Gustavo, thank you so much for agreeing to an interview! Tell everyone about who you are and your background?
Thanks for letting me be part of your Indie Comix Interviews! My name is Gustavo Soria, I’m a Guatemalan graphic designer by day and a Comic book writer by night.
How did you become a creator? What’s your origin story?
To be honest with you, I grew up watching tv shows and movies where they would often talk about comic books and show them on screen, but back in the 90’s it was almost impossible to get any printed book from the USA in my country so I figured “Why not? Why shouldn’t I create my own stuff?”.
Then, after creating my first issues just for fun, some of my classmates would offer to pay me for a printed copy and that was the moment an idea crossed my mind “can I grow up and become a comic book artist/writer?” and since that day on, I try to keep that promise to my younger self.
Tell us about Street Runners! Where did the idea for this story come from?
I had been working as a freelance comic book writer for quite some time when Victor Farr (an American comic book writer) approached me with a kick-ass pitch. He mentioned he loved motorcycle clubs (he’s part of one in real life) and loved the fact that the anime “Akira” involved futuristic bikes but hated that the story didn’t dwell too much on that. It clicked with me so hard that I started sharing with Vic my own personal ideas for other projects, mixing our creativity, and finally coming with what would be “Street Runners”.
How many issues do you foresee in this series?
We’re planning on putting out 12 issues of the main story, but there are also talks about coming with a few spinoffs eventually.
Is this your first time having a partner in the creative process? If so, how was that different?
It is! I used to write and illustrate every comic, but the illustration part was very time-consuming so I decided to become just a freelance writer.
When approached by Victor, I felt like I could lean on him, sharing every idea I had and getting feedback immediately. He would also share some interesting and cool plot lines I didn’t even think before that could enrich the story in newer ways.
After we had the story, we faced another problem… Who was gonna draw it? Luckily enough, we came across Antonio Díaz, a Peruvian artist with an incredible talent that would bring to life every single panel we had previously written with Vic. He surpassed our expectations.
Finally, Fernando Iglesias Meléndez (a highly skilled writer from El Salvador) joined the team, helping edit the script, and even became the third writer of the project. He re-shaped some of the dialogues to make the comic flow better.
In a way, this comic book is an international product from The Americas. With one member from North America, 2 from Central America, and one from South America… The complete continent came together to produce a cool story.
Tell us about the Kickstarter, what rewards or tiers are you most excited about?
This is the first Kickstarter for every member on the team so we’re a little nervous. It’s been somewhat of a trial and error thing but I think we already got the hang of it.
We have 8 tiers (all named after the positions on a Motorcycle Club: Prospect, Reggie, Road Captain, Secretary, Treasurer, VP, and President). We’re definitely excited about the Reggie Pack since that’s the physical copy tier but there is some other cool stuff in there… You can get T-Shirts, Dog Tags, Variant Covers Comic Books, and Hoodies (but hurry up since there are only 12 available).
Tell us more about some of your other work!
I personally have self-published a Graphic novel with a print-on-demand service. “The Table” an action-thriller that blends vigilantes, mystery, drama, and war epic into an unforgettable tale that’s as brutal as it is thought-provoking. You can search for that on Amazon.
Vic is currently working on a killer script called “The Farrow Brothers” (that’s all I’m allowed to say about that right now), and also planning on the future spin-offs of The Street Runners, so stay tuned for that.
Tony will be launching a Kickstarter of his own called “Femme Fatale” after our current campaign is over. I’m sure you’ll love it.
What advice would you give to someone running their first Kickstarter?
Do your research beforehand. Back some projects and evaluate the tiers, know how the promotion and marketing work.
Having an idea and a cool ensemble of creators is just half of it. Try to come up with interesting tiers that might drag the attention of possible future backers.
And most important of all: Have some media accounts. That will definitely help you interact with your audience.
What about those who have an idea for a comic but haven’t acted on it yet? What’s one piece of actionable advice you would give them to get started?
If you want to do a comic, just do it, but do it smartly. Read a lot of comics before, read as much as you can and then ask yourself “What did these guys do good? What wasn’t so good? How can I come up with something different and fresh? What would I wish I could read on those? How are the panels organized? How could they be better?”.
Then, you can apply all of those questions to your pre-existing idea, and rest assured, your comic book will be 10 times better.
Read comics for fun, but also read comics as an exercise.
Gustavo, how can people find the Kickstarter and support this project?
Go ahead and check our project here: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/srvc/street-runners-1
Thanks for your support.