From the creative talents of writer Joey Turnage and artist Ian Miller comes a terrifying new Boogeyman Horror Comic!
Writer/Creator: Joey Turnage
Artist/Letterer: Ian J. Miller
Colors: Fredrik Mattsson
Kickstarter Launch: February 19th, 2018
What You Need To Know:
The series revolves around a reluctant boogeyman who will stop at nothing to create his own world from the imaginations of helpless children! Creators Joey Turnage and Ian J. Miller have a terrifying story with a haunting artistic direction that just might make you check your room before bed! Luckily, they were able to sit down with Comic Watch and discuss SOMETHING REAL, as well as their new Kickstarter campaign before anyone was snatched up…
ComicWatch: Something Real’s Kickstarter campaign launches on February 19th, with all the hype around recent Superhero-Action based movies, how was ‘Something Real’ born?
Joey: “Really, I think there’s been a ton of hype around comic book properties in general. The superhero films have been great and all and I love them, but what’s really awesome is seeing the lesser-known indie titles finally getting their well-deserved shot at the big screen. Movies like Oldboy, Wanted, and 30 Days of Night (among many, many others) helped pave the way for a new audience that’s realized how comics can be way more than just super-powered fighting epics – and I credit this revolution to being one of the reasons why I started in comics to begin with, and how I eventually came up with the concept of Something Real.”
ComicWatch: Why did you guys decide to choose the horror genre as a platform for your comic book? Is ‘Something Real’ have a true horror story behind it? Is ‘Something Real’ an illustrated narrative from a spooky story you heard growing up as children or from something one of you two experienced in your childhood?
Ian: “Anyone who tells you that they weren’t afraid of the dark growing up is lying. When it’s late at night and the lights are out, it’s so easy to have your mind play tricks on you. What’s that creaking sound? It’s probably nothing…But what if that was really someone….Or something….Right outside your bedroom door? And what if it’s been watching you every night? We love to be spooked, and I feel the themes in this book are things that everyone’s experienced or thought about.”
Joey: “Like Ian touched on, the horror genre is something that we can all relate to. We’ve all been scared of something, or still hold fears of certain things. I think that Ian and I are both passionate about the horror genre and we want people to really connect with this story much like we have.”
ComicWatch: Was there any other media, i.e television or film that inspired you to two to create ‘Something Real’?
Ian: “I began drawing the first issue a couple weeks before Halloween, so there was a ton of inspiration around me because of the holiday. In particular, I listened to a lot of Creepypasta videos on Youtube and episodes of Coast to Coast AM while drawing to get me in the mood. Don’t get me started on the countless haunted house movies and TV shows I’ve watched over the years, too.”
Joey: “Oh, way too much to name. Basically, the entire horror genre itself is what inspired me to add my own story to the list. But, I’d have to at least mention that I love the classic characters like Freddy, Jason, and Leatherface. Also, I think it’s obvious to say that George Romero is a huge inspiration to anyone who works in the field of horror. As for other forms of media, I’d have to point out my love for horror comics like Wytches and Harrow County.”
ComicWatch: Let’s talk about the notorious Boogey Man, the Boogey Man Is known to many as the monster that hides under the bed waiting to nip at your exposed toes, or grab you from within the closet. Children fear the Boogey Man. What was your inspiration for creating and developing your version of the Boogey Man?
Joey: “I wanted our character, at its core, to be the true definition of a boogeyman. It frightens children, stalks them, and even snatches them away in their sleep like how most of us know the boogeyman to be. But, it’s also much more than this. It has a huge evil agenda and a wide array of tricks up its sleeves. I think readers will sense much more from Something Real than just your standard boogeyman.”
ComicWatch: Ian – With your past work in the horror genre. Do you find it to be a hard genre to work with? Especially in the comic book industry?
Ian: “It’s actually the opposite, horror comes to me pretty naturally. I grew up drawing superheroes, but I was always into monsters and ghosts and demons and creepy things like that. It’s fun creating really grotesque and distorted creatures, your imagination can go wild. And not only that, a lot of the fear comes from the environments! You can take a normal room and add some shadows and distort it a bit, and suddenly these four walls become a character all their own. All this creative freedom is what makes horror so much fun and gives it a unique edge over other genres.”
