Welcome back, my faithful followers! Your Indie Huntress is here to save the day, yet again! Pretty soon I'm going to have to start charging. Spandex and leather ain't cheap, and my tailor keeps jacking up the prices! I seem to keep tearing my suit, while raiding the dumpsters of local comic shops. I know, I know: trespassing, but just think of the gold they're tossing out! I shall continue battle for justice for the independent community! Before I get hauled off by the police (again), I figured I better get in a quickie here, and tell you fine folks about the men behind the latest thing to catch my eye, "Kidthulhu."
A buddy of mine, Chris Otto, actually picked up the first issue for me, from Awesome con. He had shared a brief blip about it on Facebook, (See social media CAN work for networking!) and I had to know more immediately. He directed me to Charles Dowd, and then I found Martin from there. The rest is history, and now here we are, and I'm shoving another wonderful comic into your hungry mouths. EAT IT UP! No, Really. This comic blew me away. It has punchy humor that sticks with you. It's basically about Cthulhu as a child, and dealing with cultists. This comic is suitable for all ages, and highly entertaining. The animated style of illustrations, is stunning as is the coloring.
A bit about the creators Marting Brandt and Charles Dowd: Where pencil meets paper, when humor goes straight for the gutter, where there's a dad joke waiting, you'll find them. Martin and Charlie teamed up to drive each other insane and create something awesome. Each has spent years continuing to hone their skills bringing their own unique visions to what they create. Now with their powers combined, they plan to take on the world with their creation, Kidthulhu!
Martin started writing comics with his mixed media book Grim Furry Tales, an exploration of the old Grimm tales retold with the help of stuffed animals and the children who watch over them. Since then he has written and published several genres of stories most tending to be either dark horror or all-ages adventure/humor. Martin has also helped publish several independant anthologies such as Dead Future and Winter's eye.
Charlie got into creating comics when he took his daughter to the comic book store for the first time. Seeing there wasn't much there for her to really identify with he felt it was his mission to create something she could root for. Enter Lilith Dark, a no nonsense heroine who spends her time fighting beasties and avoiding meatloaf dinners. Following a successful Kickstarter, Lilith Dark was picked up and published by Alterna Comics. All that and he's just getting warmed up.
How did the two of you meet?
Martin: We met on the internets, you see contrary to popular belief they're a series of tubes not dump trucks or some such nonsense. I became aware of Charlie's work on twitter, while working to startup an Indie Comic support group. I picked up the first issue of his Lilith Dark at Baltimore Comic Con, who could resist that little warrior girl riding a T-Rex? Though I never understood her hatred of Meat Loaf.
Charlie: Yeah I don't even remember meeting Martin. I think I may have bought a hat or something from him. He was a hat salesman at one point. I liked that hat. He also wrote zombie books and I thought that was neat.
How long have you been working together?
Martin: If memory serves me, which it never does I'm still waiting on that iced tea, it was just before my birthday in 2012. Charlie sent me a G+ message asking if I wanted to Collab, I read it as Cohab, got real nervous then realized he meant work on a book together. We cut our teeth on a few ideas that never left email and eventually published a short story in Winter's Eye. It was about a creepy girl who just wanted someone to see her, kinda like a comic creator.
Charlie: Yes, I only draw comics about creepy little girls. And also monsters. I like monsters.
What is the story of, "Kidthulhu"? How did this comic come to life for you gentlemen?
Martin: Well you'd have to read the comic, oh wait, how did we come up with the little green goober? Ah, it's hard to recall the exact moment honestly. At this point it feels like he's always been there, sitting on my shoulder, judging me. He started as playful idea, how do I make this insanity fun for everyone? First off, I had to shrug away the xenophobia and make sure he had the biggest little kids eyes the world could handle. Kid's gone through a couple of small collaborations trying to find his voice, but it wasn't till Charlie came aboard that I feel we really found the right way to handle these stories. I'm just a doodler and writer here. It's a good process to be able to bounce ideas off each other and refine them into something people will enjoy.
Charlie: Yeah, Kidthulhu was originally Martin's idea. All I did was make him and the rest of the cast awesome. See those freckles? They're all me.
The story pokes fun at the cultist following of Cthulhu. What are your thoughts on these groups? What do you think Lovecraft would say today?
