The past few years has seen a steady increase in the number, and popularity of web comics as many creators use the medium for bringing their ideas to life. An increased availability of inexpensive, user-friendly software turns the home computer, laptop or tablet into a compact art studio capable of yielding professional results.
With the cost being far less than traditional print and circulation expenses, it has become a safer, (and more realistic), way for people to take the chance of producing a brand new title of their own design. When the greatest investment is the time to create and produce the work, and the greatest risk is all of ones hard work being ignored; a web comic is an outlet that many are using to launch ideas or to try and launch a career. Generally web comics are one creator producing a page a week of an on going story, though it is becoming more common to see groups of people interacting to produce a title. Naturally one of the greatest challenges facing people launching a web comic is being able to maintain the drive to produce a consistent product while they build an audience. Enter onto the playing field: Scotland’s Komic Brew.
Recently launched in May of 2014 by musician Adam Armit and filmmaker Goce Cvetanovski, Komic Brew is site that hosts a number of creator-produced titles in a wide range of looks and formats. “Adam and I launched Komic Brew together, we’re longtime comic book fans”, said co-founder Cvetanovski “I’ve known the artists for a while now, since I’m pretty active in the local comics community in the Balkans. Balkans has a rich and vibrant comics scene, and many artists have worked for the big publishers, both American and European. Except for the projects that I was already developing myself as a writer, I met the authors of the other projects through the Macedonian comic book forum : http://www.makstrip.com.mk (I think there’s no english version of this website). This next year we’re planning to start couple of new projects, but we’ll see, still learning the business step by step. This is new both for me and Adam, I come from the filmmaking industry, and he from the music industry.”
Book, comic strips, standard and manga comics are all available here with titles ranging from the cartoony web strip ‘Rabbitz’ to the more serious ‘Coran’s Quest’. The range of options for readers is wide, both in the mentioned styles but subject matter as well. Co-founder Goce Cvetanovski buller point described the available titles this way:
“-Rabbitz! – comic strip, black humor. A bunny dies at the end of each strip
-Tales from beyond the wall of sleep – 7 short horror and fantasy stories, each drawn by different artist, all written by me.
-Son of a Vampire – The main character of one of the short stories from “Tales…” seemed interesting enough,
so we decided to try and make a series out of it. the first episode is done, the second is in development.
-Coran’s Quest – heroic fantasy, about 150 pages. This is our main project for the moment,
the idea is to make an animation feature after we finish it.
-Race! On! – fantasy steampunk manga about a magical race! pretty fun and action packed.
about 150 pages, the production is halfway through.“
Rounding out the current line up is the current Kickstarter book ‘Scarecrows’. Which should be a definite ‘must read’ for any fans of the style, which Tim Burton is famous for, or if you enjoy dark tongue in cheek references to media influence. Each title has it’s own unique look, feel and storyline; with some titles looking to later launch in book format and others seeming to maintain their current approach. One evolving title is ‘Coran’s Quest’, a supernatural fantasy adventure filled with the rich folklore of Scotland. Originally planned as the animated film ‘Misterstourworm and the Kelpie’s Gift, the project was scrapped due to cost and from it the title ‘Coran’s Quest’ was created; and lead to the founding of Komic Brew.
This is the link to the Vimeo hosted short of the original teaser trailer. Not only does the Komic Brew site have all of this, but there are also titles which are pending that you can browse through. The site itself is well laid out with a clean look and everything clearly labeled and easy to find. Drop down menus remove a great deal of clutter, and each section has a series of subsections to select from so fans may read the title, go behind the story to read about the artists as well as see what is coming up in the story with hints and peeks at artwork or ideas. If you are currently unfamiliar with Komic Brew, now would be a great time to check this site out and enjoy all that it has to offer comic fans.
John Goodale is the author of ‘Johnny Gora’ (available through Amazon.com), and a number of articles here on TMRZoo.com. His monthly column ‘Indy Comics Spotlight’ appears here and through his blog Indy Comics Spotlight