ComicWatch: Joey – When you write, as you have for both big name and independent publishing companies, how do you change your writing style from Superhero action to horror??
Joey: “This is actually my first shot at publication! I’m a bit young and just recently took the plunge into the vast world of indie comics. I’m still learning all that I can from others and constantly working to improve my writing.”
ComicWatch: What gave you the idea for this ghoulish project?
Joey: “Well, I’ve always found dreams very interesting. So, I sort of paired that interest with the creepy creature in your closet and thought, “let’s have this cool boogey-dude give kids nightmares and kidnap them while they’re sleeping.” You know, ‘cause I’m a good guy and all.”
ComicWatch: Out of the two of you who frightens easier?
Ian: “I’m gonna say, Joey, because I can’t have anybody knowing that I can’t sleep with the closet door open.”
Joey: “I’m in agreeance with Ian, definitely me. But, I’m a champ in haunted houses – if I’m not alone, of course.”
ComicWatch: With the Boogey Man being considered ‘supernatural’ to some does this particular Boogey Man have any impressive powers?
Joey: “I don’t know if I’d label them as “powers,” per se, but our Boogeyman certainly does have some strange abilities. For one, he’s very tricky and always playing mind games. He can get into children’s’ heads while they’re sleeping and really toy with their thoughts. After all, it’s hard to have limits when virtually anything is possible within someone’s dream state.”
Ian: “And let’s not forget that he knows what you’re afraid of and can use it against you at any time. I’m glad he’s not living under my bed!”
ComicWatch: The imagery so far has been phenomenal, with The Something Real work I have seen, I really enjoy the look of the Boogey Man. Where did that come from? How did you develop his look and personality?
Joey: “I had a simple idea when I thought up our ol’ Boogeyman. I wanted a smoke-like creature that appeared to float above ground and I wanted him in a tattered old coat. From there, Ian really took that idea and ran with it. I mean, his art really does match the character perfectly.”
Ian: “Thanks! And the images we’ve shown of the Boogeyman are only the tip of the iceberg. This guy is an amorphous mass of evil that can become anything it wants – We’re just getting started!”
ComicWatch: How many future titles can we expect after the success of the first issue?
Joey: “Hopefully as many as possible! I’ve got a whole slew of ideas that I’m itching to expand upon in the following issues. Including some crazy stuff that I’d love to see Ian draw! So, If we can keep the funding rolling and people really dig our tricky creation, then I’d love to keep it going.”
ComicWatch: When preparing for a campaign of this nature, comic books, what do you feel is the best way to make your audience back you up? What do you offer in return?
Joey: “Since this is my first Kickstarter campaign, I don’t have much experience to go by. So far I’ve really just been sticking to a common rule of mine, which is to simply show appreciation to anyone that shows interest in what we’re doing. A simple “thank you” can go a long way and I absolutely love hearing people’s enthusiasm about our project. I want to give our audience the attention that they deserve and to let them know that they’re incredibly appreciated, and above all else, I want to give them an enjoyable book that they’ll love.”
Ian: “I also think that the universal themes in this book will speak to a lot of people. I’ve been amazed and thankful for all the support and enthusiasm we’ve been getting right from the very beginning! The subject matter really hits us at a primal level, and I know that people who can relate to it will love it.”
ComicWatch: What is your ‘dream come true’ for Something Real? Where do you see it going and what plans do you have for the future of this title?
Joey: “MOVIE DEAL! In all honesty, though, kidding aside, my dream come true is for this book to be in people’s hands. Just to see people enjoy it would be enough for me. But, hey…a movie deal would still be pretty cool, right?”
Ian: “Movie deal? How about a cinematic universe! Let’s get up to Phase 5!”
ComicWatch: With Web Comics and Independent publishing become more accessible and popular, tell our readers your experience with getting your own title off the ground. What are the benefits of self-publishing and what have been some major ‘complications’ or personal battles you both have had to overcome while on your journey?
Joey: “It hasn’t been easy, but it’s been very fulfilling. The hardest part of starting off is building a following. I’ve spent countless hours on social media promoting our book and trying to broaden our audience. It’s tiresome but interacting with our followers and fellow creators is one of my favorite things to do. The best part about self-publishing is moving at your own pace, I would say. Not having deadlines can certainly take some of the weight off your shoulders. As for complications, I think Ian and I would both agree that finding a colorist had been our greatest obstacle to overcome. Other than that, we’ve been moving along at a very smooth pace.”
