When I first started to write about comics, Salvagers was the first review I did. I chose Salvagers because it was the first successful Kickstarter that I watched from beginning to end. For me, Salvagers represents all that is good in the indie comic world, a guy with an idea and some drive to make it happen and some awesome readers willing to give them a shot.
Ian: Can you tell us a little bit about your book and the inspiration behind it?
Bob: Salvagers is an adventure series following a crew of blue collar “wreckers” cleaning up space. They’re not Rebels or Soldiers… they’re just trying to make ends meet and they have the job of cleaning up a hostile galaxy. I watch a lot of SciFi… things are always blowing up in space, so I figured… Who’s going to clean this up and make a profit?
Ian: Can you describe a little bit of the Salvagers universe?
Bob: It’s very much like our world we live in. There is love, lust, hate & deceit… There are alien races that are feared and discriminated against. Large Corporations are growing more and more powerful and manipulating governments and empires. In the middle of it all, we have a crew trying to, not only salvage space junk… but also salvage the mess they’ve made of their lives.
Ian: Planning any spin off series from this universe? Would you be up for it or do you think it should stand alone?
Bob: Funny you should ask. We just finished Salvagers: The Deliverance. The Deliverance follows a crew of freelance salvagers out fixing the Tramedian Barrier and what they come across might be the end for them. It’s a Kickstarter Exclusive Series… but people should stay tuned to how they can get this issue.
Ian: Are any of your characters based off real life people, if so who?
Bob: They all have a little bit of me in them, as well as family members and friends. But a few have been plucked right out of my office. (No names hahaha)
Ian: Does your writing have a message or are you more interested in just telling the story?
Bob: Right now, we’re setting the scene… building the Universe and getting to know the main characters. But I think as the story goes on, there will be messages… just not really “In Your Face” but it’ll be there.
Ian: Have you had any training or schooling as a writer or are you just naturally creative?
Bob: I studied English and Creative writing at Pitt ages ago, but I also try to read a lot. I never learned how to write a comic book, so I bought a lot of Marvel graphic novels that had the script in it. They were big helps. I think every artist or writer would like to think they have “natural” creativity (hahaha).
Ian: What is your writing process like? Do you have any silly traditions or OCD ticks you must adhere to?
Bob: I write a ton of notes on Characters and the beats of the story. I then take a Word.doc and number it from 1 to 24 (24 pages in a comic). I’ll write a general sentence of what is happening on that page, and little by little I separate the page into Panels. I then go back and rewrite it 243 times. As far as OCD… I knock on wood – A LOT!
Ian: Who are some of your creative influences and are they different from the influences of the book?
Bob: Rick Remender and Frank Miller are two huge influences for me. Also, Jeph Loeb’s Champions of the Unknown Must Die is a must read for any Indie Comic Creator.
Ian: Do you aspire to write in other mediums like movies, TV, or books?
Bob: Screenplays… I would LOVE to work with someone on the Salvagers screenplay. I’ve been readying some screenplays and getting a couple Screenplays For Dummies books.
Ian: Tell us a little bit about the others involved in with your book and how did you find them?
Bob: George Acevedo is the artist… I had hit a roadblock with conceptual art for my series and a mutual friend connected us. He’s been a Godsend for me. We met on Facebook which helps because George is in California, our colorist DeSiKa is from France and HdE the letterer is living in England. So we FB Message a lot.
Ian: I totally get that, FB is how I landed this wonderful opportunity!
Ian: Tell us a little bit about your experience working with artists and how do you get them to understand your vision and translate it to the pages?
Bob: It takes time. You find yourself OVER explaining the page set-up in the beginning of the writer-artist relationship. Especially as a new “comic book” writer, I find that it’s important to take the artists advice. As you build that trust, you tend to give the artist more freedom.
Ian: Any advice for someone wanting to create comics?
Bob: If you’re a Writer with an idea… get it on paper… work on the conceptual stuff and find yourself a good artist. Always take care of your artists. Network with people who are doing what you’re doing on the level that you’re doing it.
Ian: What are some comics you like to read?
Bob: East of West… Punisher MAX Series… anything Jeph Loeb writes.
Ian: What are your thoughts on print vs digital?
Bob: Print will always rule over Digital… BUT digital helps us Indie Creators get to more and more readers and helps us build our fanbase.
Ian: I totally agree, print is always the best, but there is nothing wrong with keeping up on demand and that includes digital.
Ian: How do you feel about sites like Comixology?
Bob: LOVE Comixology! We have 3 Issues on there under our publisher Think Alike Productions. TAP is building a nice library of indie titles on Comixology. We’re also translated on Comixology France with Editions Reflexions.
Ian: Are you working on anything other than Salvagers?
Bob: Jasper’s Starlight Tavern is a Webcomic that is set in a bar, in a space station in the Salvagers universe. Check it out, it’s funny.
Ian: When can we expect to see more from you?
Bob: Issue 4 will be out late this Summer. That will wrap up the first story arc and you can purchase Issue 4 or the entire trade paperback.
Ian: Where can fans get a hold of your books?
Bob: Printed copies are sold in our online store as well as a few stores across the country.
Digital copies are on Comixology (Search Salvagers or Think Alike Productions).
Ian: Where can fans get a hold of you?
Bob: Facebook and on Instagram: @_Salvagers
I want to thank Bob for taking the time to chat as well as for writing an awesome book! I’m proud to say that even though I’m not a Kickstarter backer I own all 3 issues and am looking forward to the 4th. Watching this project’s success has been a pleasure and has really solidified my faith in the comic worlds generosity. Kickstarter has been instrumental in the success of a lot of projects, not just Salvagers, and that fact is something we all should be proud of.