Welcome back, my faithful minions! Your Indie Huntress is here to sweep you off your feet and take back down the rabbit hole. We are going on a journey, deep into the underground to a magical place of wonder and psychedelics. Oh wait, no. Comics. yeah that's what I meant, comics. Today I present to you, Jason Ford. He has this highly intense and energetic personality, that shines through his work and is hard to ignore. He pulls you in (ready or not) and takes you for a wild ride. He claims to be a street basketball legend and that he can cook a mean steak. I have yet to see either. By the way Jason, when you're reading this, I hope you know I'm expecting a perfectly done medium rare steak, after you bow to my b-ball greatness. Without further adieu, here are the bits you desire to know....
I always have to ask everyone I interview, what events led you into making indie comics?
Whew... No softball questions here! I'll have to start at the beginning... Comics have always been apart of my life. As early as I can remember, comics have been there. When James and I were kids, we would go to Cedarburg's HUGE flee market and buy comics. This was well before we knew of comic book stores, so this place was magical to us. I would always get a team book like The Avengers, Inhumans or JLA. I loved seeing as many different characters in the book as possible. I mean, who doesn't want to see Hawkman and Firestorm working together to fight a giant eagle with a white mask shooting laser beams? That person is dead inside I tell you! I fell in love with them right off the bat. At that time, it was one and done stories. I didn't have to get the next issue to find out what happened, so I could pick up any of them and enjoy it. I always had stories running around in my head. They were finally released when I was the DM (Dungeon Master or King Nerd) in D&D (Dungeons and Dragons for you Muggles): it was there where the seeds of, "The Servant" came to fruition! I would read up on how to make comics like Scott McCloud's books and Dave Sim's Guide to Self Publishing, study comic books and write everyday. When James and I started doing, "The Womb Mates" podcast, and interviewing Indie comic creators and seeing how easy it was to make a comic- I decided it was time to unleash my creations on the Earth, unlike Zeus letting loose the Kraken on Argos.
As a writer, how do you visualize your characters and their emotions? Additionally, when teaming up with the artists, how do you covey this to them?
For The Servant it was easy. I took myself apart and divided into 6 personalities. I notice that in life you become a different person depending the people you hang around with, the situation or an event. I know I've acted that way before I became comfortable with who I am so I wrote from the experience of learning. For instance, Harry is a drunk, that sleeps around, is loud and gives zero fucks. That was me in my 20's when I had no responsibilities and money to burn. I'm not saying I'm proud of that but I did indeed learn from it, moved on and grew up. Chip is the easiest to write for me because he's carefree, wacky and just doesn't care what people think of him. I like feeling like that but unfortunately there are too many people out there ready to take down that kind of personality for no reason, so I save that for my close friends. LUCKY THEM!!!. Forte, who people consider the main character, is the one who will change the most over the series. We will see him at his most powerful, at his weakest and see him learn how to navigate life which is just me learning how to do a comic book!
When I write other characters I think of the story first and then see who I can fit into it to make it new and exciting. I love doing short stories and just get wild with them. I love all genres and its fun to cut loose with a horror story or science fiction one. Even doing an all ages comic strip like I do with James, stretches my brain which I take back when I write The Servant, and incorporate it all in there.
I'm lucky in the artist department where I get to work with my best friend, Felipe and my twin brother, James in making comics so we know each other and 'get' it. We have a sort of short hand when doing comics. I recently worked with D.N.S for a 4 page horror story in Obscura #4 which was a blast to do! He's all kinds of talented and he got the feel of the story right away. I loved how it turned out. For the most part I like working with Felipe and James because it's fun, easy and an excuse to hang out!
Tell our readers about, "The Servant" what does this story mean for you and what can we expect for its future?
The pitch line for The Servant is, "It's X-Men meets Conan about 6 brothers seeing how much a promise is worth." This definitely peaks the interest of people that stop by the table at the Con's and then they get a look at the art and BOOM! It's a sale! I've always loved fantasy comics like Cerebus, Thieves & Kings and Poison Elves and I found those kinds of comics missing in my recent comic book buying so I felt it was time to fix that. I put everything I love about comics into the first issue. We start off with Gods battling for the right to rule over Ett, the realm where the story is set, with the 'God' Gods winning. The 'Dark' Gods are banished to the world of man where they wait for the the time to exact revenge. I slowly introduce the 6 main characters and their quirks. It's a team building scene like when Marvel had a roll call for a new Avengers team. Big fan of that. The crew meets up and settle down to tell their tale of what they have been up to for the 6 six years they've been away. I did a 3 page ballad as an information dump to get the readers up to speed, and to get more story in the first 33 pages of the book. Then I leave it on a cliffhanger (as any good #1 issue should do) with a gang of hit-men battling the crew! Now I know you want to read this!
I used the research I've done studying comics, my D&D knowledge, all of the hints and tricks from doing, "The Womb Mate" podcast and talked Felipe into doing The Servant! I followed the old saying of "make something that you would want to read" and did it all in, "The Servant". I made it into a team book like I loved when I was a kid, a fantasy book with a quest and amazing art that fits the book. It's high fantasy in the vein of R. A. Salvatore classic D&D books and Frank Herbert's DUNE. I have it planned out for 100 issues that I broke into 9 chapters which I know all of the beats to. I have a beginning, middle and end all done to each chapter with a little room to let the character grow and let loose some tales of their own. With each chapter having a different twist like traveling to the flying City of Sin then off to the underground Dwarven Kingdom followed by a boat ride to the Underwater! Interested? I thought so. The Servant is my love and passion that I want everyone to read and enjoy as much as I do making it!