Ian: “My favorite thing about self-publishing is being able to play by your own rules to get your work out there without any kind of middleman. Crowdfunding and self-publishing have also allowed more titles to be released that may not have otherwise had a chance. We’d definitely like to work with a publisher, but for now, we have the ability to do our own thing, so why not go for it? On my end I haven’t experienced any complications – Joey has been doing an amazing job at promoting the book and making connections, and he’s been a pleasure to work with. Did I also mention he writes great stories? And now that we have Fredrik Mattsson as colorist making the pages shine with his amazing work, I’d say we’re off to a great start!”
ComicWatch: How many ideas did you have when proceeding to move forward with this title? Was it always in your head you were going to do a horror comic? This seems to be genre you have to be invested in personally before tackling it on paper.
Joey: “Yeah, I’ve definitely wanted to do a horror comic from the beginning. I’ve always loved horror, from comics to movies. This title definitely started off simple with the idea of this tricky boogeyman, then sort of quickly manifested into this crazy dream world. Hopefully, we’ll be able to add much more to this character throughout the run and maybe even explore its origin.”
ComicWatch: How mature is the content in this particular title? You’re not going to give our readers nightmares, are you?!
Joey: “It’s not for children, I’ll say that! There’s going to be some strong language and some creepy stuff, for sure. But, it’s not a hardcore title. We won’t have bloody decapitated heads or anything like that (…yet).”
Ian: “I’ve definitely tried to strike a balance between safe for work and ultra mature in the art. The book features a lot of kids, so it’s been fun getting into my 10-year-old brain and thinking about what scared me and how I would react to certain situations. But it’s not Scooby Doo, I’ll tell you that much!”
ComicWatch: How did you guys team up and why?
Joey: “Well, it was early October when I began my search for a creative partner to bring this script to life. I searched for a while, looking for the right style that I thought would fit the tone of the book. Once I came across Ian’s work and saw his lively take on zombies with the terrific indie title Zombie with a Shotgun, I knew he’d be the right guy to illustrate this Hellish boogey-dude’s story.”
Ian: “And when Joey got in touch with me and told me it was a horror story I was intrigued. When he told me it was about boogeymen and things that go bump in the night I was REALLY intrigued! Let’s keep this between us, but when I was a kid I believed in ghosts and monsters and was afraid of the dark, so this story really hit home for me. I knew I could use this experience to bring some visuals to this story, and I know there are readers out there who can relate.”
ComicWatch: Who spawned this fantastic idea?
Joey: “All the credit goes to this weird noggin of mine! But, I truly never anticipated this idea to be translated so beautifully onto paper. Ian’s work, mixed with the colors of our incredibly skilled colorist, Fredrik Mattsson, make the story truly come to life. Thank goodness for those guys!”
ComicWatch: What were the greatest moments in your comic book careers?
Joey: “For me, I’m living in it right now. Talking to you guys and being able to say that I have a near-completed comic book on the way is just incredible.”
Ian: “I have the feeling it’s going to be Something Real! I’ve been freelancing full-time for almost 8 years now, and it hasn’t always been easy. So it was a huge and welcome surprise when we began posting pages from an unfinished comic online and people were showing tons of interest in it! Part of it has to do with Joey’s promotion, but the story also sells it, as well. I’ve been posting art online for almost 15 years now, and nothing has garnered more attention and likes and comments than this story.”
ComicWatch: Has either of you been part of a successful Kickstarter Campaign?
Joey: “Nope, but let’s hope this one will be one! Fingers crossed!”
Ian: “I have, although in a limited capacity. I’ve done work on another horror series called Zombie With A Shotgun, a comic adaptation of an upcoming independent horror movie. All the funding for the movie and comic were done on crowdfunding platforms like Indiegogo and Kickstarter and have been successful. And I’m hoping we can say the same for Something Real!”
The Kickstarter campaign for SOMETHING REAL launches February 19th, 2018 with various rewards for contributors that are sure to impress! So don’t miss out!
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