By: Nicole D’Andria
A group of teenagers imbued with ancient powers must take on a dark evil and save the world! Comic Frontline’s Chris Dibuduo and Brant Fowler have crafted Celestial Falcon as part of Last Ember Press. Learn more about their project and back the Kickstarter while you still can!
Celestial Falcon (which was previously spotlighted on “Kickstart the Week”) is for people who love coming-of-age superhero stories with supernatural themes. Plus you get a bonus if you’re a fan of sharks since Celestial Falcon #2 prominently features one of these ferocious beasts! The second issue of this character-driven story is also an extra-sized issue with 26 pages of story (32 pages total). The comic is perfect for fans of Spider-Man, Teen Titans, and Invincible.
The series is created/co-written by Chris Dibuduo (his first comic!) alongside co-writer/issue one letter Brant Fowler (The Last Ember). The penciler for both issues is Lucas Santos (Spider-Cop) with inks and colors in issue one by Lisa Moore (Garfield, Peanuts, Damsels). In issue two, the colors are by Nimesh Morarji (@nimesh.art) with letters by Clay Adams (Red Xmas).
The Kickstarter is looking to reach its $3,500 goal by September 22, 2020, at 11:00 PM EDT. Rewards include a digital catch-up featuring both issues ($10) as well as both the main day/night covers for Celestial Falcon #1-2, including an audio commentary and a special “F” symbol with a shark bite sticker ($18). Issue #2 will have four covers in total, including a JAWS homage variant and a Celestial vs. Megalodon Battle variant, which has been upgraded to a foil cover thanks to over 65 backers pledging their allegiance to the comic! Check out the covers and also a special printer on the Celestial Falcon #1-2 Kickstarter page.
Learn more about what you’ll be sinking your teeth into in this in-depth interview with Chris Dibuduo and Brant Fowler!
Me: How does this coming-of-age superhero story feel different from others?
Chris: This is a story where there is a great war between the light and dark, a very dangerous, almost ancient war. Chris and his friends are pulled into that. However, they’re only teenagers. Chris too learns he has a legacy to live up to; he will make very good decisions but also very bad ones. Decisions that will change every way of life on his Earth forever! This world is way more than just putting on a superhero costume and saving the day; this is the battle to keep Earth from falling to darkness.
Brant: Many coming of age superhero stories in particular focus mainly on the day-to-day, learning how to use their powers, their purpose in life, how to protect their loved ones, etc. This story does all that too, but like Chris said, the characters are thrust into something bigger than that from the jump. Something bigger than themselves with world-altering implications!
Me: You’ve billed the second issue as great for people who love sharks. Can you tell us anything about how sharks will play a part in this issue and why you chose that animal in particular?
Chris: Well, in this issue Chris will unearth a place that has been hidden away from the world. The shark is a Guardian, to make sure the wrong people don’t find it. In the preview pages, you see it’s an island and Chris is in a boat. This is why I thought a giant shark would be perfect. I also have a huge love and interest in sharks.
Brant: Not to mention, sharks are just visually cool and it allowed us to play with some really fun scenes and let Lucas go wild with the art. It’s not just a shark, either, it’s a Megalodon! So the visuals are that much more intense!
Me: If you had to fight a shark, no powers or weapons, what would your strategy be?
Chris: If somehow I ended up in this situation I would pray the tactic of punching it in the nose would work. Otherwise, I think the Shark’s going to win that fight! Haha.
Brant: Well, I don’t go in the ocean myself. Had a few traumatic experiences in my youth, and one involved an issue with sharks, so that would probably never happen! Haha. But if it did, I think I’d be afraid to try to tap its nose. No offense to sharks or shark lovers, but if it was me or the shark, I’d probably do whatever I had to in order to survive. All bets are off!
Me: In addition to the normal cover, you’ve included a few fun shark-infested variants. Can you tell us a bit about each artist you brought on board for this and what makes each cover special in your eyes?
Chris: Before we even started the project, I knew a shark was going to be in this issue and way back when we were just laying out this second issue I went to Brant and said “we should do a Jaws Homage cover” because of the huge shark in the book. Laura Rimaszombati brought that cover to life, while still putting a very unique spin to it.
When it came to Linnea’s cover, after seeing the amazing print she made for Brant and Kat’s The Last Ember/Like Father, Like Daughter crossover, Brant and I both agreed we wanted her to do a variant for Celestial Falcon. So she made the battle variant between Celestial and the shark. She blew the cover out of the water (pun intended).
