Kickstart the Week with Short Fuse Media Bringing Alignment to the Indieverse!

By: Nicole D’Andria

Short Fuse Media Group, the publisher responsible for super titles such as Like Father, Like Daughter and Nightwasp, is bringing three titles to Kickstarter backers that might look familiar. The Globalists, American Dreams and C.H.E.S.S. were three comic book series that a previous publisher funded on Kickstarter but never delivered. Now, Short Fuse Media Group are helping the creators finally bring their creations to life.

The Globalists revolves around a utopia on Earth ruled by inter-dimensional conquerors who have outlawed religion, ended world hunger and war, and enforced one world language. Will they be able to bring peace to the multiverse? The series is created by Nigel (The Tidal) Flood (The Celtic Clan, The Squad) with Kevin Keane on pencils/inks and Maury Tanka on colors.

Readers can go back to the year 1900 in New York City with American Dreams. Jake Gold becomes the very first superhero after Thomas Edison’s experiment goes awry. Now Jake must protect the American Dream for all! The series is created by Daniel Kalban (The Eagle) with with art by penciler Dody, inker Tebe Andry and colorist Warnia K Sahadewa.

Finally, readers can follow the missions of the Command Headquarters of Espionage and Strategic Strikes, better known as the titular C.H.E.S.S. They’re a group of mercenaries that go over the government’s head. The series is created and plotted by Alfred Paige as well as plotted and written by Alex De-Gruchy. Pencils and inks are handled by Jc Fabul with colors by Jorge Cortes, assist by Bryan Arfel Magnaye and letters by Troy Peteri.

Short Fuse Media Groups wants to fulfil their #WeAlwaysDeliver motto. So they’re supporting fans who previously backed these projects, as well as newcomers, with this Kickstarter. They reached their $1,500 goal in two days and the two week long campaign will end on July 1, 2018 at 6:00 PM EDT. Rewards include sending books to previous backers of the original Kickstarters ($1) or digital ($5) and physical ($15) copies of all the first issue of each series for new backers. Check out some of the other options, which include t-shirts and Short Fuse Media Group’s other titles, on the official Kickstarter page here.

Enjoy some in-depth interviews with Short Fuse Media Group’s Operations Director/Publisher Sean Mack as well as the writers for The Globalists, American Dreams and C.H.E.S.S.

Sean Mack

Me: Why did you pick these three series in particular to deliver to backers?

SM: I didn’t necessarily pick these series. It just sort of panned out that way as they all exited the previous publisher around the same time. As with any creator that brings a title to Short Fuse Media Group, our first priority is always to help them with wrapping up any preexisting affairs that could be potentially harmful for their future creative endeavors. Having books associated with Kickstarter campaigns that didn’t deliver is something that we felt needed to be resolved. Thus, the decision for this campaign was made.

Me: Are there any plans in the future to help fund other Kickstarters that other publishers failed to deliver on?

SM: Not at the moment. Again, this was merely a situation where we are helping creators that have joined our roster to ensure that their fans and supporters are taken care of. We wouldn’t want to just release these books publicly and have previous supporters feeling slighted by the creators of the books. So we thought this was a good way to shed some light on what actually took place with the funds that were pledged to the previous publisher as well as show that along with the creators, we also had compassion for those supporters, and wanted to do the right thing for them.

Me: Rather than the usual month-long Kickstarter campaign, you chose to make this Kickstarter last for two weeks only. Why did you decide to go with a shorter timeline?

SM: With the books already being complete, we felt that the release of these books was already overdue and wanted to get the books out as quickly as possible. We were presenting this campaign as more than just a funding campaign, but also as a cause to help these creators and fans that were essentially taken advantage of. In doing this we anticipated that there would be people that would see our efforts and genuinely WANT to help. So we didn’t feel a month long campaign was necessary. And it seems that was validated by the fact that the campaign goal was reached in 48 hours of the campaign going LIVE.

Me: How did you come up with the tagline “BRINGING ALIGNMENT TO THE INDIEVERSE”? What does this mean to you?

