Kickstart the Week with Savage Wizard #1

Kickstart the Week Savage Wizard #1

By: Nicole D’Andria

Savage Wizard takes the sword & sorcery style of movies like Conan the Barbarian and combines it with action-packed fantasy comics that have a touch of comedy like Skullkickers and Barbaric. I spoke with the writers and artist about their brutal series.

This Kickstarter campaign focuses on the first 28-page story of Savage Wizard, set in the dangerous land of Karkea. The barbarian chief R’Nar finds himself ostracized from his clan thanks to the actions of his best friend Skom. Now, a wizard known as Oqora must get R’Nar to become a wizard to help him stop the world from ending because of a blade of legend.

The series is written by Lesly Julien (Off Into the Sunset anthologies, Ghost Gauntlet) and Doug Wood (UltraMax, Leap M). The artwork is by classic horror fan Brian Flint. Toben Racicot is the letterer (Beastlands, Sidequest). The cover artist is Alaire Racicot (Crown & Anchor) and cover colorist Dearbhla Kelly (Spirit of Folk, Digital Detox Ireland).

The campaign is aiming to raise at least $6,000 by October 15, 2021, at 11:04 AM EDT. Reward tiers include digital ($5) and physical ($9) copies of Savage Wizard #1, an additional digital bundle of comics like Ghost Gauntlet and Leap M ($15), as well as a variety of mini-print options ($19). You can help them out and check out additional reward tiers if you choose to see and back their campaign here.

Delve into the world of Karkea as I speak with writers Lesly Julien and Doug Wood as well as artist Brian Flint below.

Doug Wood
Doug Wood

Me: You compare Savage Wizard to the likes of Skullkickers and Conan the Barbarian. What elements of your comic do you feel make it worthy of comparing to these titles?

Doug Wood: For the Skullkickers comparison, I’d have to say it’s the humor we bring to our fantasy world. A lot of what got me invested in reading Skullkickers had to do with how well the funny bits are written. I feel we hit those right comedic moments that make it easy to parallel our story next to theirs.

I believe when people think about Conan they think of this rugged manly man type of guy. The ultimate sword-wielding brute. We channel that energy into the brutal action we have in the book. It’s probably more high energy than Conan readers are used to, but it’s still the same male fantasy of a big muscle man with a big sword.

Savage Wizard #1 Maria Wolf Cover
Maria Wolf Cover

Me: What initially inspired you to create Savage Wizard?

Wood: Back in 2019, we were doing an event on Twitter called Pitchvember, a kind thing where you come up with a basic story premise each day. Les came up with an idea of a Conan type that is forced to become a wizard against his will. As those types of characters have a strong dislike of magic, it just seemed like a fun jump point to start an adventure.

Savage Wizard #1 Preview Page 1
Savage Wizard #1 Preview Page 1

Me: As both of the writers on Savage Wizard, can you describe what the writing process is like between the two of you and the individual roles you take on during the scripting process?

Wood: We began by structuring the plot over a google doc using the Snowflake method, which is essentially taking each step of the idea and adding to it slowly to build up the idea fully. Say it starts with the one-sentence idea. Then we add a full paragraph to make up the three acts of the story. And it continues with each act getting its own paragraph.

Once we built it up far enough, we divided the scenes between us. We went off to write a scene a week at a time, coming back together to joint edit the scenes until they blended seamlessly.

Lesly Julien
Lesly Julien

Me: How would you describe the main protagonist R’Nar, his former friend Skom, and the wizard Oqora?

Lesly Julien: We like to describe R’Nar as a himbo, or an aspiring one anyway. R’Nar doesn’t quite have a heart of gold but he does try to do the right thing when he can. Skom is a brilliant tactician, perhaps too brilliant to fit in perfectly with the barbarian lifestyle, his long-simmering jealousy finally comes to a head very early in the book. Oqora has been living in isolation for years to the point where it’s made her a bit… odd. She has to reacclimate to being around people and work on managing an explosive temper.

Savage Wizard #1 Preview Page 2
Savage Wizard #1 Preview Page 2

Me: If you were thrown into the world of Karkea, how would you go about surviving?

Julien: Karkea is a land that seems hell-bent on destroying its inhabitants. If someone like me was thrown into the world, my best bet would be to hide behind the gates in the last fortress left, the capital city of Rikas.

