Image comics. Spawn and RAGS mashups all day baby. Honestly tho though that’s a tough question. IDK?

How has the response to RAGS been? And what do you think you’ve learned for your next issues?

Brian: So far (for everyone that’s taken a chance on it.) the response has been positive. Usually, my pitch is what gets people raising eyebrows. “Naked chick running around town trying to find pants during a zombie plague!” I get it, it sounds perverted. I would be a skeptic too. But usually, after I show off the script and artwork…people get it. I’m getting a lot of requests for physical copies, which I’m only sending off to those who’ve supported me on Patreon as a reward, and it sucks to say ‘I can’t right now.’ But it’s also great to know that there are people out there that want to see this on shelves!

Trent: The response has been great but I feel pretty localized. Hard to get my old, gearhead co-workers into comics. I get called a nerd a lot. Marketing. Definitely, marketing is a must. It’s hard let me tell ya.

Trent: The Patreon and Facebook. I try to post teaser albums on Imgur and Reddit under the username Niehlis. I’m normally fairly busy with the daily grind so Brian tends to knock out this stuff.

It’s been awesome getting to know you guys and learn more about the stories behind RAGS. Is there anything else we can tell the reader about you?

Brian: Anything else I wish to add? Oh yes! I’m not sure if anyone noticed, but there are a TON of Easter eggs hidden within the prologue. One might be a little obscure and I have no problem giving this one away but Regina, the main character, her face is modeled after Liz Finnegan. If you do not follow her on twitter…you’re failing at life. There are some other things that are hidden too! Most of the other tidbits we probably won’t see until we’re further along. But this comic…it’s my magnum opus and I hope those that are tired of the big two right now, give this a chance. Trust me, if you think this is JUST another Zombie story you’ve barely scratched the surface. Even though I play up tropes, like say Regina quickly getting surrounded by zombies. Well, there’s a legitimate reason for that, but again, only someone with a very discerning eye will catch on.

The other thing I’d like to say, really quick, is that I really have to give a shout out to my friend: Balam, who taught me how to write scripts. And Jim, my old Army buddy from my first unit. Joshua Foster has been helping me maintain the website/blog. Rudy Vallejo and Heaven Perez have been my local support as has Deanne Vicedo. Everyone that supports me on Patreon. Morgan Marino, Candy Dax, Grace Harney (for the edits she did for my revision.) and Elizabeth Stryker. And my biggest cheerleader Samantha Johnson. All the boys in the Quality Control Discord. Captain Frugal the youtuber for his honest review. And Zetha202, one of my favorite Deviant Art Artists who let me borrow a character of his (check him out here: https://zetha202.deviantart.com/). There are so many people to shout out too, but I know that alone is going to be about 4 pages long.


Well, that’s it for this Creator Spotlight! Thanks so much for joining us. If you’d like to learn more about Brian and Trent, connect with them, buy their products or support RAGS directly, you can find the links to all that and more below! 

ragszombie.com  |   twitter   |  teepublic.rags  |  CXC Profile  |   Patreon Rags

 Trent also posts teaser albums on Imgur and Reddit under the username Niehlis.





 

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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.

[podbean resource=”episode=t2eig-7e9a39″ type=”audio-rectangle” height=”100″ skin=”1″ btn-skin=”108″ share=”1″ fonts=”Helvetica” auto=”0″ download=”0″ rtl=”0″]

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 – Sept 1, 2017

crowdfunding roundup indie comics blog

Hey. Pssst! You! You wanna’ see something cool?

I know you do. Come on, all the cool kids are doing it! Come feast your eyes on our Crowdfunding roundup! We’ve got some of the best, un-cut and primo campaigns from Kickstarter. But you know, if you’re not into being awesome. We understand.

May we present the CXC Crowdfunding Bi-Monthly Roundup, September 1st, 2017 edition.


Champions of Hara

by Greenbrier Games INC    |    Kickstarter

 

Champions of Hara is an adventure board game in which 2-4 players (+2 with expansion) race to protect a dying world. Players will contain destructive energy by defeating monsters, closing rifts, and exploring the six different zones within Hara. In order to rise to the challenge, players will need to unlock new abilities and collect powerful items. Each session takes approximately 30 minutes per player.

Breathtakingly beautiful! The art is what first caught our eye with this Kickstarter, but after reading more about the gameplay, characters and of course the Graphic Novel (2 issues are currently available on ComixCentral btw… cough cough!)  which runs parallel to the game, we were hooked! Get your hands on this exciting, self-described, funk fantasy! Your friends and family will thank you when you pull this beauty out on game night!

Kickstarter Campaign   |   greenbriergames.com   |   twitter.com


SPACE COPZ: Cereal Zombies!

by  Michael Speakman  |    Kickstarter

 

SPACE COPZ is an all-age science fiction comic series following the journey of Sgt. Alpha Omega and his loyal sidekick Beta Boy, as they traverse outer space, saving it from great evil.

Available as a web-comic series before making it’s way into print copy. Each SPACE COPZstory will be illustrated by a different artist, making for a unique experience for all.

The issues will not be numbered but will instead be titled. This will allow more casual readers the opportunity to pick up the series wherever/whenever they wish.

FUN! That’s the word that kept popping up while we were looking into Space Copz Kickstarter. Seriously, the art looks fun, the storyline is fun, the creators look fun. I think we killed the word fun. Fuuuun. So, you want to have some fun with Zombies, puppies, cereal and spacelords? Of course you do! Come back these guys and get as much fun as humans can pack into a comic into your hands! Also, take a close look at some of the rewards this campaign is offering, some really unique options there. OK. Go have some fun! 

Kickstarter Campaign    |   Facebook


EDJ COMICS: BLACKLIGHT

by ERIC W SHEFFIELD JR.|    Kickstarter

This is the first book in a three comic series that will tell an amazing story that culminates in the joining of the characters of the 3 books in one grand quest against an invincible foe.

If you haven’t watched the trailer to this campaign, go back and watch it all the way through. Guys, great message, great idea, great comics! We love this project. Let’s help Eric bring these amazing characters to life so kids of every color can see themselves in their heroes! By the way, if you pledge fast enough, you can get your own character in the first issue! Yup, get out your wallets and pledge to a great project! Not to mention, the art looks badass, and you know you want to add it to your collection;)

Kickstarter Campaign   |   Facebook


Urizen Zero – The Serpent’s Fang Hardcover Comic Book

by  John Pinto |    Kickstarter

Urizen is a mesmerizing, compelling, tragic, fun and epic adventure revolving around a medieval, sci-fi world with the same name. In it my good friend Derek Thomas and I tell the story of a great race living at the cold ends of Urizen known as the Ademinians, led by their strong and noble ruler, Draconan and his queen of beauty and magic Arguine.  It has been told that a great light will fall from the sky and it is then that a great reign of nobility, and strength will come in the form of an egg, soon to give life to the one to be named Draconan King of Starlight and Might.  Soon he would grow alongside the young Arguine, and together they would join to form the Kingdom of the Cold, Ademynia.

So we’re going to admit the art grabbed us by the collar and slapped us around a few times with this campaign. Pinto has found an amazing artist is Fachrul Reza, and it seems that this group of creators is destined to create some mind blowing comics and take the indie world by storm. Pledging support to this project is a no brainer! Show these guys some love and be part of bringing this jaw dropping universe to life. Not to mention with a $100 pledge.. they’ll put YOU on your own cover, how cool is that?!

