Morgan, welcome! Tell us about yourself, what’s your background?
Thank you for the welcome first sincerely. I was raised in Durham, NC, aka The Bull City. I have two incredible kids I’m extremely proud of; A beautiful daughter and handsome son.I love my hometown like I breath and now have been blessed to by day, work for the city of Durham as an Instrumentation Specialist with the water management department. By night I’m a comic book writer, podcast host, voice actor and producer and aspiring to create content to give to the world for the rest of my life.
Do you remember your first comic book? How old were you? What was it?
The crazy thing about my journey into comic book writing is that I actually didn’t read comic books growing up at all. The first comic book I read was my business partner and God brother Danny J. Quick’s comic book for Aceblade. I was ALLLL the way grown haha I can’t remember when he released the first one but that was it.
Do you remember what your childhood dream was?
I had more than one. I was in love with weather and big cats growing up. I’m a nerd I know haha so initially I wanted to be a storm chaser or a zoologist. I’ve always loved writing but I didnt have dreams growing up of being an author or anything strangely enough.
What inspires you about comics, and what inspired you to create your own?
Comics inspire me because of the medium of storytelling. I eventually want to write, produce and direct movies or tv shows and comics are a great medium to start in towards that. The thing that inspired me to do my own again I have to give to Danny Quick for the spark initially. He was trying to create his own comic universe and asked me to help him with character names. I said no at first haha, but after ideas came to me for my first character LumberJax. Now my inspiration comes from things I’m passionate about and want to change but I’m not currently in position to do so, so I create stories combatting it that way as well as other things. Ultimately my goal is to create and tell stories that inspire, affirm, destroy, or change mindsets and ways of thinking about different issues in the world, past, present and future.
So, let’s break down LumberJax, what’s happened so far, and what’s next?
LumberJax #1 picks up some time after the events at the end of the LumberJax novel take place. While Jax is still struggling to accept the ancient mantle he’s given during the novel, he’s confronted with injustice in New Orleans. LumberJax #1 is exploring justice by any means because it means different things to different people, usually depending on their circumstances within the system.Jax comes back into contact with his powers defending his best friend and has no idea how or why they took over or protected them in the moment. The aftermath of the incident has explosive ramifications that spell a huge threat to New Orleans going forward. Which is where LumberJax #2 picks up.
In the aftermath of events to LumberJax #1, Reginald Crawford, affectionately known as “The Preacher” in New Orleans, is trying to help mend the community. Multi-Billionaire pharmaceutical CEO, Francis Demaurieux joins The Preacher to help in the wake of the violence when DL, Jax’s oracle, uncovers the more sinister plot from the two wolves in sheep’s clothing. Jax is running against the clock to stop their plot when he comes across another clash with Animus and the baddest man in New Orleans…Trespass and his Violators crew. In the midst, Jax learns of something that makes stopping the impending massacre at Mardi Gras even more pressing… you won’t believe what it is.
Tell us about the original LumberJax novel?
The LumberJax novel (The Seventh and Last: The Origin of LumberJax) was done to provide the origin story to the comics. I purposefully write the comics with assumed knowledge. Those who love the comics will have questions about things that purposefully aren’t answered this early into the series, the novel answers those questions. It gives amazing easter eggs as well for the universe as a whole as well because LumberJax’s story is directly intertwined with Aceblade’s. It covers everything that makes Jax who he is today and also gives great backstory to all of the members of “Jax Axis”, his crew of friends in New Orleans who help him keep the peace.
Breakdown the Kickstarter for us, what are some of your favorite rewards? What’s your goal?
My favorite rewards are definitely at the higher tiers because of how unique they are. We have a podcast, The Super Shorts Podcast, where we tell superhero short stories. It gives looks into our heroes and villains in the universe and works for us kind of like Agents of Shield did for Marvel. One of the tiers gets you a bunch of LumberJax swag, the origin novel (all signed) your own character created in the 4th Wall universe, an 11×17 poster of your character AND them getting a feature in one of the podcast episodes this coming season of the podcast. The tier above that you get all of that, a FULL EPISODE created for your character on the podcast and your very own 1 of 1 variant cover with YOUR character on the cover of the comic…..full background and everything. I also made every tier of the rewards church themed, it was fun to me, probably geeky to others haha. Our initial goal is $4,500 to recoup what we spent and shipping. Oh and there’s a tier with a LUMBERJAX POP VINYL!!!!!
How many issues do you see LumberJax running? Do you have a preset number?
Right now I’m shooting for twenty at least initially. The story won’t be done by then because we have at least ten years of content that we have for the comics alone. The story for where we’re driving things is vast. Everything in 4th wall’s universe is directly connected to the bigger storyline and each other’s characters. So until Danny and I get all of our characters in and the bigger storyline filled, we’ll be putting out comics. Long, fun, deep diving universe ahead of us.
Any other project in your future?
Yes the blessing is we have a big universe that we’re filling up. After LumberJax #2 is done, my next project “Harlem’s Renaissance” #1 will be coming out this year and LumberJax #3 should be out this year too. I’m also working on the script for the first edition of my comic series “Solitary” that is also in the universe and Danny and I are working on another comic series called “Ballad of the Black Rose” a supernatural western series set in the late 1800’s.
Any other indie titles that you’re following right now?
Absolutely, too many to count haha. Of course my partner Danny Quick’s Aceblade and King Supreme series, The Surgeon from Laurie Foster, Spirit’s Destiny from Dorphise Jean, Is’nana the Were-Spider by Greg Anderson Elysee, Like Father Like Daughter by Kathryn Calamia, Hotshot by Michael Watson, Fivestar from Tony Klapper, Nightfall and Her from Brian Lambert and Malachi Bailey, Bloom from Ted Sikora, anything from Greg Burnham and Marcus Williams, Sebastian A. Jones, Konkrete Comics, Ramel Hill….I mean I could name stuff for days probably literally haha.
If you could do a crossover between your title and any other indie title what would it be?
Definitely Is’nana the Were-Spider with Greg Anderson Elysee and Spirit’s Destiny from Dorphise Jean for my character LumberJax. Where the story is driving and where it derives from I think goes well with their characters and stories.
What advice would you give others wanting to go into the industry?
Network, network, network. Make authentic friends in the industry already. It can help you grow as a person, a writer and resources in exponential ways. Your writing process will grow on it’s own over time or if you’re an artist, inker, colorist, your methods and skills will grow. Authentic friends for you to glean from, share notes with, crowdfund with, go to cons with, lean on when you’re struggling etc is absolutely monumental. Being an indie creator is horribly hard…making true friends in the industry makes it that much easier….trust me.
Where can people find your books and how can they support you?
Our books live on www.shortfusemediagroup.com and www.4thwallpros.com. The novel is available on Amazon (The Seventh and Last: The Origin of LumberJax) but for the next month the biggest thing is the kickstarter. It’s the best way to connect because literally everything LumberJax related is available in this kickstarter and some of it is exclusive only to this kickstarter. Some of the artists I named above have authorized me to use their first editions as stretch goal rewards, we have amazing and exclusive stickers, t-shirts….Holy Water (wink wink), church fans, (5) LumberJax pop vinyls….I mean the rewards are endless here. So every pledge, every share, every word of mouth passed for what we’re doing is exceptional and appreciated from the bottom of my heart.