Creators Workshop member and Comics Experience course alumnus Travis Rivas, author of Unstoppable Cherub, is participating in the Accidental Aliens Kickstarter campaign. The San Diego-based comic creator collective wants to showcase shorts from its talent base in an anthology… and it’s already exceeded its $3,500 goal! Additional proceeds will pay for table spaces at comic conventions and possible extended content.

Stories cover a wide range of genres, including sci-fi, post-apocalypse, and fantasy. Travis partnered with artist Javier Aranda and colorist Jeremy Colwell for the western short story “Dust.” We spoke with him about the project.

Comics Experience: Please explain your involvement with and a brief history of Accidental Aliens.

Travis Rivas: My involvement with The Accidental Aliens began before it was even formed. Everyone knows about San Diego Comic-Con, but there’s a smaller show in town called San Diego Comic Fest that highlights local talent and creators. When I decided to try and break into the comics industry, the first show I attended was Comic Fest, where I met Scott Lost, the creator and artist of a comic book called The 2nd Shift, as well as several other artists. Comic Fest is a pretty intimate show so you get to know people pretty well. Scott started a drawing group where other artists could work on comics together, and at the time I wanted to work on my drawing skills so I started hang out with them. It wasn’t too long before we all decided to start pulling our resources together and we created our label, The Accidental Aliens. Last year we successfully launched our first Kickstarter, the 2017 Accidental Aliens Anthology, where we each had our own short story that we created, and we’re trying to do the same thing this year.

CE: Without spoiling anything, what can you tell us about “Dust?” Where did you find the inspiration and what was your process like in developing the story?

TR: “Dust” is set in a future where climate change has ravaged the planet Earth and the only currency left is healthy human organs. Dust and his wife were farmers who defaulted on their loan to the Baron, so the Baron took her heart. Our story picks up with Dust on the quest to get that heart back. I had always wanted to do a western comic but wanted to put a different spin on it. Once I figured out that in this world people would use organs instead of money it all kind of came together.

CE: What is your working relationship like with Javier Aranda?

TR: Javier is great. I actually was following him on instagram for a while and I loved his style. He had some really great cyber punk looking pieces and thought Dust would be a great fit for him. I reached out to him on Instagram and eventually sent him a copy of the script and he really seemed to enjoy it. I knew I wanted “Dust” to have a weird and distinct look but Javier just took it to a whole new level. And then Jeremy Colwell came on board to color the project and took Javier’s pages to a whole new level.

CE: How has your experience with Creators Workshop and Comics Experience helped shape your work, particularly “Dust?”

TR: Well, the script for “Dust” was actually written for the intro to writing class I took through Comics Experience. I had written a number of scripts prior to taking the class but Andy did such a great job of teaching us how to break the scripting process down to a very nuts and bolts approach. Andy and the other students gave me such great feedback on the script that it got to be something that I was really proud of, and in my final review Andy told me “I want to hold this comic in my hand and read it.” That was such great encouragement that I knew then and there it was going to be my entry into our next anthology project. “Dust” literally could not exist if it wasn’t for Comics Experience.

You have until April 1 to support the Accidental Aliens Kickstarter! Click here to help!

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Posted by Meredith Nudo