Welcome back to another #GiftIndie Spotlight! Once again I apologize, I was under the effects of a cold and sinus infection last week, so things got a bit set back.
But I am feeling way better, I am ready and roaring to post more blogs and spotlights, and I am very excited to post this blog right here.
JL Aviles is a rising star in Puerto Rican comics. Initially he started posting artwork of his favorite characters and Puerto Rican comic characters, until he released his comic.
This year saw the first issue of his comic Omega, which he wrote/created and gave the art duties to artist Sebastian Guerrero. I got the issue myself, and for a first issue by a first time creator, this was in my opinion a great comic. It's almost scary good. The script almost feels like it was written by a seasoned comics veteran rather than a first self published comic.
It has bold, unique artwork that really adds depth and dimension to to the script, and definitely leaves you wanting more.
Issue number two is arriving soon, with artwork by artist David Madrid Du-Art, with colors by Daniela Dominguez Conquista. I have the honor and pleasure of sharing some insights from JL Aviles who was kind enough to share some of his time with us.
What are you currently working on, or have you launched a crowdfunding campaign recently?
Currently I'm working on expanding the universe of my main character, Omega, including a prequel mini-series that'll start publication next year. There's three comics are on development right now, amongst them is Omega number two, which will be the first to be published in 2022, Omega number zero: La Saga de los Carries is a prequel mini-series that's based before issue one of Omega, and a surprise title that's still on the planning phase.
What made you want to create comics?
When Hurricane Maria happened, we didn't have any media nor way to clear our minds from what was happening. Then I took a notebook and a pen and started writing stories of my favorite super heroes from Marvel and DC. During those days I found a notebook from seventh grade and saw that I had a super hero I had created myself, so I gave it a new origin story and ever since I've been creating my own universe of super heroes. When things went back to normal I went to Aguada Con and met local comic book creators, at that point I didn't know that comics were being made here on the island. That moved me to want to take my own original characters and make physical publications of them.
What advantage would you say making an indie comic have over working on a mainstream comic?
The advantage to me, besides the freedom of telling my stories that I want to tell without any restrictions, create different stories, from a totally unique point of view. Working on a conventional comic you have to be tied to the pressure of respecting the way the character is and that limits the story you want to tell, that's the difference and the advantage to me between indies and the big companies.
What would you say to anyone that’s on the fence about creating an indie IP?
I'd tell them to give the best of themselves, write stories that'd you want to read as comic book readers. It's a fun world to be able to write and find yourself in these original stories of every person, so you're not just creating a comic or a story; you're leaving behind a legacy.
What’s your biggest influence?
My biggest artistic influences are Todd McFarlane, Jim Lee, Greg Capullo, and Ryan Ottley. When it comes to comic book writers it's been Robert Kirkman, Geoff Johns, and Jose Cruz.
What lessons have you learned from creating independently that you wish you had known before you started?
The lesson I learned when creating independent comics that I would've liked to have learned was protecting the characters and stories before showing them to another artist or before publishing.
What do you suggest to indie creators do to make their work stand out on the stands or on virtual stores?
The most important thing in the world of comics is the cover, it's the first thing you see of a comic and if it grabs your attention it's likely that you'll buy the comic without thinking twice. A good title design and cover art will make people interested in the contents of the comic.
Give us your elevator pitch about your project and why it’d make a great gift!
This is the story that came about from the mind a 17-year-old, with the dream of publishing his own comic at some moment. It wasn't an easy path, but with effort, patience, and a good team it was possible. I've become the youngest self-published local comic book creator at only 18. Take a risk and leave a legacy behind that'll last beyond after we leave this world. This is the ideal Christmas present to show people that dreams can come true. Omega is a comic full of action, entertainment, a good light story that's suitable for all ages. After not being able to remember anything from his past Omega must confront a strange creature from another universe, can he save the day?
Once again, thank you so much JL Aviles for being kind enough to taking the time in sharing some of his insights, the comic is currently available in Spanish, so if you know Spanish, knows a comic fan that can read it, or if you or someone you know wants to learn or practice their Spanish, definitely give this book a try, you can check out current news and art and other goodies the JL Art Facebook Page here www.facebook.com/JLArtpr and you can contact JL Aviles there. I'll continue to post more blogs and spotlights in the meantime, thank you all so much for checking these out, I'll catch you all next time!