Barbra Dillon, Fanbase Press Editor-in-Chief: You will soon be launching a Kickstarter campaign for issue #2 of your ‘80s horror comic book series, Midnight Highway. For those who may be unfamiliar, what can you tell us about the premise of this series?
Mike Tener: It’s an “Alice in Wonderland meets Twilight Zone” story about this guy named Alex who stumbles upon a mysterious and inescapable highway plagued by all things supernatural. All he wants to do is get back home, but he must endure the terrible obstacles that manifest on the Midnight Highway in order to do so.
Alex Maday: The story follows a high-schooler trying to find his way home after a date with his girlfriend places him on a strange road where nightmares creep and the bizarre is familiar.
BD: What can you tell us about your shared creative process in bringing this story to life, and what (or who) were some of your creative influences?
MT: '80s horror and science fiction films. John Carpenter was a major influence in terms of the look and feel of the series. Every issue has its own unique inspirations, as well. For example, in Issue 2, video games of that era were a big influence.
AM: Our creative process is a lot of back and forth forming ideas and building on plots we come up with. I grew up around a lot of anime, skate videos, movies, and video games. My influences change constantly but for Midnight Highway it's definitely been more visually striking horror or strange concepts. As of late, A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night, Junji Ito, AEW Wrestling, and old comedy radio have been my influences. Those will change next week. My brain doesn't stop digging and pulling at ideas.
BD: What are some of the fun backer rewards that will be available to those who contribute to your Kickstarter campaign?
MT: You can be drawn into Issue 3 once it releases, which is insanely cool. We have a 3D version of the book that was really popular on Issue 1’s campaign, so we brought that back. We also have glow-in-the-dark merchandise which was a pretty big staple of the '80s. We have a Collector’s Edition VHS case with all sorts of mysterious goodies inside. An enamel pin of the gold Trans Am featured in the book and a holofoil cover, as well.
BD: As independent creators, what makes Kickstarter such a valuable resource to you?
MT: Having a direct connection with people that genuinely want to support you as a creator and help assist in bringing your project to life. It’s a certain intimacy that you don’t always achieve on other platforms.
AM: It helps us make the book. Artist, letters, production cost, inventory all have to come from somewhere, and Kickstarter is the best way for us to present a project and get funding from people who love comics and be a rewarding part of bringing it to life. If you back a Kickstarter, you are giving life to something cool and that resonates with a lot of backers. It also helps us stay connected to our readers. It's been a great format for myself and many other creators, and I'm glad its a resource I have access to.
BD: Lastly, what is the best way for our readers to find out more about Midnight Highway and its Kickstarter campaign?
MT: Please look us up on Kickstarter. If you search “Midnight Highway,” it will be the top search, no question. You can also follow us on Facebook: Mike Tener and Alex Maday.
AM: Follow me on Facebook and Instagram. We'll always be the first to post updates.