DAMMDamm Lucky – Issue 8 A Deadly Dance in Krimzon

By DAMM Published September 2, 2011 at 15:30

ENR Columnist:


Latest Comic Book News From Columnist Steve Damm

Mike Campeau’s Two Fisted Action Tale Raises Kaine. Will It Also Bring Back The Heyday of the Anti-Hero?

Another DAMM Intereview | Images property of Campeau used by permission

“Krimzon Kaine was inspired after a dream I had.”

~ Creator of Krimzon Kaine Mike Campeau ~

Cover of Krimzon Kaine #1 from Ronin $4

Cover of Krimzon Kaine #1 from Ronin $4

I have found something really cool. You have got to see this! THIS is Krimzon Kaine and if you like bullets, the mob and lost art of the comic book car chase then this is the book you have been waiting for. I was to review it but after reading the first issue I had to talk to Mr. Campeau for myself and get some information regarding the book that I would characterize as Die Hard meets Reservoir Dogs. He graciously agreed. “First, huge pleasure to meet you DAMM. Thank you for this opportunity to speak to you and our readers.” He starts politely. Hello Mike, pleasure to meet you too. More of this conversation in a moment.

Action is back. So is the hero who isn’t a hero you love just the same. Take a trip back to the glory days of the 80’s action hero comic feeling in a modern world with the delightfully bullet-ridden book about old scores, family and blood. Fan driven “underground” comics are back again too because Ronin Comics is as cutting edge and subversive to system as well as content. “Very happy you asked about Ronin Studios. Creators and volunteer staff at Ronin Studios, miXed with daily new members, fans and viewers make Ronin Studios a great community.  Staff and creators are always communicating (and also) giving guidance to new and green thumb members. Although Ronin Studios is not a publisher, they carry great in the house created publications by various members, making them an underestimated contributor to comic readers,” Campeau tells me. I checked out the website and it seems to have some genuinely unique and promising titles/concepts over there. If you want to check it out yourself click here. I think that if you do then you will be pleasantly surprised. The more people we have making efforts of this nature the better our whole industry will be. There is no lack of good stories or ideas out there and sites like Ronin prove it.

Check out these beautiful Pages from Krimzon Kaine #1

So I ask whether or not he has any other titles in the works at Ronin Studios? He replied, “Present time, My Krimzon Kaine story is the only title, I`m running under the Ronin Studios flag. I have so many other stories being worked on piece by piece slowly as I work on Krimzon Kaine. Those stories include VOW, 5TH STONE, LASTLINE, and THE SHADOWSOUL. Years ago I was part of another great comic studio called Blue Moon Comics. They did readers digest sized comic book publications with many cool stories running under their flag. Geminar, All-Smash Funnies, Blue Moon Superheroes, Power Corps, Infinite Tales, and also Mystery Adventures Tales which I was drawing a super hero for.” In fact it was while he was over at Blue Moon he first introduced Kaine as he elaborates, “Krimzon Kaine first showed up there. Once that studio closed doors, I put Krimzon Kaine to the side and one day many years later I wanted to bring him back into the light.”

The first issue of Krimzon Kaine opens with the hero Krimzon immediately after his “early release” from prison to which he was sent to as a frame job. He is immediately likable despite what you learn of him and charisma is hard to generate on a printed page but KK radiates charisma in steep grinning waves. There are characters like Thorne his female cohort and Krimzon’s brother AXil who make the hero more interesting in a classic 1980’s tone. The chase and setup for this series gives it potential to be something really special.  The pace is blazing the dialogue meaningful to driving that action and for a debut effort I was impressed. I asked him to tell us his view of what Krimzon Kaine is about, “Krimzon Kaine was inspired after a dream I had. His story is very thick. To break it down quick, he is an enforcer, within a crime family. All characters with in the story are a part of his fast action packed bullet dodging life. The story kicks in where Krimzon Kaine is at the age of forty-three. The first Issue starts when his life story hits a major turning point.” Then he sells me on the series in one sentence,” The reader drops right in quick with the action, putting them in the crossfire of many characters and stories clashing together throwing them left and right at high speed through eXplosions!”

I’m in. But it is obvious that this is a very important and personal project as you read this. The characters are well thought out not Scarface rip-offs or Boyz In Da Hood dialogue cliché’ and I ask him what the story means to him. “This story means a lot to me because, honestly, the characters and story seemed so real in my mind. Something I had to bring to life. You are correct. He is an anti-hero.  Krimzon Kaine is forty-three in this issue, so it`s not just what his future holds, but what brought him to this point in the story. That is where the story caught me in this dream I had. That will be what makes this first issue clear. You ask why Brothers as contentious enemies? Why a Family Crime Comic? When others ask me how I created Krimzon Kaine, they are surprised that it’s from a dream. Once my eyes opened up years ago, I just knew the whole story and characters within clearly.”

