Every collector wants to be on top of the next big book. With the big two quickly becoming the big three, I’m looking at you Image, it’s easy to overlook more independent comics. Every creator cut their teeth somewhere. With the ability for creators to more easily find funding through crowd-funding sites like Kickstarter we’re really starting to see unbelievable expansion into creator owned series that are just as good as any big publisher series on the market. Feeling as if he was part of a group that doesn’t have a voice in comics Miles Greb felt a need to put his voice into culture. His comic After the Gold Rush will be on Kickstarter soon and I highly suggest you give it real consideration.
I recently asked Mr. Greb some questions about his intriguing new series:
So from the description After the Gold Rush is a pro-science, science fiction book. What brought this idea to the forefront of your mind?
I was at ECCC last year, I saw some wonderful and a few worrying trends in comics.
The prior was the focus on perspectives from all manner of sub-cultures. I am a huge fan of Silver Age books; the early Marvel books created the artistic dialect for most the medium. The good of this precedent is the optimistic sci-fi expansionism, heroic deeds, and fantastic ideas. The bad, was that these wonderful stages lack diversity in their actors. This is now changing in Comics. But while I saw this inclusion for so many groups, I did not see a signal book that was openly created by or for atheist, skeptics, and the hard science crowd.
The latter is fear. Science is playing the role of the atom bomb again, instead of the moon-lander. Tomorrow will be dark, there will be zombies, the buildings around you will be empty, you will be scavenging, the robots are coming, there is no help, the future will crush us, technology will twist and defame us – The end is now. Brothers, no! This is not how it’s going to be. I grew up watching Cosmos and Star Trek, and that’s the future I see. That is what I want to bring back.
Could you describe the characters? The main character appears very young. Why go with such a young protagonist?
Scout is the first daughter of Titan, only 18 years old, biologically – though she has been alive longer. I wanted a younger hero because I wanted to show the value of the society she came from. I could do this better by showing a less experienced member of it. Also, there is the benefit of her being more relatable to a group underrepresented in science.
I won’t give too much away about the shape of the bag, least you guess there is a cat in it. So I’ll just say – she is from a culture very different than the one we will be finding on earth in ATGR.
The other major players in our story are the Axman, Guttenberg, and another girl who we have not yet reveled. Our wonderful artist Isaac is still working on her concept art. Plus, I like mystery.
Are you working on the book by yourself? How many roles do you have when it comes to the development of After the Gold Rush?
Luckily, since I can’t draw, I do not. Our main artist is Issac La Rossa. He has done all of our concept art, most of our promotional art, and will be doing the first few issues at the very least.
The story and scripts: that was me. I have a disappointing case of dyslexia, so my dear friends, Ben Rodgers and Andrew Pierce, have been working as my editors.
I am also financing the thing. Mostly by selling all of my Magic cards. But I can’t manage it all alone. That is why we will be doing a Kickstarter this August!
How long has this been in development? If you’re using an artist that is not you how hard was it for you to find the right one?
I have had this story in my head for about 2 years, but I never wrote it down until about a year ago. I wasn’t sure all the logistics of making a comic, but after going to ECCC 2014, I was inspired to figure it out.
Finding an artist was hard, but we rolled a 20 on it. I found Issac on Deviant Art actually. I asked him to do some concept art for Scout – it came out great! So we started our relationship. He has many other projects, so I really appreciate all the time he has given us.
We also have other artists helping us with promotional material and our “scientist of the issues” section. UK illustrator Chris Lewis Lee is doing a poster for us, Backterria is doing some pixel art, and Fanny Hagdahl Sörebo will be doing our “scientist of the issue” page.
Is this your first project? Where are you hoping to debut After the Gold Rush?
Pretty much. I was going to school for Journalism, so I have some published stuff in papers. That’s about it though. So, hello everyone, I hope you like my debut story.
We won’t be releasing it digitally until people get a chance to have the real book in their hands. As much as I love technology, I fancy actual books. So I want to see it read as a true-blue comic first. Shortly after, we will distribute it digitally.
Obviously you’ve borrowed the title from the Neil Young album by the same name. How much of an inspiration was that album to you?
Personally, the album is very dear. I grew up listening to it while camping with my dad. Neil Young songs were some of the first I learned to play, and I will never stop listening to his stuff. However, there are no themes in the album that are directly linked to our book. The name was just perfect.
Do you have any plans on trying to sell this to publishers?
Do you know any? I am an outsider right now – I don’t have the contacts. I am not against pitching it, but I am not really sure how all that works.
After the Gold Rush looks like it’s going to be a very different take on science fiction and this could be a wonderful new series. We all like the idea of helping out our fellow comic lovers who decided to take that step to trying to become a creator themselves, but how often do we actually reach out? Other than buying some art at cons of course. After the Gold Rush looks like it will be an excellent opportunity get behind an innovative new creator.
This has been the first in what I hope will be many features on creator owned projects. If you have a new comic series you’d like to get off the ground, please let me know.
Stay tuned for the announcement of when After the Gold Rush will be live on Kickstarter. You can follow the progress on Twitter @Goldrushcomic