SM: We created an imprint at Short Fuse Media Group called ALIGNMENT towards the end of 2017. Although The Globalists came to Short Fuse as a part of a partnership with Nigel Flood’s Punt Press, American Dreams and C.H.E.S.S. were added to the ALIGNMENT roster of titles. The goal of the imprint was to be a division where we could feature more characters from throughout the entire indie community in team-up styled stories potentially with characters on our roster, without having to exclusively sign every indie creator to Short Fuse Media Group as no matter how much I would like to, it just wouldn’t be realistic at this juncture as we don’t have the resources available to accommodate everyone. The thought process of ALIGNMENT itself is to correct coursing. So bringing this titles into the fold at Short Fuse and helping to get these books delivered meant that each of the situations for these creators would potentially be course corrected, and therefore brought into “alignment”. So we went with that for the title.

Me: You’ve included some Short Fuse Media titles into the Kickstarter bundle, including The Edge and Earthling. What can you tell us about these two books and why should fans of these “Alignment” titles be interested in them?

SM: The Edge was the first title that was signed to the ALIGNMENT imprint as the creator of The Edge, Marvin Wynn, is also the Editor-In-Chief of the entire ALIGNMENT imprint. Earthling is not a title that is on our ALIGNMENT roster as it’s actually a part of our partnership with creator, Dave Brink’s Genuine Comics. We included both titles as a show of unity among indie creators within our roster. There may be others that we’ll also reveal depending on how many stretch goals we can unlock.

As far as why these two titles were selected, we really wanted to give more variety to those who were new to any of the titles featured in this campaign. As with all of our titles, we try to aim for a different feel and these two titles both provide a different perspective on superhero comics. The Edge will put you in the vein of an Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. type of comic while Earthling is a hero who fights for the rights of all living beings. During the month of June, we are re-releasing both of those series for the first time as part of the Short Fuse catalog along with debuting the newest issues of both of those series.

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

SM: The main reason I think would be to support an AWESOME cause and to help these creators and fans that were wronged get taken care of. A close second reason would be because these books are AMAZING and being on our roster people can be rest assured knowing that as always #WeAlwaysDeliver.

Nigel Flood

Me: How would you describe The United Nationalist and his ideology?

NF: The United Nationalist was created by the League of Nations to stop his world from being torn apart from the superhuman arms race that was happening. He saw the only way to put an end to division and to unite the world. He found other like-minded superhumans and founded the Globalists. He forced his world to his will, ending war and world hunger, outlawing religion and forcing everyone to speak one language, Esperanto. The United Nationalist is driven to put an end to conflict and everything that causes it, e.g. religious ideology, hunger, etc.

Me: Would you say The Globalists is reflective of any real-world events and if so, what are these reflections?  Were these intentional?

NF: No I do not think it’s reflective of any real world event as The Globalists live in a utopia and we do not. There are some real historic events in The Globalists but that’s about it.

Me: If we had super powered beings in the real world, what do you think would happen? Would we have a “Globalists” type of situation or do you envision something else?

NF: Interesting question and a tough one to answer. I doubt that we would have a “Globalists” type situation, we’d probably have a world like we have now but a hundred times more chaotic with a hell of a lot more wars. It would all depend on which country had the most super powered beings and what these super powered beings ideology was and how powerful they were.

Me: If you ruled Earth, what would be the one thing you would make into a law?

NF: Hmmm, easy: I would outlaw GUNS.

Me: Why did you decide to go to Short Fuse Media in particular to get your book into the hands of Kickstarter backers?

NF: Short Fuse Media had helped out previous Kickstarter campaigns with delivery issues in the past and they have a reputation of always delivering.

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

NF: There are so many cool rewards and Short Fuse always delivers.

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

NF: Write every day, you never know what crazy idea may come in handy to you for the current story that you are writing.

Daniel Kalban

Me: Why did you decide to set American Dreams in the year 1900 in New York City?

DK: Mainly because there are numerous similarities between 1900 and today. There was a major debate about immigration, there was a major gulf between rich and poor, and it was a time of great change. I chose New York because…well…I’m a New Yorker. I know this city and its history. Plus it gives us a lot of locations to play with. Some, like the notorious Five Points, are long gone. Others, like Delmonico’s Restaurant, are still going. So it helps create this wonderful tapestry to be the backdrop for the story.