Kickstarter Campaign   |    http://www.bloodshadowgames.net/   |   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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Welcome to the Magician’s House

CXC – Hello Magician’s House! We are so excited to have this opportunity to get to know you a little better. We’ve been big fans of your work around here for some time! Thank you so much for joining us today.

MH – I’m super stoked to get to talk to you guys and gush about what an important platform ComixCentral actually is.  I don’t know of anywhere else that actually gets indie comics the way that you guys do.  

You’re 100% about the freedoms of the creators, you bend over backward to support what they’re doing and you have categorically come down harshly against all manner of censorship issues which have cropped up since you’ve opened your doors.  

ComixCentral has really shown me everything that I need to see in order to recommend them to people who might be unsure about where to shop their product.  At a different time it may have been Kitchen Sink Press, Fantagraphics Books or something like that, but now, in this age, I have no doubt that the place to be is ComixCentral.  

Since you guys came along, it’s like indie publishing excuses don’t exist anymore.  You’ve thrown down the gauntlet and said, “Oh you have an idea that you want to express in comic book form but it doesn’t fit the mainstream market?  It’s too rough, too short, too experimental, too controversial?  Well, we’ve got you.”  You’ve put the all-talk people on notice. It’s sort of like, “Ok big girl who says she’s out to make comics… now what’s your excuse?”

But those excuses, they’re plentiful, aren’t they?  “Oh, I want to succeed at comics but something’s stopping me; my finances aren’t straight, I have family duties which eat into my creative time, I don’t want to work at it too much and neglect my self-care.”  Dude, if you’re an artist, making art is the only self-care. It should tear you down.  Art should destroy you.  Every time you approach a page you should be a bomb exploding. Afterward, worry about picking up whatever’s left of you from the floor and reshaping it up to do it again. 



CXC – So you don’t have much patience for those not taking their own destiny in their hands it seems.

MH – Yeah, a theme comes up immediately with me that I completely dismiss complainers and excuse-makers.  If you’re not willing to literally give your soul for whatever it is that you’re after then we’ve got nothing to talk about.  We’re operating on different levels.  I came into comics from a delinquency background so my frame of reference for artists was skewed toward the self destructive edge of the spectrum.  It was amazing to find out just how soft the people in comics actually were.  Doughy tykes who wouldn’t last five minutes in a real world situation building stories off some TV that they’ve seen and still complaining about the process and their personal despondencies.  Meanwhile I’m looking at them like, “Are you for real?”  If your dream is to make comics and you’re finding excuses why you can’t squiggle lines down on paper, go ahead and freaking kill yourself.  Life isn’t going to get any easier for you at this point.  I mean, I never find reasons to quit.  I never have things about which to complain.  I only find more and more motivation to push harder and burn hotter.  I just want to crush my enemies, humiliate my critics and die on my feet while moving forward.

Magicians House Cover work – Project Shadow Breed

CXC – Do you feel like that point of view separates you from the “Comicbook” crowd?

Now, haha yeah, I feel like that alienates me from the herd, certainly.  When you add on that I’m not big into fandom, I hate manga, never seen Star Wars, have no clue about video games or Dungeons & Dragons… it all starts to add up that a big chunk of the standard experience is going to zoom past me, you know?  That’s just the palette I’ve been dealt.  All those aspects of comics just get lost on me but there is something else at work in them which I’m very much interested in exploiting.  It’s the subliminal danger that they pose.

Comics used to be a dirty word.  Comics were smut.  They were at the very least a brush with some subversively-motivated minds. They were hurried, and in that quickness the damaged brains of the creative team shown through the cracks.  Like a game where you blurt out the first thing on your mind and you’re horrified at what you unconsciously said.  That’s comics for me.  And for others, too.  Game recognizes game.

Take Doktor Geraldo.  You talk to that guy for five minutes and you realize that he’s a madman.  You’ve met this guy, he’s a menace, isn’t he?  His every idea is so loaded in ways that will completely unbalance you.  He let me creep up into his world for a minute and he told me that he liked my drawings a little bit. Well I, naturally, was crazy about his throwback unidentifiable concepts and writing.  He offered that we should collaborate on a completely original concept at some point and I agreed but my drawing schedule was slammed for the foreseeable future.  He didn’t skip a beat.  He said, “Ok then I’ll draw it and you write it”.

This is the world in which Geraldo lives, haha.  I’d never written anything so he had nothing on which to base this gamble.  He’s well known to illustrate in a very primitive artistic style, so this whole suicidal concept was simply going to be an exercise at baring our necks to the critics.  Each of us taking the things at which we excel and instead doing the opposite.  It was a jarringly original proposition.  He had no idea what kind of story I’d be asking him to illustrate.  He’s a guy who dives in first and looks for water on the way down.  It certainly got my attention, so I messaged him back immediately.

Let Geraldo’s enthusiasm be known.  No roadblock can be built which will hold this guy back.  Never is he anything other than exuberant about the potential of comics.  Here I was intentionally making the story as self-damning and radioactive as I could conceive.  And yet he had no problems with the two of us using our weakest skills to create the unsaleable. 

CXC – What do you mean by unsaleable?

MH- Unsaleable because the comics community is famously strident in that they take themselves far too seriously.  They love to climb up onto their cross and yell out to the crowd about how they’ve been given such a raw deal.  Victimhood is very much the fashion of the day.  It might be completely lost on them that Kirby obviously occupies a great deal of my constant brain power if his 100th birthday was something rolling around in my head back in March.  I knew to count on the predictable reactionary tantrum for a besmirching title like Fuck Kirby piggybacking the occasion, no matter its content.

I told Geraldo that nobody was going to publish this.  Nobody was going to get near it for fear of the galled backlash from all the shriekers who themselves only know that it’s Kirby’s birthday because Marvel told them a day before in order to sell them their own comic books. So props to ComixCentral, again. We did Fuck Kirby before we did Dildo Boy Origins so I wasn’t yet convinced at just how truly committed you guys were to staying consistent on your position that everyone must retain the power to sink or swim under their own merit.  Personally, if I could turn this interview around on you for a minute, I’d love to know how this concept of creative freedom became so important to you in the first place such that you’d take it to extremes like this to stay in step.

CXC – Haha! Yes. We believe strongly in freedom of expression and have put our “money where our mouths are” so to speak. If you’re going to stand on a soap box and take a stand for free speech, you better be willing to back that up with action. We are very proud of our no-censorship stance.. which is probably why we love your work so much! 

Cover “Fuck Kirby” written by Magician’s House

But, back to you. Tell us a bit about your personal website magicianshouse.com and the blog, “Comix Voodoo Hayride”. How did that come about?

Like I said, game recognizes game.  I’m always here to sing you guy’s praises not because of things that you’ve said but rather the things that you’ve done. I regret that I’ve had to turn down a few of your creator spotlight segments but I got banned from Facebook and couldn’t participate.  That’s one of the reasons I ended up launching my own website.  It became apparent to me that if I was going to continue popping off with inflammatory views then I was going to need a place where they couldn’t throw me out.  Comix Voodoo Hayride” is now my own little corner of the universe where I get to talk to whomever I want and say whatever I think.  I like highlighting the extreme personalities, whether or not I agree with them.  I’m drawn to bad apples.  I gravitate to the self taught and the self made.  I don’t care if you’re a good witch or a bad witch just so long as you’re indomitable.  It’s just the taste I developed due to my background. 

