The Indie Index – Interview with Pat Shand

For those playing at home, introduce yourself along with some of your works.

I’m a writer and content creator, and I’ve been mostly making comics and novels in my career so far. I’ve worked on Robyn Hood, Adventure Time, Guardians of the Galaxy, Iron Man, Avengers, Thor, Disney Princess, Charmed, Underdog, Casper. A lot of freelance work. I’m starting to focus more on original creations, while still keeping the freelance projects going.

 

How long have you been writing for and at what point did you realise that you wanted to pursue writing as a career?

Oh, I’ve been writing for as long as I could read. Shortly after reading my first couple of novels, both of them Goosebumps books, I started creating my own short stories. I’d ask my mom to get her typewriter down from the attic, or scrawl what I could in the margins of my notebooks. I’d even write on the broken wooden planks from my karate class. I’ve always wanted to do this, in some form.

What was the first comic book that you wrote and what did you learn from the experience?

 

The first one I wrote was called Fabric, and it was this sci-fi drama about waking up in

a different reality. Honestly, I remember thinking it was good and then, not long after, realizing that I had no idea what I was doing. I was working as a playwright at the time and I’d gotten a few short plays produced and I was working on a one-act, so I was driven by that arrogant need to conquer all forms of writing. I thought if I could do one, I could do the other. I supposed I learned that I couldn’t. It took a few years of false starts before I figured out how to write comics enough to get work, and then a few more years of learning on the job. My first published comic was Angel: Yearbook from IDW Publishing, and I look back at that fondly. It was two-pages long, of course, so they didn’t give me the space to mess up!

 

Let’s move from writing to publishing. You have established a publishing company, Space Between Entertainment, how did that come about?

Space Between Entertainment is me giving myself and creators whose work I love a platform. When we as content creators don’t have access to the platforms necessary to get our art out there, it’s on us to build our own way up. It began when I successfully funded the first volume of my creator-owned series Destiny, NY on Kickstarter and I realized I had to keep doing this. And not just with comics. We’re going to produce podcasts, web series, vlogs, audio books, and more.

Can you indulge readers with the background the name of the company?

It all centers around the idea of exploring the divide and overlap between art and work, life and story, what’s now and what’s next.

 

What can readers expect from Space Between Entertainment in the not-so-distant future?

We’re doing one Destiny, NY book every year. That’s the flagship. It’s a graphic novel series about magical girls in love in a world where magic is a real and accepted part of everyday life. That series is basically my beating heart transferred onto a page in black and white and shipped to readers. It’s all of the work I couldn’t do on freelance titles that I now have the freedom to create.

 

My wife Amy and I are putting out Clonsters this December, and that is an all-ages story based on a line of clay monsters that she’s created. It’s such a fun book that we like to pitch as “Aaahh! Real Monsters meets Adventure Time” because it marries the quirkiness of 90s cartoons with the energy of modern animation.

Other titles include our horror anthology Modern Dread by me and Ryan Fassett, which turns the anxieties of today into a series of terrifying tales, and Prison Witch, a supernatural crime drama I’ll be co-writing with Amy.

Sooner than all of that, though, our team – me, Amy, Ryan, and editor-in-chief Shannon Lee – will be releasing the Space Between Podcast, where we talk about art, business, and life.

 

What do you love most about indie comics?

That they can be anything.

 

What’s one piece of advice that you’d give anyone wanting to create indie comics?

Do it until it’s good. Be passionate, be dedicated, be empathetic. Work more and live more. You won’t always sleep, but you should probably try to.

 

Plug your work:

Clonsters drops this December. Destiny, NY Volume One is out now, available on Amazon. Volume Two and Modern Dread both drop this summer, and Prison Witch will hit Kickstarter in the spring. The podcast will be released in Fall 2017 – kinda nowish – so follow us at @SpaceBetweenEnt and me at @PatShand pretty much everywhere.

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The Indie Index – Review – The Pale #1-2

 

The Pale opens with coffee, okay I’m listening. The coffee machine is broken and now I feel for these characters. Now that I’ve mentioned coffee and have gotten you invested, let’s talk about The Pale.

