“The Powers That Be!” project really interests me as it joins independent creators across the world which will, hopefully, shine a light on the independent scene. I must, however, address an issue the happened during the week where one of the creators expressed homophobic opinions on social media. To his credit, Nigel Flood dealt with the issue straight away which I was why I feel comfortable promoting this project and I hope it isn’t tarnished by one person’s beliefs.
Can you tell us a bit about the premise?
“The Powers That Be!” is set in THE POWERVERSE™ which is itself the official, unofficial collective all the universes in the indie comic market! This is possible because of events that occurred in THE LEGEND OF WILL POWER issue #1 have caused the barriers between all of the multiple realities in indie market to be thinned. The Powers That Be! are a self imposed dimensional policing force that has felt it their duty to inject themselves into the role of Protecting the Multi-verse.
I’m wondering how you started the process.
Vince White started it all. He reached out to many creators espousing his belief that the indie market should unite and forge a rich, diverse, collective universe, and he had the perfect vehicle that could make that possible!
Did you send character bios or did Vince White ask you questions or how did that start?
We all send in character bios, text messages, and we must have overloaded two DropBox accounts! Vince took all that information in and presented us with a rough outline for all five issues, with our characters already included!
Did you have much input on dialogue and stuff like that?
Vince was very open to input and wanted to know as much as possible about all the character slated to be involved! He already had a story architecture but consulted with each creator about dialogue, character appearance, and art and colour approval page by page! The energy just kept building and all the creators had several ideas for future story-plots, etc… There was real magic happening.
It’s being funded through Kickstarter, right?
It is! It’s a tall order, something completely new entrusting the public to give it life or not. Even as crazy as it sounds, that’s exactly what we did. We choose Kickstarter because it was all or nothing. If we were going to do this, we wanted the public and fan base to be behind us! Thus far, it seems to be well received! We made our modest goal of $3,000 within the first five days and with over 30 day left, we are going for a stretch goal of $4,500! We were able to keep our needs rather low, because the issue one is completely finished with exception of a few edits and character inclusions from the Kickstarter Pledge Rewards!
There was a bit of an online storm over one of the creators involved in the project voicing homophobic opinions. Would you like the address the issue?
We as The POWERVERSE™ believe in diversity, and that all lifestyles and points of view matter. “The Powers That Be!” is a crossover of indie creators and their individual characters and creations. With such an inclusive global endeavour, opposing ideologies will always surface. The personal views of the creators don’t reflect the brand itself. However, we respect the creators individual points of view even though we might not always agree.
When this was first brought to my attention, my first instinct was to clear The POWERVERSE™ Branding from the statements. However, after giving it some thought, I realised that the indie market often loses it’s ability to forge a united front because we are stifled by differences that we allow to divide us before we even begin.
We want to celebrate our differences, and sometimes that means hearing things that may counter our own religious, moral, and social beliefs. Our roster of creators will forever change and grow as we progress. I want them to feel free enough to state their minds and opinions as long as they are done in respectful and non-bigoted forms.
However, we, The POWERVERSE™, don’t condone “Hate-Speech.” Although this Powerverse participant’s comments may have not risen to such a level, it has made us aware of possible complications such remarks can cause in our brand’s public perception, real or otherwise. So, in response to this, we have begun drafting guidelines to help creators and persons collaborating with The POWERVERSE™ to mitigate such confusion in the future.
As a fledgling company, we are facing such moral and social tests for the first time! I can only hope we have handle this one with professionalism and decorum. Although we, in the indie market, come from a host of backgrounds and beliefs, it is my belief that by coming together, we challenged those worldviews and begin to forge pathways of understanding! I.E. Separate we challenge nothing but ourselves, but together, we are POWERFUL!
Going back to your own projects, what can we expect from you in 2017?
I will rereleasing The Globalists#1 under the Powerverse label along with issue 2. Punt Press will also be publishing The Squad#1 later this year. And we are in the process of getting issue 4 of the Celtic Clan together.
You can back “The Powers That Be” on Kickstarter.