Kickstart the Week(end) with The Last Ember #1

By: Nicole D’Andria

The Last Ember is the first series taking place in the Emberverse universe! Published by Last Ember Press, this is the coming of age story about the goddess of fire. I interviewed the entire creative team, which includes several members of Comic Frontline!

Taking place after Ember Madison discover her fiery powers in the zero issue, The Last Ember #1 is the true beginning of Ember’s mythical journey. While she is secretly being watched, Ember must find the answers behind her powers, the secrets of her past and why she is the last of her kind. Maybe she’ll even have time to figure out what college she’s going to!

Brant Fowler, the co-founder of Last Ember Press and a Youtuber on Comic Frontline, is the writer and letterer on the book. His experience as a writer, letterer and flatter includes co-writing the first superhero title of Last Ember Press, Celestial Falcon, and lettering Action Lab Entertainment’s Super Human Resources. Giulia Lalli is doing the pencils and cover while the other co-founder of Last Ember Press, Lisa Moore, will be doing the inks and coloring. Some of Lisa’s coloring work includes Regular Show and Garfield. The editor for the book will be Comic Frontline’s own Jay McCathy (Jay El).

Rewards for The Last Ember include: digital copies of The Last Ember #0 AND #1 ($3) plus their 24-Hour Comics Day project Li’l Ember ($5), a physical copy of The Last Ember #1 ($10), stickers ($15) and more! The project will be successful if $3,500 is raised by November 18, 2017 at 12:59 AM EST. You can learn more about the project and back it on their Kickstarter page.

Enjoy interviews with Brant Fowler, Giulia Lalli, Lisa Moore and Jay McCathy that include an in-depth look into The Last Ember and advice for their various comic book professions:

Brant Fowler

Me: On your Last Ember Press blog, you explain that the concept for Ember was born out of the logo. Can you tell us more about that?

Brant Fowler: Sure. When we finally came up with the name, we knew we wanted to include some sort of flame. I looked at a lot of references and came up with something that I felt was familiar, but with a little unique flare to it (no pun intended). Once I had finalized the flame, the first thing Lisa said to me upon looking at it was “It looks like the silhouette of a girl in the middle of the flame, did you do that on purpose?” Sadly, I had to admit that no, that was not my intention. She thought it would have been really clever if I had. Ha ha.

After she pointed it out and I realized she was right it started the wheels turning. At that point, everyone involved with LEP had a book they wanted to do… except me. I mean sure, there are ideas I have, but I wasn’t sure what I wanted to focus on. This happy accident of a girl being in the midst of the flames stood out as an opportunity. The three of us (Lisa, myself and John, our co-founder) started brainstorming concepts and landed on what eventually became The Last Ember! It’s kind of a no-brainer she controls fire, right?

 

 

Me: What about Ember made you fall in love with her and turned her story into such a passion project for you?

Fowler: It’s really hard to pinpoint one moment, idea or thing about Ember that turned it into a passion project for me. I’d have to say it was just how it all came together. I never dreamed Last Ember Press would be a thing, and when it began I didn’t know what I was going to write. Then Ember leaped out from the flames… it all just dropped into place piece by piece. It felt right, you know? It felt like this character and this book were supposed to come into being.

The more I thought about Ember and the more we fleshed out her personality and her world the more I fell in love with her as a character. There was something special about her more than any other character I’ve written. She spoke to me. She felt real and unique. And when you’re talking about fire-based female comic book characters that uniqueness is not an easy to come by trait. Ha ha.

Everyone that knows me knows I love fantasy and swords and sorcery stories. But writing-wise, my strength, I feel, is in coming of age relatable characters. It’s the kind of character I was always drawn to growing up, like Spider-Man. Combining those two fandoms of mine and tossing in a little mythology and heritage into the mix really made Ember stand out.

 

 

Me: Who are some of the important members of the supporting cast and villains in The Last Ember?

Fowler: As we kick off The Last Ember #1, in the first few pages we are introduced to a mysterious cloaked individual who is watching Ember. This person has a huge role to play going forward, and that will come to light over the course of the series.