Police procedural type comics are great, especially when they’re based in a small rural town where everyone knows everyone. It’s a guilty pleasure of mine. Only if the dialogue and pacing is right, though. The Pale ticks all of the boxes. Perfect timing, great dialogue and realistic characters.

Fabares’ art isn’t what I’d expect to show up in a comic of the crime genre. I was expecting gritty, loose art which seems to be the trend. However, the lines are crisp and they serve their purpose. The art is almost playful, at times, but you know what? It works. There’s a simplicity behind the art that’s completely endearing. The art fits perfectly to The Pale.

Without giving anything away, the story slowly begins putting things together in a way that would miss the mark in most comics. This is what you’d get if you put Twin Peaks and Fargo together and blended them. The Pale has a back-wooded noir feel to it.

The story weaves a web of tales that one could only guess will begin to unfold as the reader continues on. Throughout the duration of the story, I found myself asking various questions. Some of these were answered and some are yet to be answered – if at all.

The chemistry between the characters force readers to really give a damn about them. With the protagonist Logan, you’re made aware that while he enjoys his role as a sherriff and the people he works with, that he longs for a job with more action – readers see Logan checking his roster and rushing to any interesting call-outs. All the while trying to find a coffee machine that works.

Then we have Franklin “Fink” Ink, an examiner with the FBI, here’s a guy that comes across as dull, and as the story progresses you find out that it isn’t the case at all.  Fink has Prosopagnosia meaning that he cannot see the faces of people. Let’s just say that it makes his job a little bit difficult. There are other characters that readers will warm to but I feel it would be best to just let you read the damn comic and see for yourself.

 

The Pale is created by a wife and husband duo, Sanders and Jay Fabares, who I hope will continue to tell stories together because they totally rock at it.

You can show your support to The Pale at the following:
Patreon
Facebook

 

 

 

 

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The Indie Index – Kickstarter Spotlight: Where is Zog?

Inspired by the music of GWAR and ’70s sci-fi, Where Is Zog? is the story of Grum and Zill, who are the survivors of a crash landing on an uncharted planet. They latch onto the idea of finding Zog to give themselves hope and direction, but that’s only useful if they don’t get themselves eaten by space monsters.

 

The book will be a 92 page, 9″ x 6″ landscape format softcover trade paperback which collects 52 strips and “Survivors,” a 16 page short story, along with a 15 page prose section, “Zill’s Field Guide.”

 

Check out the Kickstarter campaign HERE.

 

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The Erik Larsen Interview

Erik Larsen is a comic book writer, artist and publisher. He worked for Marvel and DC Comics through the 1980’s and early 1990’s before being part of a group of creators to break away from the “big two” and found Image Comics. Larsen continues to write and illustrate “Savage Dragon” for Image Comics. Geek Genie caught up with Larsen to talk heroes, movies and the future of comics. ​

GG: What are your earliest memories of comic books and how did you get into them? Which titles did you collect?

EL: I grew up with comics. My dad had collected them when he was a kid, so they were always there. Before I started buying anything myself – – there were always his books, which included nearly everything from EC Comics, Captain Marvel Adventures, Uncle Scrooge, Boy Commandos and many more. As kids we read those things until they were rags. My dad later gifted them to me years later and there were nearly 700 books which survived our beating. When I started collecting them myself, the first book I started collecting regularly was the Incredible Hulk. But shortly thereafter I started buying nearly the entire Marvel line and a smattering of DC books. At that point Jack Kirby was at DC working on books like the Demon and Kamandi the Last Boy on Earth. That’s where I got introduced to his work again. I’d seen it before on Boy Commandos but I’m didn’t quite make the connection until years later.

GG: Do you still get time to read comics? if so which ones? Do you have a big collection and do you still hunt for back issues to complete?

EL: Not so much. I get the bundles of Image Comics and page through and keep about half of them and I still go to the comic store once a week but honestly I don’t come home with much. DC lost me with the new 52. At this point I’m just following Superman because of John Romita Jr. and at Marvel I’ll follow artists from book to book. Mostly Chris Bachello and Humberto Ramos. I’ll thumb through a few books but nothing floats my boat writing-wise. I’m no longer invested in those characters and the constant re-numbering has made it very easy to drop books. A great jumping off point for old readers. I read Southern Bas***d and Invincible and the Walking Dead. I’ll buy Hellboy when I see it.

