Tag Archives: Indie comics

The *Actually* Super “Not So Super Comics” Is Going to Print!

Last November, we had a chat with awesomely earnest indie creator Jacques Nyemb about his comic Not So Super, which turns a unique twist on the average-joe-gets-super-powers paradigm.

(Check out the interview to find out just how awesome we think Jacques and Not So Super are.)

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Jacques’s  delightfully quirky comics ideas and his gang of artists, letterers, and editors make up a talented team at the indie enterprise Not So Super Comics, and now they’re looking to print more of Not So Super along with first issues of several of his other equally unique comics (including This Bites, about the trials of a vegan vampire… Yep. Really.).

Peep the Kickstarter and support indie comics! Or at least watch the kickstarter video after the jump and see for yourself why we adore Jacques’s awesomely earnest nerderificness.

 

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“Not So Super Comics” is Actually Pretty Darn Super – A Conversation with Founder/Creator Jacques Nyemb

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Daniel is your average guy. He goes to work; he makes small talk and not-great jokes with his pretty co-worker; he eats bad Chinese food… and sometimes he wakes up in the morning with a brand new (and often terribly inconvenient) super power. But Not So Super isn’t your typical ordinary-dude-gets-powers-and-goes-all-tights-wearing-vigilante story.

No, writer and founder of Not So Super ComicsJacques Nyemb had something else in mind entirely. Through Dan’s more or less ordinary life, Nyemb explores the small adventures of everyday life, the extraordinary in the ordinary…

From the creepy co-worker to inane work calls, it’s clear that Nyemb is no stranger to the 9-to-5, and he captures it all with a  forehead slap at the ridiculousness and a grin at just how interesting everyday life can be.  Not So Super grabs you from the get go and doesn’t need gimmicks and superpowered aliens to do it.  

Joe Hunter‘s deft hand captures the comic’s full range from the dull greys and frays of cubicle life and the warm comforts of home and routine to the bright colors and bold lines of bang-pow! action. A range that is surprising for the comic-strip style art, but it’s the perfect fit for the story.

Issue #1 of Not So Super is out now, and there’s more to come!  Not So Super Comics is also the name of Nyemb’s bigger venture, an indie spirited enterprise with a dedication to elevating artists, and they’ve got some other cool projects on the way, but we’ll let Nyemb tell you all about that…

CoverHow did you come up with the idea for Not So Super?

At the time I wrote the story, I was freelancing.  Many of my friends where constantly telling me how much they disliked their jobs. Those conversations reminded me of the job I left behind. I kept hearing the same theme; People not deriving any fulfilment in their jobs. I heard stories upon stories about lack of realization of potential.

On the contrary, I was freelancing and unlocking so many things about myself. I learned I can take some pretty mean photography, that I could write some decent stuff and that I still had abilities even though my past job didn’t provide me the outlet to show them.

The idea kept growing and I wanted to write a story that was sort of a commentary on that. That we all have powers within us, but it’s up to us to hone them and then decide whether or not we deem them “Super”.

Why the “Normal Guy” narrative?

I wanted to write something that would be accessible to everyone. I personally was tired of the “cape and tights” comics, but was torn because I enjoyed stories about superpowers. My love of “slice of life” as well as action comics, was the only way I could blend the two and get exactly what I wanted.

As a web designer yourself, do you relate personally to Daniel in any way?

I used to be Daniel. But ever since I became a husband and father I derive my passion in other ways. My life isn’t tied to my job. I derive meaning in everything now. Even menial tasks, I always try to find the opportunity to learn and grow.

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What do you have against superpowers?! But seriously, the comic looks at superpowers in a really interesting way, very different than the typical geek-gets-superpowers-and-becomes-a-hero narrative, but that said, what makes Daniel so different from such characters? Why isn’t he interested in heroics?

