Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Crystal Fractals Q&A: Derrek Lennox on 'Redorik' Indiegogo campaign

CFC Publisher Derrek Lennox

Since 2007, Crystal Fractal Comics Publisher/Founder Derrek Lennox has worked to make his childhood dream of publishing comics a reality. It's not been easy, but no passion-driven quest ever is. The company recently launched its own crowdfunding campaign through Indiegogo in hopes of finishing off one of Derrek's more personal creations, Redorik. Derrek and I sat down recently for a short Q&A on Redorik, the creation of the title's main character, the Indiegogo campaign and collaborating with the incomparable Howard Wong on the plot.

Andrew Ardizzi: Redorik is one of the three solo titles Crystal Fractal Comics has launched that ties into The Crossing books, but it differs in that it features a new character. What can you tell readers about Justin Henderson/Redorik and his significance to the Crystal Fractal Universe(CFU)?

Derrek Lennox: I can’t tell you much about his significance – that would be a spoiler – but I can let on that there is each a direct and indirect connection to the other Crossing books. However, it does stand on its own without having to know much about the rest of the universe. Knowing more just adds to the storytelling. It's a lot like being an adult and taking your kids to watch a Pixar film; there is a lot there for the children, and even more layered on top for the adults.

AA: What inspired the creation of the character?

DL: The roots of this character were developed years ago when I was in high school and felt disconnected. I discovered that many people felt this way. So I wanted to develop a story and a character that could explain how the quest for connectivity – or a sense of belonging if you will – could be influenced to generate a slightly different response. That, and I wanted a dark-ish character that focused on someone in high school with a dual identity.
The original "Redorik" logo, featuring red where the current series logo is purple.

AA: You developed the character, but you and series writer Howard Wong worked together on crafting the plot. What was it like working with Howard on Redorik?

DL: Howard is excellent to work with. His skill and ability to effectively write and develop characters are well refined. He took the few lines I had on the concept and overall story – the few key points that had to happen and the basis of the relationships amongst the characters – and developed a full plot and script that added depth to all of the characters introduced along the way.  

AA: Looking back on the first issue, what are your thoughts on it in retrospect?

DL: I still enjoy it. I still look forward to seeing the rest completed. The introduction and creation of Caregiver – who was jointly developed during the story bible refinement period by another writer (John Kennedy) – was so well captured between Pedro Maia’s art and Howard’s writing that I still can visualize it clearly. 

AA: Independent comics are a tough business, but recently crowdfunding has become a huge phenomenon in the industry. What are your thoughts on indie comics as a business and what are essentially fan-driven projects?

DL: It is a tough market. With several of the smaller distributors that used to support indie books shutting down over the last few years, between the lack of a consistent process to access the market through digital books and the shift in government grants from supporting start-ups to supporting only established publishers, crowdfunding has become one of the few mechanisms to get a project funded and completed.

AA: Crystal Fractal Comics recently started its own crowdfunding campaign through Indiegogo, the objective being to finish the first four-part arc of Redorik as a 96-page trade. What are you hoping to achieve through the campaign, short-term and long-term?

DL: We’re hoping to find support from fans who want to see the book finished and the story told! We would also like to develop longer-term fans and ongoing support for the books and characters.

Original "Redorik" character designs of Justin Henderson
AA: Why choose Redorik for the campaign? Crystal Fractal Comics has three other ongoings, one of which has a second issue. What's so special about this story that you want to see it completed?

DL: We made the choice to go with Redorik for two main reasons: First it can stand on its own without knowing the rest of the CFU, and secondly because it was slightly outside the rest of the CFU and had to be put on the backburner while we focused on Doctor Twilight, Entropy and The Crossing – which all directly relate.

AA: Do you have any final thoughts for fans of the books?

DL: We hope you enjoy this project! From the initial concept decades ago, to the concepts with input from John Kennedy, to the final plot and script from Howard Wong – and a fantastic interpretation from the art team – I think that the project will be worth the wait!

If you'd like to contribute to the "Origins of Redorik" trade campaign, please visit the campaign's Indiegogo page and have a look at the available perks.

Stay tuned this week for another Q&A with Howard Wong, the mastermind behind After the Cape and writer of Redorik! 

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