Mary’s Boys is an upcoming comic by Karl Stephan, currently crowdfunding on Indiegogo . INciter’s Teresa Martin had an opportunity to speak with Karl about his campaign
Teresa: What inspired you to enter the indie comics arena?
Karl: I had been reading comics all my life, but think it was only after I read Tank Girl for the first time that I actually thought of doing this stuff myself. Since then I’ve published a few stories in local zines and have had a graphic novel published by Slave Labor Graphics in 2012 called Sparko. It was also around this time that I became acutely aware of the forces trying to establish a monoculture in comics (indie comics included). It put me off wanting to put out more books for a long time. Then along came the crowdfunding thing and I saw an opportunity to publish my stories without any kind of idealogical interference. (Not that what I’m trying to say is all that controversial, mind you! It’s about me not wanting other people to inject their politics into my stories. It’s about fighting the new establishment.)
Tell us about Mary’s Boys!
It’s the closest I’ve ever come to doing a superhero book. It’s basically about four Catholic kids, all suffering from the same weird birth defect, kicking the snot out of people to save their god-forsaken English town from divine judgement. They have this gnarly old priest as their mentor who raised them to be the modern day successors to the original Order of the Knights Templar. He was a Templar Knight in a previous life which he started to relive after he took a bullet to the brain after an attempted robbery at his church went bad. It’s essentially a black comedy, but there are a number of themes including corporate responsibility, social alienation and also family values (something you don’t ever really see touched on in modern comics).
Are you collaborating on this book? How have they contributed?
Nope. All writing, drawing, letting, marketing and PR stunts are performed exclusively by one sad
clown *honk honk* I’m not ruling out working with others in future though. It might be a good idea to join forces under a common label to share duties in the marketing burden, if nothing else.
Who is this book for?
It will appeal to people who like the styles and sensibilities of those really angry and irreverent indie comics from the 80’s and 90’s. It’s for fans of The Smiths and people who just don’t get Scott Pilgrim.
Which crowdfunding site do you prefer? What are its strengths and challenges?
Honestly, all this crowdfunding stuff is new to me. This is my first attempt and I’m just learning as I go along. People whose work I enjoy seem to pick Indiegogo over Kickstarter so I’m going with that.
What role has social media played in crowdfunding your comic? Could you share some advice
for those who are just beginning?
Find like-minded people and get talking. It isn’t enough to just put stuff out there. You need to hustle and sell yourself.
Do you have formal training?
None. I’m self-taught. I don’t think that is such a big deal nowadays with all the resources available online.
What tools do you rely on?
For this comic I’m sticking to traditional tools and materials. All the interiors are drawn with ink washes as are the covers. One pin-up was painted in acrylics on board. The only thing I’m using software for on this project is the lettering and preparing files for print.
Anything else you would like to share?
Yes, it’s live now on Indiegogo!
Back Mary’s Boys on Indiegogo
Mary’s Boys on Indiechron
Go here to download a seven page preview of Mary’s Boys, Issue One: https://t.co/a3jFi6IYDb?amp=1
Join Karl Stephan’s mailing list: https://maryboys.blogspot.com
Follow Mary’s Boys on Twitter: https://twitter.com/MaryBoys1