David is known for his creator-owned titles Spencer & Locke, Going to the Chapel, Scout’s Honor, and The O.Z.
His work has been nominated for multiple industry awards and his catalogue of work is continuing to grow into new publishing venues.
His latest work, The O.Z., is a book that he is publishing through Kickstarter. The first double-sized issue was funded last year and currently the campaign for the second installment is underway. Backers have until September 15th to get behind this excellent comic.
Since David and I spoke for this Squadcast, the first issue of The O.Z. has been nominated for best single issue for the 2021 Ringo Awards.
David has grown as a writer and creator over the years that Pop Culture Squad has been around and he continues to be one of our favorite interviewees.
Check out the interview and the Kickstarter campaign below.
THE O.Z. #1-2 – A Fantasy Classic Reimagined for Comics
What is the O.Z?
What if The Hurt Locker took place in The Wizard of Oz? Find out in The O.Z., an action-packed fantasy comic series from Ringo Award-nominated writer David Pepose (Spencer & Locke, Going to the Chapel, Scout’s Honor) and superstar artist Ruben Rojas (Proton) that transforms a childhood classic into a war story for the ages. Returning to Kickstarter with our double-sized, 44-page second chapter, this campaign is dedicated to bringing this adrenaline-fueled twist on L. Frank Baum’s iconic Oz novels to life. Fans of Mad Max: Fury Road, The Old Guard, and Fables will not want to miss out on The O.Z.
THE HUNT FOR THE SILVER SLIPPERS
Any longtime comic fan is called upon, now and again, to explain “comic stuff” to regular folk. Comic fans often get asked to provide the back story about a particular character who’s made it onto the Silver Screen, or for some insider insights on a guy like Stan Lee or Jack Kirby. And if that fan is anything like me, it’s hard not to pontificate and go on for hours about all the trivia and historical knowledge that’s rumbling inside my fanboy brain, looking for the opportunity to get out, and to show off.
And then, all too often, the regular folk’s eyes will glaze over, they’ll be hopelessly lost and try wrestle the information to the ground and force fit it into convenient soundbites.
“Oh, I get it. He’s the guy who drew the comic books, right?” Or “Now I see, he flies kinda like Batman, right?”
The tables were turned on me (imagine that) when I was reading the introductions to a glorious new book Tex: the Magnificent Outlaw. I don’t know much about this character Tex or the men behind his creation, but there’s many people who do and there’s a lot to learn.
I kind of knew that Tex is a cowboy from Italian comics, but that was about the extent of my knowledge. Here’s a primer from the Kickstarter earlier this year for this impressive book:
Who are we and who is Tex?
You may know us (Epicenter Comics) from publishing American editions of works by legendary Italian publishing house Sergio Bonelli Editore, and series such as Zagor, Dylan Dog, Magic Wind, Dragonero and of course, Tex!
Tex Willer, the most legendary western comic book hero in the world, who first appeared on Italian news-stands in 1948 and has been published continually ever since, comes again in English in a breathtaking new story, in a beautiful, oversize, hard cover, 252-page deluxe edition courtesy of Epicenter Comics.
With a self-contained, all-ages story by the main Tex writer and editor, Mauro “The Bos(s)” Boselli (whom those familiar with Epicenter Comics had already chance to meet on pages of Zagor: Terror from the Sea, Zagor: Voodoo Vendetta and Tex: Patagonia), and stunning artwork by maestro Stefano Andreucci (Zagor: Terror from the Sea), TEX: THE MAGNIFICENT OUTLAW (Signature Edition) offers us a glimpse into Tex in his younger, pre-ranger days, or better, his (magnificent) outlaw days! As Tex is framed for the crime he did not commit, he will stop at nothing to clear his name, and in the process he will both, teach and learn some hard-won life lessons. This will be our second Tex book published, and third Tex book published in English ever.
Our latest Pop Culture SquadCast features comic writer Jeffrey Burandt who is in the midst of campaign to fund his latest comic on Kickstarter. Burandt’s style is satirical with warm heart. The best part about his writing is that while the things he writes about run the gamut from straight humor to life and death sci-fi, the reader gets the sense that Burandt is enjoying the telling of the story regardless of topic or genre.
