Travis Gibb is a indie comic book writer and creator who specializes in crime noir
stories. He has had four successful Kickstarters so far, and doesnt appear to be
slowing down anytime soon. His latest project, Broke Down & 4 Dead Bodies #2 funded
very quickly on Kickstarter, and is now up for a Spacey Award (A award recognizing
ton talented creators on the Florida Space Coast).
Travis agreed to an interview with Nerd Bastards to share his experiences as a self
published indie comics creator, his advice for Kickstarting a project, and his current and
Nerd Bastards (NB): Thank you for taking the time to talk with us Travis. You’ve
had a very busy year so far; Successful Kickstarters, new projects, cons, and a
new addition to the family? How do you juggle all that?
Travis Gibb (TB): The simple answer is I DON’T. I haven’t found the right balance
since the birth of my son. However, I have a great support group with friends and more
importantly my wife. I just chip away at everything and try to hit deadlines.The Worst
part is it cuts into new projects and ideas more than everything else.
NB: Broke Down & 4 Dead Bodies #2 was just successfully Kickstarted. Can you
give us a brief summary about this gritty crime noir?
TG: After years of being on the bottom, Randy and Denver are finally on their way to
being “Made Men”. Someone had other plans and now a simple drop has them broke
down on the side of the road with four dead bodies. GUNS, VIOLENCE AND F-
WORD’S a plenty!
NB: Randy and Denver’s dialogue, or to be more accurate, arguments, are so
natural in this series. It gives your characters a very rich and believable quality.
Are Randy and Denver based on people you know in real life? If not, where did
you get the inspiration for them?
TG: I feel as a writer that my dialogue is my strength. I have a natural love of people
and I listen to them talk and how people deal with life. Randy however is based of my
friend Stephen from college. He could turn on and off his anger at the drop of a hat and
you could never tell if it was true anger or him just messing around. Denver is my own
creation and his voice for me is a cross between The Community's Donald Glover and
(rapper) Ice Cube.
NB: That makes a lot of sense for Denver. Can you share any plans for the next
installment in the Broke Down series? A little sneak peek maybe?
TG: Well we just funded issue 2. I am SUPER EXCITED about that getting into peoples
hands. This is the issue that we start building the BROKE DOWN universe. I show you
some of the gangs and factions that will be in play for years to come. After that I start
production on issue three. We are in early development but it wont take us long to put
the whole thing together. Issue three is going to be amazing! There is some cool visuals
and some of my best dialog is in that issue.
Below is a link to a free preview for the second issue of Broke Down & 4 Dead Bodies
NB: Let’s talk a little bit about another project your working on. What can you tell
us about Dog Days, the “Zootopia Crime Noir Story” you’re writing for
Evoluzione? This one looks really interesting.
TG: Here is the basic overview of Dog Days: A pair of canine detectives find themselves
embroiled in a cults' attempts to murder and skin citizens. Follow this pair as they
unravel the secrets and mystery behind Mother and her twisted followers. Can they
save the animals in time or will THEIR skins be next?
Dog Days has been so much fun!! This will be my first graphic novel. I have been falling
in love with the characters and it does hit a few of the same beats of Broke Down in
terms of Dialog and character interaction but there is a little bit more a message in this
story. There is also a MAJOR TWIST that I hope fans will enjoy when they get to that
NB: How did you get involved with Evoluzione? Did they come to you?
TG: Ya, Marcell Dupree came to me after reading Broke Down. He asked me If I would
be willing to finish Dog Days since it was crime based. I originally said no because
Anamorphic Animals isn’t really my thing but once I started coming up with a story and
the twist, I feel in love with the Dog Days world. Another writer had given up on the
project after writing 12 pages or so. (He wanted to focus on other projects with single
issues instead of waiting for the graphic novel to be complete) I took those 12 pages
and his notes and really only kept what I felt was VITAL. I wanted to write a very
different story than the original writer. I kept the skinning of animals from his story and
some of the basic personalities of a couple of characters and then wrote my own very
NB: Would it be fair to say that you specialize in crime comics?
TG: Yes, crime is my genre. If I could ever give writers advise it would be stick to a
genre when you first come out. Yes, I know you can write anything but be good at one
first before you start spreading your wings. I want to be known as a crime writer. I also
feel passionately that there needs to be crime in comics. We go to HORROR, SCI-FI or
SUPER HEROES in the indie scene. However, the original comic books had tons of
CRIME, it was a cornerstone for comic books. I want to bring that back and have my
own little corner of that market
NB: What is it about the crime genre of comics that draws you to that form of
TG: I come from a broken home that saw a lot of drug use and low-level crime. As a
child I had to reconcile that my family was doing bad things but they weren’t bad people.