CXC – Now that you bring it up, would you mind telling us a bit of your origin story? We’ve heard from Doktor Geraldo it’s very unique.

MH – I haven’t clued you into any of that yet, have I?  Well, let me give you the nickel tour of the last thirty years. 

My mom was a runaway rambunctious beauty queen, my father a convicted mad bomber who’s doing life without parole.  Growing up I was familiar with comics but they weren’t the center of my world, magic was.  When my mother remarried an African Obeah man it gave me pretty much the keys to the kingdom; anything I wanted to know, I had access.

I was painting a lot of freight trains at the time and eventually started riding them.  One day I just never rode back.  I was fourteen.

If you’ve never ridden a freight train before, they’re sooty and everything about them is designed, from what I can tell, to hurt you.  And they’re loud.  So loud that conversation is useless and you’re left to your own interpretations of what the hand-etched symbols on the interior of all the cars mean.  The symbols were always there.  You could see them in the dark.  I could see them with my eyes closed.  With my background I was quick to assume them to be an unknown magic inscription and I fancied the trains were crisscrossing America, clandestinely feeding the country like a circulatory system with these sigils.  They influenced me to no end.  A whole lot later I found out that they were what people call Hobo Signs. 

Excerpt from “Fuck Kirby”

I met other kids painting trains.  I’d stay at their houses.  If they were into comics I would eat up their collection but the issues were always fragmented, diverse and sporadic, like channel surfing.  I found work in haunted houses, that led to some modeling, I worked a cash register at an all-night sex store.  Comics were germinating in my head all this time but I had far too much ground yet to cover.  Too many walls to bomb.  I got locked up a lot.  And I escaped a lot.  I cut off every ankle monitor ever put on me, got back up on my feet and hit the road again.

I was eventually institutionalized and finally remanded to some unknown extended family deep, deep in an undeveloped swallowing forest in Georgia.  It was like no place I’d hitherto been.  It was a real detour for me.  I found out that my grandfather had been this legendary Hitori Hanzo type character; a mountain man living in cryptic hermitage while hand-forging these widely-sought blades with components he gathered from the forest, skeletons and antlers.

Excerpt from “Fuck Kirby”

Having nothing to paint on and nothing to paint with while being isolated in the forest really dialed me into the history of the soil. Haha, the frequency of all those ghosts in the ground.  So I started drawing and found that comics were calling distantly to me out there from the future like a time-traveling dog whistle.  Now I’ve been drawing for three years.

CXC – Wow. Just wow is all we can say! You really must write an autobiography at some point!

Now, you say you’ve been drawing comics for 3 years. Can you tell us a bit about some of the projects you’ve worked on?

MH – I’ve gotten to work on a lot of books that you can conveniently find right here on ComixCentral like Project Shadow Breed and Dildo Boy Origins.  You can catch me at magicianshouse.com which I update several times a week.  I would invite you to see the pernicious ten page mini-comic Fuck Kirby for yourself and stamp your size eight shoes around angrily if need be.  

CXC – Wonderful. Thank you so much for this candid and fascinating look into your work and the woman behind the art! We’ve enjoyed your story immensely and look forward to all your future endeavors. We have a feeling you’re going to be making some huge splashes and waves in the coming years!

Alright, it’s been great talking to you and we’ll do it again soon.

Corsair is illustrated by Magician’s House

And with that, we’d like to thank Magician’s House again for joining us. You can find out more on her website, connect through twitter or right here on ComixCentral. 

Twitter   |   magicicanshouse.com   |  CXC profile





 

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Episode #9 – Comicbook Creator Jeff Haas

Episode #9 – Let’s Meet Comicbook Creator Jeff Haas

On this episode, Chris Hendricks interviews Jeff Haas, one-half of the super Father/Son Comic creating duo behind Nighmare Patrol. Listeners might also know Jeff from his writing on Sanctus!

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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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Episode #8 – up close and personal with Nick Gonzo

Episode #8 – up close and personal with Nick Gonzo

On this episode, Leigh Jeffery interviews Nick Gonzo, the dynamic and wildly talented creator behind 50 Signal, Funk Soul Samuari and most recently, Corsair! Also the co-founder of Madius Comics and one of the most silver tongued story tellers we’ve host on the ComixCentral podcast. Get ready for a fascinating, charming and sometimes bone chilling good time with Nick Gonzo.


[podbean resource=”episode=iaahy-7e9a3d” type=”audio-rectangle” height=”100″ skin=”1″ btn-skin=”108″ share=”1″ fonts=”Helvetica” auto=”0″ download=”0″ rtl=”0″]
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 – Aug 15, 2017

indie comics kickstarter

It’s Roundup Time!

It’s a veritable garden of Eden of Indie Comics Kickstarters right now! We are truly seeing something special happening in the indie world. As more and more incredible Comicbook creators find their voice and pencils, we the fans of indie Comics are enjoying a glut of fabulous, unique and stunningly beautiful Comics to choose from. I tried to be cute with my words this week, but the quality of the Comics I found simply took all the silly words out of my mouth. Enjoy.

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


Robots vs. Princesses

by Todd Matthy|    Kickstarter

“Princess Zara wants a baby dragon. She finds a robot named Wheeler. Together, they must stop a robot army.”

 A fun, action-packed, pop-culture mash up of fairy tale princesses and giant robot anime, ROBOTS VS PRINCESSES is a delightful, all-ages adventure sure to please anyone from age 6 to 76.

ROBOTS VS PRINCESSES is a story about courage, friendship, and accepting others that is appropriate for young readers without talking down to them.

 Download a preview here and check out some art below.

Man I loved the trailer for this one. The epic battle between Princesses and Robots! Who will win? I guess you’ll have to support this Kickstarter to find out! (Our money is on Robots. They don’t have any of that pesky empathy to get in the way;) Let’s make it happen people!

Kickstarter Campaign   |   robotsvsprincesses.com


Horrors, Inc: Squad K, Issue #1

by James R. Vernon  |    Kickstarter

Imagine that every myth, ghost story, and monster were based on something that existed in the modern world. Magic was real. Strange artifacts that can perform miraculous events, including connecting our world to others and the gods that inhabit them, can be found. Or created.

This is the world of Horrors, Inc.

Some dark, creepy fun is waiting for those who pledge support to Horrors, Inc! Pretty sure this story would have Shaggy and Scooby running for cover, the trailer alone gave me the creepy-crawlies! Come back an amazing creative project, get the comic and some sweet add-ons are available too!

Kickstarter Campaign   |   jamesrvernon.comn   |   Twitter


CORSAIR: A New Madius Horror Comic

by Nick Gonzo  |    Kickstarter

 Agent Corsair is part of The Order, an ancient fellowship that’s been maintaining the relationship between the two sides of England; The modern world, and the ancient things that live in the shadows.

Assigned by his superiors to a low level missing persons case, Corsair is set to track down a local business man who has been trying his hand at black magic. As he works the case more questions surface, and Corsair is forced to question his place in an increasingly modern world, because as well as having to live through ghosts and flesh eating horrors he has to survive the modernisation and monetisation of his ancient organisation. Expect noir styled mystery, hideous monsters, ancient evil, and a different twist on a haunted house.