We got a chance to talk to him about his new project with Jason Goungor called Killer Bad, and we also talked about his other projects including Odd Schnozz from Oni, anthology projects Love is Love and Pandemix, and more.
Killer Bad looks to be a hell of ride. This first issue that is being Kickstarted is a superhero slasher story set in the 90’s.
Check out the campaign information for Killer Bad and then go and back it.
The comic is described by the creators this way.
KILLER BAD is a brand new, superhero-horror comic book series with ’90’s comix flair! Each issue is a done-in-one story reflecting a different horror genre through the superhero lens, but with connective tissues of plot and character that run through the entire series. And you can start at the beginning right now with issue #1!
When an elite super-group travels to a remote island to retrieve a powerful artifact, they are stalked and killed by a super-slasher, serial killer. Killer Bad #1 is a grindhouse, gore-fest of world-shattering death and destruction!
The campaign ends on September 1 and is super close to being funded. There are terrific backer rewards tiers available. Below you can see the preview pages.
Anyone who has been paying attention to comics over the past thirty years knows that Shelly has shepherded some of the most fantastic comic stories to ever come along. Her decades long tenure at Vertigo brought us books like Fables, Lucifer, American Virgin, Clean Room, Euthanauts, and so many more.
Over the past few years Shelly has been curating and publishing comics through Kickstarter. Her anthologies include Femme Magnifique, Insider Art, Heavy Rotation, and Hey Amateur!
Her latest offering which is still available to back is called Filth and Grammar, The Comic Book Editor’s Secret Handbook. It is written by Shelly as part memoire and part instruction manual.
We had the fantastic opportunity to sit down (virtually) with Shelly and talk about what has gone into the creation of this book and her stellar career in general.
This has been one of the most entertaining and productive interviews that I have ever conducted.
We hope that you enjoy the conversation.
Pop Culture Squad: Let’s talk about the newest project. Filth and Grammar. This is a departure from what we are used to getting from Shelly Bond. It seems very personal. What made you decide on this project?
Shelly Bond: Thirty-three years of blood sweat and red ink on my fingers. This is my magnum opus. You do this once in a lifetime and I have been chipping away at it for many many years. I started writing it officially in 2016, and I just wasn’t sure which way I was going to go with it but I was always sure that the title was going to be Filth and Grammar.
I didn’t know if was going to err on the side of more grammar and some filth or ninety percent filth and ten percent grammar. But I think I finally struck a good balance when I found my superstar artist trio. When you find the right team, most things fall into place.
I cannot wait to continue working on this book and bringing it to life. Really, for anyone who wants to make comics, anyone who wants to make comics better than they’ve ever made them before, and actually for people who want to become more discerning readers, it’s the kind of book for everybody.
What is in the SquadCast?
There is plenty more in podcast, but some of the topics that we covered include:
What she enjoys about and some of the challenges of running a self publishing business through Kickstarter.
Her history as young comic editor at Comico to being Senior Editor at Vertigo, to running her own imprint at IDW, to the present. It is enlightening, and she has so much to offer in terms of her experience.
We spent some time talking about the process of making comics, and lettering nerds will find some fun points in the podcast.
Her work on Fables is a great topic of the conversation.
If you are into comics and want to know more about how they get made, this is a great conversation for you.
Also the Kickstarter campaign for Filth and Grammar, The Comic Book Editor’s Secret Handbook ends this week. You still have a few days to back it.
As a reminder, this was one of the campaigns that we highlighted earlier this month as a Kickstarter You Should Be Backing.
Where Do You Find Shelly Bond?
You can also find her projects at offregister.press.
It has been a while since we did one of these, but it is time to let you all know about some of the amazing Kickstarter campaigns going on right now. One of the positive side effects of the Covid-19 pandemic and quarantine has been an increase in creators turning to Kickstarter to get their projects out in the world. There have been some fantastic comics produced over the past year. They range from single issues, to new original graphic novels, themed anthologies, and everything in between.
