Kickstart the Week with RETRIBUTION – CHAPTER 2: I DIED IN DEL RIO

By: Nicole D’Andria

Morally questionable retribution continues in the second chapter of this black-white-and-blood-soaked mini-series. Creator R. Robert Garcia discussed the psychological elements of his series, which centers on a love story with elements of loss and mental illness.

R makes a violent return from the dead thanks to the love of his life, Chi. But just how far will he go for love? Find out in this psychological, gut-punching story reminiscent of Spawn, Crossed, and The Crow.

This Kickstarter is for the second chapter of the Retribution mini-series created, written, and lettered by R. Raul Garcia. The main artist for the series, Giulia Gualazzi, previously worked on Ennead the Rule of Nine and Captain Canuck. She’s joined for the first time by artist Kevin Keane for this issue. He’s co-founder of Rogue Comics as well as a cover artist for series like King Spawn and Gunslinger Spawn.

The campaign is seeking to raise $2,750 by May 29, 2022, at 8:00 PM EDT. Rewards tiers include access for the very first time digitally ($5) and physically ($10) to Retribution Chapter 2 or newcomers can get access to both issues in both formats ($15). There are also a couple of special variants available from Kath Lobo ($20), Scott Oakley (#25), and Kevin Keane ($30) that you can check out along with a variety of other higher-level rewards on the Kickstarter page.

Get even more insight into the world of Retribution by reading my interview below with creator, writer, and letterer R. Robert Garcia, who I know pretty well as I’m the editor for Retribution!

Nicole D’Andria (ND): For newcomers to the comic, what can you tell us so far about your protagonist R’s journey and the importance of Chi in his life?

Robert Garcia (RRG): At its most basic level, this story is a love story that deals with loss and mental illnesses. Chi was/is the center of R’s complicated and traumatic life. She is the only person he has ever truly bonded with and trusted. Without her, he was lost. But now that she is back, he will do anything to keep her in his life.

ND: You mention on the Kickstarter page that the story of Retribution is “reminiscent of SpawnCrossed, and The Crow.” What is it about each of these works that readers can also enjoy in your comic?

RRG: The aspect of starting over, whether it be as yourself or some other entity. The decisions that one must make to continue in that life, and how far will they go with those decisions. Also, the aspect of losing a loved one. But I will say our main character is just an average-day person, not some kind of previously trained mercenary or killer.

ND: Retribution includes a warning that it’s a mature comic that discusses topics related to mental health, trauma, and suicide. Can you tell us why you believe it’s important to explore these topics in the comic book format in particular?

RRG: I wanted to deliver the story in its true sense. I covered crime as a reporter for several years and I want to tell the story with the real type of callus and trauma that is involved in these types of events. It can truly be an ugly and painful world out there and I don’t believe in sugar-coating that for the readers.

ND: How do you go about sensitively addressing these topics while still keeping some truly gut-wrenching scenes (both literally and figuratively)?

RRG: I think the basis of the relationship R and Chi have helps ease some of the shock of what is taking place. The purpose and retribution behind the scenes. R’s personal experiences with many of the events, sharing his own personal traumas adds a layer of understanding to what has and is taking place.

Giulia Gualazzi Art

ND: Art duties in this issue are shared by Giulia Gualazzi and Kevin Keane. Can you explain what work they’re each doing in this issue and how their art complements and contrasts one another?

RRG: Giulia is illustrating the first 10 pages of the comic. While two of the pages depict some pretty tragic scenes, the rest of her pages give us a look at R and Chi’s history. I felt her style of art, which is stunning, really does a great job of showing these two in their previous life. The beauty of their relationship, Chi’s time spent with family and her inclusion of R in those moments.

As far as Kevin goes, I have been a huge fan of his black and white artwork. It’s gritty and vibrant, lending itself to the feel of the comic, especially the last 19 pages of this issue. We delve into some truly dark choices R and Chi make as they decide who needs to be given retribution. Kevin’s artwork has been featured in the pages and covers of Todd McFarlane’s Spawn, Gunslinger Spawn, and King Spawn.

Kevin Keane Art

ND: You also decided to keep the art in black, white, and red. What is the significance of this within your story?

RRG: I feel the nature of the story, its dark personal journey, and the acts of violence in this comic fit perfectly in greyscale. We added the color of blood for effect, kind of like Frank Miller’s Sin City. I’ve also always been a big fan of black and white artwork.

ND: What is the number one reason why people should pledge money to your project?

RRG: Because I believe this is truly a compelling story. One that I think many readers will hopefully come to appreciate and enjoy, while also getting a better understanding of the different aspects of mental illnesses. I also believe independent comics are expanding the world of comic books and we can’t keep doing that without the help of our backers. They truly are the backbone of this indie-comic industry.

Kevin Keane Art

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

RRG: Be true to yourself, your story. Write what you feel and not what you think others may what to interpret.

ND: Promote yourself! What other projects are you working on that we may see in the near future?

RRG: Retribution Chapter 3! If/when we have another successful Kickstarter, we plan to keep this series going. We feel like we have enough story/content for a possible 8 to 10 issues.

ND: Thank you for taking the time to share your dark, personal journey with us in the form of Retribution! Readers interested in checking out this psychological and literally gut-wrenching story can view the Kickstarter page here.

Rodney Ford Print

Do you have a crowdfunding project? Want to be interviewed about it and have the project featured on “Kickstart/IndieGogo/GoFundMe/etc. the Week?” Then message me on my website. Also considering checking out the official Kickstart the Week: Interviews with Comic Book Kickstarter Creators Volume 1 on Kindle.

Other “Kickstart the Week” features:

In Our Dreams Awake #1: A Cyberpunk/Fantasy Adventure

Acausal #1-2 – Grounded sci-fi crime thriller

Death of a Necromancer

The Neverland Issue 1

Voyage Anthology 2: Melting Pot


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