interview Creator Spotlight — Jeffrey Paul Louis Schiller
This month's creator spotlight is on Jeffrey Paul Louis Schiller, the creator of Magic Powder.
Last week I received copies of a Kickstarter campaign I had back last month! I loved the artwork while I backed it, but wrapped in those books was a genuinely good story and a beautiful world waiting to be discovered. It’s for this reason, that in this month’s creator spotlight, we’ve featured Jeff Schiller, the creator of Magic Powder.
Q: Tell us about your background and how you got into comics?
I’ve been writing since middle school, but mostly screenplays. I could never find an artist to work with, but I’ve always wanted to make comics. I tried to teach myself to draw, but it was going to take too long, so I finally found a place on Reddit for finding comic collabs, and I found Daniele Aquilani there. That was in August of 2021, and we’ve been working on comics ever since.
Q: What are your favourite comic book characters, Indie and/or mainstream?
My favourite all-time comic book character is probably Harvey Pekar, then HULK, then probably The TICK, but I love a lot of the obvious ones like Batman, Captain America, Cyclops, Storm, Nightcrawler, Beast, and all of the X-Men. I’m a big fan of Dragonflyman from “WRONG EARTH” for something more recent. I always thought Andrea was the best character in THE WALKING DEAD comics. It was fun watching her become a cold-blooded sniper.
Big fan of Doctor Doom, also. Guts from Berserk, and Yajirobe from Dragon Ball, if we’re talking some Manga.
About your Creative Inspirations
Q: What kind of characters excite you in comics?
The most exciting characters to me are the ones I’ve never seen before since I like new experiences. The kinds of characters that keep me coming back are usually the ones who take on the biggest problems head-on. That’s what I love about Hulk and Guts, who will eventually just go into “RIP AND TEAR” mode, as DOOM fans call it.
Q: What kind of stories should your audience expect from you?
Well-planned. There’s nothing I enjoy more than building up to something for a long time, and then getting it to pay off. I have a few non-MAGIC POWDER ideas that are all written, and ready to go, so hopefully I can share those with you all sooner than later.
Q: What’s the last comic book you read?
MAGIC POWDER #2, technically. I also just finished reading the 2012 Moon Knight run where he thinks he’s all of the Avengers, some Punisher War Journal, and SANDMAN. The latest indie comic I read was FALLEN by Raymond Lolacher.
About your recent project
Q: Can you describe your project “Magic Powder” without spoilers of course?
MAGIC POWDER is a mix of all my favourite fantasy concepts with all of my favourite crime concepts. I’ve called it “Dungeons and Dragons meets The Wire/Breaking Bad”, but that’s just to simplify it. The main idea is there’s a whole world of crime behind faerie dust in the realm of Panza, and MAGIC POWDER starts telling that story from the city of Thesz, where MAGIC POWDER is legal, and the main attraction.
The story begins when the peace between the MAGIC POWDER cartels is breaking down, and an opportunistic elf comes in to take over from behind-the-scenes.
Q: How did you come up with the concept behind “Magic Powder”?
I was watching a show called “Gomorra” during the pandemic lockdowns, and it dawned on me that all the best crime stories on Earth had probably been told. If I wanted to spread my legs and tell stories in a new way, I would have to create my own world/universe/etc to set myself apart from the stuff everyone already knows about.
Q: How was your experience collaborating with the rest of the team “Magic Powder”?
Daniele Aquilani is based out of Italy, and we only really correspond over email, but it’s the smoothest working relationship I’ve ever had with someone I’ve never met in person. It’s crazy how easily he turns my words/ideas into the actual pages that we all know and love. I hope we get to make 100 issues together.
Samuel Iwunze is based out of Nigeria, and we met over a Facebook group. I usually pitch my cover idea to him, and then show him some of Daniele’s work for reference, and then he just turns the dark atmosphere up to ELEVEN. Love working with him, and recommend him for any comic that needs a cover! I think he’ll be the first person I go to for covers on MAGIC POWDER because I feel like he just gets it.
Raven Schiller is my sister, and she’s been doing graphic design stuff for me for as long as she’s had Photoshop. She’s been doing all the extra graphic design work, created the logo, and put together the Thesz Reports, Kickstarter images, and the stickers that we’ll be sending out. She’s basically my right arm, so I’m lucky that she has all the artistic talents I don’t have, and that she uses them to help bring this comic to life.
Matt Harding is cool. I met him on Twitter, and he backed our first campaign. Having him put together the variant cover for Issue #2 was fun. I still feel a little sceptical of alternate covers, just because I think they’re a waste of paper, and something that scares some collectors away. I like that artists get more gigs because of variant covers, though, so that’s a big reason why I wanted to try one for Issue #2, and Matt nailed it.
Q: What’s your next project, any ideas you’re working with?
Currently working on Issue #3 of MAGIC POWDER with Daniele. My friend Kris is working on a top-down 2D shooter demo for a MAGIC POWDER GAME that I’ve been writing, so hopefully, we keep that going. I have some spin-off ideas, and also a bunch of one-shot comic concepts I want to make, but I’m too broke to afford the artists to have them made for right now!
Q: Where can people buy your books?
Q: Any words for fellow creators?
It’s a good idea to ALWAYS be marketing, but don’t just talk about your comic on social media, pitch yourself sometimes, too. People want to support the creators as much as the work, if not more, a lot of the time.
Thanks a lot for taking the time out and sharing these with us! We wish you all the best for the Issue#3 of MAGIC POWDER.