Today we are highlighting five Kickstarter campaigns that are ending in the next month and we think are worthy of support. We will list them below in the order of the end of the campaign with the soonest end coming first.
Good Boy #1: Old Dog
Campaign Ends: June 24, 2021
This is a campaign for the first issue of the new comic series Good Boy. It is co-written by Christina Blanch and Garrett Gunn. The art is done by Kit Wallis and the book is lettered by Dave Lentz. The premise for the series and synopsis for the first issue is as follows:
Set in a world where humans and dogs are equals, Good Boy is a thrill-packed treat for anyone who loves action, dogs, and good stories.
Flint Sparks and his human Jon, both former mercenaries, have settled down in quiet retirement from an industry where the job is supposed to be forever. But, unlike anyone before, they found a way out. However, this new life, filled with peace and joy is not to be.
In the dead of night, some of their former “colleagues”, who disagree with their decision to retire, break into their home and murder Jon, leaving Flint alive in the bloody aftermath.
That was their FIRST mistake.
But don’t worry – they haven’t seen anything yet.
This book looks like lots of fun and while it is fully funded, there are some stretch goals well within reach. We highly recommend getting in on the ground floor of this series.
Dead Beats 2: London Calling
Campaign Ends: July 1, 2021
This is the second musical themed horror anthology put together by A Wave Blue World. The first installment was Ringo Award nominated. The original editorial team of Joe Corallo and Eric Palicki are back to curate this collection of over twenty new stories featuring over forty creators. Just a few of the creators involved in this book include:
Claudia Aguirre, Nancy Collins, Gab Contreras, Taylor Esposito, Jamal Igle, Jody Houser, Liana Kangas, Ron Marz, Lilah Sturges, Kelly Williams, and so many more.
This book is not yet funded, and we are hoping that it reaches its goal so that we can experience the sure to be wonderful stories collected in it.
Filth & Grammar: The Comic Book Editor’s Secret Handbook
Campaign Ends: July 3, 2021
This is the latest Kickstarter from editor extraordinaire Shelly Bond. Shelly has spent the last few years cultivating wonderful themed anthologies using the crowdfunding platform, but this one is a little different.
“FILTH & GRAMMAR: THE COMIC BOOK EDITOR’S SECRET HANDBOOK is [Shelly Bond’s] 160-page magnum opus, a step-by-step guide to making comic books from cover to cover. It’s the first time Bond reveals the alchemy and method to her editorial madness.”
We are very excited to get our hands on this book. There promises to be tons of great advice for how to make good comics and includes pro-tips from people like: NEIL GAIMAN, MARK BUCKINGHAM, PETER MILLIGAN, SIMON BISLEY, CHRIS BACHALO, MICHAEL & LAURA ALLRED, PETER GROSS, MIKE CAREY, DAVID F. WALKER, SANFORD GREENE, JIM RUGG, CECIL CASTELLUCCI, GLYN DILLON, DUNCAN FEGREDO, SEAN PHILLIPS and more! Continue reading “Kickstarters You Should Be Backing: June 2021 Edition”
We got the chance to catch up with cartoonist Steve Conley recently. This is an interview we have been wanting to do for some time and the timing worked out great as Steve is in the middle of a fantastic Kickstarter campaign.
Steve is best known for his multi-award nominated webcomic The Middle Age, but this time around he is collecting and printing his turn of the century webcomic Astounding Space Thrills. The campaign is doing excellent and is something you definitely want to get in on.
Please enjoy this conversation where we talk about the Kickstarter for Astounding Space Thrills, Steve’s career, the history and future of The Middle Age, and we throw in a little pop culture etymology for good measure.
Check out the trailer for the Kickstarter campaign below:
What is Astounding Space Thrills about?
Astounding Space Thrills is a fun, retro-futuristic, sci-fi adventure following hero Argosy Smith as he solves cosmic mysteries. Think of Argosy as 1/3 The Doctor, 1/3 Buckaroo Banzaii, and 1/3 every kid who grew up playing RPGs and video games.
There are very accessible backer reward tiers and so far the campaign is blowing by the stretch goals.
