Welcome to Self-Published Spotlight, a regular interview column where I will be highlighting self-published comics and the creators and small print publishers who make them.
This week I’m chatting with Jamie Jones and Nick Cagnetti, whose crossover comic, THE BABOON AND PINK LEMONADE JAMBOREE, has been kicking butt on Kickstarter. Read on below and support the book!
Monkeys Fighting Robots: Jamie and Nick, can you give our readers a brief introduction of who the Baboon and Pink Lemonade are?
Nick Cagnetti: Sure, Pink Lemonade is a lone amnesiac wanderer with a positive mindset who drives around on her motorcycle and searches for enlightenment/cool new stuff. She likes making new friends along the way so she was pretty excited to meet the Baboon and Monkey Bones here.
Jamie Jones: The Baboon is an action-adventure hero in the style of 40s and 50s action adventure comics. A freelance agent for the government, he, aided by his top-notch crew, takes on missions that send him to wildly exotic places on world-saving adventures.
MFR: Awesome. So how did you guys discover each other’s work?
Jamie: A few years back I saw Nick’s work on Instagram. This was when he was working on Infinite Wonders, I think. I fell in love with his stuff and have been following him ever since. We met in person for the first time at Heroes con 2019 when Pink Lemonade and The Baboon both launched.
Nick: Yeah, we’ve been following each other for a few years now, I remember I sent Jamie an Infinite Wonders sketch back in 2018! It was great finally meeting Jamie at Heroes Con. The afterparty at the comic store was filled to the brim with creators and I was just standing in the back by some long boxes not really knowing anybody and Jamie came over to talk to me which was cool.
MFR: So, slight spoiler alert I guess (since I have read the book), you guys sort of had your characters meet the same way! That’s awesome.
Jamie: Hey, anything before page 5 is fair game! (laughs)
MFR: Heard that (laughs)! So when did you guys decide on doing a crossover, or jamboree as you so awesomely call it?
Jamie: It was either late last year or early this year. But once we got going it went pretty quick.
Nick: Jamie brought it up to me I think in December and I said LET’S DO IT! I don’t know how BUT LET’S DO IT!
MFR: How did you decide who did what? Both of you pretty much handle every aspect of your respective comics. So you both can pretty much do it all?
Nick: First we were just sorta spitballing ideas for the story back and forth on a shared document. My pitch had a bunch of pirates and stuff (laughs), Jamie’s was a comic convention and that connected to both of our hearts straight away. He spearheaded drawing the book pretty fast after that and I offered to color it. It was definitely a different feel for me just focusing on that one aspect more than usual.
Jamie: As Nick said, we set up a google doc and then pitched ideas. Then we kind of took bits and pieces of both ideas and formed a basic plot. We co-wrote it from there. It went kind of like this. I’d send a super loose thumbnail of what I thought the page would be and say PL and Babs talk about this plot thing. And then, in the Docs, Nick would write what PL would say and I’d respond in Babs’ voice. Or vice versa. Then I penciled and inked the book and Nick colored it.
MFR: That sounds like it was fun! You guys used Kickstarter so successfully. I keep seeing it work for so many creators. Jim Rugg did one, hell we did one here for MFRs magazine. Which full disclosure both of you are part of haha. Why do you guys think Kickstarter has worked so well for cartoonists.
Nick: I think especially right now with things being on a different operating level it offers a great resource for creators to just get books to fans pretty quick and easy. We were originally gonna have this book to debut at Heroes Con this year, so we sat on it for a bit but in retrospect, all those KickStarters were popping up waving like “Hey, come on over!”
MFR: Yeah, I agree. I think it’s such a great way for fans and creators to connect closely. It becomes a shared experience for everyone. I love knowing that I helped put something great out there.
Jamie: As entertainment gets further and further into insanely large budgeted products, with lots of moving pieces, creative teams that seem to change mid stories, and interference from “higher-ups” there has been a backlash from the consumer wanting projects made by a single creative team with as little interference as possible. Make the product you want to make and people will back it. Kickstarter allows the consumer to get the product directly from the creator and that makes the product a little more special.
