I didn’t give the artists any particular themes to work with. I told them what the project was and what games I was thinking of in terms of inspiration for world and character building, and everyone went and did their own thing. I wanted to have as diverse a collection of characters as possible.
The artists have all been really helpful with making suggestions to create a better book. One of the contributors suggested building a template with a horizon line so that all the pieces would match up. That definitely saved a lot of heartache down the road! I also asked the artists to include the name of their fighter and to send me a backstory on their character for the zine.
I understand that the zine will run for three volumes—will we be seeing some characters return, or were you looking for all-new characters for each installment?
Hmm, I actually never thought about having characters return. My initial idea was to have new characters every volume, but I have had some artists express interest in being able to do the next volume as well! The project was originally supposed to have new fighters each volume and all new artists. But who knows, maybe we’ll have some fighters return in their ‘ultimate form’!
Judging from your past projects, it seems you’ve been in the zine/independent publishing business for a while now—do you have any advice for artists looking to take a similar route?
I’ve been printing my own comics and projects since 2013 or so. Everything I learned was through asking others and just trial and error. My best advice is to reach out to others who can provide you with their personal knowledge and information. Lots of artists will have recommendations for printers for different projects. I’ve also found it helpful to take apart small books to understand how formatting works. You can learn so much by doing a small book project by yourself with a photocopier.