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THE BIG INTERVIEW: We chat to the guys behind Kickstarter Comic Baad Food

May 15th, 2017 by Marc Comments

Today we speak to writer Nic Ho Chee who is involved in a new Sci-Fi Kickstarter crowdsourcing money to print the first issue and complete the front and back covers.

They’ve got pencils & inks from Angelo Dazo famous for Deadpool: Merc With A Mouth and Thunderbolts, colouring from Davi Correia (BSG: Starbuck), lettering from Ken Reynolds (Sliced Quarterly and Cognition) and writing from Nic.

The story follows two music obsessed, human standard, twenty somethings, Roy and Kev, who find themselves stuck working in a government job scheme amongst robots, altered humans, machine intelligences and an ageing population that have taken all the best jobs.

An unfortunate set of events leads the protagonists to become poster boys for a group of neu-human extremists who want to evolve all humans, and destroy the sentient machines sharing the planet.  Roy and Kev are the fulcrum the rest of the series unfolds around.

We sat our man Phil down with Nic to discuss comics, passions… and kickstarter.

FTN: When did you and your colleagues first become interested in writing and creating comics?

Nic: I was accidentally introduced to 2000ad way too early.  One of my formative memories is a Tharg’s Future Shock, seeing a robot’s defence laser eviscerate a giant spider, and accidentally slicing the owner’s spaceship in half.  It unpacked, years later, into wanting to create stories which feature robots, defence lasers, and sometimes snarky humour.

Davi: For me, it’s been my childhood dream since forever. I grew up surrounded by Marvel, DC comics, Manga, watching cartoons, Anime and Super Sentai shows all the time. I was always drawing, and with time and support from my amazing family, the opportunity to be an artist for a living was not only an option, but also the reality.

FTN: Bad food Comic; it’s an interesting title. Can you tell us a little bit about it?

Nic: The original premise was that the story was set in the aftermath of a zombie outbreak with Roy and Kev, the two main protagonists, working in the worst job in the world.  They were drafted onto an unemployment scheme, surrounded by tamed zombie short order chefs in a fast food restaurant that no one wanted to use because, zombies.  Robots had been used to quell the zombie tide, and the zombies would moan “Baad Food” when they saw them, as they were inedible and were worth zero zombie-calories.

As I wrote more of their story, the most interesting interactions were between the robots and other artificial intelligences more than the zombies, so the story became centred on Roy and Kev and how they exist in a world where they are literally surplus to requirements.  I lost the shambling mass of bitey horror, but the title actually worked still.  It is similar to the hexadecimal code some memory allocators would set un-initialized memory to on PCs, which is a good allusion to Roy and Kev.  Un-initialised, unskilled, and working in a restaurant that no one uses, that costs calories just to keep open, just BaadFood.

” I lost the shambling mass of bitey horror, but the title actually worked still.”

FTN: I like the way you have taken two musicians and made them into comic book heroes. What was your inspiration as they kind of remind us of Bill and Ted?

Nic: Their personalities are a mixture of different people I grew up around, with their hedonism and consumerism dialled up.  At some point, most people skilled-up in some manner, and got on with life, but Roy and Kev thought they could just make music like their reality’s equivalent of the Chemical Brothers or Daft Punk, without spending any time communing with their instruments.  I also added notes of an old friend of mine, Mike Low, as seen through a Roadman filter, to Kev, as a reminder of Mike, whose personality fit this person who was wholly enveloped by club culture. I liked the idea of these unprepared kids suddenly needing to defuse these intense situations armed only with a working knowledge of basic music technology and a love for rare and collectible trainers.

Visually, for Roy and Kev, I borrowed from Autechre, an electronic act I grew up listening to whose photos were always visibly striking.  Having one character in the comic with a shaved head and another with a spikier hairstyle made it easier to tell them apart from their silhouette, and gave the characters a better look.

“Visually I borrowed from Autechre, an electronic act I grew up listening to whose photos were always visibly striking.” 

FTN: Aside from creating this comic, where might our followers have recognised your name from?

Davi: I was the colorist of Mirror’s Edge: Exordium, a comic series that was a prequel for the video game Mirror’s Edge: Catalyst, published by Dark Horse. Other previous works include Battlestar Galactica: Starbuck (Dynamite Entertainment), Mage Inc, Evil Dead, Soul Power (Space Goat Publishing) plus several jobs for personal clients and indie projects worldwide.

Nic: Bong Dazo has been working in the comics industry for 30+ years now, and was the penciller for various Deadpool releases for Marvel, including the Deadpool: Merc With A Mouth series.  You can also see him in Star Wars: Knights Of The Old Republic for Dark Horse, and a bunch of Indie releases like Bad Moon Rising and another Sci-Fi Kickstarter, Capsule, which is currently running.

