In our latest installment of Indie Comic Spotlight, we speak to Baleriano Gaona Jr about his take on vampires in the comic book The Nobodies.
Let’s start off with telling ou readers what The Nobodies is about?
The Nobodies is a story about a group of Vampires living in a town unaware of their existence. It’s a story about many of these characters searching for something, be it purpose, a re-connection with a loved one, ultimate power! While the story is titled after this group, many other characters have their own agendas and we see them unfold and see how they directly affect the nobodies.
Is there any character in the series that stands out as your favorite?
That’s tough to pick just one that’s my favorite. If I had to choose I guess I would have to pick Rufus, the leader of the group. That choice is partly biased since the cover page was the first image created for the book. It was really the first time I saw my vision come to life so Rufus will always be special to me. On top of that, he has many layers to him. In this book we will barely scratch the surface of who he really is.
What was your inspiration for The Nobodies ?
Twilight, the movie. Really I was inspired by it to create Vampires that would do justice to the flesh-eating, blood thirsty, vicious, vampire loving, population of the world. What inspired the actually story was the need I had to create my version of how vampires came to be. I’m really into origin stories and over-analyzing things, so I set out the create my own. I thought about doing issue 1 as the actually origin story which takes place in the year zero but instead chose to start now in current time and let the story unfold with the opportunity to show the past as flashbacks.
Why enter the world of comic books?
I think that every geek, nerd, or what have you, at some time has an urge, a dream, to make their own comic book. We read so many comics for so long that our imaginations just start running wild and we start seeing our own stories in our heads and imagine off the wall images. For me, I’ve always written; I have the grade school essays still to prove it. This story originally was written as a pros novel but 40 or so pages in to it I felt that this book needed to be a comic book.
What is your primary role on The Nobodies?
My roles are writer, creator, producer, and promoter. Primary: writer. And really everything else I have learned and whatever other roles I may have left out have been on the job training, so to speak.
Can you tell us a bit about the other people working on The Nobodies?
Samir Simao is an extremely talented artist based out of Brazil. He really tirelessly works hard to bring your exact images in your head to paper. There are not enough positive words I can say about him that can convey how great he is. He personally took it upon himself to turn a really negative time for me (pre production) into something amazing which is this book.
Lancelot Catan is a very talented colorist based out of the Philippines. His work ethic is top notch. We have worked together for a while now and he takes great pride in his work. He is constantly in a state of trying to fine tune his skills and I look forward to working with him again.
MaGnUs is an all-around talented letterer, writer, and editor. His technical skills and wealth of knowledge have been a real blessing for me and this book. His editorial skills really turned this book in to something amazing. Also, he has gone above and beyond the call of duty on many occasions and I can’t thank him enough. He is an amazing person.
Phil Woodward is the man responsible for creating the nobodies logo. But more than that, he is an all-around knowledgeable talent. I have learned much from him and he will be a force to be reckoned with in the business.
How did you guys meet up? Did you know each other before? Were there a mutual friends, did you meet at a con?
I met everyone on facebook in a group connecting artists and writers. I think that every one of these guys are mutual friends actually.
Do you intend for The Nobodies to be an ongoing, mini series, maxi series, one shot?
For sure it will be six issues to tell the story I need to tell. I feel that there may be enough of a world created that it may need to be ongoing. What I’d like to do is tell my story, lay the groundwork, and build the world. Then later on when other creatives have become fans and wish to write/create their own arc, they may do so. Hopefully by then I haven’t become a control freak hehe.
How long did it take to complete The Nobodies, from the first time you put pen to paper?
It’s been years. Since its first inception as an idea being thought of, to now, it’s been around 7 years or so. It’s been a very arduous journey. There was a period of time when it was dormant and then all of a sudden these ideas just poured from my head. On and off like that for 7 years.
Did you pitch The Nobodies to other studios, or was this something you wanted to handle from the start?
I never pitched it to studios. Not for any one specific reason but because I either didn’t research it enough, wasn’t confident in my abilities (I think every creative is their own extremely anal critic and worst enemy), didn’t adhere to their strict guidelines, etc. In the end, if you are making a comic book out of sheer love for it, you are going to want to make it the way that YOU want to. I mean, if you can’t look at it and love it and be proud of it, how can you expect someone else to?
What clever ways have you come up with to market The Nobodies?
I don’t know if what I have done or am doing is clever. Since this is my first attempt at a comic book and my resources and finances are limited, I took the straightforward approach; sharing cool images, constant posting on facebook. I have the comic printed, some posters made, t-shirts created, and a couple more things that are in the works. I could think of tons more things that could be done to advertise had I the resources. On top of all that I have an extremely supported circle of family and friends that are right there along with me trying to spread the word for this book.
Where do you see this book 3 years from now?
I see it as a reference for ordinary people who are thinking of creating their own comic but are hesitant and need some inspiration. I see it as the comic that helped jumpstart my comic publishing company, Mythos Unlimited. I see it as the beginning of a rather intriguing and large universe of connecting titles. But, this indie comic book industry is very fast-paced and ever-changing. Whatshot today may not be tomorrow. Or, the book may just completely fly under the radar. I will be very lucky and very blessed if it is still spoken of in 3 years.
What is the next step? Are you done with this story and moving on to something else, or is there a follow up ?
There will definitely be a follow up but not for some time. Next we change genres to Zombies. There is a story that I have been meaning to tell about the types of people we really never hear about in zombie films. I don’t want to say too much since production starts sometime next month. But we will return to the nobodies hopefully following the zombie book.
Where can people pick The Nobodies up?
Well I am going to try and distribute as many books I can to as many comic shops as I can. Working a production job will limit this but I will still try. I have started an online store via Big Cartel but am waiting for my comics in hand before going live. Later on I plan to make it available as a digital download.
After some one has put down The Nobodies , is there any one thing, or experience that you hope the reader will come away with.
I would hope that a “live in the now” feeling would be in their heads. As i wrote it, I noticed there is a lot of despair, a lot of longing. Obviously with vampires comes death, and I personally don’t handle the idea of death too well. So writing it, it comes from a place in me that not too many people ever see and I think it comes out in this book. This book isn’t just slayers, vampires, and death. Hopefully the reader takes something from this book and I personally would like to hear back from the readers.
Where can people find you, or find out more about The Nobodies?
On facebook: Baleriano Gaona Jr
Nobodies on facebook: Facebook.com/Thenobodies2013
Before we go is there anything we haven’t touched on that you’d like people to know?
I think these questions were well thought out and it covered a lot of ground. I’d just like to thank you for the opportunity to reach a broad audience and special thanks to John Parks for helping to set this interview up.