Locked

I'm an Indie Comic Book Writer and Creator...Ask Me Anything!

Toy Spears
Dec 21, 2017

I am the writer and Co-Creator of the graphic novels, Sword of the Shadow Moon, Bushido Gun, Gunmetal Gray and The Ranger's Disciple.  Right now I am currently running a Kickstarter for Issues 1 and 2 of The Ranger's Disciple.  I am a father of 3 a husband of 1, a Star Wars fanatic, and a martial artist.

You Can follow me at

http://kck.st/2niT0mX

https://www.facebook.com/RangersDisciple/

www.RangersDisciple.com

https://twitter.com/celluloidsamura

Comments are locked

Conversation (48)

In three easy steps and under a minute you could be hosting your own AMA. Join our passionate community of AMA hosts and schedule your own AMA today.

Let's get started!

Is this project offers enough to support each of your family?

Dec 21, 2:46AM EST0

Oh no, I most definitely have a day job!    :)    I finance these projects but my artists work with me and sacrifice some pay for their love of the projects.  I am trying to boost their pay with funds from the Kickstarter (this is why we offered so much original work in the Kickstarter, most of that money will go to the artist)

Dec 21, 7:32PM EST0

Were you also a fan of X-Men comics?

Dec 21, 1:18AM EST0

Oh Yes, I have read every X-Men comic up to about the year 2000, when Cerebro became self aware and began kidnapping the X-Men. after that, I thought the stories were hit and miss.   To me, the best stories began with Days of Future Past (Claremont's story, not the movie version!) and the next 20 years was the X-Men fighting to prevent that future from realization.  The stories left me behind when they abandoned that mantra.

Dec 21, 7:29PM EST0
Show all 3 replies

Can Jobe have the ability to form a bond with humans in his state?

Dec 21, 12:26AM EST0

Yes I believe so, he is still human, he has just had some enhancements(or replacements if you like) but his mind and personality are still human, more so than RoboCop, he is more like the Bionic Man.

Dec 21, 7:24PM EST0

What do you want to achieve as a team and how long do you have to materialize all your goals?

Dec 20, 9:14PM EST0

Independently I finance all of the art and printings of the books.  So we have to create the books at a slow and steady pace until the fan base is built.  As more fans buy the faster I can recoup my investments and the faster we can get the next issue out.  This is why Kickstarter is so important. The Kickstarter model helps build the fan base and helps me print so I can get books out to the conventions (cons) and start making the next in the series.   As for time, we expect it to take a couple of years to build a base of true fans.  Ultimately we would like to put out 3 complete graphic novels a year.

Dec 21, 7:22PM EST0

Do you believe human trafficking is still very rampant on the outskirts of cities?

Dec 20, 5:50PM EST0

Yes and that is why I included it as a theme in this story.  It is a huge issue that very few people are paying attention to and it is WORLDWIDE!  Victims, girls, and boys are being sold, stolen and lured away from their homes and are forced into sex slavery.  Estimates are as many as 4.5 million victims have been enslaved worldwide.  It is Evil and it is Epidemic!

Dec 21, 7:16PM EST0

Is there a 4th novel coming?

Dec 20, 12:53PM EST0

I am constantly developing stories but the graphic novels that I am working on now, of which there are four, have to be completed before I move on to any new projects.    But the next story will be a High Fantasy that I have been excited about starting for quite a while.

Dec 21, 7:11PM EST0

Why cyborg ranger? What is the inspiration behind the character?

Dec 20, 8:13AM EST0

Originally I wanted to do a western steampunk for an anthology project.  I really wanted a steam-powered cybernetic horse, I'm sure that Vampire Hunter D had a lot to do with the inspiration of that.  After the concept art started coming in and I thought I should add the cybernetics to the Ranger's as well for this to be a true steampunk story.  Adrian Crasmaru killed it on character design and I knew we had to do more with that character.

Dec 21, 7:06PM EST0

How many people are collaborating together to make this project possible?

Dec 20, 8:12AM EST0

On The Ranger's Disciple, there are 2 main players right now.  Me, as the writer and Adrian Crasmaru, who is the artist and killing it on pencils and inks.  I have colleagues that help with some of the editorial and art editing.  I am looking to add a letterer and there will be a colorist in the future.

Dec 21, 7:01PM EST0

What is the goal of creating a story like this?

Dec 20, 6:53AM EST0

To hopefully get it in front of people who would enjoy escaping to my worlds, and hopefully, have something to say to them that makes them sit up and think.  While there are fantastical elements involved in the story, that is just the gravy, but the meat is beneath all that and there are elements represented here that society needs to deal with and some that society will need to deal with in the near future.

Dec 21, 6:57PM EST0

What effect does your being a Star Wars fan has on your craft?

Dec 20, 6:01AM EST0

Star Wars really pushed my imagination and I might have become a little obsessed with it :)  My first comic scripts were set in the Star Wars universe.  I still have them.  Star Wars made me want to create my own universes that readers could escape to as my brothers and I did when we were kids.  I'm not sure I would ever have pursued writing without that original trilogy.

