The Outhouse shines the indie spotlight on Tunguska, a graphic novel from Dieter Rogiers and Stijn Felix!
We spend a lot of time here in the Internet Comics Community complaining about the latest bungled decisions at the DC comics corporate offices, or personally attacking each other based on our opinion of who is right in Avengers vs. X-Men, but while all of this silliness is going on, there are up-and-coming creators out there who have bold, fresh ideas and are working to produce unique, quality comic books and graphic novels that, sadly, don't get the attention they deserve in the hectic comics news cycle.
Two of those creators are Dieter Rogiers and Stijn Felix, who, working out of Belgium and with the help of the crowdfunding tool Indiegogo, hope to produce an exciting comic in the vein of somethign Alan Moore's League of Extraordinary Gentleman, about strange events occuring in early 20th century Russia. It's historical fiction with elements of fantasy, and this reporter just thinks it's awesome to hear a comic book creator describe the style of their art as "expressionism with a hint of Russian constructivism."
We've put together a short interview with Rogiers and Felix, as well as some more info on how you can help make this project a reality. There are 31 days left on the campaign on Indiegogo and they're looking to raise about $12,000, so read this QUICK, and then head on over and contribute what you can!
- 34 years old
- Lives and works in Brussels, Belgium as a communications officer
- Degree in Audiovisual Art, worked on a couple of Flemish tv-series
- Has a monthly movie review show on YouTube: www.youtube.com/HowdyMcDee
- Is a big fan of Jeff Smith's Bone and the work of Belgian comic book artist André Franquin
- 38 years old
- Lives in Ghent, Belgium with my wife and to little daughters
- Works as a freelance illustrator and occasionally art teacher.
- Master in visual arts, graphic design & illustration
What is Tunguska about?
Tunguska is inspired by an event that actually happened more than a century ago. In 1908 a meteorite exploded a couple of miles above the remote Tunguska region in Siberia, flattening a forest of over 800 square miles. In our story Rasputin convinces the czar to greenlight an expedition to the disaster area, as he thinks the explosion might not have been a natural disaster but the result of a radical new weapon. Secretly Rasputin hopes to harness this weapon to overthrow the czar, marry his wife and rule over not only imperial Russia, but the world. But the Bolsheviks, lead by Trotsky, have a similar goal. As both parties reach the disaster site they realize they have to band together though, because the Tunguska explosion has given rise to a powerful enemy that threatens the whole of humankind. The story is unique in that it combines real-life science, lots of fantasy elements and historic characters like Rasputin, Lenin, Trotsky and Nikola Tesla.
If you had to compare your book to other work our readers might be familiar with, what would it be? What are your influences?
An obvious influence is The League of Extraordinary Gentleman. The story has a similar vibe to it and also uses a parallel timeline that combines historic events and fantasy plots. The novels of Jules Verne are another influence, as are the movies of Terry Gilliam and the Hammer horror films of the fifties. The visual style is inspired by early 20th century art: expressionism with a hint of Russian constructivism. Another influence is the sketchy style and technique of some french contemporary comic artists like Nicolas De Crécy and Christophe Gaultier.
Is this the first comic you've written, or do you have any other work our readers can check out?
Tunguska is the first comic that Stijn Felix and I have worked on together. I did work with another artist, Robbert Damen, on a comic chronicling the early years of Edgar Allan Poe. We didn't get that project up and running alas, but a teaser short story (in Dutch) can still be found online. It's titled The Shadow of the Claw.
What about the artist, Stijn Felix? What has he worked on before?
He's worked as an illustrator for over a decade and likes to work in a wide range of styles. He's created illustrations for youth books and magazines and designed music artwork and posters for cultural events.
You're looking to raise $12,500 on Indiegogo. What does the money go toward?
The money will go towards a couple of things. 43 pages are ready (they were published in one of Belgium's most popular weekly magazines, ending on a cliffhanger), but we need 13 more to finish the story. Another part will go into the translation of the comic from the original Dutch to English. And the biggest chunk of money we need is going towards printing a run of 1,000 copies of the comic, on high quality paper, with vivid colors. Lastly, we will need 'stamp money' to send the copies to everyone who is so kind to contribute, wherever they are in the world.
What do readers get for pledging to your campaign?
Depending on how much you contribute, someone who pledges receives a specially designed bookmark, a special edition of the comic including pencil sketches, a signed and numbered copy of an original page from the comic or even your own cameo in one of the final 13 pages. A full list can be found on our crowdfunding page at Indiegogo.
Why Indiegogo instead of Kickstarter?
Our original plan was to go with Kickstarter, but you need a US Amazon Payments account to use that platform. Since both Stijn and I are Belgian, that proved a difficult hurdle to take. Indiegogo features no such restrictions, so we happily signed up to their crowdfunding platform.
Tunguska on Facebook
The Shadow of the Claw
Stijn Felix's Online Portfolio
The Art of Stijn Felix on Behance
Written or Contributed by: Jude Terror