The Kickstarter campaign for Gray Bear Comic’s ‘Speak No Evil’ Issue 3 is nearly half way to its goal with 3 weeks left on the clock. Guest Contributor Mike Schneider from ThunderClap for Comics took a moment to speak with Speak No Evil’s co-creator, Justin Corbett, about the series.
Let’s start with the elevator pitch. In a couple sentences, what’s ‘Speak No Evil’ about and why should people be reading it?
Speak No Evil is the story of two teenage brothers in the 1930’s who find a cabin in the woods that was once used by H.P. Lovecraft and Nikola Tesla for otherworldly experiments. The brothers play with the equipment inside and accidentally unleash evil upon the world. Then, instead of trying to undo what they’ve done, they figure out a way to make money on the situation. It’s very much a horror/comedy.
You and your co-creator, George Tripsas, met doing the comedy podcast, MindFudge. Does that comedic sensibility translate to the page?
Oh, it definitely does, but it actually happened in the reverse order. We did meet through podcasting, but Mindfudge Comedy Podcast is a fairly new project. I used to host a show called Comical Podcast, where we would interview various comic book creators, and George does a show called Metal Geeks, where they discuss all things geeky (and metal music, of course). We met when I was a guest on Metal Geeks, and became instant friends. About a year later we began work on the comic book, and have had so much fun doing it, that we decided to podcast together as well. We have a very similar sense of humor, and many of our writing sessions are 50% actual writing, and 50% us sitting around laughing at our own dumb jokes.
You described the series as Lovecraftian. Do you draw from specific mythos or just a general sensibility?
We are both long-time fans of Lovecraft’s writing, and wanted to make sure that we did him justice. We spent a lot of time researching the man before we ever put pen to paper. He plays an important role in our story as a character but also as the source of inspiration for our monsters and several of our locations. We’ve tried to take his creatures and imagine what the offspring of those monsters would look and act like. Many of the monsters that the boys will face are our ideas of those offspring. We may or may not also include a few more well-known Lovecraftian monsters at some point. *wink wink*
You’re self-publishing ‘Speak No Evil’ under your ‘Gray Bear Comics’ banner. Why did you decide to self-publish?
For a few reasons! As I mentioned before, I’ve spent a few years interviewing modern creators, and several of them encouraged me to take this route. Since Speak No Evil was going to be our debut title, we felt like we needed to prove ourselves as creators before we attempted to pitch to bigger publishers. There’s also the fact that we like the idea of owning our own company, characters, and titles. The biggest reason though, is that George and I are both really driven, and felt confident we could do it, even if it is the harder road. I guess we wanted to prove it to ourselves as well.
Your Kickstarter campaign for ‘Speak No Evil’ Issue 3 launches today. The Issue 1 and Issue 2 campaigns each had around 150 backers and raised about $5250. Do you expect the same this time around?
Well you never really know how Kickstarter campaigns will go, haha. I try not to go in with expectations, but rather with hope. I HOPE that our previous backers come back to support us again and that we pick up some new fans along the way. I feel like issue one was a solid introduction to both us and to the series but that issue two is where we really hit our stride as creators. I’m really proud of that book and I think most people who read it would want to see what happens next!
Issues 1+2 are currently available through graybearcomics.com . Are they available through Comixology or any distributor catalogs, library platforms, or monthly subscription services?
Currently, there’s only a few places to read the books. The Kickstarter for issue three will be offering rewards that feature all three books, so that’s the best place to pick them up (and help us out!) but aside from that, you can get physical or digital copies via our website. Issue one is available on Comixology and issue two has been approved by them and is just waiting to be published but we don’t have a release date for that. The last place to pick them up is at conventions! We’re hitting several shows in Texas this year and if we can make it work, may be attending a few out of state shows as well. You can find out our schedule on the website.
When do you expect ‘Speak No Evil’ Issue 3 to be released?
That depends on if the Kickstarter is successful or not! If everything goes according to plan, we should have issue three ready to go by mid-August! If not, we will be paying for it out of pocket, and it will take us a little longer, but it will still be happening. We believe in this story and are going to make it happen regardless.
Your site says that you have the series plotted through issue 10. Any plans for after it wraps or other series on the horizon?
We actually have the first six issues fully written, and seven through ten plotted out. Speak No Evil is going to be a twenty-issue series though. We’ve been told several times by various industry people that we’re being overly ambitious with that goal but we know the story we want to tell and it’s going to take that many books. We’re committed to seeing it through to the end.
As for what comes next, we have already started working our next title “Nowhere Fast”, which we plan to debut in early 2018. We have a few other ideas that we want to develop and we may be having a few other writers begin publishing their titles under our banner as well. I’m excited for the future of Gray Bear Comics and I can’t wait to see just how far we can take this!
For more information about the series and upcoming appearances, head over to http://www.graybearcomics.com and show them some love through the Speak No Evil Issue 3 kickstarter campaign, http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/906293113/speak-no-evil-issue-3.
Article provided by Mike Schneider of Thunderclap for Comics.