It is an amazing effort that Steve is undertaking by resurrecting and remastering a webcomic that was designed to be viewed on a monitor that used a VGA cable and a computer that required a hard wired cable to a dial-up modem to get to the internet. This is definitely a labor of love and we are looking forward to seeing the final results.
In our conversation, Steve mentioned that he is willing and excited to go back to the world of Argosy Smith if the people want more of it. I say that sounds like a great idea.
What are the important things to know?
The campaign ends on May 26, 2021.
You can find the campaign page here.
Steve’s website is steveconley.com.
You can follow Steve on Twitter at thesteveconley.
Steve also has a Patreon page that we highly recommend.
We have another great interview to bring to you. This one is with comic writer Vito Delsante. He has a current Kickstarter campaign in progress for the long awaited graphic novel World War Mob: La Collezione Completa .
We spent some time discussing the origins of this comic project. It sounds and looks fantastic. We highly recommend backing this project.
The elevator pitch for the book is simple.
“It’s the mob from the 1930’s, they take a hit out on Benito Mussolini and I think it is pretty self explanatory from there. If I am worth any kind of salt as writer, there will be obviously nuance involved, but I will let the audience suss that out as they read it.”
The goal of the campaign is to complete and print the book that had been solicited a few years ago but never made it to print.
Artist Giancarlo Caracuzzo is utilizing a fantastic watercolor style bring a unique look to this book.
The Kickstarter campaign ends in twelve days on January 27, 2021, and this is one that you won’t want to miss. The rewards for this project are reasonably priced and as we discussed in the SquadCast, this is one of the projects that you want to see succeed because it deserves to be in the world.
Take a listen to our conversation for more about the history and content of this interesting comic project.
Of course, Vito and I discussed his creator owned book Stray that he developed with co-creator and artist Sean Izaakse. We talked about the plans for the next volume of Stray that he hope to get going this year with artist Marcelo Mueller.
For more of my feelings about Stray check out the Continued After The Next Page column that I wrote about it.
Fans of ’80s comics will enjoy the last third of the SquadCast as we dive into collecting X-Men comics, and you will find out what Chris Claremont has to do with “Luke and Laura” and “Bo and Hope”.
Here is some more art from the Kickstarter campaign.
World War Two! Five men, all members of different crime families, all US soldiers, undertake a clandestine mission ordered by the heads of the Five Families; for crimes against the Mafia, Benito Mussolini must be killed! They must overcome bad blood and family rivalries, the Nazis and the men loyal to Il Duce, and go behind the Army brass’ backs to do it for “La Cosa Nostra!
You can follow Vito’s work at www.incogvito.com
Today, we bring you a new spotlight interview. In this session, we spoke with comics writer Justin Jordan.
Justin has been a professional comic book writer for over a decade now and is the co-creator of fan favorite indie comics The Strange Talent of Luther Strode, which has recently been optioned as film by Allnighter, and Spread among others. He has worked for DC Comics and Valiant Entertainment as well as other licensed properties while developing his creator owned comics.
In collaboration with artist John Amor and letterer Micah Myers, Justin has been publishing the webcomic Urban Animal on Webtoon.com for a couple of years now. He and John are bringing the webcomic to print through a kickstarter campaign in conjunction with Rocketship Entertainment. The campaign has hit its initial funding goal already and there are over 10 days to go before it ends.
We had a great conversation about the origins of Urban Animal, and his career. We talked about how this year has been different for everyone. We transcribed a good portion of the interview below, but there is plenty more in podcast.
You can find the audio recording of our discussion below. We hope you enjoy the conversation.
PopCultureSquad: Let’s talk about the kickstarter for Urban Animal. What are you looking to accomplish and how does that work with Webtoon, who publishes the digital comic on their platform?
Justin Jordan: Well John Amor and I do a series called Urban Animal over at Webtoon.com. It’s about Joe Gomez who thinks he’s an ordinary kid until one day he turns into a sabre toothed tiger and finds out his life gets a whole lot weirder from there. Continue reading “Spotlight SquadCast Interview with Comics Writer Justin Jordan”