In terms of the old stuff – – my house burned down in ’91, which eliminated everything that I had accumulated over the years, including my dad’s comics and all of the crude self-made Savage Dragon comics that I wrote and drew as a kid. I’ve re-purchased a lot of books but there were many, many titles that I didn’t bother to fill in, which I used to have. I bought pretty much everything Kirby did and all of the Trimpe Incredible Hulk comics, and I bought runs by various artists on various titles. A lot of trades. For a while, when the Next Issue Project books were and ongoing concern I would buy a lot of obscure public domain comic books but that’s pretty much dried up. My interest waned when it became obvious that there wasn’t enough support to keep that title going.

 

 

 

GG: Did you always believe your future lay in comics?

EL: Yeah. I pretty much put all of my eggs in one basket. There was no other goal which I pursued. It was draw comics or live on the street.

GG: Which artists/writers did you take inspiration from growing up and why?

EL: Jack Kirby was the big one. Big ideas, huge scope, incredible power and inventive, imaginative characters. Others taught me things on a storytelling or artistic level–Herb Trimpe, Walt Simonson, Gil Kane, Frank Miller, John. Byrne, Steve Ditko, Alex Toth and all the rest but Jack is the biggest influence.

GG: What was your first job in comics?

EL: Megaton #1. A small independent superhero comic book. That was the book which introduced the character Vanguard, which I co-created with Gary Carlson.

GG: When did you first get the idea for Savage Dragon and was it pitched to Marvel or DC etc?

EL: I created Savage Dragon is a little kid. He was kind of an amalgam of Batman, Speed Racer, and Captain Kirk. In terms of Marvel and DC, no. I always knew what the deal was with them – – that they would own whatever they published, so I had zero interest in them taking control of my character.

GG: You’ll always be associated with the founding of Image Comics. Do creators today appreciate the impact you and your colleagues had on their rights and opportunities?

EL: I think so, for the most part. I get a lot of guys coming up to me and thanking me for forming Image Comics. I’m certainly glad we made that decision. It’s worked out rather well.

GG: Did you always believe that Image Comics would work? Were there any times before you made the jump that you had second thoughts about leaving a giant like Marvel?

EL: We didn’t know for sure. Plenty of comic book companies have come and gone over the years. And certainly things like this where there are a number of people all working together it can present problems. There can be personality conflicts. Luckily we’ve weathered that.

GG: The comics industry has seen a lot of tough times since the advent of Image Comics. Speculator crashes, Marvel bankruptcy followed by a degree of stability. Sales are not (and will probably never be) near the level seen in the 1980’s and 90’s and yet the visibility of many characters through licensing has probably never been greater. What’s your take on the overall health of the comics industry?

EL: There are more books than ever and they cover a wider variety than in generations. Increasingly these books are aimed at a more diverse audience as well. The challenge is, as it’s been for decades, getting those comics into the hands of the audience who would appreciate them. Digital helps, yes, but that presupposes that people are into comics and actively looking for them, it doesn’t really provide that spontaneous impulse

purchase from a casual person whose eye is caught. Having appealing books in places where people can stumble upon them is key. Getting that gateway drug into receptive hands is essential. Otherwise we’re pandering to an ever-aging, ever-shrinking market of jaded veteran readers. Marvel and DC seem content to do that but it’s detrimental in the long run and we’re all being punished for their folly. Happily, there are others willing to explore new possibilities and find new avenues.

GG: Marvel has led the way in bringing their universe to the big screen with DC ramping up their response. Has this been a positive thing for the comics industry as a whole?

EL: It’s a non-issue. It doesn’t seem to impact sales for the most part, with few exceptions.

GG: Are there any plans to use Savage Dragon on the big, or small, screen?

EL: Not at this point. It’s not really a dream that I chase. If it happens it happens but I’m not inclined to put a lot of time into selling it. I’d rather just do comics.

GG: How has the comics fan base changed from when you were starting out? if so, how?