As I mentioned earlier, it’s not about Daniel being powerful. That narrative has been told a zillion times. It’s about him being like everyone of us. Having abilities that we KNOW about, but not realizing them because we think they’re “not so super”. I’m hoping as we grow with Daniel we all realize it and then make the choice whether or not we want to be the hero or the alter ego.

At first the Not So Super story is a bit quiet and slow (though it definitely grabs you), but that ending makes it look like we’ve got a whole new pace to look forward to in the next issues. Was this first issue mostly set-up and introduction or will the series keep the same sort of pace and tone?

The series will have lots of ups and downs and quiet spaces to reflect in. There will be opportunities to learn more about Daniel’s friends and his family and the weird powers that manifest themselves. As well as end with the cause of his powers. But unlike other comics, I tend to like to get the audience engaged with the mundane and thoroughly WOWed with the spectacular.

The art style is really interesting (that “Dilbert meets Archie” description holds pretty true for the art in particular). Was this originally the kind of art you had in mind for the story? Why this style?

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It was EXACTLY what I envisioned. As a matter of fact I seeked out Joe Hunter to do the work because it’s what I wanted. As I said before I’m aiming for accessibility. I want comic fans and non-comic readers to want to learn more about the story and Joe’s art definitely makes those “mundane” pages worth reading.

What is the mission behind Not So Super Comics? What makes it “Not So Super”?

Our goal is simple, we want to get all kinds of folks into comics. We want to stop it from being this inaccessible niche thing, but rather turn it into an important part of our literacy. We want to create stories people would want to talk about around the water cooler and not need 30 years of continuity to feel included. We want to represent ALL of us in some way in this medium that has so much potential.

What can we look forward to…both for Daniel and from Not So Super Comics?

You can expect plenty of surprises from Dan and his friends. Also it’s possible you’ll also like other characters more than Dan. They all will add some interesting things to the mix.

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With Not So Super Comics, expect A LOT of unique stories. We have a funny story about a Vegan being bit by a Vampire and the ridiculousness that ensues. It’s illustrated by David Degrand, who’s done work with MAD magazine, Nickelodeon, BOOM! Studios.

We have a secret story about a quirky group of food costumed vigilante “heroes” as they prepare to battle their greatest enemy, the H.U.N.G.E.R. Pack. Which is illustrated by super talented artist Justin Wood.

On both comics my good friend Marc Jackson is lettering them giving my comics some unique and often complimented text.

We’re also dipping our feet into Sci fi. I wrote a story for the Earth Dream Project anthology hosted by 7 Robots. It will be a FREE digital anthology that highlights environmental issues on Earth day 2014. It will be illustrated by yet another amazing artist, Aviv Itzcovitz. It will be an interesting challenge because I wrote my first wordless comic.

I have over 10 stories I could tell you about. But I won’t bore you. But everything you see thus far is a product of working with a great team. I hope to work with many other artists, gain new readers and hopefully generate enough revenue to sustain everyone involved.

Thanks so much for the opportunity to interview with you. Hopefully this will be the first of many! 

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Check out all the awesome going on at Not So Super Comics!

Website: http://notsosupercomics.com

Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/NotSoSuperComics

Twitter: https://twitter.com/nsscomics

Indie Wednesday: The Rockthrower, A Palestinian Phenom Goes from Throwing Rocks to Throwing Curveballs

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As you know, we’ve kind of got a thing for New Paradigm Studios here at GeekOutsider. Their Watson & Holmes series is stayin’ on point and we’ve been looking forward to their latest The Rockthrower for some months now. And New Paradigm’s Karl Bollers just launched a Kickstarter to finish up the The Rockthrower and put it in stores in a pretty, shiny, graphic novel format.

The Rockthrower by Karl Bollers, Dave Ross, and Gene DeCicco crashes two worlds apart right into each other when washed up baseball scout David Willis spots a beacon of hope for his career, in the most unlikely place — footage of an encounter between Palestinians and Israeli soldiers.  One of the young Palestinians has got an arm on him that Willis has never seen the likes of, so he boards a plane and goes knocking on doors to find the kid.

