Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Voices from Artists Alley: KEITH GLEASON

Next up on our spin through the world of independent comics and the creators who publish them is Keith Gleason. Keith is one of the masterminds behind Hero Envy, a comic that spins out of the live action web sites Swass Adventures. But instead of me just blathering up here in the intro, why don't we get right to the interview and let Keith explain it all himself?

So, what can you tell us about yourself and this project?

Hi, I’m Keith Gleason from Swassadventures.com and we’re talking about our web series “Hero Envy” and the Swass Adventures. Basically what it is, it’s an online webisode series, live actors, all scripted. It’s a show about geeks – it’s for geeks – and how they relate to each other and the adventures that they go in on.

We’ve done like adventures about Transformers, about wrestling, you know, anything geeky, we’ve done it, we’ve talked about it. We’ve made fun of reality shows, Behind the Music and stuff like that. And then basically, we’ve been doing that since 2005 and we decided a year ago to start a comic book based on the series of characters that we’ve built on the web. And the comic book allows us the opportunity to exp[and on their adventures and do stuff that we couldn’t do in the actual webisodes.

So we decided to do it top notch, full color. It’s got a 23 page full story and then a six page back-up story, which is drawn by a separate artist. It’s about one of our side characters called El Diablo, who’s a wrestler character, an imaginary friend and his origin and how he came about. And in the back we have a letters page and an episode guide so if you haven’t seen the episodes online, the comic is designed for a new reader so they can read it and say, “oh, there’s more episodes on line” and they can go check it out. It’s tons of entertainment for the money.

So you publish this print on demand?

Yes, we use Comic Express. We do all our work through them. Great company, every time I’ve had an issue they’ve taken care of it right away, they get back to you right away. It’s a good company.

Now, a lot of people who use on demand end up printing in black and white because it’s a lot cheaper, but you went with full color. Was that much more expensive?

Yeah. It definitely is a little more expensive and that’s why we’re selling at $3.99 versus $2.99. But when I wanted to do this, I wanted to go all out. I wanted to make a comic that was going to stand out. In Artists Alley. So I wanted to really represent how god I think we are. I wanted people to check it out. My mentality is, if it looks good, they probably are more inclined to check it out. That’s why I wanted to go top notch with the comic, and basically find a good artist or a couple god artists.

And when did you publish this first issue?

Recently, probably within the last few months we’ve come out with this. We’re already working on issue two, here are some of the pages from two. We got a different artist because the guy who did the original issue is kinda having a mental breakdown, so instead of waiting for him we started with a second artist. This one’s going to be all set at San Diego Comic Con. It’s going to be a lot of fun and we’re having a lot of fun doing it and making the series go. It’s a lot of fun.

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