2FanBoys: Dominion Rising, an Interview About Starting, Stopping and Changing Pace

Welcome to another addition of Cosmic Mutiny. This week I present an interview that I conducted with 2FanBoys creators Carl Dancy and Noel Mercado. For full disclosure, we are all members of the indie collective The Antidote Trust.

2Fanboys Productions

2Fanboys Productions

Andre Owens
Okay, first question: Introduce yourselves. Who are you and where are you from?

Carl Dancy
Hi. My name is Carl Dancy born & raised in NYC but have been in California for almost 24 years.

Noel Mercado
My Name is Noel Mercado, originally I’m from the Bronx, but I hang my hat in Ventura, CA.

Carl Dancy
Los Angeles to be more specific.

Andre Owens
How did you decide to get into the comics business?

Carl Dancy
I’ll let Noel answer this one.

Noel Mercado
We’ve always been passionate about comic books, Sci-Fi, and just about anything counter culture. We ingested any four color book we could find. We were also your typical role playing geeks. I think that is what really fueled the cretaive centers of our brains and was the foundation for us to want to venture into telling stories for an audience other than each and our small circle of friends.

Andre Owens
Who were your major influences?
Carl Dancy
I think for both of us it would be Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, Howard Chaykin, John Romita Sr. & Jr., Wooly Wood, Jim Sterenko, Frank Frazetta, Sal Buscema just to name a few.

Andre Owens
Are there any other influences outside of the comics world?

Carl Dancy
George Lucas, Steven Spielberg, Joss Whedon, JJ Abrams, Kevin Smith, John Carpenter, George A. Romero – most things sci-fi, pop culture or comic book related.

Noel Mercado
For me, the Universal movie monster were a huge influence as well.

Andre Owens
Okay, what made you to decide to do 2FanBoys?

Carl Dancy
I’ll let Noel go first.

Noel Mercado
Well we both knew we wanted to create, specifically comics. When you have an idea, and you have passion, you automatically assume that everything else will fall into place… not so. It is extremely difficult to have someone sit through a script and read it. A lot of comic book companies like things that are very visual. They love to see new art, but good luck having someone sit down to read that 100 page script, no matter how good that hook is. That takes time, and time is money. All we wanted to do is tell our story, so we decided to create 2FanBoys Productions.

Noel Mercado
And I might add. I think that was the best thing to happen to us.

Carl Dancy
And I might also add that the name, 2Fanboys, is synonymous with our quirky personalities and love for anything related to the genres of sci-fi, comics and the like.  We wanted a name that described who WE were and that people like us could relate to.

Andre Owens
So, you formed your company. Your next step I assume was coming up with a story and characters. Walk us through the creation of your first project, Dominion.

Carl Dancy
LOL. This is actually kind of funny.
The idea of putting out our first story and character named Dominion, came from our weekly sessions of nerdy role-playing.
Every week, Noel, who was our game master would always introduce this character who swooped in to save the day when our characters got into a jam.

Noel Mercado
That was frequently.

Carl Dancy
After awhile – I asked him about this character and he said it was just a character that had been running around his head and he just wanted to throw him into the mix. When I started asking him about his powers, origin, etc. – the character sounded really interesting.

Andre Owens
Do you have a particular way of writing between you two?

Carl Dancy
After a few more weeks of play we just decided to expand on this character and then from that a whole universe developed. It was at that point that we realized we had something and decided to take it to the next level which was to publish a comic based on this character.

Noel Mercado
I think for the most part, I’ll get a lightning bolt from my muse while I’m doing something really mundane, shampooing my hair for example. After getting it on paper, I’ll call Carl and tell him about it, he starts to counter or expand on something and when the two of us start vibing, it’s like an out of control freight train. It’s actually very exciting to be apart of.

Andre Owens
It does sound exciting. Now you had a purpose, a character and a script. What was your next step?

Carl Dancy
After we have the initial brain storming we try to take much of what we talked about and try to mold whatever ideas, no matter how fantastic, into a more realistic form. We understand that fantasy, sci-fi and superheros break most of reality but I think we try to do is ask the question of “how they got those powers”, “what situation would they most likely use those powers in a realistic situation” and “how the real world would receive those powers and the person using them”. Essentially it boils down to a whole bunch of research before we make the material available to the audience.

Carl Dancy
Once the research is done and we feel comfortable with the material we get to the nitty gritty of writing. After the script is done it’s then a matter of hiring the necessary creative team. Artist, editor, inker, etc.

Andre Owens
Where did you find the artist for your first project?

Noel Mercado
It was actually 803 studios. Chuck, who was our editor, picked some artists, colorists, etc. that he thought would fit the type of story we were telling. We sent in about 4 pages worth of script. One page may have a lot of vehicles, the next may have a lot of architecture, and so on. It was amazing to get those first pages. when you hold them in your hands and you see that one colorists, or inker, or penciller that gets it. It’s an amazing feeling. That’s when it became tangible for us. We kind of looked at each other as if to say “Wow, we’re really doing it”.

Andre Owens
I know the feeling. So how did you, once you had your pages completed, how did you find a printer?

