AMBER LOVE 19-JAN-2013 Today’s podcast guest WES LOCHER is a perfect example of how writers can have broad range. The first book we discuss is CHAMBERS, an action-packed crime drama followed by talk on UNIT 44, his Kickstarter sci-fi comedy, and finally INNOVATION which is his serious sci-fi webcomic. Wes is in a band and we didn’t even talk about it!
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Corrupt cops were brought down by an officer named Adrian Chambers. CHAMBERS begins with Adrian’s funeral from the main characters’ points of view, Bruce Conway and his hot-headed partner Denise. The story also revolves around the murders of Denise’s brother Adam and Bruce’s uncle who was one of the corrupt officers.
“I think that it’s important to show a strong female lead where you can. I don’t think we always see enough of those in comic books. And a lot of the people in my life, the women in my life, whether it’s my my family or my wife – they’re all very strong people so I kind of wanted to bring that across.” ~WL
Wes classifies “strong female character” as someone that is stubborn, persistent and intelligent. CHAMBERS is about how Denise reacts to all the murders of her family members. Even though it’s a mystery in that Denise needs to solve the crimes while she herself is a suspect, the readers know all along who the real perp is. Artist Kristian Rossi and Wes have worked together before and hopefully fans will get to see more their talents together in the future.
UNIT 44 is perfect for people who loved MEN IN BLACK. Agents Gibson and Hatch are responsible for the storage unit where the government keeps evidence of conspiracies. The rent on the unit goes unpaid and the contents of storage unit 44 go up for auction.
Artist Eduardo Jimenez was given a lot of freedom in character design and script interpretation. The Kickstarter funds were primarily for Eduardo’s salary since he’s a full-time artist. They had a goal of $2,000 and ended up over $2,700. Initially they tried to fund the full four issues and the project didn’t succeed. They relaunched to fund issue one and reached their goal in five days. Tyler James at ComixTribe has a series of helpful articles about running Kickstarter campaigns for comics. Wes wonders if there will be a tipping point of Kickstarter for comics because it’s become popular for new creators and veterans of the industry.
“I think if you start small, I think that your chances are better and you’re very likely to go over your goal.” ~WL
Timing is the luck of the draw with Kickstarter. You can cautiously avoid a month that seems busy to you, like October when it’s inundated with horror books all vying for the same donation pool of funds; or you might have the unlucky 30 days for your campaign when a veteran creator is running his and racking up $150,000.
INNOVATION is an ongoing webcomic anthology where each chapter is drawn by a different artist. Some of the artists have enjoyed the experience so much that they’ve asked to continue contributing. This overall story includes sci-fi favorites like artificial intelligence, robots, and morality tales of humans as science develops. The comic is non-linear so that you could conceivably read the chapters in any order and still fill in the time sequence reasonably well.