By Robin Jones
Welcome back to the Inter-Comics Indie Spotlight, this column aims to make you, the readers, aware of cool indie/crowd funded comic book creators and projects!
This time around we have the double pronged attack of Slorance and Bell or Slorabell! It’s everyone’s favourite Dungeoneers Neil Slorance and Colin Bell, co-creators of the magnificent all ages comic Dungeon Fun, not a self help guide to creating a BDSM lair, but an action/adventure comic in the vein of Zelda! Voted 61st best comic of 2013 by CBR and recently sweeping the board at the Scottish Independent Comic Book Awards, it is a genuinely funny piece of work that everyone can enjoy and should be thrust in front of every school child in the UK!
Neil and Colin’s Dungeon Fun #1 was launched at Thoughtbubble 2013 and #2 is out now! So let’s get down to the nitty gritty!
ME: First off, congratulations on winning all the SICBA awards (as I am aware you guys wiped the slate!) Also, congratulations on being named the 61st best comic of 2013 and ALL the other accolades you’ve both been garnering! How have things been for the pair of you?
Neil: Great, the attention’s been a bit unbelievable. It’s still sinking in that we won 4 SICBAs and the response from Dungeon Fun 2′s been great.
Colin: Thanks! Things are pretty, pretty good.
Me: So, Dungeon Fun #2 is now out! For new readers, can you explain what sets Dungeon Fun apart from comics like Adventure Time, Regular Show and other all ages comics?
Neil: It’s a different sense of humour for sure. It definitely has a more british feel to it a bit like Monty Python and it’s also one big story as opposed to a one-story-per-episode kind of thing.
Colin: It’s the only comic with that trademark “Slorabell Feeling”, and it comes out far less often.
Me: If you were asked to sell Dungeon Fun in one sentence, what would that sentence be?
Neil: It’s all ages fantasy fun and I think it’s great so you should read it.
Colin: BUY THIS COMIC OR NEIL CAN’T EAT *points to Neil making hungry face*
Me: Where did the inspiration for Dungeon Fun come from, both in writing and art style, and who were the biggest influences on your styles?
Colin: The inspiration really came from the intitial sketch Neil drew, and then it all just spilled from there. Influence wise, I’m going to say Billy the Fish, Bone, Comedy Bang Bang… I’ve been listening to a lot of Welcome To Night Vale lately so I’m keen to see if that affects issue three at all.
Neil: From the art side of things I’ve always been influenced by adventure games like Zelda, anything to do with dungeon crawling, swords and chests is right up my street. Fun’s design was influenced a lot by Wind Waker.
Me: What with all the awards, conventions, interviews and of course making comics, do the pair of you still get time to read comics and if you do, which comics are a regular appearer on your pull lists?
Colin: I’m still hanging in there, barely. Locke and Key’s finished, but it was amazing. I pick up Daredevil because I’ve been picking up Daredevil forever – luckily it’s been pretty great for the past few years now. I’m still getting Invincible because Ryan Ottley, and when it’s in its prime there’s nothing close to it. Also Michel Fiffe’s incredible COPRA. True story: The first print of Dungeon Fun Book One were all hand numbered because I saw Michel Fiffe do it on the first issue of COPRA. It is to date the stupidest and most time-consuming decision I ever made.
Neil: I’ve fallen back a bit with the weekly wednesday comics, the last I got was the new Amazing-Spiderman about 2 weeks ago and I still haven’t read it. I do buy a lot of indie and small press though, it’s a lot easier to keep up with since it’s mostly all self contained and I tend to enjoy the stories more.
Me: What’s your favourite aspect of making comics? What drives you to keep doing it?
Neil: I just love seeing a page come together, especially at the final stages when the colours are going in it almost feels like it’s coming to life. I also love hearing from kids and stuff, the other day I saw a girl dressed up as Fun and it just made my day to see my work had an impact like that.
Colin: It’s just the little things, you know? Once every so often I get to see a book I made sit on the new release shelf of the comic shop I’ve been going to since I was a lad. Or when the boxes of comics arrive and you take one out, and it’s yours – an idea once in your head has taken form in this tangible wee book. Or any time a kid asks “when’s the next one coming out?”. That’s just the best.
Me: What do you in store for readers for future issues of Dungeon Fun? Do the pair of you have plans to work on any other projects together? Also, Neil, do you have any plans for sequels to The Amateur Astronomers Journal or any new travelogues in the works?
Neil: We’re going to keep on with Dungeon Fun for sure and hopefully have a pop at more all ages comics. I’m going to finish my 3rd travelogue in the next month or so which will wrap up the whole story then after that I have a few ideas for what I can do next year. A lot of these ideas involve tortoises.
Colin: Yep, plenty more Dungeon Fun. What do we have in store? DUNGEONHAM. I’ve said too much! I think we’d definitely like to do some more comics together, I’ve got a couple of pitches for some other stuff in the works as well.
Me: Tell us about your publishing house Dogooder Comics! What can we expect to see being released in the future?
Colin: Dogooder Comics is a boutique small-press publisher dedicated to bringing entertaining and interesting comics to the wooooooorld! Right now we’re concentrating on Dungeon Fun and Owen Michael Johnson’s fantastic REEL LOVE, but I would be surprised if we didn’t have a couple of new books ready for Thought Bubble. Stay tuned!
Me: Finally, Hypothetical question now. If Finn & Jake from Adventure, the My Little Pony gang, Mordecal & Rigby and Fun had a mudman making contest… who would win?
Neil: Well Jake has those wacky stretchy arms, I think he’d be the best but I’d guess Fun would chop it down just cos.
Colin: The fans! The fans would win. Always the fans.
For all your Dungeon Fun needs, check out dogoodercomics.co.uk to order both issues and also to check out Reel Love. You can follow Colin’s twitter exploits here and Neil’s dungeon crawling adventures here. They also have a Dogooder facebook page which you can check out here and Neil has his own here.
Until next time.
Rob Jones is an honourary Yorkie, but for the life of him, he can’t understand why. He writes articles, is attempting to write comics and his life ambition is to own a solid gold Donkey… For more comic news, reviews and the odd bit of sense, follow Robin on twitter @Hulksmash1985
Posted on August 4th, 2014
Category: INDIE SPOTLIGHT, PREVIEWS & UPCOMING RELEASES, REVIEWS
Tags: Colin Bell, Dungeon Fun, Independent comcs, Neil Slorance, Robin Jones, Scottish Independent Comic Book Awards