Today’s kickstarter spotlight is on Canadian Corps#1 from Andrew Lorenz. Andrew tells us that the comic book is about Canada’s superheroes coming together to save not just the Great White North but the entire world from an alien invasion! I’m sure there is more to it than that, so let’s find out.
Can you briefly tell us what Canadian Corps is about?
Canadian Corps is the story of a loose collection of superheroes, all based in Canada, who join forces when they are needed, to save the day from whatever is threatening their country.
So is Canadian Corps a task force like the Avengers or similar to the Olympians over in Justice League ?
The team is very informal in that they come together only when it’s a situation that requires all of them. I’ve always thought the logistics of coordinating a team across a country as large as Canada would be very difficult to do with any regularity and tried to reflect that in the team.
Can you tell us about some of the characters in Canadian Corps ?
Sure, be happy to. Warrant is a police officer who acts as team leader but really has little interest in being a superhero. At heart he just wants to do his job and be a cop but he’s accepted that his powers have brought on extra responsibility. Shield Maiden possesses a gem that allows her to transform into a super-strong warrior woman, when she’s not busy running her kids to hockey games in her secret identity. Impact (in the black & red costume) has the ability to absorb and redirect kinetic energy and is the team’s glory hound- he loves being a superhero and the attention that he gets. It’s often Kid Mercury’s job to reign Impact in as she gained her super speed powers in the same accident that gave him his. Kid is a big pop culture geek and enjoys being a costumed crime-fighter almost as much as Impact.
Thunderhawk is the team’s powerhouse and has been called the Superman of the First Nations people. Given his powers by the Thunderbird, he seeks to protect his country and his people. Azure is another defender of culture as she wields mystic powers and considerable martial arts skills while patrolling Chinatown in Vancouver; when she isn’t studying for university exams, that is. Flux rounds out the team and is one of my favorite characters. He’s able to bend space and time in a variety of ways, most often using them to teleport home in time to catch the hockey game. Flux loves hockey despite having zero ability to actually play the game.
There is always a debate on whether indies should be doing super hero books. It’s obvious where you stood based on the genre of the book. But now that it’s completed do you still feel the same?
I really don’t get why people say that. I suppose it’s because some people think that it’s hard to stand out against the Big Two of Marvel and DC but if anything, I think it’s easier. For the most part I really feel that the story-telling of those companies have slipped and you really don’t need to go to far to see how the Indie scene is really producing some quality superhero books. I’d refer you to stuff that Action Lab Entertainment is putting out- Stray, Midnight Tiger, Molly Danger and Aero-Girl are all excellent books that I’d stack up against any of the dozen X or Bat-books out there.
I do plan on doing some non-superhero comics down the road but I like superheroes so that’s what I write. There’s plenty of big name guys doing non-superhero “indie” stuff like Velvet and Lazarus that are excellent reads; I’ve got time to catch up to that trend one of these days.
How long have you been working on Canadian Corps ?
The ideas for the team have been something I’ve been working on for several years now but it only really started gelling in the last two years. Justin started drawing the book August of 2014 and we’ve been picking away at it as time has allowed. We’ve kicked it into high gear now that our schedules have opened up.
What led you to bring Canadian Corps to kickstarter?
Kickstarter is a great place for Indie comics to get the word out about their books. Granted it’s turned into a busy place; right now there’s nearly 200 different comic book projects on Kickstarter. It gives you a platform to show what it’s about and what kind of cool things you have to offer.
Is this your first time crowdfunding a comicbook?
Yes, it is. I had thought about doing it for another project but decided that it was too dependent on readers being familiar with an on-going series (LEGACY) that I had out. I find Kickstarters work best when the story is more standalone. I can say that I’ve seen a number of fans from the books I’ve put out pledging on here. Not to brag but I really do have the best fans. They’re ridiculously supportive of all the books that S17 has put out.
What Role do you play in putting Canadian Corps together?
I’m the writer and publisher for Canadian Corps and all of the other S17 titles.
Can you tell us a little bit about the others involved?
Be happy to. Best group of guys I could hope to work with. Justin was someone whose work I was familiar with through his cover work for the Axiom-man novels by A.P Fuchs. After meeting Justin at the C4 Comic Con I knew he was the one I wanted to draw the book and luckily he agrees to do so. The following year at the C4 Con he introduced me to Donovan who jumped on the chance to work on the book (he’s just way too nice to say no to people). I knew I had to snag a letterer and had met Rod earlier that same year after I had backed his Kickstarter for his web-comic Death At Your Door. Rod is also too nice to say no and with that the team had assembled!
Do you think Kickstarter is helping the independent creator, hurting them, or not doing anything at all?
I think that it all depends on how you run your campaign. The biggest mistake creators can make it not delivering what they say they are going to. If you say a book will be done by a certain time then you better do all you can to make that happen. Personally I’d suggest being at least half done a project before starting a Kickstarter.
If you had a choice would you rather keep on using Kickstarter or would you rather be in Previews catalog?
I think everyone wants to see their stuff in Previews because that means more stores and fans are likely to pick yourself up. Unfortunately Diamond is a very hard way to get your books out for smaller productions because of the costs involved. I have plans to do another Kickstarter down the road but not anytime soon. I know some people seem to be ok with running one after another but I think one a year would be more than enough for me.
Do you have plans to do another kickstarter for Canadian Corps in the future, or is there another project in the works?
I have several books in production- LEGACY and New Guard are two series that I’ve already got going and two other new series, Troubleshooters and The Sentries are both underway. I’ve got a number of smaller projects planned as well- some shorter stories that expand on the characters that populate the S17 Universe.
Of all the rewards you have up, which is your favorite?
That’s a really cool question! Umm… I like the higher tiers ($160 and up) because they offer some unique stuff that, as a fan, are the things I’d really like. When Donovan suggested doing an online coloring instruction class I was stoked- how often do you see comic creators show you how they work their magic? I’m hoping he’ll let me sit in on that one since I cant pledge. LOL
What have you done so far to make Canadian Corps stand out from other crowdfunding projects?
Hmm. Good question. We tried to make ourselves as accessible as possible to anyone that had any questions and really drive home the point that it’s an all-Canadian production. I work with people from all over the world and I love it but I really wanted to do something with some local folks and I’m fortunate that they’re some of the best folks you could find.
Once the kickstarter is over, and you’ve shipped out all of your rewards, what is your next step? Do you wind down, work on something else, feel satisfied and leave comic books alone?
There never is a winding down time for me. Right now I’ve got just over half a dozen different comic books in production and three different novels I’m working on. Oh and the S17 Character Handbooks. That’s coming along slowly which is funny because they involve the least amount of writing but it’s… Intensive, I guess you could say.
There was a time I had figured I found point that I was OK with it being a stopping point in working on comics- they aren’t cheap to do- but I’ve since come to the conclusion that I’m addicted. I may not ever get to tell ALL the stories I want but I’m sure going to give it my best shot. Not to mention every few months I seem to find a new artist or two that I want to work with and ideas for stories are NEVER in short supply.
There will probably be people reading this after the kickstarter for Canadian Corps is over, will you be hitting any conventions with the comic book where people can pick it up?.
You bet! We’re going to have the book ready for general release this September at the SaskExpo in Saskatoon and after that we’ll be hitting the C4 Con in Winnipeg at the end of October and we’ve got plans to hit the Calgary Expo in April. If all goes to plan that’s when we’ll be releasing Canadian Corps #2. After that, who knows?