Coffee, Pizza And Comic Books

Frederick Packard and Joshua Valliere write:

How do you transition from boring, mundane, same old routine to, "oh hey, I have three books coming out".

Well let me tell you friend, it's no cup of tea. It's actually more like 10 cups of coffee and very little sleep. So of course our journey began where all aspiring writers start, Starbucks. A few cups of coffee later, we knew we wanted to write sci-fi or fantasy.  A few more cups… Sci-Fi.  That sounded fun.

Coffee, Pizza And Comic Books

In a world full of Trekkies and Star Wars fanatics, what hasn't been done? How do you create something different but relatable? So, we started with world building.  Now at the time I never really built anything in my life outside of when I used to play with Legos as a kid, so this was all new to me. Luckily the person I was writing with was already working on a book (Proxima: Welcome to the Pond) and was able to be the Obi-Wan to my Luke. The night prior, Josh had a dream about a guy waking up in a field of dead bodies on an alien planet (I know right, what a weirdo… or genius). Why was he alone? Why the heck was he on an alien planet? What killed everyone around him?

Coffee, Pizza And Comic Books

After we figured out the why's, we had an idea of how we wanted the story to pan out. So we did what any good writers would do, we transitioned to pizza. Twice a week we got together, ordered food from our favorite pizza spot, Hoboken, which is located in Pacific Beach, San Diego. Many unhealthy calories later, we finished all our character bios and it was time to write our very first issue summary for Sol Survivor.

Coffee, Pizza And Comic Books

We had one glaring issue, we had no visuals for our characters. We found an amazing concept artist in Jade Law who worked with Marvel in the past.

Here's a quick look at those original character designs:

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Now that we knew what our characters looked like, had their bios (I'm talking years of made up history, for made up characters), it was time to throw them head first into the world we created. With such a strong foundation and understanding of both the World and Characters, it was a lot of fun writing out the story. Now me personally, I was going through a difficult time in my life, recently moved away from my family and friends from Buffalo New York , to San Diego. Went through a breakup and felt alone. So naturally I wanted to convey my feelings through our main character, Sol. So we stripped him of everything he knew and loved. So our story starts with Sol waking up in a field of dead bodies, scared and alone.

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Now here comes the fun part, finding the artist to bring our story to life. We tested out every artist we could, till we came across PeZ. Daniel "PeZ!" Lopez did some coloring work for IDW Publishing, for the Ninja Turtles, we asked him to draw one of our characters and he gave us this.

Coffee, Pizza And Comic Books

We were floored, this was it, we found our artist! There was no question that Pez was the missing piece to the puzzle. At this point we had an entire panel script complete, handed it over to PeZ and fast-forward to now, the book is complete, fully colored, fully lettered and our Kickstarter is LIVE to print.

Coffee, Pizza And Comic Books

Since the start, we've created a few more books, started up our own publishing company, Charon Comics LLC and partnered up with Source Point Press. We built a solid following on social media, specifically Instagram. We have our Sci-Fi series, Sol Survivor and are hard at work on book 2, our fantasy series Skylin, book one is already out and we have Tales of Charon, which is an anthology book we created. We were even able to get a few variant covers done by some high profiled artists that are also available in our Kickstarter.

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Overall if you have a vision, and drive, the only person stopping you is yourself. Becoming a full-time writer is a grind, one that I am living. I've learned to respect the journey and enjoy it. So for now I will continue to work my boring, mundane job as a Senior Account Executive and dedicate the majority of my free time to writing the stories I love. With your support we can print these books and take a huge step forward in delivering amazing content on a regular basis.

Here's the link to our Kickstarter, and from all of us at Charon Comics, we thank you,

About Rich Johnston

Founder of Bleeding Cool. The longest-serving digital news reporter in the world, since 1992. Author of The Flying Friar, Holed Up, The Avengefuls, Doctor Who: Room With A Deja Vu, The Many Murders Of Miss Cranbourne, Chase Variant. Lives in South-West London, works from Blacks on Dean Street, shops at Piranha Comics. Father of two. Political cartoonist.