So, writing crime is me trying to redeem the people and things I saw growing up in my
mind. I also LOVE to read and watch crime stories. So, I create what I want to see more
in the world. Stray Bullets, 100 Bullets, Pulp Fiction, Criminal, Reservoir Dogs, Snatch
are just some of my favorites in film and comics.
NB: Those influences definitely shine through in your work. So, you’ve had four
successful Kickstarters so far, can you tell our readers what they were?
TG: Ya, Broke Down 1 & 2, Dog Days and The Advocator. All of them, I had a hand in
NB: In your opinion, what are some of the benefits to doing a Kickstarter as
opposed to say, having a comic company publish your book?
TG: There is a fan base on Kickstarter that I felt was something that I needed to tap into
before I hit up a comic company. I am trying to find that fan base to help show my value
to a future comic publishing company. I am building a following of people who want to
see my work and see it be successful. I want to sell comics and I feel that Kickstarter
not only allowed me to build a fanbase but gave me access to that fanbase. Lets say I
was working for (Image Comics). Well, Image sells that comic and the fans have to find
me. With Kickstarter I send them the comic. I reply to there email. I am interacting with
my fans and building that relationship.
NB: Are there any resources you’d suggest for those who want to attempt a
Kickstarter comic? Maybe some does and don’ts?
TG: That is a HUGE QUESTION to answer. My advise is a few things: 1) Follow Tyler
James with ComixLaunch/Comixtribe he gives both FREE and PAID services to help
guide your Kickstarter to success. 2) Back projects that are similar to what you want to
launch and watch what they do. Study and learn. 3) Keep a goal that you know you can
achieve, don’t try and have someone pay for EVERY ASPECT of your comic. You need
to have skin in the game if you want people to support you.
NB: Recently, the Gibb house has grown by one, CONGRADULATIONS by the
way. How has raising a newborn impacted you as a creator? What adjustments
have you made to your creative process?
TG: Like I said above. I haven’t found that balance. In fact, the last time I had a child
and was working on comics, I QUIT. I don’t regret that because I love my daughter, but I
quit comics to raise her. However, I didn’t have the amazing support that I do now in my
wife. She is my partner in this company and wants to succeed just as much as I do. She
even has a few ideas of her own to write comics for kids in crisis. She is an amazing
women and I couldn’t do anything without her.
The biggest thing is finding a time to write. Mostly, my writing time since the birth of my
son has been on marketing for my comics but I know my wife will make sure that I am
always developing my ideas and giving me time to write new things.
NB: It's important to have a partner that wants to see you succeed and grow.
We'd love to see what your wife has planned, it sounds like an interesting
NB: Besides fatherhood, what are some of the hardest challenges you’ve faced as
a comic book writer?
TG: Having to have a full-time job when all you want to do is develop your comic ideas.
That’s truly the hardest part. I know, I could make it as a writer but it takes time and I
have to provide for my family in the meantime.
NB: Do you have any advice for an aspiring comic writer? Any nuggets of
TG: Find comic anthology’s to write for first. Get your feet wet. Write in like four or five
and make sure you own the work. When its done put it together as a short anthology
comic and print some before you start your first project work. This will truly show you the
comic process. It will teach you the value of an editor and it will start getting you a small
fan base before the bigger project.
NB: What’s next on the horizon for Travis Gibb? Any appearances coming up?
TG: Finishing Dog Days and issue three of Broke Down & 4 Dead Bodies!! Those are
what's next and both are in development as we speak. I cant wait to get these out to my
fans!! Other then that, I am working on three other projects but I don’t really have
release dates or even art teams attached to most of them. I do have a Grim Reaper
story one shot (single issue) that I have been slowly developing and I have even been
thinking of sending it off to a publishing company, but Dog Days and Broke Down come
I do have appearances coming up but they are all very far away. I am trying to really
spend 2019 with the new born and then hit 2020 hard with Broke Down and Dog Days
NB: Sounds like a lot to look forward to. Where can our readers follow you on
social media to keep up with all your projects?
TG: Ya, people can find me at a few places,
http://brokedownandfourdeadbodies.com, @Jesterlou on Twitter and Instagram,
and as Travis Gibb on Facebook.
NB: Thank you for taking the time to talk with us Travis, we learned a LOT!
TG: Thank You, for having me!! It was a blast!! Thanks for writing these great questions.
We hope that you have enjoyed the second installment of our series of interviews with
Indie comic book creators. Please follow us on social media to keep up with this series
and all our other articles and content.