Sporkman creator Chuck Bonetti serves up the details on “Sporkman: Goes to Japan” (interview)
Last year, Chuck Bonetti and the creative team behind Sporkman: Goes to Japan conducted a crowdfunding campaign to fund the book that came laser close to reaching its goal. After a few months to regroup and recalibrate, the Sporkman team is ready to relaunch with a retooled campaign scheduled to hit Indiegogo on 29 March. We reached out to Bonetti to ask him some questions about the Sporkman Goes to Japan book, and what backers can expect from the campaign this time around.
The Splintering (TS): Tell us about Sporkman- the man. What makes him unique as a hero?
Chuck Bonetti (Chuck): I think for me what makes him unique as a hero is his heart and his confidence! He truly believes that he can make a difference in the world. Many time people underestimate him, and they judge him as he looks. But he never gives up at all no matter the challenge. That inspires everyone around him. If Sporkman could be Sporkman 24×7 he would be. He loves being a hero and helping those around him.
TS: Sporkman himself has a very fun design for an action book. How do you keep a balance between the humorous and the action-oriented moments in Sporkman: Goes to Japan?
Chuck: It is very hard to maintain that balance, there were many times when we were writing the script we had to reign in both sides. Comedy can be very subjective, and it is important to understand that when writing the story. Sporkman’s nature is also over the top so it can be very hard not to want to be very comedic.
TS: Does Sporkman get caught in doorframes very often? How does he get around indoors? Ducking?
Chuck: Yes, ducking has become second nature for him, there is a scene in Sporkman: Goes to Japan where Spork runs into an issue with his helmet.
TS: Your first attempt at crowdfunding Sporkman: Goes to Japan came up a bit short in achieving its funding goal. What changes have you made this time around to ensure that you hit your target?
Chuck: One thing is that I have been working on building our followers and our presence online even more, it is very important to build your audience. Something I noticed last time I thought we would have enough of a presence and it I realized that we didn’t. I really recommend to people that they build their audience, spend 6-8 months selling yourself and your product. It will make for a better launch.
Second mistake was we ran the campaign was too long, if you build the audience you shouldn’t need more then 30 days, so much and people will forget what you are offering. Next, we were able to lower our funding goal as now we are with Wikid Publishing so they will be covering our printing cost for our campaign so that will help us.
Next, we also streamlined what we are offering, one common theme we got as feedback was that people were confused on what was being offered and so we really decided to focus on just offering Sporkman: Goes to Japan, we do have one stretch goal planned if we get fully fund which will be a short story featuring our heroine Natsume.
TS: Several independent creators, including the creators of RAGS, Jack Irons: Steel Cowboy, and Little Girl Lethal, rallied to your side in the last days of your previous campaign and offered extra freebies prospective backers. How did it feel to get such enthusiastic support from your peers, and are any of those incentives returning for the new campaign?
Chuck: I am very grateful for the support from the community, all the creators who have offered some freebies are people who love Sporkman and they believe in the comic and each one of them back the project. We don’t have any plans currently to offer any incentives from these other creators.
TS: What do returning fans of Sporkman have to look forward to in Sporkman Goes to Japan?
Chuck: Sporkman: Goes to Japan really starting line for our universe, Sporkman will face a very big threat and this will forge him as the hero he is. While Spork has had other adventures, Japan is what will set him on his path.
TS: How would you characterize your relationship with the rest of the Sporkman: Goes to Japan creative team? Co-writer Eric Berry? Artist Gifney Richata? Colorist Rodrigo Ybanez?
Chuck: We have a great team assembled, working with Eric and Gifney has been great, it been a blast working with them! I trust the work that each of them has done. I was looking to work with Rodrigo but due to budget we had to get another colorist and we were able to get Ginger Foxy and she has been great to work with. She has done some fan art of Sporkman and it been awesome to see her work!
TS: Besides comics, in what other entertainment mediums do you see the Sporkman character?
Chuck: We have a script for a movie and we also have ideas for video games and figures, but honestly the future is open for what we can do with Sporkman.
TS: A year from now, how would you describe success for the Sporkman: Goes to Japan project?
Chuck: A success for me would be our project is fully funded and when we launch our next project people will be even more excited for the next project as we got every back their books.
TS: What would you do with the power of the Beyonder?
Chuck: Not sure what I would do never really was a follower of the Beyonder.
We would like to once again thank Chuck Bonetti for taking the time to answer our questions and to have some fun with us, and of course, a big thanks to you for reading! Be sure to mark your calendars because Sporkman: Goes to Japan returns to Indiegogo on 29 March! Now check out some more sample art!