Barbra Dillon, Fanbase Press Editor-in-Chief: Congratulations on the collective launch of your Kickstarter campaigns! For those who may be unfamiliar, what can you each tell us about the premise of your comic book projects?
Madeleine Holly-Rosing: Boston Metaphysical Society is about an ex-Pinkerton detective, a spirit photographer, and a genius scientist who battle supernatural forces in late 1800s Boston. We are currently on Kickstarter with our fourth sequel, The Book of Demons. However, all of our previous comics are available in either physical or digital form in various reward tiers.
Debbie Lynn Daughetee: Anna loves to sew all things Dragon and sell them at the Rose Bowl Swap Meet. One day she meets a mysterious woman who shows her some wondrous fabric. She says she’ll give it to Anna if she promises to make her plush dragons and put a piece of brimstone inside each one. Anna happily agrees and sews up seven little plush dragons. That night, she wakes up to seven living and (fire) breathing dragons tearing apart her bedroom.
Laurie Foster: Thank you so much! The Surgeon's premise is this: Set about 15 years after the world fell apart, a nomadic physician struggles to survive in a savage frontier of the poor and powerless, trying to balance her calling as a healer with the necessity of killing for survival. As a consequence, maybe she's become more skilled with her saber than she is with a scalpel, and she's trying to get out from under that reputation. This particular project is for Chapter 4, but you can get all four issues and get caught up on the series!
Steph Cannon: We at Insymmetry Creations have a two part campaign this time out:
HEIRS OF ISILDUR vs TALES FROM NOCTURNIA
The 10 song metal album on CD and Collectible colored Vinyl
HEIRS OF ISILDUR ‘Nightmare Scenario’
The special edition comic
Campaign tagline: Where STEAMPUNK MEDIEVAL FANTASY & METAL COLLIDE to produce some sick COLLECTIBLE VINYL & the new HEIRS 'NIGHTMARE SCENARIO' comic! As for the comic specifically: When we left off our previous story arc, main character Mykal Isildur in mortal peril. This issue will reveal Mykal's fate: Is he alive, did he pass on, or is he somewhere in between?
Emily McGuiness: The Zombie Game is about a group of college students who go to an end of the year party only to find themselves hunted by the rich in a live-action zombie apocalypse video game.
BD: Creating comics is often a collective effort, bringing together the talents of multiple creators to shepherd a project to the finish line. What can you tell us about your shared creative process and the individuals who made it possible?
MHR: For the original six issue mini-series, the artist was Emily Hu, the colorists were Gloria Caeli and Fahriza Kamaputra, and the letterer was Troy Peteri. For the sequels, the artist and colorist is Gwynn Tavares and the letterer is Troy Peteri. With both my artists, keeping communication lines open is critical. I try not to micromanage, but give them a good foundation to work with.
DLD: I wrote the short story upon which Dragons is based a number of years ago. When my husband Paul insisted we make it into a comic, I enlisted my friend and fellow writer, Kelly Swails to do the adaptation. Kelly has brought so much to Dragons, including the character of Mae, Anna’s best friend, who is not in the story. We work together to get a rough outline, then Kelly goes to work, and I edit.
Our entire team works on Slack. This way, artists can make suggestions, ask questions (like which dragon is this?), or bring up problems. It’s a very collaborative experience.
As Art Director, Kata Kane keep track of who has done what and what pages need to be approved. We have up to three different artists working on one issue at the same time, so it can get confusing.
Paola Amormino (Italy) does the pencils. Laurie Foster (who is running her own Kickstarter) (US) does our Inks, Lizz Buenaventura (Philippines) is our colorist as of Issue #5, replacing the amazing Sandra Molina (Spain) who quit to become an Art Director, and Saida Temofonte (US) does the letters.
My husband, Paul Daughetee, does the graphic design, putting the books together and getting them ready for the printer.
LF: Bringing creators together to make books is really an amazing experience. The help I've received from writers and artists alike has been incredible, and what fun to work with people from all over the world!! John Pence and I have come up with a really solid collaborative process for the Surgeon projects, and Omar Zaldivar (lineart) and Eve Pinkker have been a joy to work with! Sarah White and Heather Powers have helped immensely with press and Kickstarter, and my husband Erek makes the trailers and music for us.
SC: For Matt and I, everything we do is a 50/50 effort. There’s a lot of work that goes into a project like this one, with many moving parts to keep the machine going. It requires us to stay in constant contact to keep things going forward. From a technical standpoint, we rely heavily on Google Docs, Sheets, and drive between us and our artists to ensure proper communication on all fronts. For this project we have artist JC Fabul on pencils and inks and Bryan Arfel Magnaye on colors. We also have several cover artists, including Renan Shody, who does our main cover art, Walter Ostlie, and James Sims, and that’s not even getting into all the musicians and production individuals on that side.
