The following is an interview with Eisner Award-winning comics creator Marco Lopez regarding the recent launch of a Zoop crowdfunding campaign for the comic book, The Nightcrawlers, in association with publisher ABLAZE. In this interview, Fanbase Press Editor-in-Chief Barbra Dillon chats with Lopez about his creative process in working with artist Rachel Distler to bring the story and characters to life, the great backer rewards available to supporters of the campaign, and more!
Barbra Dillon, Fanbase Press Editor-in-Chief: Congratulations on the launch of your crowdfunding campaign! For those who may be unfamiliar, how would you describe the premise of this story, and what was the inspiration behind its creation?
Marco Lopez: Thank you. Rachel and I are incredibly excited to have finally found a home at Ablaze for The Nightcrawlers. The premise, in a nutshell, is basically what happens when a group of kids made orphans by tragic supernatural incidents decided to band together and create a Monster Squad-like group to make sure no other kids ever have to go through what they went through.
BD: What can you tell us about your shared creative process in working with artist Rachel Distler in bringing this story to life?
ML: The Nightcrawlers wouldn’t be as awesome as it is without Rachel. Of course, she does all the heavy lifting in terms of visuals and visual storytelling. But we always get a say in what the other does and how these characters think and act. I came up with a lot of the background and characters before we met and decided to collaborate. But Rachel brought them to life. It’s a very symbiotic relationship, and she’s a great collaborator and someone I’d like to think of as a friend. Nothing better than making comics with friends.
BD: What makes ABLAZE the perfect home for this story?
ML: I’m a huge fan of European comics, and they’ve been a big inspiration on not only my other comic work but The Nightcrawlers, as well. Ablaze is putting out some of the best European comics, and I wanted badly to be a part of this family of books.
BD: The comic is currently available for pre-order through Zoop, a new, direct-to-consumer crowdfunding platform for comic book creators. What makes it such a valuable crowdfunding tool for creators, especially those in the comic book medium?
ML: Well, first off, crowdfunding allows publishers to take a risk on new creators and new avenues of storytelling and riskier genres. Zoop is so awesome because it’s a crowdfunding platform only for comic books. So, the focus is only on those works and you don’t have to fight for attention against videogames, toys, movies, etc. Plus, Zoop does other things beyond just being a platform for comics only crowdfunding. They also deal in fulfillment and other avenues of crowdfunding.
BD: What are some of the backer rewards that are available to those who support the crowdfunding campaign?
ML: Well, of course, the obvious one is the graphic novel, digital and print. An early bird special version that will be 20% off in the first 48 hours. There will also be personalized editions and editions with sketches in them. Then, there’s the poster of the kids’ kickass clubhouse, and I’m pretty sure a bunch of other things I’m forgetting. We’ve talked bookmarks, pins, stickers, an option of getting your kid drawn in the book as a background character. This is going to be a really fun campaign.
BD: Are there any other upcoming projects on which you are currently working that you would like to share with our readers?
ML: I’m working on a YA book with Antonello Cosentino called The Mortician’s Assistant that will be coming out through Spaceman Project. A publisher in Spain. And that will be another crowdfunded project. And I’m also incredibly excited about that. As I’ve always wanted to be a published comic book creator in Europe.
BD: Lastly, what is the best way for our readers to find more information about The Nightcrawlers and your other work?
ML: You can find me on Twitter under @atomicrexent and on Facebook; just search my name or type the name travisdearly (It was a pen name I was gonna use in my 20s.), and I should pop up.