Comics Features

INTERVIEW: Super-Ego Kickstarter

This week we’re delighted to have two fine indie comic creators in the Cape-Cave, namely writer and artist Caio Oliveira and Neurobellum’s Creative Director, Mike Kennedy. Plying them with tea and cake, they told us all about their latest joint venture, Super-Ego.


AP2HYC: Hey Caio, Mike. Welcome to AP2HYC. So, what’s Super-Ego about? 

Cato Oliveira: Super-Ego is a comic book about a specialist in super-human psychology called “Dr. Ego”. This first arc is about his “secret origin”: why did he choose to treat specifically super heroes? Is that a major plot behind this? Such questions will be answered in issue 4.

Mike Kennedy: It’s slightly satirical, but that’s not to say the character relationships aren’t complex and intriguing. Buildings may topple, but hearts get broken as well.

AP2HYC: What inspired you to write the story?

CO: In its first concept, this project was supposed to be a comic strip about a regular psychologist treating the most famous super-heroes of Marvel, DC, Image, Dark Horse. I would like to put them all in the therapist’s couch. But then I realized I could do a thing of my own and still use the stereotypes of recognizable super-heroes. And so I did.


AP2HYC: The Kickstarter page is well worth a visit. Can you tell us about the making of it? 

CO: I’ll let Mr. Kennedy answer that, as he was the person responsible for making that magic happen. 

MK: Don’t let others fool you — Kickstarter is a lot of work! We wanted to keep the bar low and focus on completing the book first and foremost without getting distracted by a billion un-related Tier Rewards and whatnot, but even getting a streamlined campaign together took a bit of work. The video was fun to make, however. And Marc Evan Jackson (Thrilling Adventure Hour, Parks and Recreation, Funny or Die) was such hero for helping with the narration. I love that man. Hopefully somehow we can reach our biggest stretch goal to do a full radio production of the book, with him in the lead.


Dr. Ego

AP2HYC: Why publish through Kickstarter

CO: Because Kickstarter is the future! Every day we see big projects of big names of the industry there! And I’m talking about professionals for all over the entertainment business, from comic book, to cinema, from music to videogames, we’re all there. It’s exciting!

MK: Yeah, it really has changed the landscape. It takes some of the upfront financial pressure off of the (starving) creators who just want to make awesome stuff. And the direct interaction with the community and backers makes it such a great social activity as well.


SR: What’s the best thing about doing so? 

CO: The liberty! You can try and sell your project, your idea. If you convince people, you’ll get it done, without the interference of and editor. 

MK: Yeah, it… wait, I’m your editor. Whataya mean “interference”…? <laughs>


SR: What’s the worst? 

CO: The worst is that no matter how good your project is, and no matter if it gets printed (and I’m not talking about mine here, but in general), some readers will just ignore it because it don’t have one of the majors logo on the cover, and it makes me sad.

MK: Yeah, promotion and awareness is definitely the toughest part! Just getting people to even know it’s up and out there is a full-time job! The project might be the most amazing thing ever, but it doesn’t matter if nobody knows it’s up there in need of backing…


Dr. Ego at work


AP2HYC: Which of your rewards are you most excited by? 

CO: I would really love to reach that radio dramatization amount of money. How cool would be that? <laughs> Also, the “Appear in the book” reward would be really fun! Mike really came up with great ideas for this campaign.

MK: Yes, definitely the radio play. There are a bunch of fantastic actors and voice talent I’d love to bring onto the project, but we need to hit certain goals first. Quite a few recognizable voices from some big cartoons, a number of comedians that might spark a “oh, hey, that guy!” reaction, etc. Recognition factor aside though, it will be a fun and quality production.

AP2HYC: Caio, how did you come to link up with Neurobellum?

CO: As I recall, it was in 2008, I guess, when a agent of mine sent me an email asking me 5 pages for a project called Vivid. I did it and so my agent sent me another email telling me the guy really liked those pages and asked for 5 more. In the end, I drew a total of 20 pages of that project! That guy, who really liked my art, was none but Mike Kennedy, the same responsible for this Kickstarter campaign. 

MK: And there’s more Vivid script in the works right now! That’s another fun project that I can’t wait to put in front of people next year. Caio, you are going to be a busy guy!


AP2HYC: Who is your favourite psychotherapist (real or fiction), and why? 

CO: Dr. Hannibal Lecter, of course! I also like Dr. Frasier Crane from Frasier show, and Dr. Linda Freeman from Two and a Half Men show. 

MK: Right now I’d say Dr Isaiah Friedlander, Michael’s therapist in GTA V.


Flying Heroes


AP2HYC: Which famous Marvel superhero would you like Dr Ego to examine, and why? 

CO: I would like to put  Wolverine on the couch! And I’m planning to do so on the sequel. Also the Fantastic Four.

MK: I think Cap would have had some pretty major issues coming out of that coma after so many decades… Punisher definitely needs some help, too, that’s for sure.


SR: Same question for DC?

CO: Matter-eater Lad! Definitely! 

MK: Clearly Batman is not the model of mental health.

AP2HYC: And finally, what comic have you read this year that you’d recommend? 

CO: I Kill Giants! Man, how I cried reading that beautiful, beautiful comic book! And I mean it, I really cried at the end of the book! 

MK: Punk Rock Jesus by Sean Murphy.


And just like that… our therapy session was over and these two titans of super-psychoanalysis left us to save the world from the Monsters of the Id. My thanks to Caio and Mike.

Don’t forget to check out the Super-Ego Kickstarter page, it’s one of the best!

About the author

Sam Roads

Sam Roads is a writer, entrepreneur, musician and game designer. He trained as a composer at UWCC, owns four gaming businesses, and has won two international Origins awards for game development. He lives in Cardiff with his wife Lizz.