Plus it’s rare to do superhero stories in this era. 1930s, 1940s? That’s a given. But 1900, just as major technologies are just beginning to take flight? That’s an extra challenge.

Me: It sounds like Thomas Edison plays an important role in this story. Are there any other historical figures in this comic that play important roles (or otherwise serve as fun characters for the reader to enjoy seeing)?

DK: There are several, some that you meet in the first issue. Harry Houdini is probably going to be the most important historical figure, because he’ll eventually be Jake’s mentor. We also have J.P. Morgan serving as our Lex Luthor, and Edison’s financial backer. Plus we have the infamous Emma Goldman running around, and she has her own agenda. Each has their own vision of how America should be…and Morgan and Goldman’s views are of course completely opposite.

Plus I want to bring in Nikolai Tesla, who is mentioned in issue 1, and Theodore Roosevelt.


Me: Jake Gold is protecting the “American Dream” for everyone. But how would you define the American Dream?

DK: The possibility that anyone, even someone born in another country and raised in extreme poverty, can reach their full potential in a nation that protects their rights.

A little old fashioned, admittedly; but in this day and age, and in 1900, it’s a radical one.

Me: If you could go back to New York City in the year 1900, what historical figure would you most like to meet and why?

DK: Theodore Roosevelt. Imagine the stories the man could tell…and he’s not even Vice President yet, he’s just been elected to the governorship of New York a couple years prior to 1900.

Me: Why did you decide to go to Short Fuse Media in particular to get your book into the hands of Kickstarter backers?

DK: Because Short Fuse always delivers, and I feel readers will be really interested in the story.

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

DK: If you like alternate history and superheroes, this is right up your alley.

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

DK: Work hard, collaborate, listen to your artists, and don’t be afraid to take risks.

Alfred Paige

Me: A big part of the C.H.E.S.S. comic seems to deal with the fact that the government doesn’t always make the right choices. Has there been any particular government actions that influenced this series in particular? Or was this series inspired by our real-world government in general at all?

AP: Yes of course we try to keep as many real-world elements as we can in the storylines. We follow up on the latest news and keep an eye on what’s going on in the world. As well as combine that with the comic book type adventure and that people love to read.

Me: How did you come up with the C.H.E.S.S. acronym?

AP: I wanted a title that played on the idea of a team that operates on strategic movement and C.H.E.S.S. was the perfect title for that. Broken down into Command Headquarters of Espionage and Strategic Strikes.

Me: What can you tell us about the group of private contractors Avery hires and who did you most enjoy writing?

AP: Much like the game of chess we wanted characters that bring different movements to the Gameboard in skills and personalities. That’s how Avery set the team up. As well as giving the reader at least one character that they can relate to and understand. The most fun to write and so far my favorite is James Washington A.K.A. Pinpoint because of his arrogance, cocky attitude and his resistance to direction. It works out well with the other team members.

Me: If you became a part of C.H.E.S.S., what would be the one skill you’d need to have in order to survive your missions?

AP: Lol. A lot of craziness, some kind of weapons expertise, and a truck load of courage.

Me: Why did you decide to go to Short Fuse Media in particular to get your book into the hands of Kickstarter backers?

AP: Professional trust. After talking to Sean Mack of Short Fuse on bringing the title someplace where the characters have a world to expand in, it was the perfect fit. As well as getting to work with creators that I have been a fan of over the years.

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

AP: What made me a fan of comics was not only the adventure of teams like X-Men and Wildcats, but the relationships in the team. They gave the characters real-life issues.

And that’s what you will find in the pages of C.H.E.S.S.: Characters you can relate to. As well as the action of a summer blockbuster movie in the pages of every issue.

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

AP: Write something you love so the reader can also love with you. If the reader can feel how much you enjoy your comic book, then they will love reading it as much as you love writing it.

Me: Thanks everyone for taking the time to share your stories with us once again! If you’re reading this and want to check out these titles, see Short Fuse Media Group’s Kickstarter here.

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:


Steamboat Billy: The Curse of the Leviathan

Neither Here Nor Hair Anthology

Ghost Island #1-#3: A Supernatural Horror Series

Ruby and the Warriors of Dion #1

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