Beyond the mystery figure, we’ve already met some of Ember’s supporting cast in The Last Ember #0. Her circle of friends, Gaby, Danny and Kendall will all continue to play a role. Specifically, we’ll see a lot more of Kendall. He’s got a little crush on Ember and is always by her side.

We’ve also met some of Ember’s family and we’ll be learning a lot more about them. Ember has a close, but metered relationship with her mother, and a complicated one with her father. We’re also going to be meeting Ember’s grandmother in the near future and she’ll have a role in what’s happening with Ember.

The Last Ember #1 Page 1

Me: You mention the comic has “potentially… some cool extras”. Can you name some of these possibilities?

Fowler: Ha, well, we might toss in some cool stuff at the end of the book like sketches, the script for issue #1, and other nice extras like that if funding hits what we’re hoping for. Maybe we’ll do a director’s cut version of the book, I don’t know. It’s too early to say. But we will definitely be talking about all of that as we near the end of the campaign!

Me: The Last Ember is the beginning of the Emberverse universe. What can you tell us about your future plans with this universe?

Fowler: I can’t say a whole lot because I don’t want to give too much away or overhype it before we’re ready. What I will say is that I have to give credit to John Wilson here. He had a character with a certain story he wanted to explore. That character’s story set the groundwork for what would become the Emberverse. We’ll be seeing that character at some point too.

What I can tell you is that the Emberverse is not a superhero universe… not really. Yes, there will be people with extraordinary abilities, but for the most part there are no capes and tights and things like that. Mythology – both traditional and our unique spin – will play a large part of the Emberverse, its characters and the threats that they face.

 

 

Me: What is the number one reason people should pledge money to this Kickstarter?

Fowler: Man, this is a hard one.

Ok, The Last Ember is the birth of something new, something special. She is the flagship of Last Ember Press, she’s the central character of the Emberverse. Supporting this Kickstarter gets you in on the ground floor of this world building journey and introduces you firsthand to the key character of the universe. If you like coming of age stories about unassuming heroes discovering themselves and the world around them, you’ll want to back this Kickstarter. If you like fantasy, mythology in a real world setting with just a little superhero flare, you’ll want to back this Kickstarter. And if you like supporting independent comics by creators passionate both for the medium and the characters they create, you’ll definitely want to back this Kickstarter!

How’s that?

Me: What inspirational words do you have for aspiring writers?

Fowler: Never give up. It’s cliché, maybe a little trite, but it’s true nevertheless. If your passion is writing, hone your craft and never stop trying to succeed.

Also, I always heard the phrase “write what you know” but never really understood what that meant for the longest time. I knew wrestling, the Bible, G.I. Joe… was I supposed to write about these things? I studied computer science and business, was this my area of expertise to write about? When I finally understood what that phrase actually meant, projects like The Last Ember came much more naturally to me.

Basically what it means is take your life experiences, pull from them and pour them into your writing. If you had a rocky upbringing, but overcame it and made something of yourself against all odds, or even if you’re still struggling to do that, write that! That’s basically Peter Parker. If you can relate to what you’re writing, others will too.

Me: What’s the most important thing people interested in lettering comics should know?

Fowler: Good lettering won’t even be noticed. Bad lettering will make a book look terrible. Great lettering will illuminate the work it’s paired with and at the same time make you take notice without taking you out of the story. Oh, and learn all the basics, master them, then break the rules.

Lisa Moore

 

Me: What has been your favorite page to work on in The Last Ember #1 and why is it your favorite?

Lisa Moore: Well actually my favorite “page” so far to work on has been the cover for the issue. Guilia did such an amazing job on this one, the pose was amazing. It almost had a religious feel to it for me. Just the placement of the flame. I had a fun time working out the lighting on that one.

 

Me: You are also a co-founder of Last Ember Press with Brant. How did the idea for this publishing company come to be and how did you go about putting it into motion?

