Kapow! sits down with comic veteran Darren Close to discuss his new book KILLEROO: Semper Fidelis
If readers are new to the world of Killeroo what's it all about?
Killeroo is kind of like Australia's Bigfoot - people are unsure if he's real, or if he's a myth. But the sightings and blurry photos keep surfacing, as well as the country pub stories, so there must be something to it. What can you tell us about KILLEROO: Semper Fidelis
This is the new 48pg full colour comic book on Kickstarter until the end of April. It's very much in the flavour of the original PREDATOR movie, as a team of US Marines is dispatched from Pine Gap to determine what's going on at one of their black sites, after communication went dead. What will they encounter in the deep bushland of Kakadu? How did you end up working with MATTHEW SOALL & IGNACIO DI MEGLIO ? I was fortunate enough to be asked onto Matthew's WEIRD CRAP IN AUSTRALIA podcast to talk about Killeroo, and he then approached me with some story ideas, and an incredible artist in tow named Ignacio. It kind of germinated from there. This is your 2nd or 3rd Kickstarter, do you still worry each time you launch a book? I don't think anyone launches a Kickstarter without being a bundle of nerves beforehand. You can do the best you can to promote it beforehand, but you really don't know what will happen until you press the Launch button. Why keep using Kickstarter to launch your books?
Frankly it's an incredible platform that gives me potential access to comic book fans all across the world. As much as I've tried independently, I've never had that kind of access to getting my books exposed to the world before. As great as it is to have it on store shelves in a dozen Australian comic shops, this is the way forward for self-publishing, particularly through this global pandemic. You were fully funded on the first Day, how did that feel? It was a relief more than anything else, to be honest. I had run an exhaustive pre-launch campaign, to the point where I had worried that I had turned people away before they even had the chance to back it. But it was also more than double my previous campaign targets, so it was also very gratifying to have those efforts prove successful. What other perks can we look forward to when people jump on board? We've already unlocked about a dozen stretch goals, which has seen the book's production quality and page count expanded, plus stickers, prints and a new McFarlane homage variant cover. We're working on some trading cards now, and there's more to come before month's end!
Darren : Killeroo Is your baby, what do you look for in a writing/artist team? There's usually a bit of a debrief - a lot of what Killeroo is, is only inside my head, so patience is required from a creative team to start with! Despite the title, there's a lot more to the character than just a killing machine, so it's important to get that across in the story. As for the artist it's a similar process - kangaroos are not easy to draw, without practice and study, the results can look more like a dog or a wolf - the ears are the key. When you can draw them right, a lot of the rest comes easy. What's the future for Killeroo? The next project is a YA book, featuring the character's younger years as he grew up at a remote Aboriginal community, and his adventures in the outback with his adopted brothers and sisters. This book is almost completed, and features the work of Dean Rankine, Lauren Marshall and Andy Isaac, among others.
I'm already in talks with Matthew and Ignacio for a potential sequel to SEMPER FIDELIS, once we've finished this one. I still have the last issue of GANGWARS to draw myself, which I have been making slow progress on. And lastly, I've started working with Ryan Vella on another Killeroo story, set 30 years into the future.
Plenty to keep me busy for a good long while. What other projects have you both got in the works? There's even more Killeroo stories in production, with some crossovers with characters from the 1980s era of Australian comics, alongside some legendary creators. But I can't say any more than that for now. ;)
To check out the Kickstarter visit KILLEROO: Semper Fidelis