EL: It’s just gotten progressively older. There was a period where it really expanded in the late ’80s, early ’90s–we’d see a ton of kids at shows–just an amazing number of young readers–but they weren’t around long.

GG: Does the comics industry have a future?

EL: I think so. It’ll evolve and that’s to be expected but it’ll be there.

GG: Finally are there any projects that fans should keep an eye out for from your studio?

EL: Just Savage Dragon for the time being!

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Marvel

Meet all of Spideys deadly enemies, from the Green Goblin and Doctor Octopus to Venom and Carnage, plus see Peter Parker fall in love, face tragedy and triumph, and learn that with great power comes great responsibility. Born with super-human senses and the power to heal from almost any wound, Wolverine was captured by a secret Canadian organization and given an unbreakable skeleton and claws. Looking for the one superhero comic you just have to read. This is where youll find all the big-time action, major storylines and iconic Spider-Man magic youd come to expect from the Wall-Crawler.

Looking for the one superhero comic you just have to read. This is where youll find all the big-time action, major storylines and iconic Spider-Man magic youd come to expect from the Wall-Crawler. Treated like an animal, it took years for him to control himself. Marvels mighty mutants go worldwide and beyond in this series following Cyclops, Wolverine, Beast, Emma Frost and more in their astonishing adventures.

Marvels mighty mutants go worldwide and beyond in this series following Cyclops, Wolverine, Beast, Emma Frost and more in their astonishing adventures. Treated like an animal, it took years for him to control himself. Meet all of Spideys deadly enemies, from the Green Goblin and Doctor Octopus to Venom and Carnage, plus see Peter Parker fall in love, face tragedy and triumph, and learn that with great power comes great responsibility. The classic adventures of Spider-Man from the early days up until the 90s.

Marvels mighty mutants go worldwide and beyond in this series following Cyclops, Wolverine, Beast, Emma Frost and more in their astonishing adventures. Youve found it. Now, hes a premiere member of both the X-Men and the Avengers. Treated like an animal, it took years for him to control himself.

The classic adventures of Spider-Man from the early days up until the 90s. Now, he’s a premiere member of both the X-Men and the Avengers. Looking for the one superhero comic you just have to read. Meet all of Spideys deadly enemies, from the Green Goblin and Doctor Octopus to Venom and Carnage, plus see Peter Parker fall in love, face tragedy and triumph, and learn that with great power comes great responsibility.

Read more

DC

Meet all of Spideys deadly enemies, from the Green Goblin and Doctor Octopus to Venom and Carnage, plus see Peter Parker fall in love, face tragedy and triumph, and learn that with great power comes great responsibility. Born with super-human senses and the power to heal from almost any wound, Wolverine was captured by a secret Canadian organization and given an unbreakable skeleton and claws. Looking for the one superhero comic you just have to read. This is where youll find all the big-time action, major storylines and iconic Spider-Man magic youd come to expect from the Wall-Crawler.

Looking for the one superhero comic you just have to read. This is where youll find all the big-time action, major storylines and iconic Spider-Man magic youd come to expect from the Wall-Crawler. Treated like an animal, it took years for him to control himself. Marvels mighty mutants go worldwide and beyond in this series following Cyclops, Wolverine, Beast, Emma Frost and more in their astonishing adventures.

Marvels mighty mutants go worldwide and beyond in this series following Cyclops, Wolverine, Beast, Emma Frost and more in their astonishing adventures. Treated like an animal, it took years for him to control himself. Meet all of Spideys deadly enemies, from the Green Goblin and Doctor Octopus to Venom and Carnage, plus see Peter Parker fall in love, face tragedy and triumph, and learn that with great power comes great responsibility. The classic adventures of Spider-Man from the early days up until the 90s.

Marvels mighty mutants go worldwide and beyond in this series following Cyclops, Wolverine, Beast, Emma Frost and more in their astonishing adventures. Youve found it. Now, hes a premiere member of both the X-Men and the Avengers. Treated like an animal, it took years for him to control himself.

