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Keith Gleason Talks Superhero Punch Ups
Earlier this week I caught up with Comic Book creator Keith Gleason. We talked about his transitioning from a Cartoonist to Writing and Lettering, his Alterna Comics Book ‘Mighty Mascots’ and Youtube.
Thank you for taking the time to chat with me this week. Please tell the readers a bit about yourself and the work you do.
Keith Gleason: My name is Keith Gleason and I’m an Indie creator that has been making comic books since 2005. I’m a cartoonist by nature but primarily these days I’m more of a writer and letterer. I have a book with Alterna comics called “Mighty Mascots” that is going strong and I also recently started a You Tube channel called “Indie Comics Relay” where I celebrate Indie Comics with reviews and creator interviews. Also, in a Pandemic free world I am the promoter for a medium sized comic book convention in Massachusetts called “Plastic City Comic Con”.
I really like the concept behind your Comic Book. Tell me a bit about the inspiration behind Mighty Mascots.
Keith Gleason: Mighty Mascots was inspired by my love of wacky Saturday morning cartoons and from super hero comics of the 70’s and 80’s. I wanted to make a fun super hero comic that was all ages but didn’t talk down to kids, something that had the tone of the great Batman the Animated Series. for those not in the know, the Mighty Mascots is about a group of cereal mascots who were brought to life by a 3D printing accident and are now a force for justice on the streets of Bottle-Jack City.
Where did writing start for you and what is your origin story?
Keith Gleason: I always did a bit of writing in high school and college and I used to write all my gags for the comic strip I used to draw called “Swamp Tales”. I ended up partnering with a bunch of my friends in the early 2000’s to do a web series called “Hero Envy” where I was basically writing comedy scripts with a couple of other writers. Once that ended, I started to move more into writing for comic books which brings us up to current day.
Mighty Mascots is clearly influenced by superhero teams and 80s-90s cereal advertising but where does the overall comic book genre sit for you? What are your go to’s?
Keith Gleason: Even though it is exactly how you described it, I would say Mighty Mascots is primarily a fun super hero punch’em up. I often compare it to something like TMNT where you have this completely absurd concept but the creators made a point to still tell great stories and keep it action packed. That’s the kind of book I’m serving up!
What are your biggest obstacles when it comes to your work? How do you overcome them?
Keith Gleason: With me, I think the challenge is coming up with exciting villains and story-arcs! Even though I’m writing characters that are essentially living advertisements, I’m still treating them like real flesh and blood characters that have character arcs and colorful pasts, etc. Also sometimes just sitting down and doing the work can be hard and challenging but I make sure to set up weekly tasks for myself and I try to keep to them as best as I can.
How did you go about finding the right artist to work on this project?
Keith Gleason: The answer for this one is kind of boring. I found both my artist (Ian Waryanto) and colorist (Anton Bandi) on a Facebook group dedicated to comic book art. I put out a post that I was looking for an artist and these guys ended up being my favourite of all the submissions.
Many of us creators work on projects outside of our 9-5 jobs. Do you have any advice for balancing careers with passion projects/side hustles?
Keith Gleason: I still have my 9-5 job so I definitely know how hard it is to balance work and your passion projects. My only advice is to carve some time out to do the work. either a couple hours a week after work or on the weekends. Set up goals and timelines for yourself and stick to them. It’s like anything else in life if you want to succeed you have to do the work.
Do you have any upcoming events/projects/releases you would like to discuss?
Keith Gleason: I’m currently working on Mighty Mascots issues 4, 5 and 6 back-to-back. I’m working hard to at least produce three or four issues a year. They should start to trickle out in early 2021. I have a few ideas for comics that I would like to do down the road but the Mascots is taking up most of my time right now along with my You Tube Channel and my upcoming convention in 2021 which looks like we may have to cancel again if a vaccine doesn’t surface in early 2021.
Thank you for taking the time to do this! Where can readers find you and your work?
Thank you for the interview! The best places to find me is on Twitter @RecklesGleason. Also, my website RecklessSidekick.com or Alterna’s Website. If that is not enough, people and creators can hit me up on my Youtube Channel which is youtube.com/IndieComicsRelay.