A super X58-class solar flare erupts towards Earth, the equivalent of over a billion hydrogen bombs. The immediate paralysis of modern technology dismantles human civilization. Capitalizing on an opportunity to wage war, several nations plot their complete domination. Nations rage and walls tumble down to the point that desolation becomes the greater evil. This motivates the formation of a coalition that aims to restore and rebuild humanity.
As peace and balance are significantly restored, certain nations unite and work together to avoid another devastating cosmic tsunami. Support for this movement grew with such intensity it became the nucleus of a multi-trillion-dollar business called "Staunch Industries," where advanced technology has granted humanity tangible access into their own imaginations and beyond. With this revelation, humans can explore the realm of thoughts, memories, ideas, and emotions in ways only once dreamed of. Inevitably, the layers to this technology are more intricate and costly than first thought, and soon everyone involved is forced to confront an unexpected twist in reality itself.
Staunch Ambition is a visual masterpiece. I really loved the color work, and was particularly fond of the character designs. There is a lot to unpack in the story. Firstly, we are dealing with a space station that is trying to divert solar flares. That in itself is such a fascinating concept. During issues one and two, we learn about a team member defecting in order to go on a suicide mission. But it doesn't end there, it is discovered that he has created a clone of himself for his soul to re-enter. Meanwhile, the diversion of the suicide has endangered the mission- leaving other team members to die. This comic has made significant progress since issue 0. I think that Staunch Ambition has a positive future, and will continue to grow. Sometimes I see comics that stay in one place without improvement, and this is not one of them. I can see where great efforts have been made in the script, the art, colors, lettering- all of it. I cannot stress the importance of growth enough. I would say that the entire team of Staunch Ambition has a lot to be proud of.
Why did you create this story?
I have a story to tell that will not let me go. I did not want time to fly by and latter in life I would be kicking my self with regret that I should have done this story. My hope is that this book is the best a comic book can be. We are not cutting corners with the story and the art. I'm more concerned about quality than getting the books out faster. I want the readers to be swept away into this futuristic universe along with the characters and to help we have original music professionally produced for the story. In short I want people to read and enjoy this adventure so much that 20 years from now it will be something worth talking about. At least this is what we are striving to do!
When did you begin creating this comic?
I had kicked it around for years starting about 25 years ago, in college, and tried to collaborate with several people but it just never went past the preliminary stage. For years after I keep writing ideas in my note book and the story turned from a traditional superhero story to an epic science fiction drama. Looking back I'm happy that it didn't materialize because the story has become a much more unique and mature story. Then about four years ago when both the company I had been working with for 18 yrs was going out of business and I inherited some money, I decided that it was now or never. So having real money to invest into this transformed it from idea to reality. Now this project is kicking me around, much harder.
I understand you are running a Kickstarter right now can you give us some of the reward details?
Well I have all the Issues available for any new comers who want to pick up the Preview Issue 0, Issue 1, Issue 2, and of course Issue 3. Kickstarter is the only way as an independent creator I can continue to produce this series. So I make sure to give the backers something that no one else can get anywhere but during the Kickstarter campaign. I am offering Exclusive Numbered Variant Cover Issues and I'm running out of the Issue 1 and 2 versions. I also have signed books by many of the creators and cover artists from Marvel, DC, Valiant, and IDW. You can get all the books digitally and/or printed. We also have five original songs for the book (all professionally produced), that you can get in MP3 format. We have prints, shirts, original art, custom commissions, and many other rewards available.
Who is on the creative team for this project?
Our pencils and layouts are masterfully crafted by Erwin J. Arroza. Erwin is also the artist for the fantasy graphic novel "Grinidon."
Our colors are skillfully applied by Neal Anderson bring supernatural life to our pages. Neal is also the artist for the beautiful comic book "The Chasing Arrows."
Leah Lederman, our editor, is such an important part of our team that I decided that she should also co-write the book with me. Leah is also the editor for many successful writers like Dirk Manning, Howie Noel, and Russell Nohelty.
Who are the talented people that came together to make this epic Issue #3? We signed Clayton Crain (A dream come true)to do our cover art. Clayton is especially known for his epic Marvel covers featuring Spider-Man, Venom, and Carnage! I was first introduced to his magnificent work when I picked up his book RAI for which he also does all the interior art.
Our cover to Issue #1 was created by Freddie Williams II, who has worked for Marvel, DC, IDW and more. Freddie is mostly known for his brilliant work on the renowned series "Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles."
Our cover for the Preview Issue was created by Khoi Pham who has worked for Marvel, DC, Disney and more. Khoi is currently working his magic on the "Teen Titans."
I see you've been working with Leah Lederman. Can you tell me how having her as an editor helped this project?
I first heard Leah being interviewed on Comic Pros & Cons Podcast and was very impressed with how she handled herself. I asked if she would be interested in becoming my editor with a little apprehension, wondering if she would approve of what we had done so far. She has been a true professional to work with and impressed me so much I then decided to ask her to co-write with me. Issue 3 is Leah's co-writing debut, I think of any comic book, and I couldn't be happier to have her creative intellect and a female perspective contributing to the story.
Are you working on any other projects currently?
No... I have a day job, five kids, and this book that keep me from sleeping. I couldn't fit anything else in at this point.
Will you be at any shows in 2018, if so which ones?
Yes, I'm looking forward to doing Fantasticon (Port Huron MI.), Space (Columbus OH.), Motor City Comic Con (Novi Mi.), Wizard World (Columbus Oh.), A2CAF (Ann Arbor MI.), Michigan Comic Con (Detroit MI.), Monroe Comic Con (Monroe MI.).
Do you do any commissioned work?
I don't because I'm more of a colorist and just to busy. We are offering commission work during the Kickstarter where you can own an "Original 11x17 Commission" B/W pencil with ink wash of whomever you want hand-drawn by Erwin Arroza!
What is the best advice you have received during your career?
There is much to learn as to how to get your foot in the door of the comic industry. The best advise is to just do it, do something. Whatever you want to do, do it. You have to have something to show if you want others to take you seriously. Everything you need to learn is at your finger tips and much of it is free.
What is something that you have struggled with in the industry and how did you overcome that?
Making the book is the hardest part. It takes loads of time and money to do my book. I was able to put my money up front to create the Preview Issue. Now one of the hardest parts is marketing the book against all the competition out there and having a successful Kickstarter in order to continue as a truly independent creator.
What sites can we follow you at for updates on your work?
Follow me on any social media of your choice to keep up with the current news.
Where can Staunch Ambition be purchased from?