I've been meaning to write an Indie creators series of articles that spotlight the many talented creators that are out there making comics against all odds and I feel deserve our attention. A few people have asked me "why would you give another artist a spotlight on your website? They're gonna take your readers!" My short answer: No they won't. My long answer: It ain't about me, it never was about me and it never will be about me; we're all in this together. Hopefully creators see me writing about them and their books and we'll get to know each other, hopefully become friends and hopefully help each other out. There's room for everyone. With that said, let's talk to the creator of AURORAMAN; Jeff Burton!
When did you came up with the idea for Auroraman?
The idea for Auroraman came around in the fall of 2015. A friend and I were talking about ideas around a character loosely based off of a mutual favourite DC comics character but with a Canadian twist. I ran the idea past another Canadian indie creator who liked it and helped me refine it to what it is today!
What is the creative team behind your comic?
I don’t have one set creative team, other than myself writing the book, but rather like to work with a wide range of awesome artists, mainly Canadian and mostly Saskatchewan based artists. It is really cool to see their different takes on Auroraman. I've even written stories geared towards specific artists based on their style and strengths.
What's the premise behind Auroraman?
The Adventures of Auroraman is a fun superhero comic for all ages. Truly based more in the silver age of comics where heroes smiled and had wild and crazy adventures. The pitch line goes like this – “When a father of five and school teacher Jeff Burton finds a staff loaded with cosmic energy in a meteor shower, he does what anyone would do and puts it in the cosmic lost and found box... WAIT; no he doesn’t! He learns how to use it and becomes Canada's newest super hero and the Super Power of the Prairies... Auroraman!” 8 times out of 10, when I'm pitching that line people's faces light up at that "Super Power of the Prairies" tagline and further looking and talking happens; most often a sale of some sort.
How many issues do you have planned to produce?
As many as I can while still having fun doing it!
Is Auroraman going to be a long running series or a mini-series?
I don’t envision a "for sure" end number as I keep coming up with fun new stories to write about!
Self publishing has some distinct advantages, the biggest being that I'm able to keep my light hearted, fun superhero stories happening without anyone else trying to change who or what my comic is.
How do you separate yourself from the thousands who self publish their books every year?
I think it’s just my style of non-linear story telling, you can jump in anywhere basically, and my passion for comics in general; but specifically for Auroraman to be something that can provide that relaxed escape from the crush of the everyday. Add to that my day job as a teacher and I use comic books in the classrooms in so many different ways, depending on the grade levels of the kids. It's really a great and versatile tool for educators to use too!
So where can fans read or get their very own copy of Auroraman?
Ok, there are several places to get the actual comics. Locally, the 7-11 in Humboldt, Sk carries it. Online, you can get them through the Auroraman Facebook page or www.bigcountrycomics.com. Digitally you can get it through comiXology. I also have a bi-weekly newspaper style comic strip that is released locally (and digitally now in the current pandemic state of life). I'm offering a PDF collection of the year and half of the comic strips for FREE right now. Last year I also started The Audio Adventures of Auroraman podcast which is an audio comic complete with narration, voice actors, sound effects etc. We have released 3 episodes, please note that episode one was really rough and the newer ones sound a lot better!
What's next for Auroraman?
We just launched issue 7 of The Adventures of Auroraman this past weekend which is super exciting! Issue 8 is probably close to 50% done production, the comic strips are still cruising along every 2 weeks and I have a couple audio comic episodes on the go. Oh and I'm final building The Adventures of Auroraman website!
Are you working on any other projects at the moment?
See above lol. Actually, I'm also dabbling in a bit of a story for a friend's comic – Blackthorne.
Anything else you wanna share with us?
With issue #7 of The Adventures of Auroraman we're teaming up with the organization Creative Kids Saskatchewan – a non-profit organization that provides families with funding for kids to enroll in a variety of different arts based programing. We have a variant cover for issue #7 done by a 15 year old aspiring comic book artist only available through bigcountrycomics.com with all proceeds being donated to Creative Kids. Also, I have the original artwork pages for sale, 18 out of the 21 pages plus the cover of issue #7 and I'm offering them as a bundle pack: $45 gets you the issue and a page of original art from issue #7 and I'll be donating $15 to to Creative Kids for each bundle pack sold!
That is a fantastic gesture on your part and all for a great cause. Much respect! I can't wait to read more of Auroraman as well as listen to the audio adventures. Make sure to let me know when your next issue comes out!