Fang: The Weeping Reaper: An Interview with Gustavo Vazquez by Jerry Whitworth
From Exposure to A Child is Born to Molly Danger to Tarot: Witch of the Black Rose to Lady Sabre and the Pirates of the Ineffable Aether to Scarlet Huntress to Brigade, Kickstarter is becoming the go to source for creators to get their comic book stories to fans in a streamlined fashion, cutting out the red tape of traditional publishing (or, as some may say, comic book publishing monopoly). A new such project in Fang: The Weeping Reaper by Gustavo Vazquez (Sunfire and Big Hero 6, Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H.) and David Atchison (Rosario Dawson’s O.C.T.: Occult Crimes Taskforce, The Warriors) has just been posted to Kickstarter featuring a fusion of the supernatural and martial arts/gun fu action. Comic Art Community had the opportunity to interview creator Gustavo Vazquez about this original comic book series.
Gustavo Vazquez: I was born in Puerto Rico, grew up in Brooklyn, NY and I still like watching WWE wrestling! I’ve worked for Marvel, DC, Image… a lot of companies. I’d still like to work on Hellboy and Conan for Dark Horse, but I’ve got a lot of credits. Spider-Man and Civil War What-ifs… The Marvel Universe Update books for the last two and a half years of its life, Green Lantern. I was the first artist to debut Sunfire and Big Hero 6.
I’ve worked in animation on TMNT, and latest on the new Disney XD cartoon, the Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H. coming in August. Lots of little things over a twenty plus year career.
CAC: Would you tell us a little bit about your current project Fang: The Weeping Reaper? How did the project come together and reveal a little bit of the story’s premise?
GV: The writer, David Atchison, and I met a decade ago, and he told me about this project. Its seen a bunch of different lives, deaths and resurrections, but now I’m in it to win it! The story is about a vampire fighting monk turned vampire, who now hunts vampire hunters. Basically, he’d be the guy the vampires send to kill Blade, if this were a Marvel book. In this story, he is awakened from a self imposed sabbatical to hunt down the next prophesied great vampire hunter.
He is in for a surprise when he gets to his destination.
CAC: When did you decide to take the project to Kickstarter and what are the advantages to crowdsource funding over traditional publishing? It seems like many more creators have been drawn to this new avenue of production.
GV: I decided a few months ago to take it to Kickstarter after a few failed attempts at finding a publisher and a few private investors. Thing is, with a lot of publishers, they require that you have most of the work done before they’ll take on a project. I saw that a few of my friends had successful campaigns and they had suggested to me that I try to bring mine to crowd funding. It’s a way to get the fans involved in the process and for the creators to be able to put out a product they can control without editorial interference, which I hear lately has been an issue with a few creators.
In order to get this book done in a timely fashion, it would be nice to not have to work on anything else, and having to work on it piece by piece, panel by panel, whenever I’m not working on something else. So, this gives me an opportunity to work on it all at once, and get it out now as opposed to three or four years from now.
CAC: I see there are a large array of bonuses for fans to back the project on Kickstarter. Even better, various pledge levels include many different items you can take away from supporting Fang. Would you speak a little bit on this?
GV: Well, I wanted to give fans the opportunity to get more than just the comic for supporting my and David’s book. It gives them the chance to have something a little more tangible than just a comic, and a reminder of their support for something they helped create. It reminds me of when I was kid watching television and seeing those channels that would give you a bag for your support of their channel, so when people saw that bag, they knew you were a supporter.
There are some things, like the prints for instance, that are Kickstarter only incentives. So, only those who support the campaign will get some of the incentives. Some of them will be available at a later date, but will not be available as they are available on Kickstarter. The prints, for instance, will be available on special paper, numbered and signed, and poster sized, but will only be available later as a normal print.
CAC: I realize that it’s too early to let the cat out of the bag, but often times Kickstarter projects offer stretch goals when you go beyond the project’s goal. Do you have stretch goals coming down the pipe or have you given thought to some possible stretch goals?
GV: Yes, I do. I have some other cool things planned should the campaign go well. For obvious reasons, as you stated, I don’t want to let the cat of the bag just yet.
CAC: Looking at the preliminary work you’ve done on Fang, it seems to be really Hong Kong action cinema inspired. There also seems to be a little Sci-Fi techno and superhero/villain kind of flair to it. Would you speak a little on the action-based influences in the world of Fang?
GV: Thanks for noticing! Both David and I are big fans of Hong Kong cinema. We wanted to do something that pays homage to that genre, which usually isn’t covered in comic books. We always are trying to do something a little different. Not necessarily creating the wheel, more like reshaping it. As well, I’ve been drawing superhero comics for years, so that influence should be kind of obvious. We’re also fans of old 80’s adventure films and anime, so those influences are there, as well. I hope they show, anyway.
GV: Well, I couldn’t provide anything about TMNT, as it was for the old show on FOX for 4Kids. That was ages ago, but a lot of people identify with it as one of the better versions of the product. I did storyboards for that show.
As for Hulk, I was the lead board artist for a few episodes of the first season. It was an interesting show, but I don’t think I can reveal much as Disney/Marvel is tight lipped on it, and I signed a NDA, so I can’t, really. It should be fun, though. Hopefully the fans like it.
To back Fang: The Weeping Reaper, go to: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/2136433534/fang-the-weeping-reaper-graphic-novel
To keep up to date on Gustavo Vazquez and Fang: The Weeping Reaper, go to:
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