BS: What type of background in comics do you have?
WD: My first comic book was for Hart Fisher’s Boneyard Press which was mainly horror, that was back in 1996. Over the next 6 years I worked on a sci-fi comic book called The Rift. Then I went on to work with Acetylene Comics on a Femme Fatale book called Vesper. From there I developed a title called Waterdogs which involved an all-girl Spy team comic book which is now my main focus on Kickstarter.
I have also been involved with George R.R. Martins The Hedge Knight and Game of Thrones working with the Dabel Brothers. I have been in the games industry for 20 years. I have worked in children’s games and then jumped to Electronic Arts working on Madden, NCAA, Coach, and NFL Street. I then went to Disney and was the Studio Art Director for Epic Mickey and Epic Mickey 2. After that I worked on numerous games for Rosetta Stone and now I am the Studio Art Director for Per Blue Inc. working on Dragon Soul and a couple of other titles.
BS: How did this project come to you?
WD: The Waterdogs ideation started in my studio while in college, a friend of mine and I were joking around about different comic book ideas. I found myself just toying with the idea in my head for a couple of years. After joining GI Studios, I started to flesh it out and hooked up with my old college mate Jack Purcell who has extensive work for DC and Marvel. We then went for it as they say. We found our penciler Derek Laufman and finished all 3 issues. I met Les Dabel at the time and we started Roaring Studios (publisher of The Rift and Waterdogs) now Dabel Brothers Publishing. The Dabels published Issue one that did really well but due to the company change in direction we parted ways after landing the book The Hedge Knight and Game of Thrones.
BS: What do you think it is about this project that makes it special?
WD: What is special about this book is it has a nostalgia to it and an homage to the 80’s cartoons of GI Joe, Transformers, Silver Hawks, and other 80’s cartoons. But it is also written like Buffy with quick wit and banter. It is a fun comic book that does not take itself too seriously and we understand that.
BS: What do you think people will take away from the comic?
WD: I think people will take away the fun that needs to go back into comic books. I enjoy serious comics as well but there is also something cool about reading a book that is light and fun. I enjoy that, and you can take those types of books in any direction you want. I like the openness that this book has. Some storylines are serious; some stories are just fun. We can go anywhere we want.
BS: What made you want to do a Kickstarter for it?
WD: Well to be honest, once the Dabel Brothers and I split ways I started working in serious games and I had to really focus on that. It was a new adventure in games, but over the years I always had this itch to finish the book. I really do not like to abandon projects, especially one that was 80% complete and how it affected my friends. I figured now was the perfect time to do this, I have been watching the market for over a year now on Kickstarter. I have a bunch of friends who were successful as well. But the biggest truth, I just want to see this published for my friends who put in all that hard work from the beginning.
BS: What is was the hardest part about preparing for and setting up your
WD: I would say patience. You really want to launch something fast because of the excitement you and your team have, but honestly you really need to get all of your ducks in a row. Sure, I have a book 80% complete but we needed marketing materials for months to not seem like we are using the same image over and over. But you also need to factor in the budgets from the printing to the shipping. Also there is the “what if factor” people only pledge on a couple of tiers how does that affect things? What do you do during the slump when there are no numbers for a couple of days? Also have you promoted the book before your Kickstarter? There was a lot of pre-work that went into the Kickstarter, web pages, promotions, Twitter pages and Facebook.
BS: How has the campaign been going?
WD: So far it has been very humbling and very exciting. We have 20 days left and we are half way there. I am very excited. So far with all the projections we made from the beginning everything is going according to plan. But it is not over yet! We still have a lot of work to do.
BS: What type of response are you seeing?
WD: I have seen a lot of positive responses. A bunch of responses from people that has been following Waterdogs from the 1st issue when we published it with the Dabel Bros. and people wanted to know what happened to it. It is exciting to hear that people have been waiting on Waterdogs for over 10 years’ now. It really helps to motivate us!
BS: What’s next for you after this comic?
WD: If we are successful we have a Waterdogs origins book which takes us to the beginning of some major characters and how they came to be. We
have also started to talk with companies about some animated webisodes that we will start to produce in 2017. The interest is high and we are excited to work with the team that is signing up for this.
BS: Will there be more stories in the series or was this a one-off?
WD: Right now we have a 48-page origins story already written and ready to go. From there we have another trade paperback outlined, so we have a
lot more stories to share.
BS: Do you have selling plans for after kickstarter if anyone missed the campaign?
WD: Once this book is done, we will be putting it up on Amazon and talking to comic book stores. But we will do something different to the book so the original fans of the kickstarter feel like they have something exclusive.
BS: Anything else you would like to add?
WD: I want to thank you for this opportunity you have given us to talk about Waterdogs. I also want to thank everyone involved in the Waterdogs
project. Jack Purcell, Jamil Justice, Derek Laufman, Joe Defeo, Kinchi, Andrew Lovoulo. Bill Lithium Pro Tortolini. A big thank you of course too my wife, my mom and dad who has been our biggest supporters. Again please support the Waterdogs Kickstarter