Given its questionable association with Amanda Palmer and Zach Braff, we almost hate to admit that Kickstarter may still have its uses. If you’re an aspiring comic auteur trekking to Comic Con for tips on getting published, however, it will behoove you to remember that crowdfunding seems to work out pretty well for some imaginative and oft-inky individuals — and could work for you.
Take local dudes Liam Boyle and Scott Monteiro, for example, who asked the Kickstarter galaxy for a relatively scant $1,000 to produce their one-shot aquatic epic "Rex Nocturnus" in February. By March, intrigued future readers had pledged nearly $6,500.
Sadly, printing hold-ups have prevented the writer/artist duo from bringing "Rex" to Comic Con, but Boyle and Monteiro will still be on hand to promote their tale of a girl, a shark and a fight to the death. We caught up with them pre-con to talk shop.
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What’s the deal with "Rex Nocturnus"?
LB: It’s the story of Charly. When she’s young, she gets attacked by a shark. It kills her father and takes her left hand, so she dedicates her life to killing the great black shark, who is Rex Nocturnus. He’s this ominous, primordial shark with hundreds of harpoons lining his back. He’s been deemed almost unkillable, so she’s devoted her life to seeking revenge on him, and attached a harpoon gun to her own [missing] arm. She shoots him and lets him drag her into the water. Then she chases after him with her sword.
Ah, so she’s like a more badass Captain Ahab?
LB: It’s loosely based on Tank Girl meets Moby Dick, which is how I like to think of it.
It did not previously occur to me that crowdfunded comics could be a thing.
LB: Actually, one of the most frequently funded things on Kickstarter is comics. They give you a big readout of where all your money comes from, and we were lucky enough to have a couple pushes from Bleeding Cool and a couple other comics blogs. Then we ended up being one of the staff picks on Kickstarter, so we were one of the first things that popped up when anyone searched for “comics” or whatever. I think the art we put up drew people in, too — tea-stained pages and really nice inks.
Sell us on "Rex Nocturnus"! Why should people read your comic?
LB: ‘Cause it’s a story about a badass chick fighting a shark, man. If you like hot chicks and you like sharks, you’ll like this. If you like sea shanties and salty old dogs on the sea, that’s what this is all about.
In case anyone from the future can overhear our conversation, I should mention that it’s currently May of 2013, we’re chatting at Allston New England Comics during Free Comic Day. How’s the event going?
SM: Good so far. Me and Logan Faerber, the other artist here, are doing sketches for people. He has more of a cartoon style, whereas mine’s more violent and nudity based. A child came up to me and asked me to draw Garfield, so that was interesting. I’m also sitting here drawing Jango Fett, because it’s also May 4 — Star Wars Day.
How do you know whether you’re drawing Jango or Boba Fett?
SM: It’s mostly just color. Jango Fett’s armor is shiny and has blue. Boba Fett has green armor that’s all dinged up.
What are you planning on doing after Rex is wrapped up?
SM: We’ve got a zombie comic we pulled the plug on for a while, because they’re so popular now. "Walking Dead" is so soaked into the culture. We were working on our zombie comic for like eight years, I think, and we just never got anywhere with it because we kept changing our ideas and being lazy. We were just like, “Let’s let the zombie saturation die down a little bit.” We didn’t want to look like we were just following on coattails, y’know?
We’ve got an awesome noir about this detective who’s not really a good detective. He makes a deal with the devil, so he’s basically immortal, but every time he gets hurt it leaves a permanent scar on his body. It’s all in this world where everyone knows that God and the devil do exist. Then we’ve got one that’s basically a revenge comic. There’s very little actual plot. It’s about a guy who wakes up and his chest has been cut open, and all his organs are missing, but he’s somehow still alive. So he hunts down everyone who did that to him and kills them, pretty much. We’ve got a brief outline for a Western we want to do. We’re all over the place.