The classic adventures of Spider-Man from the early days up until the 90s. Now, he’s a premiere member of both the X-Men and the Avengers. Looking for the one superhero comic you just have to read. Meet all of Spideys deadly enemies, from the Green Goblin and Doctor Octopus to Venom and Carnage, plus see Peter Parker fall in love, face tragedy and triumph, and learn that with great power comes great responsibility.

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Indies

Meet all of Spideys deadly enemies, from the Green Goblin and Doctor Octopus to Venom and Carnage, plus see Peter Parker fall in love, face tragedy and triumph, and learn that with great power comes great responsibility. Born with super-human senses and the power to heal from almost any wound, Wolverine was captured by a secret Canadian organization and given an unbreakable skeleton and claws. Looking for the one superhero comic you just have to read. This is where youll find all the big-time action, major storylines and iconic Spider-Man magic youd come to expect from the Wall-Crawler.

Looking for the one superhero comic you just have to read. This is where youll find all the big-time action, major storylines and iconic Spider-Man magic youd come to expect from the Wall-Crawler. Treated like an animal, it took years for him to control himself. Marvels mighty mutants go worldwide and beyond in this series following Cyclops, Wolverine, Beast, Emma Frost and more in their astonishing adventures.

Marvels mighty mutants go worldwide and beyond in this series following Cyclops, Wolverine, Beast, Emma Frost and more in their astonishing adventures. Treated like an animal, it took years for him to control himself. Meet all of Spideys deadly enemies, from the Green Goblin and Doctor Octopus to Venom and Carnage, plus see Peter Parker fall in love, face tragedy and triumph, and learn that with great power comes great responsibility. The classic adventures of Spider-Man from the early days up until the 90s.

Marvels mighty mutants go worldwide and beyond in this series following Cyclops, Wolverine, Beast, Emma Frost and more in their astonishing adventures. Youve found it. Now, hes a premiere member of both the X-Men and the Avengers. Treated like an animal, it took years for him to control himself.

The classic adventures of Spider-Man from the early days up until the 90s. Now, he’s a premiere member of both the X-Men and the Avengers. Looking for the one superhero comic you just have to read. Meet all of Spideys deadly enemies, from the Green Goblin and Doctor Octopus to Venom and Carnage, plus see Peter Parker fall in love, face tragedy and triumph, and learn that with great power comes great responsibility.

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Comic actions on show in Tokyo

Meet all of Spideys deadly enemies, from the Green Goblin and Doctor Octopus to Venom and Carnage, plus see Peter Parker fall in love, face tragedy and triumph, and learn that with great power comes great responsibility. Born with super-human senses and the power to heal from almost any wound, Wolverine was captured by a secret Canadian organization and given an unbreakable skeleton and claws. Looking for the one superhero comic you just have to read. This is where youll find all the big-time action, major storylines and iconic Spider-Man magic youd come to expect from the Wall-Crawler.

Looking for the one superhero comic you just have to read. This is where youll find all the big-time action, major storylines and iconic Spider-Man magic youd come to expect from the Wall-Crawler. Treated like an animal, it took years for him to control himself. Marvels mighty mutants go worldwide and beyond in this series following Cyclops, Wolverine, Beast, Emma Frost and more in their astonishing adventures.

Marvels mighty mutants go worldwide and beyond in this series following Cyclops, Wolverine, Beast, Emma Frost and more in their astonishing adventures. Treated like an animal, it took years for him to control himself. Meet all of Spideys deadly enemies, from the Green Goblin and Doctor Octopus to Venom and Carnage, plus see Peter Parker fall in love, face tragedy and triumph, and learn that with great power comes great responsibility. The classic adventures of Spider-Man from the early days up until the 90s.

Marvels mighty mutants go worldwide and beyond in this series following Cyclops, Wolverine, Beast, Emma Frost and more in their astonishing adventures. Youve found it. Now, hes a premiere member of both the X-Men and the Avengers. Treated like an animal, it took years for him to control himself.

The classic adventures of Spider-Man from the early days up until the 90s. Now, he’s a premiere member of both the X-Men and the Avengers. Looking for the one superhero comic you just have to read. Meet all of Spideys deadly enemies, from the Green Goblin and Doctor Octopus to Venom and Carnage, plus see Peter Parker fall in love, face tragedy and triumph, and learn that with great power comes great responsibility.