Of course, things don’t go exactly as planned, but it seems eventually our “rockthrower” finds his way to the Major Leagues where Middle East meets West, and who knows what’s in store. But because it’s New Paradigm, we can trust it’ll be good!

So spare some of that pocket change and support the project over at Kickstarter!

Indie Wednesday: Accessible Gaming, Disabled Vigilantes & Vampire Noir

It’s the Wednesday before payday, and that paycheck will soon be burning a hole in your pocket for booze and pizza and low brow entertainment, so why not balance it out and make yourself feel better about your more indulgent purchases by spending the first dollars of your check on some noble independent projects?  Here are a few that’ll help salve your conscience and please your inner geek at the same time!

Special Effect


With E3 (Electronic Entertainment Expo) in full force, everyone’s hopped up on the latest technology consoles and game developers are boasting about at the expo. While the name of the game at E3 is awe-factor, over at the offices of the mission-driven organization SpecialEffect, the goal is to take advantage of cutting-edge technology to bring video games to individuals whose needs are not currently met by the field.

SpecialEffect finds solutions so that those affected by neurological disease, physical impairment, or a disability of any kind has the opportunity to play the latest and greatest games.

It seems awareness about accessibility is on the rise in the gaming industry. Just this past February SpecialEffect was chosen as the 2013 Charity of the Year by Multiplay, and In an interview with founder Dr. Mick Donnean over at PCGamer, Donnean notes that various game studios have sought out SpecialEffect’s help in developing accessible games.

Blood Kiss 

Written by Michael Reaves, who has worked on such projects as Disney’s Gargoyles  and Batman: The Animated Series, and starring such awesome geeky talent as Neil Gaiman and Amanda Benson (Buffy the Vampire Slayer), Blood Kiss promises to debut a brand new genre — Vampire Noir!  —  combination of genres that seem so perfect for each other it’s hard to believe it hasn’t happened before.

Here’s a bit on the plot:

“Blood Kiss revolves around detective Joe Belicek, who must solve the murder of a vampire before a deranged killer murders them all. Inspired by Film Noir, this supernatural thriller is set in 1940s Hollywood with famous haunts like the Brown Derby.”

If you don’t know Michael Reaves, you might find the video intro a bit kitschy– the ol’ cue card trick — but you’ll soon find out that Reaves suffers from Parkinson’s Disease, which makes it difficult for him to speak. The film will be associated with the American Parkinson’s Disease Association, in order to promote awareness about the neurological disease. Check out Reaves’ blog Parkinson’s Monster where he writes about his experience with the disease.

The Kickstarter has already reached it’s $50,000 goal to make the movie, but with 3 days to go, the crew is pushing to make the film all it can be. With $100,000 support Reaves and crew promise better sound, costume, and makeup and a film of”Indie Thriller quality, shot with red cam”. The story will also be captured in comic book form.

Vindicated

Vindicated will introduce readers to John Russell, a soldier who lost both his legs in combat.  Upon returning home, he takes up more than just a set of prosthetic legs, he dons armor and takes to the streets to combat organized crime in Seattle.

The creator George Kissell, a comic book artist known for his work with IDW comics and on the Alan Wake video game, is a veteran himself. Team members Ernesto Haibi and Robert Scott McCall are also military vets; Haibi was permanently disabled in combat. The team came together on this project in order to raise awareness about veterans who have been physically and psychologically scarred by war, and the process of coping when they return home.

What makes this project particularly salient is the dedication to realism that Kissell and crew have promised. Hiring technical experts in military and law enforcement, the creators will leave the impossible bullet dodging to the likes of Batman and other unpowered fictional heroes, and show how this everyday hero uses his combat-experience, intellect, and fierce dedication to survive the day and take down the badguys.

Goal: $8,000  End Date: July 12, 2013

Other Projects to Support:

Feel the Force – a Star Wars convention for geeks with disabilities

5 Geeky Ways to Celebrate International Workers Day

1. Support your local comic book shop!

Million Year Picnic in Cambridge, MA
Million Year Picnic in Cambridge, MA. One of our favorite locals!