EM: Every book needs a great team. As team leader Emily spearheaded the whole group and we all slowly built creative layers onto a really solid storytelling frame. Our amazing team took our vision from 1 to 1000 one step at a time. Dan Bridges wrote the core story and brought a unique perspective to the tired genre of zombies. Pablo Ayala is a hot, up and coming artist whose atmospheric style shifted zombies to a whole other plane. His attention to detail and dedication over a long period really is what writers dream of when they look for an artist. To round out our team, Lucas Gattoni made sure that our dialogue and sound effects matched Pablo’s art in excellence. He integrated the balloons and sound effects in a way that brought the whole project together.
BD: What are some of the fun backer rewards that are available to those who contribute to your Kickstarter campaigns?
MHR: The Plague Doctor Lapel Pin.
DLD: We have fabulous reward, but some of them are limited as to the number available. These include dragon nightlights and hand inked posters signed by Laurie Foster. We also have a chocolate dragon which is about the size of my palm. And let’s not forget the cute, cute, cute beanbag dragons.
LF: We have some really fantastic rewards on this one – custom dogtags, beautiful art prints, antique “silver” coins, t-shirts, and holofoil editions of all the books, along with original penciled pages, and cameo appearances!
SC: We pride ourselves on offering fun, crazy, unique offerings with our campaigns, and this one is no different. Alongside of the colored vinyl records (which is our first time ever doing records with our music) - one of my favorite items we have this time around are our glow in the dark custom leather slip mats. Our friends Harrison Hansen and Martin Irish over at GB Leatherworks are working with us again and have really outdone themselves with these. We think backers will really love them, and even if you don’t have a record player, these will still look very cool hung on your wall. We are also offering several variant covers, including the third in our GPK homage series by Walter Ostlie, as well as a tribute cover by James Sims for our late friend Corey Steger, who passed away just prior to the campaign launch. We’ve also got some really cool glow in the dark guitar pics with the Nocturnia dragon symbol and Heirs gears emblem.
EM: Not only do we have our full length graphic novel, we have a coloring book featuring the true star of the book - the service dog, Leg. The coloring book tells the events of the graphic novel from his perspective. It’s a fun ride to flip the story on its head and do something interactive.
BD: At Fanbase Press, our #StoriesMatter initiative endeavors to highlight the impact that stories can have on audiences of various mediums. How do you feel that your comic will connect with and impact readers, and why do you feel that this story was important for you to bring to life?
MHR: All Boston Metaphysical stories have the underlying theme of those from diverse backgrounds and have different strengths and weaknesses are stronger together than they are apart. This theme seems to have more resonance today than ever.
DLD: This story is filled with diversity, first in our human characters, second with our dragons. They are all a different color for a reason. It’s a story about motherhood, heartbreak, self-discovery and finally, how a loving heart can overcome many obstacles.
LF: Well, after coronavirus hit, The Surgeon became ever more prescient, honestly. Dr. Hanover's medical and combat skills, brains, and brawn as a female character should really resonate with all the doctors and nurses who have been heroically handling this pandemic. It's also really important to bring concepts like these to life and show young girls that female characters don't have to look like cookie cutter runway models – Hanover is missing fingers and teeth and has scars and is holding her own.
SC: Readers of the Heirs of Isildur - The Crossroads Conundrum story arc have been waiting to hear the fate of main character Mykal Isildur for some time now. So, first and foremost, we are excited to finally give them that answer (Is he alive, perished, or somewhere in between?) One of the most prominent links between all the characters in the first story arc was that they all were desperately wanting to find their place in this world. I think that’s something we as humans can all relate to. We want people to know that theme will live on in both The Nightmare Scenario as well as the upcoming sequel The Perilous Prospects. Mykal wants nothing more than to be important to those around him, and we get to explore that more in The Nightmare Scenario in a very cosmic, emotional way.
EM: This book has elements that are subtly woven in to a story that has real meaning while also being just a kick ass zombie adventure.There are a lot of messages in this book, but the main one is that life isn't fair and that you are who you are, and in that comes your power and your uniqueness. Your trauma can be your strength if you allow it to be.
BD: Lastly, what is the best way for our readers to find out more about your work and your respective Kickstarter campaign?
MHR: Kickstarter Link: http://kck.st/3m56sp2
DLD: Our website is Kymerapress.com. We do have a Kickstarter tab there that will take you to our page. You can also sign up for our newsletter from our website to keep up on the latest news. Under Facebook, Twitter and Instagram you find us under @kymerapress.
LF: We're pretty much everywhere on social media: Unlikely Heroes Studios on Facebook, @UHStudios on Twitter, @uhstudiosofficial on Instagram, we're also on YouTube and Twitch – our website is here (www.uhstudios.com), AND our Kickstarter campaign is here!
SC: The campaign itself can be located at www.tinyurl.com/HEIRSvsTFN. If you want to hear one of the advance songs from the album we have a stream video available for the song “The Perilous Prospects of Shadow’s Haven” here. You can also check out our website at www.insymmetrycreations.com. We’re trying to keep up our BLOG section with all our news releases so anything you want to know about our current events should be there. Our webstore is located at: www.tinyurl.com/InsymSHOP. Thanks!
EM: You can find out Kickstarter campaign at bit.ly/thezombiegame and you can follow us on instagram at www.instagram.com/thezombiegame.