Summer of Indie: Interview – Shawn Aldridge

We caught up with the creator of Vic Boone, Shawn Aldridge to get his views on the indie comic market and an insight into the creation of the Comic.

1) How would you say the Indie market differs from the mainstream comic market?

I would say it’s mainly coverage by websites. As an indie creator it’s nearly impossible to get the mainstream comic sites to give you any coverage. Obviously, the audience is vastly different, too. I think indie comic fans are more accepting of variety and experimentation. That’s no knock against mainstream fans, by the way.

2) What benefits does being an indie creator have over working for a company?

I get to do what I want, how I want without someone telling me that doesn’t fit the character or that can’t be done because it undermines the upcoming summer event.

3) Who are 215 Ink and how much were they involved in the production of the comic?

215 Ink are a publisher of creator-owned comics based in Philadelphia, PA. Or as I sometimes call it–The greatest collection of small press talent around. 215 is very hands off. They check in with me to see how the book is going, ask if I need anything, etc. They mainly just oversee the printing of the book. They’re hugely supportive without being suppressive.

4) What sort of marketing strategy did you have and how effective did you think it was?

My strategy was to hit every single website/person I could that had any connection to science fiction, comics, or pulp novels. I also emailed every retailer I had access to individually. I think it made a slight difference, but not as much as I had hoped. Not to say I wouldn’t do it all again. I think in the current state of the comics market retailers/comic shops just don’t have the extra cash floating around to really take a risk on new comics and creators. All the coverage in the world isn’t going to make a struggling shop order something.

5) Can you give us your one sentence elevator pitch for Vic Boone?

An ex-motorcycle daredevil turned private eye lives in a world of B-movie science fiction and pulp sensibilities.

6) Where did the idea for Vic Boone come from?

The initial idea came from me going through my collection of paperbacks late one night.Two covers, one a sci-fi pulp and the other a detective pulp, made me think “I wonder how cool mixing these two genres together would be?” The seed was planted. I started hammering out ideas and Vic Boone was born.

A lot of what would become Vic Boone also came from my childhood and my Uncle Paul. He loved sci-fi movies and watched any and all that came on the TV. He grew up in the Golden Age of sci-fi b-movies. He’s also the man responsible for my comic book obsession. In a way, Vic Boone is an homage to him and his influence on me.

7) What drew you to Geoffo as an artist and how did the two of you meet?

We met online. What drew me to Geoffo was his Wolverine pages I saw. There’s was something there that didn’t look overly mainstream. He had good pacing and storytelling.

8 ) How does it feel to see your comic on shelves?

Besides marrying my wife and the birth of my son, it’s the greatest feeling in the world. It really makes it feel like all the hours of sweat and tears finally paid off.

9) Can you tell us anything about the issues you’re currently having getting future issue of Vic Boone out to the readers?

None really, other than juggling a full time job, newborn, and all the other life stuff with doing a comic book. Mainly, it’s just about doing it and hoping enough people read it and tell their shops they want it. And also tell their friends they should read it. Indie comics really come down to grassroot movements. Their success is really dependent on word of mouth.

10) If you could write any character in comics, who would that be?

I really, really want to do a Mr Miracle and Big Barda series. Second would be a Firestorm series, but with Ronnie and the Professor.

11) What advice would you offer to newbie indie creators?

Never get discouraged. Do the work and eventually it’ll pay off. Might not be as quick as you want, but talent wins in the end.

You can find out more about Shawn and his projects here – www.shawnaldridge.webs.com

You can find out more about Vic Boone and 215ink here – 215ink.com/site/portfolio/vic-boone

GS Reporter: Tom

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