Nick: Heck yeah! It also felt like it made a bit more sense to make a splash on Kickstarter drumming up the hype with everybody for a month instead of us just quietly dropping the book on our online shops one day out of the blue or something like that. There is that sense of community with everybody for sure, and it gives us stuff to talk about!
MFR: What do want readers to take away from the book? For me, it was just such pure comic boy joy.
Jamie: I think that’s the big thing. The joy and the wholesomeness of a team-up of this nature. I feel like I have a bit of a vendetta against the overtly serious and “adult” superhero comics that you see on the shelf today. So, here’s a fun comic with characters that love the adventure.
Nick: The joy of comix is a big thing! For me, it was a great joy to work on earlier this year when there wasn’t a whole lot of good stuff happening outside the windows in the real world. I think there’s something to be said for books that you can give anybody, anybody can pop in and have fun with it, I think we need stuff like this to help us especially right now.
MFR: For example, I love the conventions double spread pages. You got some cameos I spotted. I know I saw you guys in there. Anyone/Anything else you all snuck in. I know I caught a few things but it’s more fun coming from you guys. (laughs)
Jamie: Oh man. there’s so much on those 2 pages. Nick and I have a cameo. Our characters from past books and a ton of my favorite characters who inspired the Baboon.
Nick: There’s a lot of indie comics cameos and some mainstream guys, and maybe a couple of Kayfabers too… I dunno!
MFR: I thought I saw a Pittsburgh Pirates hat in there (laughs).
Nick: Jamie and I’s cameo characters have some pages of art in front of us at the table and the art is the art from that two-page spread. It’s like “Twopagespreadception”. Not very elegant, I know (laughs).
MFR: The spread in a spread (laughs). How Grant Morrison meta of you Nick!
Jamie: Nick I didn’t even notice you did that (laughs). I’m looking at it now!
MFR: Oh snap. You read it here first folks!
Nick: I’ve got the X-Files theme playing in my head now, oooh it’s been discovered!
MFR: That’s perfect! (laughs). So as of today, the Kickstarter has reached its goal. What’s left in the week or so leading to its end? What stretch goals do you have? And what can backers expect?
Jamie: Our first stretch goal was a couple of stickers. The Baboon and PL the next goal is at 5k and we will add some pages to the book with some pin-ups from other artists. Really the final week is all about more and more promo stuff. I would love to see this thing hit 200 backers!
Nick: Well, everybody can expect stickers for sure! Some nice stickers with their comic(s). Stickers are gonna be fun. I think we’re about 40 backers away from 200, I think we can do it! Scratch that, currently 31 away! Even better
MFR: I believe in you guys. You will do it. So when can people expect the book to be in their hands?
Jamie: So once the Kickstarter ends it can take up to 3 weeks to get the money. Right when that comes in we go to print. So it’s safe to say either late August or early September. We will, of course, be keeping everyone up to date on that process on the page.
Nick: We’ve also got a bunch of those backing board sketches to do for folks- those will be fun, though! I saw Jim Rugg was doing a ton for his Octobriana Kickstarter, he had like a whole production line of them all on a big giant board (laughs).
MFR: So think this is the end of Baboon and Pink Lemonade crossing paths?
Jamie: I sure hope not!
Nick: Well, they’re pals now! Heck, I told Jamie a while back that I want to have a Baboon cameo in PL#3, sort of flashing back to this big adventure in the crossover.
MFR: And aside from the Jamboree crossover, where can fans find your work?
Jamie: I’m @artofjamiejones on all the social media.
Nick: I’m @fudgy1nick on Instagram, @Ncags on Twitter, and my website is RadicalRealmComics.com– and that’s pretty much got links to everything
MFR: Awesome! Well, thanks again for chatting with me guys.
Jamie: Thanks for helping promote!
Nick: Yeah thanks, this was fun!