I have #3 and #4 almost done and will have another Kickstarter to fund it like I did with #1. I'm also in the works of expanding, "The Servant" world in bringing the Crew to the 8 bit world of video games! I love old school Zelda and Dragon Warrior and I think, "The Servant" would be a perfect fit to be played on the small screen. I will be doing 6 chapters, one for each Crew member, about what they were up to before they got together in issue #1. It's going to be an exciting ride as we focus all our attention on making The Servant a crowd favorite.
What other comics are you working on right now or have planned for the future?
I'm working on my story for King Bone Presents #3 anthology called 'Free Reign' as well as helping Jon Westhoff edit it all together. It's been great to work on this project with Jon and Bobgar Ornelas for King Bone Press! My story is a science fiction tale of two lovers trying to get home and the fight they have to wage to get there. I got the idea after reading a chapter in Hyperion by Dan Simmons where there is an all war in a distant future using technology which was perfectly told. I immediately thought of my own take on it using high tech weapons and weird twist on it. It'll be about 18 pages when all said and done and it's on Comixology to check out! It's $.99 for 36 pages with 7 different stories in it. Come get some!
I'm also VERY excited to be back working on a project called Ascension- Tales from a Dying World, that David Brown from 5th Dimension Comics came up with over a year ago. Philip Nolte and I helped him flush out the setting, races, story and how tp present it. Its a very ambitious tale with a lot of working parts that have to be timed out perfectly to make it all work. It's like our version of when DC did the weekly comic 52. We have a ton of talented creators on this project and it's out now! It was all from a short comic that David had done, that snowballed into this project that is all kinds of win. It's a mixture of post apocalyptic tale meets He-Man, in the tone and setting. All of the characters from each creators story will meet up and be apart of the bigger story, as they try to save their world from getting devoured. There is a ton of world building and thought that has gone into this project and I'm stoked that its finally coming out! Felipe and I will continue our story from the anthology in a 3 issue arc that has the main character proving that he is worthy of the great power he possesses.
I'm also doing Andy Adventure with James which is a comic strip about a boy scout trying to get his badges and the wacky stories he finds himself in. The debut strips can be found in King Bone Presents #1-3! We both have a love for old school comic strips like Mickey Mouse, Terry and the Pirates, Popeye and of course the legendary Calvin and Hobbes! It's fun for us to do because it doesn't take too much of our time to do and we can keep up with the one page all-in-one story telling process. We also have another comic strip that we'll be doing called Swashbucklers of the Shadow Seas which is our take on Pirates of the Dark Water but ours will have an ending. Zing!
Are you really a street b-ball legend and if so, when can we face off?
When James and I were kids that's all we did was play basketball!!! It was our sport of choice for sure. I've broken my nose, had 16 butterfly stitches above my left eye and had a sprained ankle that the doctor said I would of been better off if I had broke it all for the love of the game. We got REALLY good at doing the old Pick-and-Roll and used to dominate fools with it on a daily basis. We were the definition of Gym Rats. We would be at the YMCA 8-10 hours everyday in the summer honing our craft. It was the first thing that I really got good at and that let me realize what it took to excel at something. It's the old Miyamoto Musashi quote, " If you know the Way broadly you will see it in everything." After I went as far as I could go with basketball I broadened my knowledge by reading furiously, learning how to play the bass and finally writing.
As to playing me..? Anytime... anywhere... you want to get a lesson in humility by an old pro!
Tell me about your podcast, "Womb Mates". When did this originate, and what is your show about?
The Womb Mates is where James and I have Indie comic book creators on to talk about their book and their process. We love underground comics and want to share that with everyone. I know there's a TON of comic's out that people have never heard of that are WAY better than what you'll find at the Big 2. We took it upon ourselves to shed some light on these books. We have made a lot of friends and learned so much from these creators. We even got a co-host out of it in Andrew Grieve that we call our "Canadian brother!" We had him on in the beginning to talk about his hilarious comic, Team Stryker, and we hit it off so well we now have him on as a regular part of the show. Andrew is super talented and a great addition to the podcast! We're now on the Earth 2 Podcast Network that has a ton of amazing other shows on it. If you have an Indie book that needs some attention, we're here to help you do that!
Where can we find you on social media and where can your readers find your work?
You can find me for the most part on Twitter at @thunderduck360 and @thewombmates. Check us out on Facebook at The Womb Mates Facebook . Visit us on Tumblr at The Womb Mates 'Beyond the Paper'. Of course there is always our website The Womb Mates !!! If you want to send us your comic send it to therealwombmates gmail.
Where will you be at for the coming con season?
This was the first time we were on the other side of the table and were selling comics!!! It was a great experience and I learned a TON by doing them. We even hosted our own Con with King Bone Press that was called ICE (Indie Comix Expo) which was AMAZING!!! Our Con season is coming to an end and we only have one left and that is SPACE on July 18-19th in Columbus, OH. It's our favorite Con where we find a lot of new Indie creators! So if you're in the neighborhood, come on out and party with us!
I want to thank you for this opportunity!!! You are awesome and I'll take it easy on you if we play basketball! I am BOOM!!! OUT!!!
on Twitter @MofMandC
Check out the podcast here: Mistresses Podcast
Until next time, you keep reading em, I'll keep hunting them down!