Friday, April 20, 2018

Kickstart the Week(end) with Coronary Episodes 1-3

By: Nicole D’Andria

We previously talked with the Coronary creative team in-depth about their Kickstarter for Coronary: Episode Two. Now we’re covering the first three issues of the action-packed romance series, which the creators call “Black Mirror meets Romeo and Juliet”.

Want free plastic surgery? Then enter the world of Coronary, where London has numerous cosmetic surgeons, lifestyle coaches and pill-pushers more than willing to help you get your beauty fix! This story is about Justin, a neurotic businessman whose world is turned upside down by the freethinking Luna.

The story is written by Ryan Burke with penciling, ink and lettering duties handled by Joel Saavedra and colors done by Damian Panalba. Part of a 12 issue series, this Kickstarter focuses on issues #1-3.

The creators are attempting to raise $5,250 with this Kickstarter by May 4, 2018 at 6:00 PM EDT. You can get digital copies of episode 3 ($5) and episodes 1-3 ($8), a physical copy of episode 3 ($10), custom stickers ($25), patches ($45) and even more when you check out their Kickstarter.

I spoke in-depth with creator/writer Ryan Burke and artist Joel Saavedra below.

Ryan Burke
Me: A big part of Coronary is to tear down harmful societal beauty ideals. Can you tell us how this series approaches this idea?

Burke: When I initially had the concept for this series, I wanted it to be simple cutting statement about how harmful these images are, and how they make us all miserable, seemingly with our consent. But that’d get quite boring for both me and the reader, so I wanted each character to embody a different perspective. Then when their opinions collide against each other, there can be much more interesting conversations. We can dig a bit deeper here, and spread out into talking about identity, loss, love and authority. 

Saavedra: The main idea for the series is to bring the topics into discussion. We as creators have our own opinion on the subject and I think that’s clear enough in the series. But as Ryan pointed out, you'll also see diverse points of view from characters to envision the big picture.

Me: You mention a few alarming statistics in your Kickstarter, including how “97 percent of women admitted to having at least one moment where they hated their body.” Which of these statistics do you find the most shocking and what steps do you think should be taken to improve these statistics?

Joel Saaveda
Burke: Ninety-seven percent is of women hating their body is up there. It just makes me boil with rage when I see media pushing people to be self-conscious and insecure, simply for the sake of selling overpriced clothes and makeup. If a salesman turned up at your door and insulted your loved ones, this kind of nonsense wouldn’t last a day. But because it’s on billboards, radio and television, society thinks it’s ok.

The best thing I’d say is to think critically, and realize that there’s always a hook. ‘No such thing as a free lunch’ always comes to mind when I think about these things. Consumption is selling us all a lifestyle, and it won’t stop making us feel ugly until we pay our way out of it.

Me: How would you describe Justin and what are the numerous obstacles he will be facing in these first three issues?

Burke: Eesh. That’s tough without spoiling anything! I’d say both of the antagonists display what they’re capable of. And that’s a hell of a lot. That’s all I can say!

Me: Which episodes of Black Mirror would you say have influenced Coronary the most and why?

Burke: Wow, another tough one. It’s hard to say. Without gushing too much about the quality of the series, on thing it does very well is take a hypothetical, and push it to it’s logical next step, and see how nightmarish it can really get. It can be easy to brush it off as hysteria for the future, but it always contains honest dialogues about technology, and how it can be misused. The senate hearing for Mark Zuckerberg is happening right now for that exact reason. Coronary explores an aspect of the beauty industry, and why ‘industry’ is the correct term for it.

Saavedra: I think that the whole concept of the series is on the same frequency as our story. Coronary easily could be an episode of it. I think that “Nosedive” explores a similar concept, specifically how surreal social standards rule each action of the individuals, instead of their own desires and dreams.

Coronary: Episode Two

Me: What is the number one reason people should pledge money to your Kickstarter?

Burke: You get to participate in making this project happen. It’s more than buying, in that you help produce great art. And that is more than enough of a reason for me.

Saavedra: Because we have a great story to tell, and we know you'll love it. This is a different kind of comic book. There is no spandex, nor capes. Of course it entertains, but we also intend to say something meaningful. And we're sure that many of you would relate to our perspective.

And also, because we are committed to push our limits on each issue to deliver a top-notch comic.

Me: This is your third Coronary Kickstarter and also the third time you’re running a Kickstarter project. What are some of the most important takeaways about the process that you’ve discovered from episode one to episode three?

Burke: We’re slowly getting better at it! Experience is a nice word we give to our mistakes, and I feel we’ve got plenty of experience. But with each one, we become better artists and producers.

Coronary: Episode Two

Me: What inspirational words do you have for aspiring comic book writers/artists?

Burke: Recognize your own courage. And if people second-guess you, ignore it. Those that belittle you are often expressing jealousy for something they lacking within themselves. A little intense, but get out there and make Art! It’s the most terrifying and rewarding thing. 

Saavedra: I agree with Ryan. Believe in yourself, set objectives and go for them. And always try to raise the bar, it's the way to always keep learning new things and ways to improve your work.

Me: Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions, guys! If you’re reading this and interesting in learning more about the breakdown of beauty, check out the Kickstarter for issues #1-3 of Coronary here.

Coronary Sticker

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