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Fanbase Press Interviews Trevor Mueller on Launching a Zoop Crowdfunding Campaign for the Graphic Novel, ‘Los Ojos’

The following is an interview with writer Trevor Mueller (Reading with Pictures, Albert the Alien) regarding the upcoming launch of a Zoop crowdfunding campaign for the graphic novel, Los Ojos. In this interview, Fanbase Press Editor-in-Chief Barbra Dillon chats with Mueller about his shared creative process in collaborating with artist Francesco Iaquinta to bring the story to life on the page, what readers can anticipate in terms of backer rewards, and more!

Barbra Dillon, Fanbase Press Editor-in-Chief: Congratulations on the upcoming launch of your Zoop crowdfunding campaign! For those who may be unfamiliar, what can you share with us about the story’s premise?

Trevor Mueller: On the surface, Los Ojos is a supernatural action story about a hitman who sees his targets as demons when he looks them in the eyes (los ojos). Think John Wick meets John Constantine. If you go a level deeper, Los Ojos is about a man battling his own personal demons – and trying to keep them at bay while he raises a kid with his newfound family. If you like action, people fighting monsters, and some sweet moments that pull at the heartstrings, this series is for you!

BD: What can you tell us about your shared creative process in working with artist Francesco Iaquinta to bring this incredible world and characters to life on the the page?

TM: I usually start any relationship with a creative partner with one question: What do you want to draw? For Francesco, it was “guns and monsters.” Francesco is an amazing creative partner, and he comes to the table with his own ideas and thoughts about what he wants to see in the story. I usually keep my process fairly loose so he can inject whatever ideas he may have. We’ll do back and forth on a few things here and there, but mostly I let him run with the script and he delivers in spades! 

BD: You are no stranger to crowdfunding, having successfully run several campaigns for various projects. Why do you feel that crowdfunding has been such a valuable resource to ensuring the success of today’s comic book creators?

TM:: The biggest hurdle for any indie creator to tell the story they want to tell has been financial. If you don’t have the money to pay your team, or pay to get the book printed – then it’s hard to make a comic. Crowdfunding has really helped overcome that hurdle by building a community who invests in creators. A community that wants to see new, innovative, and off-the-wall ideas that don’t cut it in mainstream publishing. And they want to support creators, get in early to receive exclusive rewards and unique add-ons. And at the end of the day, I think they get a sense of satisfaction knowing they helped make someone’s dream come true: putting their story out into the world for others to enjoy! 

BD: At Fanbase Press, our #StoriesMatter initiative endeavors to highlight the impact that stories can have on audiences of various mediums. How do you feel that Andres’ story may connect with and impact readers?

TM: Andres is a man of action, and he’s a man on a mission. And then suddenly he’s thrown a curve ball in this new family he lives with. They’ve kind of adopted each other. And he’s still figuring out how they fit into his larger crusade to rid the world of evil. I think this theme can be universally applied to new parents – which was what inspired me to tell this particular tale. How does someone who’s used to a certain lifestyle – who needs to be operating at peak efficiency – suddenly react to not sleeping through the night? Or the stress of needing to make mac and cheese “the right way.” And how does that stress affect his performance during the day job – which in this story, is hunting down demons. I know when I had kids it was a transition in mindset and lifestyle, and even today they still keep me on my toes. But no matter how hard it seems or how tired you may feel – the love they have for you and the trust they have in you makes it more than worth it. 

BD: In light of the crowdfunding campaign, are there any particular backer rewards or tiers that you would like to highlight for our readers?

TM: We have a bunch! If you’re a fan of original art and commissions, Francesco has some limited spots open to do sketches and full commissions. And if you ask him to draw Silverhawks, he’ll be your friend for life! If you like a variety of stories, I also have some digital add-ons for some new series I’m working on – some are horror, some are sci-fi – and my entire multi-award-nominated Albert the Alien series (great for adults and kids!). And we’ll probably throw in a few surprises as the campaign continues, so I encourage people to keep checking in with it – even after your pledge! 

BD: Are there any other projects on which you are working that you would like to share with readers?

TM: Ha ha ha! I have a lot of projects in the works. Right now, the bulk of my time has been spent on my Webtoon Original series (which you can read for free online). Nexus Point is a cyberpunk action story about hackers fighting bounty hunters. Re-Possessed is a supernatural workplace comedy (think 1980s horror, embracing the fact it’s silly by today’s standards) about college kids working at a pawn shop that sells possessed and cursed items. I’m also working on several new series that will likely be crowdfunded later this year – and you can get the first issues digitally in this campaign. Demon City is a horror / crime noir story about the last homicide that will ever happen. Consumer is a cyberpunk heist story about the evils of technology. Beyond the Pillars is an Indiana Jones-style adventure story about a solider who’s discovered a secret war happening behind the main conflict. And finally, The Witches of E Wick BLVD is an urban fantasy about two sisters with magical powers trying to defend their town from things that go bump in the night. All of those comics are available as digital add-ons when you pledge to support Los Ojos

BD: Lastly, what would you like to tell readers who want to learn more about the Los Ojos campaign and your other work?

TM: I want to thank everyone for reading this interview, checking out the campaign – and especially if you pledged to support it, a heartfelt thank you. And I would encourage them to tell their stories and go make comics. Los Ojos is not my first graphic novel, but it is my first horror graphic novel. It holds a special place in my heart – as many stories do for creators like me – because of the things that inspired it, the friendships I’ve made while putting it together, and the fact that it’s just a fun twist on an action / horror story! And with your help, we can take this idea from a story in my head to a book you can hold in your hand. So again, thank you! 

Barbra Dillon, Fanbase Press Editor-in-Chief




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