Brant: For me, if I’m going to do a variant, I want it to be unique, eye-popping, and play to the strengths of the artist. With Laura, like Chris said, we wanted her to do her thing. She has a very stylized approach to art, and she actually asked us if we wanted a straight-up homage or if she could take liberties. She provided us two concepts initially. We actually later commissioned the second one for a print (seen below). Both are gorgeous and unique, but with the Jaws variant, you still get the idea behind it.
For Linnea (@PapurrCat on Twitter), I fell in love with her digital painting when Kat and I did that crossover Chris mentioned. From that point on, I knew I wanted her involved in everything I do going forward! Haha. I had the idea to do a Celestial Falcon vs. the Megalodon piece and basically just told her that, gave her reference for Celestial, and let her do her thing. What she came back with was just a beautiful, stunning piece of artwork! And because it’s so beautiful, we decided to upgrade it to a FOIL cover treatment!
Me: Since your campaign reached 50 backers, all your backers will be getting a digital copy of HEALED #1. Why did you decide to include this book and what can you tell us about it?
Brant: The writer, George O’Connor, is a new acquaintance that has impressed me with his desire to help other creators. We are in a Mastermind together, and he also creates music and comics. So when we were looking for books to offer, it was a no-brainer to reach out to George. And the concept of the book, while much different than Celestial Falcon, has similar themes as our book in that it involves something supernatural affecting the world and it’s telling the story of what happens next. In a very different way, with a very different focus, but still in the same realm.
As you’ll find out going forward with Celestial Falcon, we definitely lean into the supernatural realm, hence the name “Celestial” Falcon, and touch on some religious themes and concepts. So a book like HEALED just seems to fit.
HEALED is about a moment where the entire world was “healed” with no more diseases or viruses but no one knows how or why. All humans became immortal. The book picks up a week after this event takes place.
Me: You’re also offering The Celestial Crate as a reward tier. What about this tier is unique?
Chris: The Celestial Crate is very special because not only do you get all the covers for issues one and two, but it also offers extra limited edition bonus items that you can only find IN the crate.
Brant: We packed this edition of The Celestial Crate full of everything Celestial Falcon we had to offer. You’re getting essentially nine comics, a poster, magnets, stickers, bookmarks, and other extras. We may even include some surprise items! This is THE box for the ultimate fan!
Me: What’s the number one reason why people should pledge money to your project?
Chris: Celestial Falcon is more than just your average superhero. We get a lot of his origin in this issue. This is the birth of an entirely new universe of unending possibilities. For Brant and I, this is just the beginning. We have an amazing story to tell and we want to get that story out to the world. I believe this is a story people will want to read and will have a good time reading it. We give nothing but 110% of ourselves in this book, our whole team does and you will see that in this issue and future issues.
Brant: All the things we haven’t been able to say about the series up to this point are revealed in this issue! Secrets are revealed, questions are answered, and the truth behind the powers Chris and his friends receive are all unearthed in this issue. We learn that the fate of the world is at stake, and what exactly that threat is. We tease a specific “villain” coming into play in future issues, Chris’ true origin is explained, and much more! To sum it up, everything you want or need to know about this story will be evident in Celestial Falcon #2! It’s a can’t miss issue!
Me: What can you tease to us about the future of the publisher Last Ember Press in addition to more Celestial Falcon goodness?
Brant: Last Ember Press will continue going strong, growing, and expanding our current works. We are focusing on our main series for now, building those up and getting more issues of The Last Ember, The Secrets of Willowmyst, Pneumatic Cases, and Celestial Falcon out there.
Our next launch will be the next installment of The Last Ember on the heels of fulfillment for The Last Ember #1: Reforged! Look for that tentatively in November!
Me: What inspirational words do you have for aspiring comic book writers in addition to the advice you gave us last time?
Chris: Every experience you have, learn something from it. There is so much I learned from the last Kickstarter we did, the last issue we wrote, and I brought that with me through to this issue and this Kickstarter. Regardless, good or bad experience, learn something from it, it will definitely benefit you in the future.
Brant: Learn as much about the business and art form of comics as you possibly can. Understand each aspect of the creation process, firsthand if you can. If you are artistically inclined at all, try penciling or inking. Learn about the coloring and lettering processes. This will help you when you start working with your creative teams in terms of how long each part of the process takes, what goes into it, and it will teach you to value each member of your team even more and their contributions to the comic.
Me: Thanks for sharing a part of your world with us, guys! If you’re interested in this coming-of-age story (with superheroes and a shark fight!) check out the Kickstarter here.
Do you have a crowdfunding project? Want to be interviewed about it and have the project featured on “Kickstart/IndieGogo/GoFundMe the Week?” Let me know in the comments below or message me on my website. Also check out the official Kickstart the Week: Interviews with Comic Book Kickstarter Creators Volume 1 on Kindle and Etsy!
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