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

Julien: Brian Flint’s incredible art! It is the defining aesthetic for folks interested in this story, and for good reason!

Savage Wizard #1 Preview Page 3
Savage Wizard #1 Preview Page 3

Me: Lesly, this is the first Kickstarter project you’ve created, and Doug, you’ve previously raised nearly $17,000 through Kickstarter. What can you both tell us about your Kickstarter experiences and do you have any tips for creators interested in running their own crowdfunding campaign?

Julien: My tips for creators would be, do what you can to keep your funding goal at a reasonable number, promote outside of your usual social circles, and pre-launch at least a month in advance to gauge interest as well as drum up support for your upcoming campaign.

Savage Wizard #1 Sinnerman Cover
Sinnerman Cover

Me: Promote yourselves! What projects do you have coming out soon that we can also look forward to?

Julien: Next year I hope to bring Headcases, a comedic crime miniseries co-written with AJ O. Mason, art by Paulo Sampaio, colors by Warnia K. Sahadewa, and letters by Micah Myers to Kickstarter also. You can find me online at and

Wood: Under the Pale Moonlight is looking for a home. Nine superheroes are locked in a room to find the World’s Greatest Detective savagely murdered. It’s a superhero whodunit story. Project Big Hype Vol 2, the second installment of this year’s western-inspired manga anthology, and Leap M, a lo-fi sci-fi revenge one-shot, will be coming to Kickstarter soon. I’m on Twitter,

Brian Flint
Brian Flint

Me: How did you become part of the creative team for Savage Wizard?

Brian Flint: Doug, Lesly, and I all participated in The Comic Jam a while back. It’s an online group that coupled writers and artists together at random and challenged them to make a single-page comic together within a week. We never had a chance to work together but I had seen a couple of the pages they had completed with other artists and knew back then they were good writers.

Around May 2021, they hit me up on Instagram and asked if I was interested in working on a book together. They sent me the script and some reference material to show me the look they were going for. I looked it over and loved it. After that, we started working together to make Savage Wizard happen.

Me: Which page of Savage Wizard #1 was your favorite to draw and why?

Flint: The first page. I’ve always been a monster guy. Drawing all those orcs marching into battle was a lot of work but also a lot of fun. I really get a kick out of trying to give each one a unique personality.

Me: If you were thrown into the world of Karkea, how would you go about surviving?

Flint: Hope that I’m pretty enough to be one of the Stonehearts’ concubines?

Savage Wizard #1 Preview Page 4
Savage Wizard #1 Preview Page 4

Me: It’s mentioned on your Kickstarter bio that you’re inspired by “horror, black metal, and Adderall.” Can you tell us a bit more about how each of these elements inspired you and your subsequent work in comics?

Flint: Well, horror had always been a source of inspiration for me, even as a kid that was too young to watch any of it. I don’t really know why I was attracted to it from such a young age, but it’s always been there.

I have a pretty bad case of ADHD but went undiagnosed until I was an adult. Getting on Adderall really changed my life for the better. I mention it as a joke in my bio, but in reality, I don’t know if I would be able to take on long-term projects like making comics without it. Hell, I struggle to drive a car without it.

And listening to black metal helps me relax and stay centered while I draw. It also helps remind me that the black flames of Hell are ever licking at my heels while Beleth sits upon his blighted warhorse waiting for me to default on our deal so he may send his 85 legions of soulless abominations after me to drag me back to the fetid pit of Pandæmonium.

Savage Wizard #1 Preview Page 5
Savage Wizard #1 Preview Page 5

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

Flint: It’s a rad book that needs to exist outside the minds of Doug and Lesly. Also, my minivan is dangerously close to shitting the bed, so I need to start bringing in some capital!

Me: Promote yourself! What projects do you have coming out soon that we can also look forward to?

Flint: Savage Wizard has 100% of my attention right now. Like most illustrators, I would like to write books myself, but I’m not the best at putting words together. So I draw pictures instead!

Julien: Brian’s too modest, but you should definitely follow him here:

Me: Thank you all for taking the time to answer my question and let us into the fantastical world of Savage Wizard. Readers can check out the official Kickstarter page here.

Savage Wizard Logo

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.

Other “Kickstart the Week” features:

Twisting Time Anthology

Bi Visibility: A Bisexual Anthology

Gateway City, Volume #2

FairyFare #1

Who’s Knot Hare?

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