Did it just get awesome in here? The answer is yes. This AMAZING creative team, headed up by writer Nick Gonzo, has brought the world an instant classic. With a dark and compelling storyline, rugged handsome detective, ghosts, evil and, oh dear god… modernisation! Corsair is sure to have you glued to the pages and begging for more. Come throw some money at Madius Comics, support indie creators and get your entertainment on!

Kickstarter Campaign   |  madiuscomics.bigcartel.com |   Twitter


Ninjas and Robots

by Erik Klaus|    Kickstarter

Ninjas and Robots tells the Story of Yuki, a Super Ninja, who has lost her memory and does not know the Power she already has within her. In order for her to regain her memory, unlock her potential, and escape ROBOT ISLAND she is going to need some help from her ninja friends. She is also going to have to fight a lot of Robots!!

This Graphic Novel is an introduction into the World Of Ninjas and Robots (WONAR).  This is only the beginning. 

Ninjas… Robots. There is nothing else to say is there? Come on guys, the art! Oh god.. the art! Support this great creator, Erik Klaus, get the comic, get some stickers, get a shirt! Also, there’s a talking cat.

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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Stephen Gammell: A Friendship Forged in the Dark

stephen gammell

 Greetings, fellow fear followers. Tis’ another frenzied frightfest filled with eerie exploration.

Grab your torches and pitchforks. Let us mob-march together across yet another murderous moor. Tonight we brave the mist in search of the ultimate bearer of bedtime burdens. He’s the drawer of dark art that gifted us our first ghoul-gasm. He’s the herald of horror headaches, and he put the chill in children illustrations. Ladies and gentlemen, I’m speaking, of course, about the juicy genius of Mr. Stephen Gammell.

He’s one of those mystery magicians who has a reputation for macabre magic among the youth of the 80’s and 90’s. You may not know his name, but trust me, you know his work. He’s been doing his thing as a paid professional since the 70’s, but he’s particularly fear-famous for the Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark series. Like many currently-early-30’s children, I was introduced by this dude (along with writer Alvin Schwartz) to terror tales in the best way. You see, fear is a tricky thing. Often times, it keeps us from moving forward. However, true morbid masters of the netherrealm find a way to give darkness a sort of awkward gravitational pull. Fear is supposed to be something you run from, but Gammell turned darkness into a siren’s song that many adolescents are still singing along to today. Gammell didn’t always do horror, but he was always brilliant. Like all kings and queens of creativity, his brilliance had to start somewhere.


From a very young age, Gammell’s parents put a perfectly good sheet of paper in front of him to ruin. Those are paraphrased words from Gammell himself. It’s easy to see how a young son might get “drawn in” by illustration when his dad is the art editor for a major magazine. Encouragement from your parents is one thing, but I think growing up in Iowa must have been an even bigger influence. I mean seriously, what’s in Iowa? I’m pleading ignorance here. Will someone please message me and tell me what exciting thing existed in Iowa as a kid 50 years ago or something? Oh, my bad. I forgot. You guys have Albert, the world’s largest bull. My life is made. Thanks, Iowa. Anyway, sorry for my lack of Iowa knowledge. I’m sure Stephen probably appreciates it a lot more. If you are reading this Mr. Gammell, please accept my sincerest apologies. Des Moines is much more interesting to me now than ever, thanks to your existence.

In my limited experience, I find that art is not something you chase.

It seems to be something that always chases you. I read that, from a very young age, Stephen Gammell found pencils much more interesting than toys. I also read that he credits drawing as the thing that “got him through” school. I don’t know about you fellow creators out there, but I definitely credit curiously cultivated fantasy as the ultimate cure to the soul-sucking scholastic disease we adult children now call boredom. For the record, it’s not the fault of your teachers, my friends. It is the system’s fault. If you don’t believe me, just check out one of the old school houses circa 1876. I hear they have one in Iowa. You’ll find that it looks strikingly similar to our modern day desk dilemma. Alas, my ADD has appeared again, and this is a topic for another time. For now, back to Stephen. P.S. This article does not reflect the opinions of ComixCentral, nor does it belittle the value of education for the youth. P.P.S. Yes it does. P.P.P.S. Go to school anyway. Stephen did. He did not, however, go to school for art.

Like many unique geniuses, Gammell didn’t have any formal artistic training. There’s nothing wrong with going either way necessarily, but those who don’t follow formulas are bound to find something special. I would venture to guess that they find their own way a bit faster, but everyone has influences. Gammell was first influenced by the periodical illustrations his father would bring home from the office. As a songwriter/musician by trade, I was first influenced by Brian Wilson and my mom’s old THK tapes of The Beach Boys Greatest Hits. What can I say? We’re all a product of our surroundings.

Once Gammell came into his own, his first published illustrations came in the form of squirrels declaring war on a farmer. The book: A Nutty Business written by Ida Chittum. Since then he’s illustrated/written over 50 stories and poems. Other illustrated works include: Old Black Fly, Mudkin, and, one of my personal favorites, The Relatives Came (written by Cynthia Rylant). Incidentally, this one came out the year I was born. While these were not especially creepy, you can see Gammell’s style in each picture book. His illustrations have a way of both complementing the writer and maintaining a unique, very memorable signature all its own. He was a runner-up for The Caldecott Medal in 1982 for Where the Buffaloes Begin (written by Olaf Baker) and finally nabbed the award in 1982 for Song and Dance Man (written by Karen Ackerman). The Caldecott Medal is a pretty major award in the league of little kid literary gentleman. Unlike the sexy leg lamp in A Christmas Story, this award actually means something.

Now that some back story has been taken care of, let us return to why we are here together.

While some of Gammell’s literary partnerships may have won awards over the years, no partnership has created more buzz, or more controversial excitement, than his literary marriage of imagination with the flesh fevered folklore king, writer Alvin Schwartz. Both creative wizards remembered something that so many “adults” often forget. There’s this phrase around storytelling and self-esteem every kid grows up getting sick of, thanks to every kindergarten teacher ever. Say it with me, “Don’t judge a book by it’s cover.” It’s a childishly delicious sentiment with a gushy cliche’ center, but the inside truth is that pictures mean so much more than “a thousand words” when you’re somewhere between 9 years old and a “hormonecidal” maniac. As a youth pictures mean everything. There’s no better tapestry of that understanding than the covers on the front of any ORIGINAL Scary Stories tale. We’ll talk about why I capitalized original in a moment. For now, let’s take a ride back ‘round a crooked carousel of magnificently mangled memories full of creaky stairs, angry shutters, haunted whispers, and cat-eye shadows. What was your favorite story, and perhaps more importantly (since Gammell is our focus today), what was your favorite image? I honestly can’t decide. Let’s you and I go through some of them briefly, and maybe you can help me remember the best of the best.

There’s something about “The Red Spot” that sticks with you. I scratch my cheek just thinking about it. The illustration for “Oh Susannah” doesn’t really connect with the story, but it sure reaches into the imagination. If you need immersion therapy into the depths of dying female desperation, definitely check out the images from “The Bride” and “The Haunted House.” Last, but not least, the image (and story) that never left me to this day has to be “Harold.” I can’t really explain it. Maybe it’s because I have a farmhand’s soul. Maybe it’s because the story addresses bullying in the best way, and I was sort of going through some of that stuff in my own life at the time. Either way, trust me on this, don’t torture things you don’t fully understand, even if it’s something as simple as a scarecrow named Harold.

