DFTG Author Feature – Interview with the Comic Creators from King Bone Press at C2E2
King Bone Press is an independent comic book publisher that focuses on genre styles and creative visions that aren’t seen much in the mainstream comic industry. Their published works include lengthy high-quality print anthologies all the way down to small hand-printed mini-comics. I recently spoke with some of the comic creators from King Bone Press (Ray Wegner, Jon Westhoff and Harry Moyer) at C2E2, the Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo, to learn more about some of their comics. If you’re for you looking for a different kind of comic experience, you need to check out this team!
You can check out our chat in the video below. In case you’re in a place where video watchin’ isn’t the best idea, we’ve also got the full transcript of the awesome convo as well. Enjoy!
Cory: Let’s start with Kingdom of Skulls. Can you guys tell me about that one?
Ray Wegner: Well, Kingdom of Skulls is my book. It’s about a legacy character, The Skull King. The mantle of the king has been passed down through many generations and it’s basically this story of how it’s gotten passed down and the different things that have gone on in there, in-between. It’s 36 pages, it’s three different stories. A lot of different history on the kingdom. It’s basically a 36 pages black and white, it’s got some cool pinups of mine, and some friends of mine in there too.
Cory: Yeah, I opened it up and I like the black and white art style. It definitely feels reminiscent of like Neil Gaiman and classic dark 90s comics and I love that aesthetic so much. It totally fits. So, do all the people have skulls or is it like….
Ray: The Skull is actually, it’s a crown. It’s like a helmet. They’re actual people, but it’s like something that people would put on top of their heads.
Cory: Got it. So, is Ken Bone allowed in that kingdom or not? I don’t know if you remember him from the election?
Ray: No, he’s out.
Cory: Okay, yeah, I don’t blame you. That dude’s style is a little out of whack. So, is this the one that I heard you had music made for?
Ray: Yeah, if you go on SoundCloud and search Kingdom of Skulls, the soundtrack for it. It was a stretch goal for the Kickstarter I ran. But if you search on SoundCloud for Kingdom of Skulls, the soundtrack is free to listen to and download on there also.
Cory: Nice. So you guys made that music with the intention of having people like listening to it while they’re reading?
Ray: Yeah, the music might actually go a little bit longer than (the comic) does.
Cory: Yeah, if you’re a slow reader like me who has the read every word out loud and mouth it. I know how that goes.
Ray: The song titles are going to be based on what’s happening throughout the book and it’s in order. Hypothetically, you should be able to listen to it while you’re reading it and it gives you kind of a background.
Cory. I think that’s really interesting because it’ll definitely help the reader get more invested in that world and feel more immersed in it.
Ray: I’ve known some other people that do it. A friend of ours did it too for his book on Kickstarter. I just thought it’d be a really cool extra thing to do, especially for the people that backed the Kickstarter. And hopefully some promotion too, to get the name out there.
Jon Westhoff: Ray did a really good job there. With the Kickstarter and crowdfunding, you want to give people something extra for supporting you and getting your book out there. What was really important for him was trying to find something that wasn’t going to increase shipping costs by a hundred dollars. But something of value that makes you want to go back and read the book. If it comes up while you’re listening in the car, it’ll remind you of the book and keeps it on your mind. It gives you a little something to take away.
Cory: Yeah, and it totally gets your other senses involved. Do you recommend any good smells or tastes?
Ray: Beer. Lots of beer.
Cory: Nice. Any specific brew?
Ray: IPAs. Something really hoppy goes good with some Kingdom of Skulls.
Cory: Any smells like brimstone or molten metal?
Ray: Yeah probably. Some nice molten metal. Anything that smells like evil or death. Cemetery smells.
Cory: Nice. Yeah, whatever gets you dead. So, what about some of the other stories you have here?
Ray: Jon here can tell you about Bulletproof Chicken.
Jon Westhoff: So, one of the books that King Bone Press started out with, Bobgar Ornelas and I, we teamed up together about eight years ago, and we were actually here at C2E2, we went to Harold’s Chicken Shack, where they have bulletproof glass, bulletproof chicken. And I said “We’re making it into a comic.” Clearly, it was from that meal, that day. So we made Bulletproof Chicken. It’s exactly what you think it is. You know, it’s an over-the-top 80s action movie with a chicken who can’t be hurt and can’t be killed. So, it’s a pretty easy sell. What started as a joke was actually our most successful Kickstarter at the time, and our most successful to date. So, people really loved it. It’s an easy and cool thing for people to come up to us at the table and say they loved it. It actually has two issues.
Cory: Nice. I read some of the synopses of the story. What’s the name of the gang that he fights?
Jon: The Fuster Clucks. *laughs*
Cory: *laughs* I love that name. That is so perfect. So, does it have any other chicken puns?
Jon: It has a few. I try not to push it too much because it gets a little much.
Cory: Yeah, it takes you too much out of the story.
Jon: The second one is actually a sequel and two prequels in one issue, and some other stuff. So if we were going to go all over-the-top, we’re going to do a bunch of different eras he was in and all kinds of crazy stuff. We had a lot of fun with the second one. Tons of great artists worked with us on it, so it was a lot of fun.
Cory: So, what about some of these other stories that you have here?
Jon: Well, I write a lot of the stories for us. I’m one of the co-publishers. We have Harry Moyer here with us. We at King Bone Press try to bring in other people. We had Bob, and we have kind of the same style, so we bring in people like Ray and Harry. Harry has his mini-comics here. Very different from what Ray and I were describing. Saltlick is an anthology series. Fell Beasts is actually a fold open comic. He can kind of show you.
Harry Moyer: So, basically the story literally unfolds. It goes from just this quarter size to *unfolds rest of comic*
Cory: That’s cool! So, the story progresses as the way you’re intended to unfold it. That’s pretty sweet.
Harry: And it goes across all four issues. It’s a bit of a mystery.
Cory: That’s really clever. It’s got kind of a nice short story kind of feel to it for comics, which you don’t see terribly often. These look really great for gifts and stuff like that. So, where can people find you on social media?
Jon: We’re King Bone Press on everything. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram. [email protected] if you want to send us a message if you see our books. We have free stuff on our website KingBonePress.com, so we do offer that as well. Comics are expensive, so we have free offerings there. They have downloads, links to webcomics we’ve done. We’ve been doing this for eight years, and we’re happy to be back at C2E2. It is our first time in three years.
Cory: Awesome, dude. Well, it’s been a pleasure talking to you guys, and I’ll be checking out more King Bone Press stuff out in the future.
Jon: Thank you so much!
Please check out the comics by King Bone Press and be sure to stay tuned for the latest comic news, such as the new comic series Oblivion Song by the creator of The Walking Dead, here on Don’t Feed the Gamers! Follow us on Twitter to see our interview and news stories the minute they go live!
Cory Lara2137 Posts
A royally radical and totally tubular 90s kid, Cory has a passion for all things nerdy, particularly gaming and nostalgia. While an accountant by day, he strives to be as creative and humorous as possible in his free time, be it here writing on Don't Feed the Gamers, or making dumb satirical posts on his Twitter, Youtube, Facebook and Instagram accounts.