John– Greetings and salutations to the CFG, we’re aficionados of all things comics, cosplay, geek, freaks, and nerds. I hear you’ve just launched the kickstarter for your super human book “ALV #2”. Can you tell us a little about ALV?
Jay– Hey guys, thanks for having me. VERY excited about the Kickstarter. As I sit here I am about 35% funded and things are looking very hopeful. As you say, the Kickstarter is to fund issue #2 of the ALV series. ALV is a Super-Human (can’t say Super-Hero, don’t want to get sued by the big 2!) comicbook series named after the series protagonist Adele Leigh Voss. The series is written by me, Jay Martin, with art and colours supplied by Pablo and lettering from Rob Jones (Madius Comics). Adele is the world’s only super-human and recently she has fallen out of favour with humanity. In book #1 we saw that she now lives alone on a secret Island, isolated and away from civilisation. Why? Well, we don’t know that… yet. Issue #1 was very much an introduction to the character and where she is at this point in her life, issue #2 is going to be very different. The second book in the series takes off from the stunning events that ended issue #1 and is a really fast passed action packed issue. We get to learn a little about who Adele used to be and get to see her in full super mode and witness just how good she is. People can get a quick look at ALV #1 atwww.yeahwritejay.co.uk/ALVand buy the full book on Comixology or Amazon.
CFG – Where do you see the ALV journey going, what kind of scope do you have for her story?
Jay – In terms of story, the idea is for ALV to be an ongoing series. Obviously, being an Indie book there is no guarantee on a release schedule, but the idea is to continue for as long as I can. The first story arch is four issues long. After that there is a two parter that will give her an origin and reveal why she is now a wanted women. The end of the first arch will leave us in a position to move to one-shots or smaller runs, a sort of episodic format, with the odd overriding arch rather than going from arch to arch. After the first six books, once the rules are established and characters are developed, I’d like to do an anthology. Opening it up to other writers and artists to give their take on ALV in a short complete stories. But who knows how far off that is!
CFG – You’ve been active in indie comics for a while now, other than your work for the British Showcase Anthology what other projects have you been involved in?
Jay – Alongside that and ALV I have just released another comic. A one shot Graphic Novel with artist Louis M. Slater named Domeinion. The book takes place in the future in an underground domed city and follows Inspector Nathan Fullar and his partner as they hunt a serial killer. The book is a lot darker and more violent than ALV with plenty of twists and turns along the way. Domeinion is also set to be a series of three novels, the first of which should be set to launch digitally around the middle of next month. The books take place in the same time period as the comic and cross over slightly, but you can read one without reading the other. Other than that I am set to have a story in the second British Showcase Anthology, due for release some time in the summer, and the Great War Memorial anthology due for release later in the year. There are a few other things in the works, but they will have to wait until another time!
CFG– Comics are a peculiar endeavour – they rely on many different factors (script, pencils, inks, colours, letters, etc) – how hard do you find it letting go of your story and having others interpret it sequentially?
Jay– To be honest, I used to really struggle with it. You imagine a thing one way, and it is never the same as the way the artist views it. It’s pretty jarring to begin with. Now, it’s one of my favourite parts of the process. I like to give the artist free reign and have very little in the way of detail in my panel descriptions. I love the fact that comics are a group project and that the end result is always completely different from how the project is imagined at the start. The fact that I can be totally surprised and blown away by something that I wrote upon receiving the art is a very cool feeling. Keeps life interesting.
CFG– Crowdfunding –particularly the likes of Kickstarter and Indiegogo – have become a ready source of production funding for comics, which has, in turn, led to a levelling of the playing field and many more people who could never have launched a title are now indie publishers in their own right. How difficult is it to get your voice heard among the din of the crowdfunding competition?
Jay – Very, there are a hell of a lot of talented people out there. And when I say talented, I mean unbelievably so! But the Indie comic scene seems very different to any others I have been a part of. There is a very “All In It Together” type of feel, as opposed to one of competition. I suppose it’s down to the fact that everyone at this level knows what goes in to getting their art out there. It is very much about passion for the work as opposed to making money, mainly because you don’t! Not at the start anyway. More often than not you will see Indie creators trading books at a con just to read another’s work, or advertising someone else’s work online. You do get the odd knob, but they don’t last long. Everyone who’s in it, is in it for the love of comics and they work pissing hard to make them!