We are so delighted today to be joined by artist and filmmaker; Ian Cinco. Ian has launched a Kickstarter for his sci-fi series Neon Spring and has dropped by to chat with us about it.
Hi Ian, it’s so wonderful to have you here with us. As some of our readers may not be familiar with your work, could you please tell us a bit about yourself?
Sure! I’m an artist and a filmmaker, returning to my roots in comics. When I was a kid I was obsessed with comics. I worked a number of different jobs and sold candy and art in school so I could buy comics every week. I was so obsessed that the owner of my local comic store hired me to work in the shop. I even made some comics. By the time I got to college I became more obsessed with training as an artist and making movies. After college I was only obsessed with movies and cinema. I spent years working construction and writing movie scripts and slowly transitioned into full-time video work. I made a lot of music videos. Somewhere along the line I got back into making art for art’s sake and one day I walked into a comic store and slowly started reading and collecting comics again. So now I’m an artist and a filmmaker who wants to bring stories to life through live action, animation and comics.
You are currently running a campaign on Kickstarter for your Neon Spring comic; what can you tell us about Neon Spring?
Neon spring is a sci-fi cyberpunk series. It “springs” from this idea I had of a driverless car that lobotomizes people, but I think what will set it apart is my goal to explore the nuances of nature and technology merging and evolving. It might end up being a pastiche of the things I like, much like Stranger Things is a mix of Alien, Akira and the Goonies (among other things). There’s no beating the Matrix or Akira. My goal with the series is to not necessarily create bigger set pieces and top these classics, but to create stranger and more nuanced mind bending experiences. Although I do have some pretty great action sequences planned.
Can you tell us about the origins of Neon Spring?
In all honesty I was high on a dock with two of my friends and we were joking about LA traffic being terrible. Somehow I ended up on a diatribe about this driverless car that lobotomizes people, but as I was joking many of the images you see in issue zero were flashing through my mind. I became obsessed with it. So obsessed that five years later I finally made it happen.
You are the creator, writer, and artist on Neon Spring; what do you enjoy being more a writer or artist?
That’s like asking someone to pick a favorite child. They both have their sublime moments and they can both drive you insane. I think I’m more tortured while I’m writing, but I can write ideas way quicker than I can draw them, so in a way writing for me is more useful in terms of getting the bigger picture down. The visceral quality of art is undeniable. The need for a visual image will always seduce me back into drawing and painting and I’ve worked too hard and too long at it to give up. Sorry. I’m dodging this question. I find them both to be incredibly useful and gratifying and torturous at the same time.
How long did it take you to create the art for issue zero of Neon Spring?
I didn’t really start focusing on it till February 2020, but it wasn’t like I was working on it every day 9 to 5 for two years. I did a lot of other things in between.
Who are the Skull Squad?
The Skull Squad are a group of mercenaries who’ve been hired to escort the car with a super intelligent A.I. named Mother around. They have to ensure their targets get into the car so Mother can do what it’s designed to do. Perhaps most importantly, they cannot let Mother get out of the car. That’s all I’ll say for now.
What can you tell us about Zuzu?
Zuzu is more or less a terminator, with more personality. She’s like the Astro Boy of this universe in the sense that she’s a world renowned marvel of biomechanics. She’s been missing for a year. When we’re introduced to her she’s remerging for the first time since going missing. Again that’s all I’ll say for now.
When you are writing the comic, do you write a full script?
I did write a full script. I wrote the first draft back in 2016. I wrote most of it on an airplane ride from New York to LA and finished it from Denver back to New York, but then I didn’t come back to it until 2020. As I mentioned I was obsessed with filmmaking and went through a phase where I read screenplays obsessively. One night back in 2019 I was lucky enough to meet Ian Bertram, the incredible artist behind Little Bird. He gave me a copy of the Little Bird trade paperback. After I read it, I noticed they had pages from the script, written by Darcy Van Poelgeest, in the back. I was very happy to see the format was similar to a screenplay. I’m very comfortable writing that way. It was difficult to incorporate the panel structure into the format at first, but once I got the hang of it I was flowing. I did a lot of editing and rewriting before I set pen to page. On that note, I want to shout out my friend and editor Michael Grossman, co-creator and writer of a comic called GOOFY FROOT. He helped me through the process.
You have a variant cover by Alexis Ziritt; how did that come about?
Short answer is I asked him. A better answer is, he designed a T-shirt for a store I hang out at called Vinyl Fantasy. The fact that they’re my homies might have had something to do with why he said yes, but I don’t know. I did wait to ask him when I had all the pages Inked. I sent him an unlettered, inked version of the comic which I think was pretty cool to look at. I also made sure to let him know I’ve been a huge fan of his, ever since I saw Space Riders popping off the shelves of every comic store I went into. I went into a lot of shops back in 2017 when I was shopping my art book Erratica around. He was everywhere.
As you are crowdfunding the comic and dealing directly with consumers, does that make the project more special for you?
Oh my God yes. The more I get into making art and selling art, the more I fall in love with all of it. I enjoy interacting with people and especially people who really love what I’m doing. In general this project is just incredibly special to me. So yes! Big YES!
Do you have a favourite Kickstarter reward?
I think my favorite Kickstarter reward is the Erratica bundle. It gets you both my cover and Ziritt’s variant cover along with my 556 page art book Erratica with a custom drawing inside. I am about to add another reward or two after I announce some new variant covers. So whatever version of the Erratica bundle that includes the new variant covers will be my favorite reward. At the very least I highly recommend the reward that includes my cover and Ziritt’s variant.
Any message for the ComicBuzz readers?
Stay tuned, stay inspired and stay level. Don’t fall victim to the divisive memes and media that are widening all the social riffs in the world. I’m of the belief that despite the terrifying events of the last two years, the majority of us actually have shared values and we don’t need to tear eachother down. I don’t want to get too fluffy with it. We don’t all have to come together and sing kumbaya, but we also don’t have to believe the hype and the divisive bulls**t. Most people just want to live happy fulfilled lives with their loved ones and I do hope that people keep that in mind while they read this comic. This issue might seem like I’m on the extreme end of a liberal spectrum, but I assure you I intend to poke fun at all sides while taking you on a soulful journey and a wild roller coaster ride. So yeah! Stay tuned, stay inspired, stay level and be good to each other. And thanks for having me. Read Neon Spring!!!
Feel free to check out the Kickstarter campaign: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/neongiant/neon-giant-issue-zero-this-car-neutralizes-douchebags.
We would like to say a big thank you to Ian for taking the time to chat with us. We wish him the best of luck with his campaign.