Maybe you buy your comics online or maybe you wait for the trade volume of your favorite comics and you get them from the library… And that’s totally fine! But there’s no better day than May Day – a day of celebration for workers across the world – to suck it up and drop a few bucks in support of  your local comics shop. Grab a new comic or put your money where your cards are and join a Magic The Gathering tournament, or just load up on a couple comics you’ve always been meaning to get to.

And if you’re like us, at the comics shop so often people think you work there, then you can support too! Try a new comic, add that comic you’ve been himming and hawing about to your pull list. Ask the store owner for a recommendation and splurge on a brand new trade! Any way you can, support your store! We’re heading into Free Comic Book Day this weekend, so it all balances out anyway!

For Boston locals check out this post for some ideas on where to go!

2. Go Indie for the cause!

Believe it or not, comics creators and game developers are workers too! And they’re notoriously underpaid, overworked, and/or underrecognized.  Support your favorite creators directly by checking out their independent projects or discovering new creators. You can often find cool new projects looking for support on sites like Kickstarter, which even breaks it down for you with easy categories for games, comics, technology, etc.

Right now we’re loving (and supporting!) this creepy Dexter-like comic from artist Larime Taylor, whose brief Twitter bio describes him as “Disabled creator of comics. I draw with my mouth.” Check it out (and support!):

The Independents: Larime Taylor from Michael La Breche on Vimeo.

Another of our favorite indie games right now is Cardboard Computer‘s Kentucky Route Zero – a haunting magical realist adventure game set in an old mining town. Check out the trailer below!

3. Teach geekery for the cause!

The next generation of workers are up-and-coming, and one great way to celebrate the day is to make sure that next generation is sufficiently geeky!

Join a tutor program and teach STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics) skills in underserved communities or to groups that aren’t traditionally represented in STEM careers. Check out STEM tutoring opportunities in your area.  Or if you can’t spare the time, then spare the change, and support cool organizations like…

Black Girls Code, which seeks “to introduce programming and technology to a new generation of coders”

4. Read (comics) about the cause!

Comics are as diverse and encompassing as any other literature, and there are plenty of comics about workers, labor rights, and important historical events in labor history. What better way to learn about workers history & rights than by reading a comic?! Here are a few to check out:

Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt by Chris Hedges & Joe Sacco – An  investigative look at poverty in America

Studs Terkel’s Working: A Graphic Adaptation by Harvey Pekar – An adaptation of a classic work by famous journalist Studs Terkel about the lives of American workers.

Abina and the Important Men by Trevor R. Getz & Liz Clarke – The story of Abina Mansah, a West African woman who was wrongfully enslaved and took her former master to court, creating a revolutionary case monumental in the history of slavery, the wage economy, and underpaid domestic workers in the UK and Africa.

Wobblies!: A Graphic History of the Industrial Workers of the World by Paul Buhle & Nicole Schulman – A star-studded history of the IWW and the fight for rights for industrial workers

Che: A Graphic Biography by Spain Rodriguez & Paul Buhle – A biography of Che Geuvara, a staunch workers rights fighter.

5. Cosplay for the cause!

Young Superheroes protest the MBTA (photo courtesy of Steve Annear and Boston Magazine)
Young Superheroes protest the MBTA (photo courtesy of Steve Annear and Boston Magazine)

Superheroes fight for justice and the little guy. A number of them, like Daredevil, She Hulk, Luke Cage even supplement their usual heroic tactics (a lot of punching things) with a little activist work on the side!  It only makes sense that superheroes would support a day that’s all about labor justice and workers rights. As a bunch of kids discovered last month while protesting the MBTA in Boston, nothing screams justice like a cape and tights. There will be no shortage of May Day events today, so put on your cape, get out there and show your geekery and your support for workers at the same time!