Carl Dancy
We did a ton of research on self-publishing along with the help of our friends in The Antidote Trust and found a relatively inexpensive printer in North Hollywood called Citywide Printing. They do top-notch work. If you’re an indie publisher like us with a relatively small budget I highly recommend them.

Andre Owens
When did you debut your first issue? And how was the book received?

Noel Mercado
It debuted at Comic Con 2008 and it was very well received. We were happy with the response that we received, especially from fans. I think it was difficult to disperse the material the way we wanted to because at the time, you had one major comic book distributor, and that particular publisher wasn’t very indie friendly. We got a lot of support from local shops which was great. And we were definitely happy with the end result. Happy, but obviously wanting to raise the bar. Always wanting to raise the bar.

Carl Dancy
I’d also like to add that a few of the local comic shops picked up our first issue and gave us some really good feedback.

Andre Owens
Things are steaming along for 2Fanboys. You prepared issue two of Dominion:Eulogy and were ready for print when you where hit with an unexpected set back. Tell us what happened and how you responded to Boom Studios cease and desist letter.

Carl Dancy
Oh wow!

Carl Dancy
So after attending WonderCon two years ago in Frisco we received a cease & desist order from another indie publisher who shall remain nameless – but it was a real negative BOOM! to our creative process and jeopardized the future of our character Dominion.
The issue was that our book was too closely named to one of their previously published works. The difference that we contended was that their title which was Dominion was the actual definition of the word. Ours which was titled Dominion:Eulogy was the actual name of the character.
The fact that neither of us (me & Noel) or our company could afford a drawn out fight with a publisher that publishes for a major studio – we agreed to rename the title of our book and not sell any of the remaining copies we had printed.
To stem our loses we moved to digital media for both the first and subsequent second issues with the series being retitled to Fractured Alliances: Fall of the Aspis Guard.

Noel Mercado
It was funny because I remember being at work and getting that call from Carl. He said something like, “Hey, guess what? Boom Studios has our book”. Which ellicited a gleeful response from me. Then he told me about the impending legal action which made me laugh, really laugh. Are they threatened… by us? Really? Do they think we’re after a piece of the Boom pie? I still laugh about how paranoid they must be to put all that effort into that piece of legality.

Andre Owens
What advice would you give to other small publishers in how to avoid the same situation?

Noel Mercado
Copyright, copyright, copyright. We actually did have our title copy written and after years and thousands of dollars in legal fees, maybe we could have come out on top. As a small press publisher, you’re already trying to figure out ways to stretch a penny into a nickel. A copyright is the best way to protect yourself. Its about $35 and it takes about 9 month for your copyright to be processed. You’ll often hear people talk about the “poor man’s copyright” where you mail it to yourself. No, no, and one more time for you folks in the back. No. A poor man’s copyright offers you no legal protection in a court of law.

Andre Owens
Sound advice. But 2FanBoys have seemed to come out of it well. I understand you have a new project in the works. What is it?

Carl Dancy
I’ll let Noel answer that since it’s his baby. A zombified baby but his baby none the less. LOL.

Noel Mercado
It’s Called Dead Blood, it’s a piece of work that I’m extremely proud of and passionate about. I’ve got a few irons in the fire right now but Dead Blood (like a zombified baby) requires most of my attention at the moment. It is the story or a group of human survivors trying to deal with the fact that they just may be the last people left on Earth. A zombie apocalypse has wiped out most of humanity but they are not the only survivors. While humanity holds on by a thread, another nefarious element is thrown their way. Nosferi (vampires of the non-sparkling variety) must rise to defend the last of their food source, and they are not so readily accepted by our human survivors.

Carl Dancy
Believe it or not it’s a fresh take on both of these two really popular horror genres.
Andre Owens
You are raising funds for this in a unique way through Kickstarter. Tell us about that and how folks can contribute.

Carl Dancy
Well it’s simple. We put the Dead Blood project on Kickstarter, a project funding web site, and after 3 days have already raised close to $600. Our goal is $10,000 but this is really a good start for us and we hope the momentum stays. We have about 40 days left in our fund raising – so if anybody can do without a cup of Starbuck’s for just one day (LOL) and pledge to our project it’ll be greatly appreciated. The minimum pledge is $1 but higher pledges come with some really good pledge rewards. All of the funds will be going directly to production because as all three of us know the cost to produce a single comic book can cost a couple or several thousand dollars – what we’re doing with DB is a 100 page graphic novel!
If you’d like more information check out our Kickstarter page.

DEAD BLOOD
“In a world now ruled by death and destruction, humans are no longer the dominant species – our world now belongs to the undead!”

Andre Owens
Lastly, how can the fans contact you?

Carl Dancy
If you’d like to contact me or Noel directly we’re both on Facebook. You can also find our earlier work on Drivethru Comics – a digital comic distributor and you can always check out that previous link I posted with regards to our Kickstarter project.

Andre Owens
Thanks guys. Good luck in the future.

This entry was posted in Columns and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post. Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *

*
*

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

  • Follow Us

  • Events Calendar

    February  2014
    Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
       
      1
    2 3 4 5 6 7 8
    9 10 11 12 13 14 15
    16 17 18 19 20 21 22
    23 24 25 26 27 28  
  • Subscribe

    Enter your email address:

    Delivered by FeedBurner