Interview with William Satterwhite and Sean Mack from Short Fuse Media Group
I’ve been a huge fan of Short Fuse Media Group and their approach to indie comics. #WeAlwaysDeliver is a more than just a saying, it’s a promise, and every book of theirs I have been a backer of has come through as promised. As I continue to support the indie comic community I will always jump at the chance to talk with folks from Short Fuse Media and it just so happens that William Satterwhite and Sean Mack have a Kickstarter going for the Satterwhite’s Stealth. Take a look as we chat about the Kickstarter and what’s new with Short Fuse.
Stealth has been around prior to Short Fuse Media, can you explain a little bit about it’s inception and the transition to Short Fuse?
William Satterwhite: Stealth started out as a webcomic, the original comic was originally intended to be a submission to publishers but I started noticing people doing comics online and decided that might be cool to try out. As far as the character goes, Stealth was basically my take on the idea of a teen hero/vigilante with an emphasis placed on the alter-ego concept and playing with the masked hero being almost a completely different personality from the “civilian” character. For the Short Fuse launch, Sean wanted to have something of a fresh start so I went with an idea I always thought was fascinating- back when Image started they had all their original books do a flash forward five years into the future. With those Image books it was just a one off deal but I decided to take it a step further and just have the entire Short Fuse series set five years after the established webcomic continuity. That way we kind of have a fresh start but at the same time fans of the webcomic will recognize old characters and hopefully want to know how everyone still around gets to where they are at and also maybe wonder what has happened to certain other characters.
As creators can you explain the process of creation and the melding of ideas with original creator William Satterwhite and publisher/co-creator Sean Mack?
WS: It was very interesting- because the initial story serves as something of a bridge to the expansion of the wider Short Fuse universe Sean came up with the basic story with a particular emphasis on touching on the very real issues that are included therein. At the same time I was able to expand upon Sean’s ideas and lay a bit of groundwork for things to come.
Did the new addition to the writing staff make for any changes with the artist team?
Sean Mack: While the earlier art duties for Stealth, prior to Stealth being aligned with Short Fuse Media Group, were handled by William himself and by Jamar Logan, we wanted Stealth to have a more refined look so we went with a talented artist named Caius Schereiner for pencils and inks and brought on Michael Woods for colors as they were already staples on our talent roster from previous projects. William remained on the art team providing the letters.
As artists was there any change in the process of creation or was the transition smooth?
SM: There were not any changes to the production process from this project as opposed to the writing team having to get accustomed to working together. The art team did a stellar job bringing the project together from the script to being one of my personal favorites on our roster.
Stealth is part of the Red Band line of Short Fuse, can you tell us a little bit about Red Band and how it’s related to Short Fuse as a whole?
SM: Red Band was created to showcase some of our more street level heroes. We wanted a place to focus on more grounded characters that also had more of a gritty tone and some more mature themes.
Can we expect collaborations with other Redband titles?
WS: I’m not sure just how much can be revealed at this time but I think fans should definitely expect some Red Band collaborations.
So why Kickstarter?
WS: When done and handled in a right and responsible manner, which I think Short Fuse with it’s motto “We Always Deliver” has been exemplary of, nothing tops Kickstarter in terms of allowing fans to directly support independent projects and creators so that those projects can actually get the funds needed to be completed. As much as we might do it for sheer love of the art-form, it does still take money to actually publish comics and Kickstarter helps ensure that fans get their money’s worth out of a project by being directly involved in the funding process.
SM: Beyond that, the platform that is Kickstarter is an effective tool that can be used for indie creators to assist in managing their projects from inception to fulfillment. Additionally, using Kickstarter allows indie creators to bypass utilizing the services of costly distributors and offers a direct line of communication from the creators to their actual supporters.
What sort of rewards are offered with the Kickstarter?
WS: We’ve got two variant covers that I for one am definitely excited about, a glorious wraparound by Sean Hill (Route 3, Zenescope) who I’ve been a longtime fan and supporter of as well as a special “virgin” black and white cover by superstar artist Caanan White. When Sean showed me both pieces my mind was blown. On top of that there is the usual Short Fuse action figure reward tier that has seen countless independent creators get their own action figures created for their properties- there is a little catch to it this time around that I think might be best left to Sean to break down.
SM: While we’re definitely going to continue the trend of having custom made action figures as a part of our campaigns, we’re also using this campaign to soft launch a full line of action figures focused on indie comic book characters called INDIEVERSE UNLIMITED. So in this campaign, we debuted the first action figure from the line, which just happened to be Stealth. Beyond that, we’re opening the doors for interested parties to have their own characters prototyped and added to the upcoming line that we’ll be mass producing for an extremely fair price in contrast to the costs that they would normally pay to have an action figure prototyped on their own by using the vendors that we’ve brokered deals with.
What can we expect to see in the future from Stealth and Short Fuse Media Group?
WS: Again, I’m not quite sure how much can be revealed as of yet but as mentioned earlier our initial story is going to serve as something of a bridge to the wider Short Fuse and Red Band universe so I’ll just say if you love crossovers you are going to love what’s coming down the pipe. Beyond that I’m really looking forward to filling in the blanks of how we have gotten to where we are at and really digging in deep with the characters introduced in this first issue, both new and old. I’ll also add that the “real world, ripped from the headlines” feel of the first issue will continue on in ways that readers hopefully find pretty interesting.
SM: And Short Fuse Media will continue to ensure that Stealth keeps to our company promise: #WeAlwaysDeliver