On the run up to Christmas last year Victor Santiago (who wrote Prom Night in Transylvania) aproached me about some work for a client. We were asked to create a short comic based on the clients 4 year old son’s creations, they gave us some character descriptions and were left to it. Victor wrote a short story with themes of working as a team and I.. well, I drew it.
Projects like this are something we’ve both discussed doing again in the future, so watch this space.
IceFire & BlackSword was written by Victor Santiago who’s work you can find over at storiesbyvictor.com and also @warpvector on Twitter and IG
The idea of Hero Booster is pretty straight forward. I wanted to make a card game based on Tokusatsu Heroes full of troupes and silliness, but I also wanted it to be accessible. One deck would be all you need for 2 players for a game that would take around 15-30 mins to play, with the option of spicing it up with an Expansion Deck.
I wanted to make a game that I would buy and that’s also a little bit niche. And I have, at the time of writing this blog post the project is (for now) complete.
There are 4 kinds of cards in Hero Booster; Heroes, ATK Boost cards, DEF Boost cards and Special cards. Your Hero gets powered up, or Boosted, with ATK and DEF Boost cards to try and do more damage to your rivals Hit Points and you use Special cards to do things like gain lost HP, revive defeated Heroes or discard your rival’s cards.
Hero Booster is a project I’ve been chipping away at, mostly in the background, since around 2014.
I always wanted it to be something that would actually get made but it wasn’t until December of 2018 that I finally took the plunge and launched a crowdfunding campaign for it. With a goal of £1300 and around 100 backers the game was fully funded, in the end, it reached “£2786” why the quotation marks? Because what a certain popular crowdfunding site doesn’t show you at face value is the pledges that were dropped or the fees that are taken off when the person running the campaign receives the funds. It ended up being closer to £2000, which although was still more than the original goal, I soon learnt that I had grossly underestimated how much I’d need for this project.
Things got a bit rocky in my personal life at the start of the project too, a close family member passed away during the campaign and shortly after it was complete I lost my job. I did the best I could throughout 2019, getting the Main Deck printed (plus customs tax) used pretty much all of the funds so I had to get bits and pieces for Hero Booster printing through the year as an when I was able to do so. I also haven’t considered how much more artwork I’d have to do and how many times I’d have to print prototypes.
By the time 2020 rolled around I was fully back on track with the project, I only had one thing left to print, the Expansion Deck, and I was looking at shipping in March/ April. I think you can probably guess what caused a further delay, 2020 has pretty much turned in to a write off for all of us.
Hero Booster has been a massive learning curve for me. I’ve never done a project like this in the past and I’ve never run a crowdfunding campaign that’s ended up being fully funded. There’s a lot of things that, in retrospect, I’d have handled very differently. If I were to do something like this again it would go a lot more smoothly. Once all the crowdfunding rewards have been sent out I’ll only have a handful of Hero Booster Main Decks up for general release, I’ve spent so long on this project that I don’t really want it to stop there. I’m not sure what my next move with this project will be, but hopefully, I can keep going with it.
Things that are included on these pages are: – A photo of a little scooter type thing I took in Japan in 2017 – Some stamps from some old postcards I found in a cupboard under the stairs – A collage of miscellaneous vintage scrapbook clippings – A photocopy of a punk? from a magazine spread from college(??) – A Dragon Ball GT trading card from holiday to spain in 2001 – Ticket from the second time I went to a Polysics gig – The first printed, vinyl sticker I ever made circa 2008ish
As I continue dipping my toe in to other forms of image making I’ve recently become quite fond of making things in this sort of vapor-wave/ Y2K aesthetic/ rave poster style. I’ve always been find of Takeshi Murakami but lately I’ve gotten very much back in to his work and that’s very much informing what I’ve been making.
I’ve been thinking alot about iconography and reoccuring themes. With time, as and when I get the chance, I’ll be blurring the lines more and more between my illustration work and the more experimental stuff like the images in this post.