Moore: At the time Brant and I were both working exclusively for other publishers. We had both attempted our own personal projects but hadn’t seen any of them reach a point where we could consistently release anything. So we were just talking one day about how we wanted to eventually work for ourselves, putting out projects we were passionate about. After that discussion, we pulled John Wilson in and decided to have our first book be Pneumatic Cases, which John had written. It was a struggle at the beginning and still is at times, but we are learning more and more with each project and I believe we are getting stronger as creators and business owners. So keep an eye out, much more to come!

 

The Last Ember #1 Page 2

 

Me: What is the number one reason people should pledge money to this Kickstarter?

Moore: I honestly just love the story. So that is my biggest reason people should pledge. You’re going to love the book! Brant is crafting something here that we are all really proud of. I’m a sucker for mythology so it’s even more intriguing for me, knowing more and more of that will begin to show up as the story progresses.

  

Me: What inspirational words do you have for aspiring artists and colorists?

Moore: I had absolutely no idea I was going to fall into this career. It just kind of happened. I didn’t have any training, I learned from practice and the kind people that post tutorials and helpful information online. So don’t ever think this is something you can’t do. All you have to do is put in the time to learn your craft, whatever that may be. Put in the time and you will succeed.

Giulia Lalli

 

Me: How did you get involved with The Last Ember?

Giulia Lalli: Brant Fowler and Lisa Moore found me on DevinatART and they simply ask me if I wanted to try to do a couple of sample pages for their Last Ember project, so I tried. It went pretty well and then they hired me as their penciller.

Me: What has been your favorite page to work on in The Last Ember #1 and why is it your favorite?

Lalli: Actually, I don’t have a favorite page. I enjoyed drawing all of them, but of course the last page was the most important one because it was the proof that I made it within the deadline terms! XD

 

The Last Ember #1 Page 3

 

Me: What is the number one reason people should pledge money to this Kickstarter?

Lalli: The number one reason to me is because this project is full of passion from the creators. They put their own soul in this project and they want to share it with the readers. Last Ember has a fiery soul, you can see it yourself starting from this Kickstarter!

Me: What inspirational words do you have for aspiring artists?

Lalli: The only words I can say to my colleague artists are just… try everything; don’t be stuck on one single drawing style, watch your favorite artists and learn how they do their job, take inspiration and a working method from them; never stop drawing and give yourselves time to get better every single day step by step, you don’t need to rush… if you have passion and especially determination, you will make it!

Jay McCarthy (Jay El)

 

Me: How did you get involved with The Last Ember?

Jay McCarthy: I have known Brant & Lisa for years now and I have been talking to Brant for a while about the book because I am also the PR/Social Media Director of Last Ember Press, so I have been a part of it in that capacity. Then one day Brant asked me if I could help him out by editing the book, and I said yes. How could I not? Brant had been talking to me about the book for while in an official and in a friend capacity, and I loved what I was hearing about it!

Me: What is the number one reason people should pledge money to this Kickstarter?

McCarthy: Just one? Ok, then I will skip the fact that Brant is truly a great guy and stick with the work itself. From writing, to pencils, to inks, to colors, this book is well done. You can check my Kickstarter backing history. I am VERY selective with who I back, I have to personally believe in the project and have an interest in it, and I do with The Last Ember. The story is an amazing and gripping one that gives you a great mix of a coming of age story, high action fantasy and mythology. So why should you back it? Because it is an AMAZING book done by an AMAZING group of people with a true love and passion for it.

The Last Ember #1 Page 4

 

Me: What tips do you have for people when editing comic books?

McCarthy: Don’t be distant, know the writer and talk to them, because that relationship helps you see from their creative point of view and allows you to edit in a more organic way.

Me: A big thanks to the entire creative team for taking the time to give us a peak into the world of Emberverse! Check out their Kickstarter for The Last Ember #1 here.

The Last Ember #1 Page 5

 

Do you have a Kickstarter? Want to be interviewed about it and have the project featured on “Kickstart the Week?” Let me know in the comments below or message me on my website.

Other “Kickstart the Week” features:

Spores: Prom of the Dead 

Coronary: Episode Two

Hotshot Comic Book Series Relaunch

Amelia Sky #2

The Imaginary Voyages of Edgar Allan Poe #1

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