Our letterer, Ken Reynolds is working on a few things at the moment.  He is editing an experimental anthology, Sliced Quarterly, which has had a successful Kickstarter, recently www.slicedquarterly.co.uk.  You can see his writing on the supernatural mystery comic Cognition, http://cognitioncomic.bigcartel.com/.  He is usually working on various lettering and design projects, and is on the odd comics podcast here and there, you can keep up to date with his work at his website, www.kenreynoldsdesign.co.uk.

For me, if they pored over the credits for a few old computer games coming out for various Playstations and Xboxes they might have noticed me as one of the developers.  More recently, I’ve been releasing the odd electronic track under the FuncRand(m) moniker and helping curate a few compilation albums for an electronic music collective called TEFOSAV, which you can download from tefosav.bandcamp.com.  Hopefully I’ll be writing a few more comics in the future.

FTN: We understand that this is a Crowdfunded Project; can you tell us a little bit about this for our followers? What has the crowd funding journey been like for you so far? 

Nic: We’re using the Kickstarter platform to fund finishing the covers for a couple of variant floppies, and to see whether there is an audience for a printed version of the comic.  If enough folks invest in the project and we receive the minimum funding target, we’ll have the money to print the comic, and our investors get the rewards of their investment.  For this project, the rewards range from twitter shout-outs and mobile phone wallpaper to PDF or physical versions of the comic.  If we don’t meet that goal, we don’t get the money to complete the project, and the investors we had get their money back.

It has been a lot of work, preparing for the Crowdfunding campaign by researching successful campaigns, contacting friends and family to make them aware of what we are doing so they can share it, contacting comics forums, tweeting, contacting podcasters, creating assets for the Kickstarter campaign, researching advertising methods, etc.  With all that work, we’ve got 14 days left, of 30, and we’re 54% funded, which is better than I’d hoped we’d be, so the work is paying off, but it is very nerve-wracking, as we still might not get to that minimum goal.  If we don’t, we won’t be able to print the comic.

“the work is paying off, but it is very nerve-wracking, as we still might not get to that minimum goal.  If we don’t, we won’t be able to print the comic.”

FTN: For our readers who may be considering crowd funding to get projects off the ground, would you recommend it? Any hints or tips?

Nic: You get to see whether people are responding to your work, so I’d always recommend it.  I got some great advice from Ken our letterer, Lorenzo from the Etherington Brothers and Matt from Mad Robot Comics, all of whom have run very successful campaigns.  The two pieces that stood out for me were:

  1. Keep your goal low.  It should be just enough to fund what you need to do after Kickstarter and credit card fees are removed.   Perhaps you should plan for a smaller print run, or cost postage and packing using more conservative sources.  If your goal looks too high it will turn people off from investing.
  2. Build a following before you hit the Crowdfunding campaign.  You should have an idea of where your investors will come from, and you should be prepared to communicate with them to get them involved on the first day of your campaign.  Unfortunately, people using the Kickstarter platform to browse for projects to invest in, probably won’t deliver the numbers you’ll need to fund your project.

Davi: I’ve been working on a horror graphic novel, Lair, which is in its final days in Kickstarter right now, at the same time as the BaadFood #1 Kickstarter.  Both of these are my first experience of Kickstarter, and I don’t have anything specific that I know definitely works yet.  What we’ve done is run a huge sharing campaign across Facebook groups, Twitter and Instagram that will hopefully get word out for us.

FTN: Finally, can you give us a little clue into what future adventures or troubles our heroes may be involved in?

Nic: You can expect to see robots and enhanced humans fighting over a pair of trainers, machine gods get punched through walls, exploding DJs, the Royal Canadian Mounted Robotic Police, misunderstandings causing nano-machine swarms to reduce competing restaurants to grey goo, Romper Stomper-esque neu-Human extremists screaming at TVs, some bad jokes, and a couple of twenty-something guys in way over their heads as they try to make sense of their place in the world.

The Kickstarter can be found at: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1961353225/baadfood-1
They’re on twitter as @BaadFoodComic
And they are on facebook as www.facebook.com/BaadFoodIssue1

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Marc is a self-confessed nerd. Ever since seeing Star Wars for the first time around 1979 he’s been an unapologetic fan of the Wars and still believes, with Clone Wars and now Underworld, we are yet to see the best Star Wars. He’s a dad of two who now doesn’t have the time (or money) to collect the amount of toys, comics, movies and books he once did, much to the relief of his long-suffering wife. In the real world he’s a graphic designer. He started Following the Nerd because he was tired of searching a million sites every day for all the best news that he loves and decided to create one place where you can go to get the whole lot. Secretly he longs to be sitting in the cockpit of his YT-1300 Corellian Transport ship with his co-pilot Chewie, roaming the universe, waiting for his next big adventure, but feels just at home watching cartoons with his kids….

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