Martin: I think Cultists are silly, they dedicate their entire being to something that might not ever come to pass. Well, it's kind of like making comics... Cultists are great, as long as they are being culty somewhere else. As for Lovecraft, I heard he had some form of humor, but honestly I wouldn't want to know. He left a fantastic mythos for people to play in, but his personal views were never something I could be a fan of.
Charlie: Yeah, Lovecraft would probably hate us. Kidthulhu has a diverse cast and by most accounts Lovecraft himself wasn't into that sort of thing. But we both have a respect for his creations and characters, even if his personal views were kind of nutty. I'd like to think that although our characters are obviously derivative of Lovecraft's writings, they're all still very unique in their personalities and motivations. We're not just rewriting old stories. We've gone to great lengths to create something entirely fresh and new.
Tell me more about Shog- he looks like a cross between an alien and an elephant, and I dig his oafish behavior.
Martin: So there are these shape-shifting creatures in the Cthulhu Mythos called Shoggoth. They are ugly as sin and really would offer no personality in their perceived design. Honestly, they're boring. We took liberty with the shape-shifting aspect and made Shog into a dog like creature of sorts. He's oafish but there's still that deep intelligence buried under all that drool.
Charlie: Shog is a big squiggly goof. He's sort of Kidthulhu's Snoopy, if you will.
What is the story behind the various shorts at the end of issue #1? Was this a stretch goal for a previous Kickstarter? Will we see more collaborations like this in the future?
Martin: When we sat down to put together the first book we decided to pay homage to our youth, going for more of a collection of short stories instead of one giant arc. This allowed us to invite others to bring their own styles to the stories Charlie and I were writing about Kidthulhu and his friends. It's a great way share the spotlight with other talented people. We're all independent creators here. Each issue will continue to show off work by other artist along with Charlie leading the way. Jess Boudrie and Gaston Pacheco will be two artists who continue to contribute going forward. The first issue also feature work by Courtney Hahn and issue two we have Christina Major on board.
Charlie: One of our goals with the series is to keep spotlighting other artists. It's kind of our way of giving back to the community by sharing our shred of success with other deserving folks. As indie creators, we believe that there's strength in numbers, so why not team up with other awesome artists and make the best books possible, ya know?
What can we expect for issue #2? What adventures or misadventures are on the horizon for Kidthulhu?
Martin: Insanity, hilarity, and burritos. It includes one of my favorite stories that deals with sentient burritos and perhaps toilets, perhaps. We'll also have another ad for Eldritch Fruit Pies, who could resist.
Charlie: I was actually looking in my crystal ball just last night, and I totally saw more poop jokes. Poop is hilarious. Unless you get it on your hands. Then it's not funny at all. But if someone else gets it on their hands it's definitely funny.
What are some of the rewards backers can receive from the kickstarter?
Martin: We've got an exclusive wallpaper, digital copies of the book, printed copies of book 1 and 2. Also you'll find sketch cards by Charlie, cultist avatars by Charlie, a giant digital book bundle, and a pizza party that would drive you MAD!
Charlie: We love pizza! Even though it gives me heartburn. That party will have to be early in the day or else I won't be able to hang.
Where is Kidthulhu available for purchase? Where can we find your other works at?
Martin: Online you can purchase Kidthulhu from Comixology here or order as part of the current Kickstarter. It can also be purchased at us from Conventions like Awesome Con that was this past weekend. You can find more on our Comixology and Amazon pages or follow us on twitter.
Raven Warren Studios Comixology Link: here
Twitter them here: Martin Charlie
Where can we find you guys at for upcoming shows?
Martin: Charlie and Martin's next show is at HTFL Comic Con and after that we're on for Baltimore Comic Con. It's a light con year for us as we're hard at work on these books.
Charlie: The Baltimore Comic Con is like our Wrestlemania. This will be my fifth year exhibiting there.
Bonus round: if Kidthulhu were to receive an animated film adaptation, who would you want to direct it?
Martin: Stephen J. Anderson, he did a fantastic job on Meet the Robinsons. He's got a good sense of fun and pacing.
Charlie: If it was CGI, then Brad Bird. Incredibles is still the best Pixar's ever done. If stop motion, Tim Burton without a doubt. If straight up old school animation, then Genndy Tartakovsky. Samurai Jack is the best thing ever.
As for me, you can find me all over the pits of the internet!
Facebook: The Indie Huntress
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