Read more

Spiderman set to become head Superhero

Meet all of Spideys deadly enemies, from the Green Goblin and Doctor Octopus to Venom and Carnage, plus see Peter Parker fall in love, face tragedy and triumph, and learn that with great power comes great responsibility. Born with super-human senses and the power to heal from almost any wound, Wolverine was captured by a secret Canadian organization and given an unbreakable skeleton and claws. Looking for the one superhero comic you just have to read. This is where youll find all the big-time action, major storylines and iconic Spider-Man magic youd come to expect from the Wall-Crawler.

Looking for the one superhero comic you just have to read. This is where youll find all the big-time action, major storylines and iconic Spider-Man magic youd come to expect from the Wall-Crawler. Treated like an animal, it took years for him to control himself. Marvels mighty mutants go worldwide and beyond in this series following Cyclops, Wolverine, Beast, Emma Frost and more in their astonishing adventures.

Marvels mighty mutants go worldwide and beyond in this series following Cyclops, Wolverine, Beast, Emma Frost and more in their astonishing adventures. Treated like an animal, it took years for him to control himself. Meet all of Spideys deadly enemies, from the Green Goblin and Doctor Octopus to Venom and Carnage, plus see Peter Parker fall in love, face tragedy and triumph, and learn that with great power comes great responsibility. The classic adventures of Spider-Man from the early days up until the 90s.

Marvels mighty mutants go worldwide and beyond in this series following Cyclops, Wolverine, Beast, Emma Frost and more in their astonishing adventures. Youve found it. Now, hes a premiere member of both the X-Men and the Avengers. Treated like an animal, it took years for him to control himself.

The classic adventures of Spider-Man from the early days up until the 90s. Now, he’s a premiere member of both the X-Men and the Avengers. Looking for the one superhero comic you just have to read. Meet all of Spideys deadly enemies, from the Green Goblin and Doctor Octopus to Venom and Carnage, plus see Peter Parker fall in love, face tragedy and triumph, and learn that with great power comes great responsibility.

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Comic fans plan to ‘occupy’ Marvel Park

Meet all of Spideys deadly enemies, from the Green Goblin and Doctor Octopus to Venom and Carnage, plus see Peter Parker fall in love, face tragedy and triumph, and learn that with great power comes great responsibility. Born with super-human senses and the power to heal from almost any wound, Wolverine was captured by a secret Canadian organization and given an unbreakable skeleton and claws. Looking for the one superhero comic you just have to read. This is where youll find all the big-time action, major storylines and iconic Spider-Man magic youd come to expect from the Wall-Crawler.

Looking for the one superhero comic you just have to read. This is where youll find all the big-time action, major storylines and iconic Spider-Man magic youd come to expect from the Wall-Crawler. Treated like an animal, it took years for him to control himself. Marvels mighty mutants go worldwide and beyond in this series following Cyclops, Wolverine, Beast, Emma Frost and more in their astonishing adventures.

Marvels mighty mutants go worldwide and beyond in this series following Cyclops, Wolverine, Beast, Emma Frost and more in their astonishing adventures. Treated like an animal, it took years for him to control himself. Meet all of Spideys deadly enemies, from the Green Goblin and Doctor Octopus to Venom and Carnage, plus see Peter Parker fall in love, face tragedy and triumph, and learn that with great power comes great responsibility. The classic adventures of Spider-Man from the early days up until the 90s.

Marvels mighty mutants go worldwide and beyond in this series following Cyclops, Wolverine, Beast, Emma Frost and more in their astonishing adventures. Youve found it. Now, hes a premiere member of both the X-Men and the Avengers. Treated like an animal, it took years for him to control himself.

The classic adventures of Spider-Man from the early days up until the 90s. Now, he’s a premiere member of both the X-Men and the Avengers. Looking for the one superhero comic you just have to read. Meet all of Spideys deadly enemies, from the Green Goblin and Doctor Octopus to Venom and Carnage, plus see Peter Parker fall in love, face tragedy and triumph, and learn that with great power comes great responsibility.

Read more