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Paul J Salamoff Kickstarts Tales of Discord

In Paul J. Salamoff’s graphic novel Discord we witnessed a group of superheroes called Team War Hammer die and become reborn as Discord, an amalgam of the team’s powers, and body parts, as well as the parts of their arch-nemesis Sinew.  Now Salamoff and Team War Hammer are back with Tales of Discord, a series of prequel comics giving readers a closer look at the members of Team War Hammer.  To fund this project, Salamoff has started a Kickstarter campaign.

I recently interviewed Salamoff by e-mail, discussing the past, and future, of Discord, and why he chose to do his next project independently.


Discord was your self-published graphic novel about a team of superheroes that get killed and reformed as one man.  The story ended with Discord still somewhat coming to terms with his new identity.  What was it about this story that made you decide the next installment should be a prequel rather than a sequel?

I had already conceived the idea for the actual sequel to DISCORD but I didn’t want to rush the script and I wanted to make sure Giuseppe had plenty of time to draw it. Now this could take up to a year (or more), so I obviously wanted to keep DISCORD on the tip of everyone’s mind and I was getting a lot of input from fans that they liked the members of TEAM WAR HAMMER and were disappointed that they only got to spend about 15 pages with them.
So it seemed like a win-win scenario to do a series of one-shot comics (that would be collected as a graphic novel) on the teammates that not only gave you insight into their past but also allowed me to set up valuable information that will then pay off in the sequel to DISCORD. I got Giuseppe’s permission to use different artists for each one, but he would draw bookend pages that take place in the present, so stylistically there’s consistency in the epic tale.
What can fans returning to the world of Discord expect to find in this new series?
Fans will be surprised at some of the stories I’m going to tell. These are not your typical origin tales, these are character dramas. As I like to do with all my writing, I like to turn things on their ears and approach material a little left of mainstream.
Also one of the issues will focus on SINEW, the creature they’re fighting at the beginning of DISCORD who ultimately becomes part of the character’s newly assembled body. That one is going to be off the hook because it will mostly deal with an alien species and their civilization.
Right now Before Watchmen has gotten a lot of press, telling individual tales of the Watchmen characters before Moore’s seminal work, but those stories are self-contained and done by different creative teams.  Is your new series similar to that in concept, with each tale being self-contained, or will the five issues form a larger arc?
I honestly was unaware of what they were doing with WATCHMEN when I conceived this, so yes it is very similar. TALES OF DISCORD are contained stories but all the info within them combined adds up to the events that will take place in the sequel to DISCORD.
 You are a published comic author with books like Logan’s Run and Black Scorpion for Bluewater Productions under your belt, and Discord was published by AAM/Markosia, so why did you decide to do Tales of Discord as an independent Kickstarter project?
DISCORD was a creator-owned project with AAM/Markosia, so TALES is one as well which means that I have to deliver a finished book before it’s published. Because I’m primarily using different artists for the new series, I felt it was bad form to expect them to work on a back-end deal on an already established property when Giuseppe and I had the most to gain.
The 11K that is being raised goes solely to those artists and my amazing letterer Leah Novak, so they are covered no matter what. If I (knock on wood) raise more than 11K the extra money will cover the printing & shipping costs and after that I can actually get paid for writing it. I’m also planning a number of awesome Stretch Rewards to take care of all the Backers who believe in this project as much as I do.
I don’t see this as a money-making venture, it’s more important to me to keep DISCORD alive and expand the story. It’s my favorite thing I’ve ever written and there are a great number of stories to tell.
Can you discuss the benefits and drawbacks to doing this independently?
The only true benefit is having autonomy and being able to really tell the stories you want to tell. You also have a much bigger ownership of the material. The drawbacks are many because you are responsible for getting an entire graphic novel done with no money and no guarantee of any substantial pay let alone profit.
But I believe in this property and the fan base has been steadily growing. You can’t do everything in your career just for the money, sometimes it’s about artistic integrity and the desire to have your voice heard undiluted.
For those unfamiliar with Kickstarter, can you explain how it works and what incentives you offer to those who support the project?
I am new to Kickstarter myself. How I understand it is that you have a property that you want to fund, but you’re not really asking for hand outs, you’re asking people to have faith in you that with their support you are going to deliver what you’ve promised.
You set a monetary goal that in theory will cover all your costs plus the costs associated with the incentives you’re offering and a time period to do that in.
If you are successful (TALES OF DISCORD is 11K in 30days) then you received all the money collected minus so fees, if you don’t reach your goal in that time it’s a failure and nobody’s credit card gets charged and you get nada.
My incentive tiers range for $2 (which gets you a .pdf of the first issue) to $1,000 which gets you a whole mess of cool things including having a character with your name and likeness in one of the 3 remaining issues.
Kickstarter seems popular for a lot of comic projects, some of which succeed and others that don’t.  How are you working to set Tales of Discord apart in that environment?
I am trying to present my material in the best and most professional light possible. With the use of my video I’m letting the potential Backers see how passionate I am about DISCORD and about comics and sci-fi in general.
I’m also giving a lot of instant prizes such as .pdf’s of my past comics that they get automatically regardless of whether the campaign is a success or not.
I’m also getting help from some of my “celebrity” friends who believe in me and DISCORD. They’re recording Video endorsements for me.
For comic creators, or aspiring comic creators, looking at Kickstarter to fund their projects, what advice would you give?
I’ll let you know that once this is a success. I ‘d hate to give advice on a failed campaign 🙂
Your goal in the Kickstarter program is $11,000.  What are some of the expenses that must be covered in self-publishing a comic?
Artist, Letter, printing and shipping and writer, of course 🙂
What is the release schedule for Tales of Discord?
TALES OF DISCORD: IRIDIAN is tentatively scheduled for July and TALES OF DISCORD: SOLARIS & MOONSHADOW more towards the end of the year. The entire collected graphic novel is currently planned for July 2013.
What are your plans following Tales of Discord?
The sequel to DISCORD is next up and boy that’s going to knock people’s socks off. You have no idea what I’ve got coming!!!

You can pledge to back Tales of Discord at Kickstarter

Read my review of Discord

June 18, 2012 - Posted by | Comic Books | , ,

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