As I examined some of these stories from my past, my girlfriend remarked, “I can’t believe they thought these stories and pictures were okay for kids!” THAT, my friends, is exactly my point. The reason why these stories are so beloved is because both Alvin Schwartz and Stephen Gammell approached their passion with bravery. Even more so, they had faith– faith in their audience regardless of age. Nightmares were not to be shied away from, but exposed for what they were and are still today.  It seems to me that both the artist in question (Gammell) and the writer (Schwartz) understood the difference between “childish” and children, “youth” and young adult. It’s an important distinction. Any artist with an ounce of courage puts passion in front of controversy. They put joy ahead of concern. They value charisma beyond critique. You get it. If you take one thing from this piece, I hope it’s this: push boundaries in order to get pushed back. Otherwise, you’ll always be one step behind the artist you were meant to be. With that said, every artist has their own mental paint brush. The same story project could be given to ten different illustrators, and they would have ten different takes. So let’s take a quick look at the Scary Stories 30th Anniversary blunder and my thoughts around the new illustrations.

Brett Helquist is a brilliant illustrator. Do you hear me people? For real though, he’s really good. He can’t stand up to Gammell, but that’s not really his fault (kind of). Before I start to ramble, let me back up a bit. For those of you who didn’t know, Harper Collins decided to accidentally ruin lives when they had Stephen Gammell’s illustrations redone for the 30th Anniversary release of the Scary Stories series. If you don’t believe me, check out some of the Amazon reviews. All the one-star writeups come from surprised angry readers expecting a night scream and getting a whimper at best. I’d break down how I feel with words here, but again, pictures are worth so much more in this scenario.

Bottom line: Brett’s great. He’s best known for his work with Lemony Snicket (aka Daniel Handler) and A Series of Unfortunate Events. The fact is, his stuff would probably work with just about anything else. I did some research, arguably limited, and found all these people hating on Brett for his part in destroying memories of our childhood. Look, stop hating on this guy. He’s awesome. He was hired to do a job, and he did it as he saw fit. It’s not like he stood in a candlelit room cackling while dismantling the dreams of Stephen Gammell after he got the call from the publisher. If you’re gonna hate on anyone, you should probably hate on Harper Collins. They’re the ones who finally caved in to all the helicopter parents and book ban lists. If you’re one out of a million people who actually like the new illustrations, good for you. I know what you might be thinking– something along the lines of, “Brett’s illustrations are more directly connected to the story.” Guess what? You’re right. However, you are once again missing the point.

Scare-reaction is much more about what you CAN’T see.

I don’t know Gammell personally, so I’m not sure whether his vision was a happy accident or a well-thought out gallery of gore. However, it’s obvious that Stephen understood that the one thing more important to a kid than pictures is imagination. Of all the things an adult world can stop, imagination isn’t one of them. Parents can’t protect their kids from an imagination anymore than they can stop them from growing up. A message to all the parents who hate on Gammell’s illustrations: go away. No one likes you. Fear builds strength and character, and as a hopeful father myself, I’d much rather that fear come from Scholastic than some street corner. If fear is learned under the covers, within the confines of a book, in a happy home, then it can be slowly absorbed, explored, and, on some level, appreciated. If it is thrust upon you in some dark alley, then all you’ve got is fight or flight, and that, I’m afraid, is barely human. If anything, Gammell’s art reminds us that we aren’t just animals fleeing from life. We are people. We are people with hearts that beat for the sake of adventure, even if that adventure is so frightening that our hearts seem to leap ahead of our chest. As a kid, Gammell (and Schwartz) taught me that I could handle more than I bargained for, and I felt stronger for it. If you’re still haunted by these images, then good; they did their job. Besides, that’s what therapy is for. There are limits to fear, but they are only as limited as the human experience itself. You might say that bravery is at the heart of storytelling. It’s not something you’re born with. It’s something you find. His gritty imagery helped me smile in the face of darkness. We still don’t always get along, but thanks to Stephen Gammell, the dark and I will always be good friends.





 

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CXC PodCast Episode #5 – Creating a Comic Universe and ROAD HOUSE. Let’s Talk to Justin Bartz!

 INTERVIEW WITH JUSTIN BARTZ

Today Leigh Jeffery interviews lead writer and creator of the Project Shadow Breed universe Justin Bartz! Find out how Justin got into creating comics, how he and the Project Shadow Breed team are creating their own Comic universe, and also a little bit about his extra curricular activities… cough cough.. he’s a pretty tough dude:D

[podbean resource=”episode=it5zx-7e9a41″ type=”audio-rectangle” height=”100″ skin=”1″ btn-skin=”108″ share=”1″ fonts=”Helvetica” auto=”0″ download=”0″ rtl=”0″]

To find our more and connect with Justin:

Twitter    |   Project Shadow Breed ComixShop  |    DimThroat Comics


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

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The Eyrie: Midnight Walk on the Beach  

the eyrie comic book review

Trick or treat, indie idolaters. No, it isn’t Halloween, but it might as well be. You know how I get truly, madly, deeply giddy over spooky, ghastly, creepy storytelling. Now that I’ve reminded you of my bias, we can begin.

I don’t know if I would really call my loveable lament a review as much as the electronically written equivalent of my joygasm. That last word is in the urban dictionary, by the way. Don’t like it? Don’t read my stuff. No one loves the angry nun living inside of you who constantly regrets her vow of celibacy. If you care about that word, then your definition of terror lies in a classroom on the end of a ruler. It’s archaic, and that nun is most likely dead. The Eyrie by Mr. Thom Burgess, on the other hand, is much more frightening and very much alive. Mostly alive. Maybe just sort of alive. It depends on your medical opinion of certain longfellows.  



First of all, Illustrator Barney Bodoano’s style is the PERFECT dark cloak to cast over Thom’s tightly knit words. Notice I said cloak here, not cloud. That’s because the art of The Eyrie feels more like a fabric than a storm.

It’s the kind of creepshow you feel just attop your skin with plenty of room for goosebumps.

His work reminds me of my first favorite illustrator Stephen Gammell, who brought horror to life in the “Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark” series of Alvin Schwartz fame. I’ve always enjoyed the challenging maze of haunting illustrations because the creator has to draw a fine line between frightening and fascinating. In my view, the art is a slightly matured shade of Gammells mastery. Nothing can replace my first childhood horror gem, but as far as one-shots go, I’m made both small and fragile by Bodoano’s vision. The world is unfamiliar, unsettling, and still somehow nostalgic. I couldn’t have drawn a better picture myself. Well done.

If any of you readers out there are actually writing out your own panic-filled panels, I strongly recommend you take note of how Thom Burgess handles exposition and tension. Our protagonist Rebecca is introduced in the midst of a tense moment right off the bat. The basic details of our story are sprinkled on an icing of frustration and sarcasm that allows for both familiarity and sympathy. You feel connected to the character, and despite her clearly eerie road trip, we’re all ready for a ride along.   

I found the whole read to be a wonderful descent. We begin by slipping into something mildly uncomfortable. The greasy history of our English backdrop adds a barbarous fog to the mix. In the case of Rebecca, I suppose it’s really a “be careful what you didn’t wish for” situation. Disconnection, isolation, and “generally pissed off” are all wonderful ingredients for madness. Still, our girl seems to keep it together for the most part, considering the noises in the shadows.