Dec 21, 6:53PM EST0

What nudged you to start cooperating on a project like this?

Dec 20, 1:11AM EST0

I have been a storyteller all my life writing short stories, novellas, film scripts...but I have always loved comic books.  I wrote my first in high school, it was a year in review of me and my friends (I also drew that one and ave copies to my friends) A couple of my best friends Marcus and Jason and I had been talking about doing comics for a long while (since about 2001) so a few years ago we all decided to kick off Marcus began writing his Sons of Darkness series and I started developing the stories that would begin with Sword of the Shadow Moon.  Jason began seriously studying and practicing drawing (that his main focus but he is also developing story ideas), once I got some scripts written I began looking for collaborators to help me bring it to life.

Dec 21, 6:50PM EST0

Would you agree with the creation of cyborgs, just like your Jobe?

Dec 19, 11:33PM EST0

They have already walked among us.  The artificial heart has been inserted in people since 1966.  Other crude cybernetic implants include the Cochlear implant, artificial thymus, metal replacement bones, etc.  The dawn of the cyborg is upon us.  I don't think they will be steam-powered like Jobe, but the meshing of flesh and metal, silicon and wire is inevitable.  I think I would agree with it, I think it will give those without the use of limbs the mobility that a few years ago could only be imagined.  However, there will be abuses and society will have to deal with men who might be able to lift cars and crush bricks in their hand.  Once the door has been opened, we tend to take it to the extremes rather quickly.  I believe that blessings and curses are two sides of the same coin.

Dec 21, 6:42PM EST0

Where do you base the stories from?

Dec 19, 3:54PM EST0

That's a hard question.  I am not sure what sparks imagination...sometimes a piece of a story will come to me and I will build a story around it.  Maybe it's a person and you know the person and have to create the world around them.  Sometimes you see a news story and have something to write about that issue.  When you have something to say, a story will write itself just by putting in the energy and getting out of your way.

Dec 21, 6:29PM EST0

How big is your team? If the project will go on full launch for its production and distribution, how many people more do you need?

Dec 19, 12:26PM EST0

Right now, my teams consists of 3 people, an artist, who usually do pencils and inks (different on every project), a colorist, Will Color, and myself as writer and letterer.  I am actively seeking someone to take over the lettering so that I can concentrate on writing and marketing.  The teams will grow as we continue to create books but the numbers on a project would stay at around 5 to 6, I would like to add an editor and art editor at some point, but as an indie creator, we wear a lot of hats until we get a good fan base and income stream that would allow us to hire others.

Dec 21, 6:25PM EST0

Since when have you been fascinated with comics?

Dec 19, 8:00AM EST0

Wow, really as far back as I remember I was reading DC comics.  Superman, Batman, Green Lantern, Flash and the Justice League.  I also read Spiderman and Hulk.  When I got off to college my friends introduced me to some of the better stories in Marvel and I discovered the X-Men and Chris Claremont and John Byrne changed my world and my image of comics.

Dec 21, 6:20PM EST0

With the three novels you have created, which is the easiest one to complete? Why?

Dec 19, 6:09AM EST0

Sword of the Shadow Moon was developed from a short film script that I wrote back in circa 2000 as is Gunmetal Gray.  Those two the story was already there for me I just had to adapt and start getting the art done on it.  They were only easier because I had done the work on them years ago.

Dec 21, 6:15PM EST0

Do you have to maintain a day job to survive through the production phase?

Dec 19, 1:56AM EST0

Yes, I do!  I work full time Installing and servicing Commercial Fire Alarm systems.  While I hope to move full time to comic book production I am under no disillusion, there are no overnight successes.  It is a labor of love and it is a 2nd job.

Dec 21, 6:13PM EST0

How do you find talented and depandable artists?

Dec 18, 8:21PM EST0

I use several bulletin boards, Zwol.com, The Comic Book Collaboration Reddit, PencilJack.com, and DeviantArt.   And of course at comic cons I talk to every artist I can!

Dec 21, 6:10PM EST0

Why do you love star wars so much?

Dec 18, 2:14PM EST0

Wow, what a question... There are stories that capture your imagination at a very young age, I loved the Tolkien novels, Star Trek, and most sci-fi, but with Luke Skywalker I learned about the Jedi with him.  He didn't start all powerful and really didn't even know what the Jedi were.  I learned as he did and my backyard adventures were fueled by the philosophies of Yoda and the training of Luke Skywalker.

Dec 21, 6:02PM EST0

What percent of the graphical work are you involved in?

Dec 18, 12:21PM EST0

Normally once I write the script, I send it off to my artist and they send back rough sketches.  We review it and decide if any elements that I think important were missed. Once all of that is worked out the artist will finish the pencils and inks.  I take an Art Editorial role but no actual drawing.  I do however work on the logos and such.

Dec 21, 5:58PM EST0