Learning to be a Superhero Without a Guidebook in Bombshell

This is "Went to Tell Everybody," where I spotlighted different cool independent comic book series based on submissions from the indie comic book creators themselves via a set Q & A with the creators themselves. Essentially, the creators speak for their own work and "Went to Tell Everybody" will give them a place to do so!

This is a ostensibly an ongoing weekly feature, so if you would like to see your work spotlighted, as well, there's no time limit or anything like that. So you can submit at any time. It's not a first come/first serve thing, ya know? However, sending your comic in isn't a guarantee that I'll run a spotlight on it. I'm not gonna just promote anything on here, ya know? So if we go a while without an edition of this feature, it is because I don't have something that I'm okay with putting my name on a spotlight of it. Click here for the current submission guidelines.

Today, we look at Bombshell by James Lynch and San Espina, about a teenager who becomes a superhero in a world without superheroes!

You can pick up a copy of the comic here.

What is your comic about?

The comic I submitted, Bombshell, is about a young woman named Katie who wakes up one day with superpowers in a world, much like our own, where superheroes are the stuff of fantasy and popular media. As there is no older generation to guide her, she attempts to read some comics and watch some movies and try to use that as a "how-to" guide to becoming a superhero. It does not go well for her. It's a bit of a loving deconstruction of the superhero genre. Imagine if Watchmen were a lot shorter and a lot less grim.

What made you choose the comic medium for this story?

I never really thought to make it anything but a comic book. The story had its genesis in a contest that Shadowline (a division of Image) ran a number of years ago for comic book writers to get their work professionally published. There were several stages to the contest. The first involved a two page pitch to sell them on the concept. The way my brain works, nothing ever stays just a concept. By the time the first round of the contest was over, the entire mini-series had been scripted, just in case. I didn't win, but I was enamored of the script enough that I vowed to fund and publish it myself.

I want to take a moment to praise my collaborators on this book, penciller San Espina and colorist Guiseppe Pica. Like I said, I funded this series completely out of pocket, so when these guys responded to the "help wanted" ads I posted online, I thought they didn't bother to read the budget breakdown (which is often the case). The work was too good for a low-budget indy, I thought. They had, and they turned in work worth ten times what the budget allowed us to pay them. I will be forever grateful that they were willing to help me bring this story to life.

What aspect of your comic are you the most proud of?

Probably the humor. There's still one scene in the second issue that makes me laugh and probably always will. There's another scene that still makes one of my friends laugh every time. I've gotten compliments from people who don't generally enjoy my work that they did appreciate the witty dialogue in this one.

What’s the one piece of philosophy and/or advice that has informed your comic book work the most?

The best advice I can remember is to make the comics you want to read. If I got amnesia tomorrow and someone handed me a stack of comic books, this is one that I'd enjoy. That should always be the goal of a comic creator. There are a lot of books out there that are very good, that I really love. This is the only book that is perfect (to my tastes. My hope is that there are enough people out there with similar tastes to mine that they'll enjoy it. And maybe they'll be inspired to go out and make their perfect comic book).

Since this is “Went to Tell Everybody,” tell everybody about another current comic book series that you would like other people to know more about.

I know it's currently going through some reworking after the preview issue, but there's a book coming out soon called "Dial Exces" by a man called Chris Turner. It's basically a big love letter to Japanese tokusatsu programs, like Kamen Rider, Metal Heroes, and Super Sentai. Chris posted a preview issue a little while back and has been teasing out concept art on social media and I cannot wait for the full series.

Again, if you're interested in Bombshell, you can pick up a copy of the comic here.

And of course, once again, if you're interested in seeing YOUR independent comic book spotlighted in this feature, click here for the current submission guidelines.

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