Last week saw the debut of JC De La Torre and Ray Dillon’s Star Mage from IDW. We caught up with JC for a MIGHTY Q&A about his influences, the Kickstarter process and merging a classic war-in-space tale with magic to give us an identifiable teenage hero!

Clay N. Ferno: Thanks for joining us, JC! Care to tell us how you got from Kickstarter to IDW with Star Mage? It seems like the response so far is spectacular!

JC De La Torre: Thanks so much for having me. It was such an interesting process to get to where we are now. The story of Star Mage actually started out as a novella that I was dissatisfied with. It just didn’t feel like it was coming together as I hoped. I happened to be reading an IDW Doctor Who comic and that dim light bulb of mine had a momentary flicker and I realized that Darien’s story belonged in a visual medium — what better place than with comics?

I started doing research and whatnot. I knew I wanted high quality artwork and I can barely manage stick figures — so I needed to hire an artist. I went through several potentials before realizing that if I truly want the best art, I needed to pay for a pro. I found Ray Dillon and he was exactly what I was looking for. I paid for the first issue out of my own pocket but to continue the series we were going to need some help, so we turned to Kickstarter. If our Kickstarter failed, Star Mage would have been DOA. It was thanks to those supporters, my defenders of the realm as I like to call them, we kept the lights on and allowed us to continue to develop the series.

IDW knew of the project thanks to Ray, who had previously done work with them and got some of the artwork of Issue #1 in front of Chris Ryall of IDW. There were a ton of starts and stops in the first year and a half developing Issue #1. There were days where it truly seemed like we’d never finish — but IDW stood by us through and through. When we finished Issue #1 and realized due to his demanding schedule Ray wouldn’t be able to finish the series, they trusted me to find another artist of the same caliber. Franco Cespedes took over and once we got our first three issues in the can, the IDW machine began churning.

Response to Issue #1 has been overwhelming. We’re very close to a sell-out of our initial run and we just had a signing at Heroes’ Haven Comics in Tampa where the line was out the door, the store sold out of their copies and we actually had to dip into our convention stock to be able to support the masses. The reviews have been mostly positive so it appears to really be well liked.

It’s very exciting.


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