Devin L. Michaels writes for Bleeding Cool:
I consider it as a great personal failure that I haven’t come up with a team name yet.
When I ran my second Kickstarter back in October 2012, I pushed to fund the first two issues of my creator-owned miniseries Destiny’s Fate about a time-traveling assassin who returned home after seven years to kill the defenders of time—his parents. The Kickstarter eventually reached 200% of its goal, ensuring an issue #3, but such a feat could not have been achieved alone. My creative team of Mauricio Vargas (art), Rodrigo Tobias (color), Taylor Esposito (Issues #1 and #2) and Mike Stock (Issue #3) tweeted/blogged under the name DF Crew.
With the power of a team, we dominated Twitter, Facebook, and Tumblr, and we slowly grew in numbers. No longer were we four people on a venture together, but we were ten strong, then thirty, and eventually grew to have 82 members of the DF Crew (78 backers, 4 creative members).
I haven’t had such luck with Capitalism and Other Stories. My team, again, has grown. The kick-ass anthology has eight creators in total, including artists Sarah “Neila” Elkins (Womanthology), Joel Ferris (graphic designer), and Shannon Fowler (Breakaway); editors Erin Meier and Ellery Prime (Chromatic Press’s Gauntlet); and the DF Crew. We’re currently 42 strong (34 backers; 8 creative members) and increasing in numbers (Fear our digital might, World!); however, our team name still eludes me. Capitalists? (Too political.) The Others? (Too Nicole Kidman-movie.) DL and the Sunshine Crew? (I’m from Jersey. That just doesn’t work.)
Then again, team names aren’t as important as the team itself. I want to say I hand-chose the DF Crew, that I scoured through letters and artistic samples to find the right fit for the book, but I didn’t. Perhaps that’s why the DF Crew’s name was/is so dynamic. Perhaps it was destiny that I saw Mau’s work on Tumblr. After all, Mau didn’t even have a Tumblr account at the time, but someone posted his picture of Superboy with a link to his blog. Mau and I were simply talking on Twitter one day when Taylor tweeted us and asked if we had any need for a letterer. From there, we added Rodrigo, Mau’s colorist, and we became a team. In similar fashion, when Taylor left to work at DC, I put out a tweet for a letterer, and within an hour, Mike answered the call with samples of his work. Both my editors (Erin and Ellery) I’ve known for years, having met them while discussing fandoms, and we’ve been close since.
The DF Crew has worked well together. Mauricio allows me to call him “Mau,” even though the name reminds him a Telenovela character. Rodrigo built his own studio from the ground up, yet he still takes the time to create our Kickstarter videos. Mike retweets campaign posts, even on his birthday.
Like with Destiny’s Fate, I want to say I began my new comic project, Capitalism and Other Stories, with the purpose of crafting the perfect team, but destiny answered again. Joel contacted me to do a story back in September out of the blue. I believe his tweet was, “Hey, DL! Write something for me, will you?” That work eventually became “Capitalism.” Shannon and I decided to work on “Dragon Slobber” after we completed previous works earlier last year, and I’ve known Sarah for some time. When the anthology began to come together, I asked her to join.
So perhaps the “DF Crew” title isn’t so off-point for this project. Perhaps the reason I haven’t been able to choose a name is because like my cohorts in comic creation, destiny intervened. From my experience, I’ve learned it’s best to listen.
Join the DF Crew! Our current project, Capitalism and Other Stories, is live on Kickstarter until April 3rd! For Bleeding Cool Readers, back by Wednesday, March 12, 2014, and receive a free Rio poster, signed by Joel Ferris and DLM! When you back, Devin will send you a message. Write back with the code “BC,” and your poster will be automatically added to your order!
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