Comic Book Yeti contributor Cody had a chance to chat with both Raymond Tyler and Neil Gibson about their currently crowdfunding title Amputation Capital, now on Kickstarter until September 25th.
COMIC BOOK YETI: Thank you for making the journey to the Yeti Cave to chat with us today, Raymond and Neil. This is a segment called Cyptid-Bits in which we ask creators about their current crowdfunded campaigns. Speaking of that, Amputation Captial currently has an active Kickstarter, which fully funded recently!! Congratulations, are you celebrating with a good old-fashioned cocktail and some severed fingers?
RAYMOND TYLER: I might stick with a cup of tea and play some World of Warcraft. I’m pretty boring. Though I hear that is Neil’s favorite drink.
NEIL GIBSON: Only if there is some blood from the fingers. Martinis should be dirty…
RT: Gross, Neil.
CBY: The concept for Amputation Capital is about a present-day dystopian society in which celebrities and influencers sell human body parts as opposed to MLM schemes or crypto coins. This is such an interesting theme – what inspired you both to create this world?
RT: Thank you! I worked in influencer marketing for a bit, which was where I came up with the basic concept. I ended up meeting Neil and we worked on the story and fleshed it out (pun intended). But the world comes from a very real inspiration – if you think about it, Taylor Swift has insured her legs! You did just hit on something I really want to explore in the context of the Amp Cap world. MLM and crypto would definitely be part of future Amp Cap stories.
Neil’s role in creating the world can’t be overstated. I originally came to him with the idea and some characters and we built it out from there.
NG: Nah. I just helped with the plotting, really. The characters and world are all Raymond. So blame him for any depravity.
CBY: We follow the journey of 3 different individuals impacted by the skin trade who are direct reflections of the different aspects of it: buying, selling, and eating?! What type of feelings are you hoping readers experience when they read this?
RT: I do want the reader to have a grimy and disgusted feeling. I definitely don’t want the reader to feel hopeless or think that I’m saying “this is the way the world is, there is no way to get out of it.” To me, there are characters in the book who have the right ideas, and are actively struggling to create a better world. Spoiler alert, Alfie isn’t one of them.
NG: Every story I write, I want the reader to be entertained, surprised, educated and left thinking. Fingers crossed some will with this.
CBY: Putting celebrities in real-life situations in which they are forced to sell their body parts, whether to stay relevant or even pay the bills, adds a sense of realism to this story. Is Skin Deep a nod to the celebrities in our everyday lives, constantly in headlines?
RT: Skin Deep is certainly a nod to celebrity culture. I don’t think there are any specific celebrities. I’ll tell you, my time working with influencers opened my eyes a bit. Most of the influencers were people who were genuinely creative people desperately trying to make a living. It felt like they would do anything to stay relevant, even promote a shit product for a couple hundred bucks. Maybe I’m making it up, but there felt like there was an odd desperation with the influencers I worked with. Like they were desperate not to go back to some crappy job. I could relate to that feeling. It’s hard to be creative in a market economy.
NG: What Raymond said.
CBY: What was the creative process like working with a co-creator on this project? Who else was involved with Amputation Capital? RT: It was really great. I love working with Neil. During the writing process, we would meet almost every day and work on the script. I like Neil’s work as well, so it was easy to work with him.
The other creators were awesome as well. I love Andre Risso, his art is killer. We got Liezl Buenaventura on colors for issues 1 and 2 and Agnese Pozza on colors for issues 3 and 4. Letters by the great Jed McPherson and Kat Jackson.
NG: Again, what Raymond said.
CBY: I noticed that there are a couple tiers on your Kickstarter that bundle merchandise with TPub, which includes a limited edition TPub box! Can you tell us more about TPub and what they are about? RT: Oh yeah! TPub comics is a UK publisher that really caters to both long-time comic fans and newcomers. As a company, TPub wants to get as many people reading AND creating comics as possible. We have a Discord where we connect with fans. TPub loves to show off projects that are in the works, look at fan art, and get reading suggestions. TPub also has a monthly call in which we just chat with fans. We love it when people bring their own comics and we will live-react and offer suggestions if the creator wants. Overall, TPub is just a publisher who really likes comics and the people who read them.
NG: I really don’t need to be in this interview. Raymond’s got it all covered.
RT: I thought you left.
CBY: Raymond, you have something else in the works called The Battle of Blair Mountain coming out soon on PM Press, can you tell us more about what to expect with that project? RT: Oh yes! The Battle of Blair Mountain is a non-fiction labor history comic about the West Virginia Coal Mine wars. Absolutely amazing bit of history. Workers in West Virginia wage a long struggle for unionization, during their struggle for union recognition, miners are imprisoned, murdered, and bombed. At the center of this bloody struggle is a foul-mouthed Irish woman known as Mother Jones.
I’m doing that book with editor Paul Buhle. He is an absolute comics legend and a pleasure to work with. The art is done by Summer McClinton. Summer has drawn some amazing books, Masks of Anarchy, and The Beats. Definitely look up their work if you have a chance. CBY: What social media platforms can our readers stay up to date with your future works on?
But I (@TwistedNeil) am rubbish at social media!
CBY: Before we officially end this interview, I have to ask: what is your favorite Hellboy fact?
RT: There are a lot. I think Hellboy being a direct descendant of King Arthur is one of my favorite facts.
CBY: Thank you once again for coming by the Yeti Cave and chatting with us today, Raymond and Neil, I wish you nothing but success with the remainder of this campaign!!
RT: Thanks so much for having me!
NG: Um hello! I was here too!
RT: Did you hear something? Hmm, must have been the wind.