This story has plenty of the classic tropes we’ve all come to expect. Still it’s clear that Thom has cut his teeth on fright-night noir and the criminal creep themes in order to find his own voice of darkness. Most importantly, he understands what it takes to craft a scare. That is to say, the build up is everything. It’s not about the moment itself, but the vision you paint around it. While torture and sacrifice are a must in Sussex, happily, no one falls victim to your typical jump scare. I’m afraid that’s just too Hollywood, and every flesh food fan I know is over it. I think I speak for most monster maniacs when I say thanks for racking your brain for the sake of our genre.

I do not wish to take you round the final turn or through the last dark tunnel. It would be cruel of me to do so. However, Thom has earned his dance among the ghosts. He stepped onto the floor with Malevolents, and the creative choreography within The Eyrie’s pages will pull you in just long enough to stop your heart. With a well-deserved introduction from Reece Shearsmith (The League of Gentlemen, Shaun of the Dead) to get you started, you know you’re in for an interesting nightmare. Lastly, never mind a knock or two on the cottage door, but do be mindful of Mr. Owl wearing a hat. He may not be as welcoming as your childhood tootsie-pop dreams made him out to be.

You can learn more about The Eyrie here. And buy it too!





 

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Faithfully Human – J.M Bryan

jm bryan

 Greetings everyone. Today I’m honored to connect with the very prolific, and very honest, J. M. Bryan.

While I would normally put together some color-coded, alliteration-obsessed introduction to focus your attention, this artist is far too personal for heavy-handed words. It doesn’t take much Internet stalking to become attached to J’s style. It’s near impossible to not get pulled underneath the “criminally” emotional riptide that is Closer, and his collection of shorts, Stuff, seems to be the perfect marriage between a childish heart and an old soul. Whether you’re healed by the young vulnerability of “Broken,” or choose to breakdown reality itself with the abstract storytelling in “Galaxia Apparatus” (soaked in just the right amount of fear mind you), the journey always seems to end in quiet reflection.

Without giving away too much, Ted is my new favorite member of the undead community. J’s humorous take on humility and relationships makes being undead seem very life-like. Lastly, his colorful take on a bad dream just might leave you looking forward to your next nightmare. Take a deep breath, my friends. Let’s find out what’s it’s like inside the open heart of an artist just crazy enough to be himself.

 

Chris: Good to have you with us, J. I understand you have a comic writer in the family. Did that inspire/influence your storytelling? How long have you been writing, and what was it like shifting from poetry to short stories to novels to comics?

J: I have a cousin, Rich Woodall, who has been writing and illustrating comics for as long as I can remember. I remember being a kid looking at his comic collections and at his books thinking, “I want to make something like this someday.” So I guess it inspired in that I knew that I could do it if I put my mind to it and actually did it. My adventure in writing comics has just begun, but I’ve been writing prose and poetry since I could write. I actually have an old notebook full of “ghost stories” I wrote in first grade. They are terrible, truly terrible, but I suppose the positive side is that I was putting something down on paper. When I finally started writing comic scripts, the first few drafts were incredibly rough, but thankfully there are a lot of resources on the internet that help you learn to write in any kind of medium. So the transition really wasn’t that bad.




Chris: Kickstarter is a typical avenue for many indie comic creators, BUT I understand you managed to get it 250% funded via mostly strangers without much connection in the community or strategy. How do you explain your success?

J: Dumb luck, mostly. I was fortunate to have a lot of people share the project and, if I can take any credit (which I don’t want to), I would say that my low goal amount and low pledge levels really helped me meet my goal. I think people are a lot more likely to help any kind of crowdfunding effort when they feel like they are going to get their money’s worth or more. I tried my best to offer a lot for a little. My goal with Closer was not to make money but to make something people would want to read, so I really just wanted to get it into people’s hands.

Chris: Closer is a wonderful story. I’m curious. It’s in Black and White, and yet, Nathaniel’s love Marie has scars. The simple choice seems to pull emphasis away from the injury, but Marie is very self-conscious about them. Is that symbolic of how we as humans tend to focus on “imperfections” more than we should, or is it simply coincidence? I have many scars myself and would love your take on things.

J: I’m going to try and keep this answer as short as I can, but I could spend all day talking about this aspect of Closer because, at the core, it’s what the comic is about. I’m a believer, mostly by experience, that everyone has something that they would give up everything for. It’s that old cliché that “everyone has a price.” When I was a teenager and the story for Closer began forming in my mind, that something was love. I would have done anything to find that one person I could be with forever. Now, as a married man with kids, I think that family is that thing I would give up everything for. I would do anything to make sure they are safe and taken care of. Now those are pretty standard answers, but I wanted to explore the darker side of all this in Marie’s self-consciousness about her scars. If someone were to come along and offer to take those away, to give her the relief from the stares and the whispers of people she walked by, what would she do to get it? If there truly is something that haunts us all, something that we suffer with every day, what would we give up to have that taken away and finally be at peace? That’s really where the focus on the scars comes from.

Chris: Did you always want Closer to be a 2-Issue story? Where does your love of the short story form come from? Do you prefer a quick knockout punch to longer bouts of exploration? I understand it was initially meant to be a novel.

J: Yeah, I originally planned it to be a novel, but I found that I needed some sort of visual to go with it in order to fully tell the story that I wanted to tell faithfully. That was really frustrating to me and bothered me for a long time until I decided to put it into comic form. I fully intended to release it as a one-shot comic, but after talking with some people about it, I decided to release it in two parts to really raise the tension and have that cliff hanger that I really wanted in there. While I love a good ongoing comic, I feel it’s easier for me at this point in my writing career to write shorter stories to ensure that I can really write a full beginning, middle, and end to a story. I suppose that means that right now I write shorter stories for convenience, but I don’t want to bring myself into a situation this early on where I wouldn’t be able to finish something that I started. I must also add that some of my favorite books growing up were the collections of short stories of any genre, especially scary stories. Those have always meant a lot to me because I spent so much time getting into them.

Chris: I love to read. I tend to dive into non-fiction, though I agree with you in terms of it being dry at times. Stephen King taught me to love the more imaginative form, but why do you feel reading fiction is important for people in general?

J: I think that any kind of reading is beneficial. For instance, I noted recently to someone that while I might not enjoy a book like Twilight (just an example, no one needs to jump on me), I know that I can learn something from the writing, whether it is what to do or what not to do, when writing a book. Reading fiction allows me to explore worlds I never imagined and can really open my mind to new possibilities with my own creations. Even if you aren’t looking that deeply into the work, there are many classic works of fiction that challenge us in many ways or just entertain us. Some fall into both those categories, being both entertaining and challenging, but either way I believe they can be beneficial to anyone. Siddhartha by Herman Hesse taught me to challenge my faith. Harry Potter was a ton of fun and taught me a lot about right and wrong. We can always learn, whether it’s a biography about a president or an outer space adventure.

Chris: My love of comics has been a tremendous learning experience. I’m still trying to understand the importance of lettering. Can you tell me where your passion for it comes from, and why it’s more important than new readers might realize?

J: Someone told me that good lettering is pretty much invisible, but bad lettering can be a flashing light on the page. I think this is incredibly true. If the lettering is bad it can make a page confusing, difficult to read, or ruin what could be a great comic by making it feel like a jumbled mess. Good lettering, on the other hand, makes a comic flow in such a way that you barely even know it’s there. I think the good lettering is the reason why lettering has gone unnoticed, which is a good thing.  I have a bit of history with graphic design and typography, which led me to look into learning lettering as another form of comics to explore. I like to make things look clean, and taking a comic and trying to make it readable is exciting to me. I’m a bit of a design nerd.

