I’m currently running a series of interviews on the site to promote the Kickstarter comic book project “Not Forgotten: A Public Domain Superhero Anthology”. Previously I spoke with Omar Morales about his contribution ‘Moon Girl’, and now I’m chatting with Casey Desilets about his short story concerning the Yankee Comics character ‘Black Satan’.
Before we kick things off, I should say that as of this time the project is only at $13,288 of its $25,000 goal, so this is by no means a guarantee. That means it needs your help to reach its goal! Click here to find out more about the project and donate.
Hi Casey, thanks for taking time to chat on The Awesome Source! Firstly, for those that may not know, can you describe what the project’s all about?
Casey Desilets: Not Forgotten is some what of a love letter to classic characters that never really got carried on into this modern era of comics. Every artist and writer chose a character they found interesting, that had fallen into the public domain due to lack of use or license. The final book is looking to be around 200+ pages, and contains some amazing writing and artwork from the combined forces of around 40 creatives. What started off as a San Francisco based project, ended up growing into something that not only stretched across the country, but also has contributors from across the globe. We’re looking forward to getting physical copies into everyone’s hands soon.
How did you get involved in Not Forgotten?
CD: I got into the project when I heard about the call for artists. I had known some of the other creatives that had applied and got in, and the core idea of the project sounded like a lot of fun. I’m normally not one to enjoy drawing superheroes, or writing those sort of stories, but the opportunity to put my own twist on the genre was too hard to pass up. I’ve really enjoyed the way not only the project has grown, but also how the community of artists grew out of making it. I’ve gotten to meet and talk to a lot of really interesting folks that I have the pleasure of collaborating on the book with.
What can you tell us about your story, and what made you pick the superhero you did?
CD: My story is based on an old Yankee Comics character called Black Satan. His design wasn’t anything special, and the story itself in issue #1 fell into line with all the other cookie cutter heroes of the era. What really grabbed me about his character was alter ego which was the cities attorney, Howard Flynn. You don’t need to look at the original character designs too long to see that his hero disguise pretty much looks like a lawyer with a half mask on. Let’s just say they haven’t gotten on that “to be continued” at the end of issue #1. I don’t really want to spoil the story, but we’ll just say things get ridiculous very quickly, and it’s a rather fun and playful read. I’m hoping people will enjoy it as much I have had creating it.
What are some of the benefits and drawbacks to pulling inspiration from public domain heroes?
CD: I think the benefits are the same as the drawbacks. You’re pulling from a source material that already exists. You have to create within the constraints of that character. Well that’s how it would normally be, our editors have been really encouraging of letting us to almost anything we want with the characters. I took it as a challenge, to use keep in line with as much of the source material as possible. Though I love creating characters, my creating my own super heroes was never my thing, so being able to create a story around an existing one was also a huge help for me. We also had page limits on our submissions, and were not allowed to submit unfinished stories with “to be continued” which was another challenge in itself. Writing a short self contained story is always a great challenge.
Anything else we should know about Not Forgotten?
CD: Each individual that has contributed to our book has really put a lot into what they’ve made. I think we’re all proud of our work. Though there are some big names, and that kickstarter is looking super polished, the vast majority of us are all professional artists at the start of our career. I hope people will see the video, see the samples of work we’ve put out there, and know that this isn’t just some money grab, or something that we’re not serious about. We all very much love what we’ve done, and we hope you’ll all feel that holding our final book.
Thank you for your time!
Once again the “Not Forgotten” Anthology is live on Kickstarter until March 9th, you can donate as little as a dollar to help bring this project to life!