SUPER KAIJU HERO INTERVIEW
Give us the log line for SUPER KAIJU HERO FORCE.
It’s an origin story, so its hard to give an exact log line for it since we don’t want to give too much of it away. But if you love Japanese monsters, Ultraman and reality TV – then you’re half way to enjoying Super Kaiju Hero Force. The best way to explain this is What if Matt Groening had created Godzilla? We think it would be something weird like this.
What specific works in the giant robot/ monster genre drove you to create SUPER KAIJU HERO FORCE?
The whole genre is awesome! We’re on a steady diet of Kamen Rider and Ultraman shows right now because they keep updating them in Japan every year to keep kids interested and while we’ve seen huge leaps and bounds in special effects for movies like Spider-Man and Iron Man, the Japanese still won’t let go of the rubber outfits and the miniature cities – and while its super cool to see and all kinds of awesome, its just hilarious that you still see zippers and we just got to thinking “what if the guys in the suits went crazy one day” or if the South Park kids got into them – that’s when it started to gel and make us laugh we kept going.
When, and what were the circumstances that begun your venture into iPhone comics?
I think like many comic fans when you start using an iPhone or iPod touch the first thing you think after you get your Facebook set up is, “I wonder how Jim Lee’s art would look on this?”
What is the process for coming up with the slick end product on the art side? Is it all digital?
Yes its all digital – I guess the only time pen and paper are used is when I jot down notes for each of the stories and do doodles which will never see the light of day – from there Jeff and I bounce Google Docs back and forth refining a concept until its tight enough to plot and then drawn and colored digitally.
There are many hints in the captions and art about the future of the SUPER KAIJU HERO FORCE (such as the GARGANTURO sporting some shorts in his first panel, but not another). How far have you plotted the story out?
Yes we’re finishing the artwork for the final chapter now. So we’ve given ourselves a huge headstart to the whole thing so we can have the luxury of speeding up the delivery of new chapters if its well received.
What is the creation schedule you’ve set up for yourselves to keep up with the biweekly release? Do you have a buffer of a few strips?
We’ve been working on this since September, purely part-time, but it will be completed by the time you see #3 so that’s one thing we won’t be behind on. We’re going to begin work our next series in April which is different than Super Kaiju Hero Force in tone and style.
What are your thoughts on the future of digital distribution? Do you see it as THE method of delivery, or just ONE method?
Of course its just ONE method. We are all hardcore comic fans and grew up with them, and we love comic shops – but since we’re not specifically doing superheroes – we wanted to find a distribution channel that allowed regular people an easy way to read comics. After seeing so many superhero movies, we feel that audiences are ready to grow their comic reading habit just like we did in the 80′s into other types of comic books. How much further would a Scott Pilgrim go if it was released digitally as well? And how many countries could get in to it that much faster? We feel complete digital delivery is still at least 10 years away, and while it comes there will still be ways to get comics at comic shops and bookstores, just as movies will always also be shown in cinemas not just as downloads.
Why are you putting it up for free? Do you have plans to sell it in a print collection later?
If Jim Lee or Alex Ross were drawing it then we’d charge. Its a new medium, new characters, we feel like if we want you to take a chance on us that we also take a chance on you. If all goes to plan we’ll find other ways to monetize the comic book – the very next step will be the “Digital TPB” version, where we put everything into 1 application and include other fun stuff like wallpapers, games, creators audio/video commentary – really push the platform its sitting on.
Is SUPER KAIJU HERO FORCE a means to an end, and experiment, or an end unto itself?
All of the above. We’re definitely committed to using mobile platforms as our distribution of choice. We will never say never, but we’re not looking at a print version of this anytime in the near future.
The only experimenting we’re doing is storytelling – how to fit the panels and flow into this digest sized screen. That is the biggest experiment and while we’re going pretty traditional here we’d like to try different ways in this format.
With new products entering the market, its only a matter of time before everyone looks at this platform as a viable business. Let’s see how we get on – we’re more than happy to share with you how the downloads go and how we do in the progress of each new chapter comes out. I think in that purpose because we are the first original comic publisher that lots of other people will want to see how we do before getting on board as well. And to all the creators out there reading this and wanting to get in on it, we are also looking to publish other people’s content as well.
Any plugs or special thanks for anyone?
We love Blog@Newsarama and check it all the time for what’s happening in the comic biz and we enjoy your newly set up Digital Comics column as of course this is what we’re into and it seems you guys are seeing the market expanding like this as well so its good timing that we are talking about this together right now.
Thanks for answering some questions, and good luck.
No problems thanks for doing this, we really appreciate it.