Chris: I read that you believe the Internet tends to “frame” a creator’s vision. Can you tell me more about that, and why it might be something worth avoiding as a creator?

J: Absolutely. We live in this “social media era” where what’s trending seems to be monitored more than real world issues. In that world, our ideas and opinions literally change with the time of day because we are constantly looking around to see what’s popular and what people want. Unfortunately, this sometimes can cause people to limit their vision and their minds to just that scope of view. Sometimes in comic-making you have to make the stuff that no one wants to read just because you want to make it. We need to be alright with not being the popular comic. If we are constantly chasing trends, we betray the creative spirit within us all. I truly believe that. We need to make what we want to, not what the internet wants. On the positive side, though, if you hit the right side of one of those trends it can really boost careers and help spread your work. Retweets and shares can boost exposure exponentially. There are two sides to everything, I think.

Chris: You know more than anyone that the Internet also allows for collaboration. It’s one of my favorite things about creativity. Tell us about what that has been like for you, and how other people have helped bring your vision to life.

J: This has been the coolest thing for me. Because of the connectivity of social media and sites like Reddit, I’ve been able to work with people from all over the globe. Only in 2017 can a guy from the US work with a Serbian artists and a British letterist. Only in 2017 can I talk to people from 4 different time zones on 4 different continents. We may take this for granted a lot, but I had to take a step back in awe at the fact that this was the reason my comic could be made. While I have met and made friends with an artist from the area in which I live, when I started making comics my “creative circle” was more of a dot, me. Closer came to be because I put out ads on social media and met the right people.

Chris: Stuff was a really interesting collection of shorts. It’s very clear that you have a mind of exploration and vulnerability. I think everyone has their own answer to this, but why is it important to make storytelling so personal?

J: To be honest, I don’t think a comic is worth reading if it’s not personal in some way to the creator. The reason I think that is because I feel like we are more invested in the things we create if there’s a piece of us in it, not just something we did for kicks with no thought. What makes any comic unique is that it is written/illustrated/colored/lettered by different people with varying experiences and feelings. If they put those into their work, readers get a very personal, yet different story. It makes our books special. It makes them part of us and that’s something to cherish and be proud of.

Chris: It’s clear to me that faith and family are very important to you. Since you’ve had the courage to be so personal with your audience in your storytelling, may I be so bold as to ask about your own love story? How did you meet your other half, and how has family been an asset to your own creativity?

J: My wife really saved my life. I met her at a time in my life where I was pretty sure I was going to die alone and didn’t really know what my purpose was. We met when one of my exes told me about this site she met her husband on, Christian Mingle (yes, the one with the terrible commercials). I didn’t really know what to expect, but, to make a long story short, I ended up meeting my wife. It turned out that she went to highschool with one of my best friends and knew a lot of the same people that I did. I think that’s what made her decide to actually meet me. Since then, our life together has been a whirlwind. We dated for just over 2 years before we got married, and we now have two beautiful baby girls. They really are my whole world, and it absolutely frames my writing. As I watch my girls grow, I’m leaning toward more all-ages comics because I want to make things that they can enjoy. At the same time, though, I now understand the heroes in the books that sacrifice it all to save someone because that’s what I would do for them. They have made me a better writer, and I’m even more determined to succeed in what I do because I want them to be proud of me.

Chris: Thank you J. It’s been a joy to learn from you.


As much as I value words on a page as conduits for learning, my true love for individual creativity comes from those moments that transcend skill, methodology, or practice– something that can’t be read in a book or absorbed from a computer screen.

The truth is, we do not find creativity. Creativity finds us when we are ready. J. M. Bryan is more than ready. His love story alone is proof that honesty and art can come together to form an endearing and trustworthy spirit I can only describe as family. His pages feel like one-on-one conversations. His body of work feels like bandages anyone would love to wear. He’s the new medicine man of the indie comic world with plenty of scar tissue to go around. Don’t worry. There’s nothing to hide. With someone like J. M. Bryant around, you might just give those battle lines you’ve drawn over the years a much closer look.

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

jmbryanwrites.myportfolio.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jmbryanwrites/

CXC: @jmbwrites

ComixShop: Little Monster Comics





 

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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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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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CHAD COLPITTS

chad colpitts

Daaamn ComixCentral! Back at it again with a killer Comic Creator interview!

Today we are chatting with the hilarious and delightfully quirky minded Chad Colpitts. Chad is a huge advocate for people looking at butt cheeks as much as possible and we’re inclined to help him out!

You simply can’t miss his iconic, laugh inducing work in “The Streaker” and he’s making us laugh uncomfortably again in “B-Movie Garbage”.


Guys we are honored and tickled that Chad took the time to fill us in on where he’s been, how he got there and how he’ll continue to “go there”.  Enjoy! (FYI- Chad may have been naked while answering these questions.. But we’ll never tell;)


Hi Chad! Thanks for taking the time to answer some of our questions. First off, please tell us a bit about the comics you’re working on right now.

Chad: At the moment I have two comic series on the go. The first series which is now on issue 3, called The Streaker. The Streaker is your average superhero story, except this hero is constantly naked. I know what you’re thinking, but I promise he’s not some weird pervert. He’s just another poor victim of radiation exposure.

After being exposed to radiation, our hero gets radioactive skin that burns everything he touches . . . including his clothing. Since he is forced to be naked he hides out in a nudist centre, and reluctantly fights crime under the guidance of the centre’s janitor. Together they run afoul of some truly bizarre villains, including extremist nudists, and robotic geniuses with phallic shaped acid cannons. This series features the eye poppingly pleasant art of Matt Garbutt (Oh Sh**t Zombies), which is sure to impress (I’m confident on this because it’s great, and my mom really likes it).

The second series is surprisingly and delightfully more inappropriate than The Streaker. It’s an anthology series we like to call B-Movie Garbage, which showcases our own homages to B-Grade cinema. You’ll see campy, disgusting, and slightly disturbing tales that you can never unsee.

The first issue is part 1 in a 3 part tale titled EMOS, where a demonic plague spreads through a highschool turning everyone into the titular fad. In issue 1, witness the possibly accurate origin of the EMO fad, along with some unconventional uses for the human skull. With the inspiredly grotesque art style of Cam Hayden (Futility, Red Flag) to disgust and entertain, we are hoping this will be a must read for B-Movie fans.

What kind of comics do you make? 

Chad: At Tongue in Cheek Comics we create a certain kind of comic . . . the kind you didn’t even know you wanted. Our goal is to bring bizarre unique comics which span a variety of genres, and will hopefully entertain even the angriest of nudist extremists.

When did you get your start?

Chad: I self published and released the first issue of The Streaker in August 2015. I guess that could be considered my start, and hopefully there is no end in sight.

What made you decide to start creating comics?

Chad: I’ve always been a daydreamer with my head in the clouds, full of weird bizarre ideas. I was never really sure what to do with them, until I started reading comics again.

realized comics would be a great format for my ideas, and would give me a chance to bring these stories to life in an exciting, artist, and slightly affordable way.

What motivates you? How do you keep creating through the times when you might feel like giving up?

Chad: Whenever things get tough I rely on the support of my family (like my very supportive mom and sister), friends, and girlfriend Megan Hodgson (brownie point name drop). Plus, I’m always lucky to be working with talented artists who keep things timely and professional. In the end I know I can’t really give up, because the Streaker is way to powerful to piss off. I guess motivation comes easy when your life depends on it.

