Nathan Kelly is the man behind the Kickstarter-funded, guns-a-blazing, kickass new comic, Drexler. I had the opportunity to chat with Kelly as he talks about the comic, his teaming up with writer Bob Salley, and why he decided to go to Patreon to continue the adventures of the comic.
DFAT: Let’s let the readers know what the comic is all about. Give me the elevator pitch for Drexler.
Nathan: A man ostracized by his community becomes its last hope when something sinister starts stalking the residents in the darkness. Sometimes it takes a “monster” to kill something worse…
DFAT: I love it! Certainly enough of a pitch to get a reader interested in the book. What inspired you to write a story like this?
Nathan: The concept for Drex evolved from my love of Mike Mignola’s Hellboy and Eduardo Risso’s work on 100 Bullets. Those two creators have had the biggest impact on me as an artist. So if Hellboy and 100 Bullets were thrown in a blender with a Sci-fi twist, that’s kinda how DREXLER as a concept came about.
DFAT: Two of my favorite comic series mashed together, great idea. With Black Panther being so popular right now, what’s it like being a creator of color in the comic book climate?
Nathan: I’m really happy to see how well Black Panther has performed. If it opens a few more doors for minorities (of any race or ethnicity) well that’s progress! I think the growing diversity in comics is a beautiful thing and I’m thrilled to see that representation out there in more and more stories and an increasing involvement in the industry!
DFAT: It’s a beautiful thing that so many voices can be heard right now with independent comics. It’s opening a lot of doors for all people to go out there and create. Speaking of creating, you recently made the move to Patreon. What was the reasoning behind using that platform?
Nathan: I’m not the quickest artist by any stretch and that’s largely due to how much time I can really devote to drawing during the week. So I thought the best way to keep this book relevant and potentially grow an audience was to switch the format to a web comic and make it free to read. Patreon seemed like the natural choice to help fund the continued production of the whole four part series rather than cash grabs on Kickstarter per issue. So far thou, it’s been much harder to win over patrons in comparison to getting the funds necessary on Kickstarter… But I’m up for the challenge and I think I have much more to offer folks on a continued basis via Patreon rather than vice versa. My plan, at the moment, is to use Patreon to fund the production of the series and then use Kickstarter to print the trade, but we’ll see…
DFAT: Looking over the Rewards that you offer and the interactivity with the fans, I think you’ll find it to be a success. So, I know your’e the artist behind the comic but you actually teamed up with Bob Salley (Shelter Division, Salvagers) to write the comic correct?
Nathan: Yea! Bob and I had been discussing working together on something for a long while prior to DREXLER. I had actually written and drawn just about a complete issue of DREXLER before Bob jumped on board. I’m not a natural writer and had given him my script and notes to get some feedback… After some discussion Bob agreed to just write this thing and we scrapped everything and got to work. He’s helped narrow the focus of the story and is building the foundation for who Drex is (at his core) as a character, something that I think he’s great at from reading his other work. Its been a fantastic experience working with Bob and I’ve learned quite a bit about his writing approach and lessons he’s learned in the industry! He’s an all-around great guy and I’m thankful he joined the team!!
DFAT: Everything that I’ve read that he’s written has been pretty fantastic. I loved what you guys did with the first issue and I’m happy the collaboration turned out so well. So, what’s next for Drexler?
Nathan: We’ve got plenty of story to tell on this first arc of DREXLER! We’ll dig into his history with the town of Marvin a bit in this next chapter, plus continue where we left off from chapter one! This series was initially supposed to be a three part mini but Bob and I have since extended it to four (for the first arc)! I have a loose outline for the next arc as well, but that’s a long way off from now. I do have something else, something brand new brewing in addition to DREXLER… But it’s a bit too premature to talk in depth about it yet. All I’ll say is stay tuned…
We can’t wait to find out what happens next with Drexler and thank Nathan so much for chatting with us about this kick-ass comic. Make sure you read the first issue HERE and keep up to date with everyone on the Facebook page.