[PS4Blog.net Interview] Billy Tucci On Zombie-Sama
Zombie-Sama is currently live on Indiegogo, so I got in touch with Billy Tucci to talk a bit about the project. Come check it out!
PS4B: Hi Billy! It’s good to have you with us today, and it’s great to finally have a chance to catch up! How are you doing today?
Hi! First of all, THANK YOU FOR HAVING ME! It’s been one hell of a Crazy day. Things are good but, as always, a few hiccups have thrown a monkey wrench into the mix. Hopefully, it’ll all work itself out.
PS4B: Before we dive into Zombie-Sama, could you please help us get started by telling our readers a bit about the various projects you’ve previously worked on?
Sure! I’ve been making comics for 25 years. For most of the first ten years, I was strictly writing/drawing and publishing my modern-day samurai story, SHI. I also published many other independent titles and crossovers. Overall in that first ten years, my company Crusade Fine Arts, (Crusade Comics) published over 200 comics.
And I do have to be honest: after working exclusively on one character for a decade, you tend to get burnt out. But by that time, Shi had been a huge hit (about 100 of those published were Shi comics) and had sold over 3 million books so I pretty much was able to have some fun and work for more “mainstream” publishers and had a blast doing Heroes For Hire for Marvel and then Jonah Hex, Sgt. Rock, Batman, Flash vs. Superman and other books for DC.
PS4B: On that note, you’re currently running a crowdfunding campaign for Zombie-Sama over at Indiegogo. How would you describe this project to someone who’s never heard about it?
Zombie-Sama is a different, humorous, yet heroic take on the genre as the zombie apocalypse is really the best thing to ever happen to our hero, Jim Okami. Jim’s a boring sushi delivery boy whose life changes the instance he witnesses his small town being overcome by flesh oozing, nuclear-contaminated Zombies! As all Hell breaks loose around him, the desperate former slacker grabs the lone katana from above the restaurant's cash register and is heroically reborn as teen sensation Zombie-Sama! Now armed with sword and chainmail armor conveniently appropriated from a local scuba shop, our hero sets out to save his friends from the irradiated flood of rancorous fallout freaks! What begins as just another day, disintegrates into an atomic rom-com of apocalyptic proportions!
How’s that? Hahaha.
PS4B: Definitely sounds like a fun read! Are there any rewards that offer backers the chance to get some original art or sketches from you and John Broglia?
Yes! We’ve actually been offering lots – original covers, drawing and naming backers into the comics, sketch covers, “zombie-fying’ backers and, since they’ve gone so fast, and because our current Indiegogo is only a two-week campaign (with only one week left!) and Zombie-Sama! was already offered through Kickstarter, we’re also offering my new original cover artwork for “Archie Vs. Predator #1”!
PS4B: The campaign managed to reach its funding goal, so I was wondering if you had any stretch goals so that backers can continue to support the making of the book.
We’ve got lots of stretch goals planned. Right now we’ve unlocked I think six of them and our Kickstarter backers will receive all the new rewards pledge by our Indiegogo backers as well. We learned after our Kickstarter that there are many who are exclusively backing either on Kickstarter or Indiegogo, and we answered their requests to do both.
It’s worked out tremendously as we’ve already raised almost $30,0000 in just one week on Indiegogo (we raised just over $30,000 in 30 days on Kickstarter). But all that money will go back into the books, to offer more premiums and to help us begin production on Zombie-Sama II: Dorm of the Dead (coming in 2020!).
PS4B: You’re also sneaking in a preview for Shi: Return of the Warrior by offering a special ashcan version as a reward. How is that project coming along? When can we expect to see the new book out in the wild?
I’m so excited to bring back Shi! The preview ashcan is doing well and will have story, character designs and script notes giving everyone an insight into the new Shi: Return of the Warrior Pt. I. We launch our crowdfunding for that 48-page book in June. We’d like to get it launched earlier, but this is a learning process, and
we didn’t realize how long it takes to print our Zombie-Sama! Hardcovers (about 6-8 weeks and overseas so it’s affordable), but June is a good month.
After Shi: Return of the Warrior, we’ll be offering a very special campaign come September, for Shi: The Way of the Warrior #1 Artist’s Proof 11” X 17” Hardcover Edition. It will have color scans of the original b/w comic pages (printed actual size!) and the original painted interior pages. A real special package that no one’s ever seen before. It’ll be paired with a huge 500-page Shi: WOTW, TOMOE, REKISHI 25 TH Anniversary “omnibus” edition collecting (for the very first time) the first three years of Shi.
PS4B: And that’s all the time we have for today. Once again, thank you for taking the time to do this interview. Is there something else you’d like to add before we go?
I just want to thank you for your time and to please ask everyone to support your indie creators! We’re producing the very best books out there, and that with crowdfunding now is the true “golden age” of self-publishing. I’d also like to invite everyone to come and visit our Youtube channel, “Crowdfunding Comics,” where we’re interviewing the biggest names in comics about Kickstarter, Indiegogo, and how you too can make your own dreams of creating comics come true!
I also have a Youtube channel of my own if you want to check that out.
And you can visit my website to check out all sorts of exclusives!