But there was something else that was “sticking in my craw” so to speak. Then I checked out the book more closely, went back page by page and discovered that the colors were eye-popping bright. That struck me as odd for a gritty action anti-hero mob comic when the predominant trend is grays and blacks or more abstracted and stylized with monochrome moods from Criminal to the Vault. You see it seems the coloring here is just as important but the story drives the mood and that dictates the color as opposed to the color creating the mood and driving the story. This fascinated me to the point of restless sleep. So I inquired about it.

The colors are always very rich and colorful in all my stories. When I vision my creations, I see a miX between realism and animation. Many don`t know this about me, but I haven`t collected comics since a youth. The days of Micronauts, Warlord, and magazine Conan. Occasionally keeping up in times grabbing Spawn and other Image titles when they began, to keep up to pace.”

Ok that seemed like an unusual approach. Why would a comic creator quit collecting comics? Moreover, why would an artist only occasionally pick up the products of his industry? Mike Campeau is a different kind of guy and his answer is as different as his approach. “Since I started drawing, I have always wanted to be different, staying totally away from the way others draw and fully create, but keeping up with layouts.” And layouts are NOT a problem for the Ontario, Canada based Campeau. In fact some of the pages are classic linear illustrated story telling and some (perfectly timed I might add) are so far from traditional they scream movement, for eXample the car chase scene in issue # 1. It’s not just the panel layouts but the layout in the panels, the “camera angles” that feel like an Arnie, Clint or Bruce film from the big action picture era of the 80’s.

I ask him “”Is there any separation of process between a writer and artist for you when you do all the duties?” He answers candidly, “Well honestly, since most of my stories were from dreams, I start with a cover. That cover sets the whole stage for me. Since I already have the story solid in mind, once I hit the paper. It flows very easy.” He returns to the topic of colors because with this book it is really relevant. But there is more on his mind than color when it comes to the reader. “The colors add the life to the story, which is my most important duty. Coloring, but going further with deep details. I want the viewer to stay put on every panel instead of just time to read, and capture them in details that bring the characters to life.” There are details aplenty too, look at the above art and notice the skull on each knuckle of the gloves and every reflection and shadow meticulously placed EVERY time. The figures are all reasonably proportioned and realistic but still slightly larger than life. There is no denying the art in this book works. There is also no doubt the high quality pages binding and cover stock make it worthy of the $4 cover price. In fact I would probably even pay a little more (shhh don’t tell Mike.)

BUT (and you knew there would be one with me) when an indie book from a small publisher comes out I always sound the deadline alarm. So I ask the obvious question. “Often time’s lateness can adversely affect a creator owned property to the point of cancellation and fan disdain, essentially killing the comic before it gets a real start. How many issues are plotted and drawn? Will the book make a monthly deadline? Is there a deadline?”

Unabashed and brutally honest he answers in a way I really appreciate as a new fan AND a columnist.

Great question Steve. I will try to answer that as best I can. Well, to start, for me there are a few factors that make any new creation special to me and hopefully other viewers. First, I created and illustrated the title myself. Doing all duties to make this comic book fully completed from idea to print being the solo creator, makes me very happy. Being also the Parent to a young Daughter, time is mostly hers, so I am always happy when a story reaches completion. I always say, when she sleeps I create. My process for creating Krimzon Kaine was eXciting for me. Doing all duties was always challenging, but so cool to fully complete the first part of the story. Present time, first book is completed, and the second issue is half way created. The book does take longer than the monthly time compared to the comics completed by a full team. One thing I can promise you Steve and all viewers that read this, I have a very cool second issue being created overfilled with more high paced action! Issues do take time being solo, but I`ll give it harder every new issue to make it a little more packed. Krimzon Kaine is all action.”

So is it worth waiting for. For me yes it is. I know up front now that this is not a monthly book. I am always looking for a book or two from week to week and this will be one. But you can decide for yourself after you read the first one. You really should read the first one.

I asked him to talk about other thing we could check out from him and here it is,

“Sure, I will tell you what I`d like to promote. Thank you for asking Steve. I have many stories people can check online.

5TH TONE – /FIFTHSTONE Also LASTLINE -These two web comics are also being worked on piece by piece into a comic book.

Another story I am digitally painting on the side to complete as well is VOW

My new story, which I am very eXcited about, is THE SHADOWSOUL. That story I joined up with a good friend Adrian Wilkins. Interesting writer who will bring this new character to life. Be on the watch for new updated art by visiting my website or Twitter page”

I asked him with a daughter and a book what he did for fun and I should have known. “I create comics DAMM, and love doing it. I enjoy being the huge part of my Daughters life, and any fun I do have is mostly creating comics and making her smile and laugh. Hoping soon after Issue two is completed, I will start doing comic cons. If I may Steve, I would like to give a shout-out to Ronin Studios, they are a much underestimated corner of comics. Great staff and great in house creators and stories, and a friendly forum to meet other inspirations. Visit and see for yourself and don`t forget to say hi! Visit me on Twitter and say hello. Always like to talk. It has been a huge pleasure Steve to talk with you, and our readers. Thank you.

All in All

I am Lucky


eXpect. eXcellence. eXpert.

©2011 eXpertComics.com | Steve Damm
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