Your books are wildly creative, where do those ideas come from?

Chad: I’d say my inspiration comes from years of cartoon watching, comic reading, and a devotion to all things movie/ pop culture related. I like to use my comics to satirize or pay homage to the things I love. So basically you could say all the time I’ve spent sitting on the couch in front of the TV was just training for my comic career.

What is the one thing you couldn’t live without?

Chad: My laptop. That is where I awkwardly type (or hen peck) out my comic scripts.

What was the first comic you published.. Any memorable experiences during the process?

Chad: The First comic I published was The Streaker. One of the more memorable/ awkward moments of the process actually came about with the act of payment. When I first started off the artist Matt Garbutt didn’t have paypal, so to pay him I have to go into the bank and wire him money. When I would do this the bank employee I was dealing with would ask me what the money was for and I would respond “for a comic”. Of course they would say “that’s a lot of money for a comic”, then I’d explain it’s actually the art for my own comic. All this would lead to the obvious question, and the awkward answer. “What’s your comic about? Well . . . (I have no choice but to tell them) a naked superhero. Then the look, and the polite response of fake interest. I would blush and show them a picture, all while secretly enjoying every minute of the exchange. I got to experience this a few times, and it’s entertainment level never really diminished.

Is there an interesting story you could share with us about your creation experience?

Chad: People always ask where I found an artist for The Streaker, which is a great question since I live in Canada and he lives in the U.K. The answer is freelance.com. I set up a page saying I had a comic idea and was looking for an artist. I actually had two hits before Matt, both didn’t really fit. The first one was a very nice lady, but after hearing the idea she had to admit it was definitely out of her comfort zone. The second guy said he would do it, but I’d have to change some things in order to make them less offensive and more appropriate. Which of course wasn’t really something I wanted to do. Then Matt heard the idea, and basically said “I love it when can I start”. So it was an obvious choice, and I’m very glad I made it, because his cartoony style works perfectly for The Streaker. Plus he’s a great guy to get along and work with.

Do you prefer to work with a team or alone.

Chad:  Since I don’t have a shred of illustrative talent, I’ll always need a team. However, I’m thrilled by this because it gives me the opportunity to work with extremely talented artists. I also find it very cool to have different ideas brought to life with different styles and visions. It gives us diversity throughout our titles, and gives me a chances to work on my flexibility as a writer and publisher.

Chad, do you have any superstitions, or rituals you can share with us?

Chad: I have a certain pair of socks that I wear to every show or con I attend. They’re lucky socks that I was given as a groomsmens gift at a best friends wedding. The wedding was a success with zero casualties, broken bones, or sullied vows, so they are definitely lucky. Plus, they’re a reminder of the constant support I have from my friends (who are the ones that will always buy my comics no matter how horrible). The only real downside of this superstition, is when I forget to wash them between shows. If I do that things can get stinky and I should apologize in advance to those sharing a table with me.

So, what can one expect when they pick up one of your comics?

Chad: Here are two pages from our comics, to give an idea of what to expect from each series. Also to showcase the fantastic artwork you’ll find inside each book. The first page is from The Streaker #2 and the second is from B-Movie Garbage #1.

How can the good folks of the world find out what you’re up to Chad?

Chad: If you want to know more about Tongue in Cheek Comics and the series we publish, you can find us on Twitter @TiCComics or at www.facebook.com/TongueinCheekComics/ . You can also contact us at tongueincheekcomics@gmail.com , if you want to know where to pick up print copies or if you want some sent to you.


Well, we’ve come to the end of our interview. This is always an emotional time for us. We love digging into how creators get their amazing comics out in the world and we know you guys love reading about it!

We want to thank Chad again, for sitting down with us and letting us into his world for this brief time. If you’d like to learn more about Chad, buy some of his comics or just stalk him a little, you’ll find all the links below.

Now go make some comics!


Connect with Chad and Tongue in Cheek Comics

 tongueincheekcomics@gmail.com

Twitter @TiCComics

facebook.com/TongueinCheekComics

Comixcentral : @tonguecheekcomics

Grab  The Streaker |   B- Movie Garbage





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8 Reasons To Read  the Bob: Non-Union Psychic series

bob non union psychic

In this saturated market, it’s easy to miss the little gems out there.

One diamond you probably haven’t noticed in a vast sea of rough is BOB: NON-UNION PSYCHIC (“Renegade Psychic. Professional Hairstylist.”), a digital-first series published by Colorado-based newcomer Warehouse 9 Productions, Ltd. in 2015.

The ad copy puts the hilarious, high-as-they-come concept as well as anyone could: “Bob Holbreck would rather use his mad hairstyling skills to make the world look a little sexier than use his awesome psychic powers to make it a lot safer.  Too bad his great Gramps won’t take no for an answer…”

Here are eight (illustrated!) reasons why BOB: NON-UNION PSYCHIC is worth your time.

1. BOB’s part of that too-rare gem of a genre, the paranormal-comedy-horror comic CHEW just ended, and there’s only one GHOSTBUSTERS.  BOB: NON-UNION PSYCHIC is serving an under-represented audience right now.  If you’re a member of it and didn’t know about BOB, well, now ya know.

2. Everyone who reads it seems to really like it.  Indie comics don’t make much of a splash – but you can tell a lot from the ripples they do make.  And the series has received unanimously high reviews, averaging no less than 4 stars out of 5.

3. BOB isn’t just an independent comic – it’s a book about independence.  Bob Holbreck’s attempt to join the Psychic Union in BOB: NON-UNION PSYCHIC # 0 is a story his creator Lance Lucero originally thought up as commentary on his fights with the gatekeepers of the entertainment world, but any person whose clear ability has been denied for paper-related reasons will dig the central theme of this book.

4. It’s an indie book, but everything about it is pro.  Yeah, we all like the idea of supporting the little guys in comics, but not to the extent that we’re ready to spend our hard-earned cash on sub-par work.  The production values of BOB are as good as any you’ll find, though, thanks to artist extraordinario Francisco Resendiz and the designer’s eye of Lance Lucero.

5. For a book about a psychic hairstylist, BOB: NON-UNION PSYCHIC is bizarrely well-researched.  Lance Lucero lives in fear of a reader informing him that this or that part of his book makes use of an incorrect fact, so the man does his homework.  For the just-released BOB: NON-UNION PSYCHIC # 1, his writing partner Adam Volle even stopped off in Paris to conduct some primary research.

6. BOB is bilingual!  In BOB: NON-UNION PSYCHIC # 1, Bob finds himself tasked with an important mission by a French ghost.  The problem is, Bob doesn’t speak French.  You don’t need to speak it either in order to follow the story, but if you do, there’s a whole extra layer of fun available.

7. BOB offers new cosplaying options. Just imagine: while all your friends are boring the world with their run-of-the-mill Deadpool costumes, you can be showing off as the 18th-century founding father of hairdressing, Legros de Rumigny!

8. BOB is timely.  Let us level with you on this: when you’re writing a book about a psychic barber, you are always on the hunt for fun and/or relevant hair-related material.  And the ‘do of a certain new president?  It’s like a gift.  It may also be a clue in a case Bob is trying to solve in BOB: NON-UNION PSYCHIC # 1…

You can buy the digital editions of BOB: NON-UNION PSYCHIC # 0 and # 1 on ComixCentral right now – and it’s highly recommended you do!


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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