At Baltimore Comic-Con, we caught up with several local comics creators (Jordan Clark, Parker Hicks, Kofi Jamal Simmons, and Monica Gallagher. Together, they’ve filled us in on “Bmore Into Comics,” a Baltimore-based alliance of comics creators which works together to promote the industry. They talk about their network and also their own specific projects.
PCU: What is Bmore Into Comics?
Jordan Clark: “Bmore Into Comics is comic creators here in Baltimore. Basically, we don’t really get out much. We’re stuck doing our creations a lot of the time, working on our books, self-publishing our books. So it’s nice to get out, meet each other, share resources, kind of just talk about what we’re working on. Twice a month, we meet at The Windup Space in Baltimore. We do a drink-and-draw where we get some drinks, we talk about projects, people bring what they’re working on, we kind of draw and basically shoot the shit.”
PCU: Is this something where the public can come too?
Clark: Anybody’s welcome to. Anyone’s welcome to that, and then we have our Bmore Into Comics, basically mini-cons, similarly at the Wind-Up Space, and those are free. All ages, anybody can come. We encourage a lot of people to come out, just because if you’re interested in making comics, we do a lot of panels that talk about that, panels that talk about the business side of things. We do encourage a lot of people to come out. The goal of the group is to basically get people interested in comics if you’re not really familiar with the medium and give people who want to make comics, give them the resources and tools to make them themselves.
PCU: What’s your social media presence?
Parker Hicks: Bmore Into Comics is available online. We’ve got a page on Facebook, a Twitter page, and then a bunch of the creators have a presence too. Monica Gallagher and Kata Kane, find them on Twitter. Kata is at Alter Girl, and I think Monica is at Lipstick Press.
Clark: I’m on Twitter at JRSosa18 and then I have a website, JClarkComics.squarespace.com.
PCU: Let’s talk about you, Jordan Clark specifically. I see you’ve got some books out here today. What are you selling?
I’ve got two books. I’ve got a book, Duality. It’s basically about the merging of the physical world and the digital world.
PCU: I read a lot of it last night and it had kind of a Twilight Zone feel going to it.
Clark: I wanted to give each one a Twilight Zone kind of twist to it. I think a lot about just the internet and technology and how that’s kind of influencing and changing the world and how we interact with each other. There’s a lot of things that you see online that you’re like, “I’m sure that person would never say that in real life. I’m sure that person would never do that in real life.”
PCU: I read your one dark story about that dude who posts something online and gets a girl to kill herself, and his social media comes back to bite him in the ass in a very creepy way.
Clark: Yeah. It’s just like, I did a lot of research, and…some weird stuff in the world. (Laughs) Yeah. So each story is with a different artist, so one of them is local, but all the rest are kind of spread out throughout the country. But each one, I wanted to give a little bit of a twist, but I wanted to leave them slightly open-ended just because I wanted people to think about each of the stories on their own. There’s one about online dating that I did, I wrote the script, I got the pages back, and I was like “I don’t need to write anything for this,” so I took the words out.
PCU: Is that that one about the couple that’s different in real life than they are on the internet?
Clark: Right. So I just kind of wanted to leave some of those stories open-ended so you could think about how these kind of things play into each other.
PCU: And then your other book is Kane Maverick, and I’ve got to say, that’s a neat looking cover, because it looks like it’s beat up, and I realize, no, that looks like a design feature. So you’re going for a pulpy feel?
Clark: Yeah! I wanted to do a lot of the throwback stuff. I really love Doc Savage, I really love Buckaroo Banzai, I really love some of those older pulp heroes. I read a lot of the Dynamite stuff, but a lot of those are primarily set in the ’40s and ’50s and kind of have that feel. So I wanted to figure out a way to bring that to the modern age, but also do a little play on superhero pulp character. So Kane Maverick is basically the greatest man who ever lived. He’s from another dimension. Like all those characters, he’s the best at science and math and he’s a rock star and he’s all this other stuff.
PCU: Now let’s get caught up with Parker Hicks. Tell us about yourself.
Hicks: I’m Parker Hicks, recent immigrant to Baltimore. I’ve been living here almost a year now, absolutely love it. Getting into Bmore Into Comics really got a fire under me for creating again. It’s fantastic, great people. We have a two-fold mission: creators supporting each other, encouraging each other to get out there and self-publish, find work with the big boys.
But then it’s also trying to get comics into places where they’re not normally. We don’t do our shows, we don’t do anymore Bmore Into Comics events in comic book shops. We go to bars, sometimes we go to libraries, we try to reach people who might not think about going to a comics convention. We try to bring a comics convention to them, which is fantastic. Monica Gallagher and Kata Kane sort of started it up. They’re great folks, doing a really great mission.
PCU: What are you peddling for us today?
Hicks: I give away my stories for free at VengefulGhost.com, but I’ve got the limited edition ashcan print editions here. We’ve got Thursday Night, which is a happy ending romance about a surgeon who thinks her military husband is cheating on her. Then we’ve got The Coriolis Effect, which is about a girl who immigrates to a space station and gets in trouble with bullies. They’re both available for free online at VengefulGhost.com, and eventually the print editions will be for sale there too.
PCU: What’s your social media presence? Where can we buy your stuff?
You can find my stuff for free at VengefulGhost.com. I’ll have print and digital editions of available for sale there soon. You can also find us at Facebook.com/VengefulGhost, if you feel like chipping a little bit, making sure Vengeful Ghost can keep going, find us at Patreon.com/VengefulGhost, and pledge to keep us going every week. And then you can follow me personally on Twitter at ParkerDHicks.
PCU: Now we’re getting caught up with Kofi Jamal Simmons. Tell us about yourself.
Simmons: Well, I’m born and raised in Baltimore. I’ve been reading comics, loving comics since I was a little kid. I developed a huge pantheon of superheroes and such, and I finally decided I’m going to start making my own. I started working the con circuit, started putting more and more of my work online, and that leads me here, to Baltimore Comic-Con.
PCU: What are you working on right now?
Right now I’m just working on a Venom piece. But after I go home, I’m going to work on my old comic, Ninja Nerd, about a guy who gets cursed into being a superhero by his cousin who doesn’t want to. He’s going to find out the highs and lows of being a superhero. And that’s going to be on my website, KofiJamal.com. And then just pumping out work. That’s it.
PCU: Lastly, we’re talking with Monica Gallagher, one of the founders of Bmore Into Comics. Tell us about yourself.
Gallagher: I’ve been doing comics for about 15 years now, I think. So I have a lot of webcomics I’ve published through a press, and then I have self-published stuff as well about wacky characters and situations.
PCU: You’re the ringleader of Bmore Into Comics?
Gallagher: Yeah! I started that back in 2013, kind of as a way to get more people exposed to comics who may not pay much money to come to a big show like this. So we hold them in bars in Baltimore specifically to get people who just wander in off the street: “Oh, like, what’s comics?”
PCU: And what comics are you selling for us today?
Gallagher: I guess my latest is a collection of my webcomic, Bonnie N. Collide, Nine to Five. And then my last published one came out last year, Part Time Princesses.
PCU: And what’s your intended audiences for these? Are they all-ages?
Gallagher: I think ten and up. Nothing too “little kids.”
PCU: What’s your web presence?
PCU thanks the Bmore Into Comics creators for chatting with us.