The Centennials - A Kickstarter Spotlight

Written by Neil Greenaway

The Centennials comic book.

Everybody knows that Colorado is home to the Rocky Mountains, craft beers, and a generally laid back attitude.  What many people don't realize is that it is also home to several awesome comic book creators - many of whom are working on creator-owned characters. It was while working on a poster featuring several of these characters (for the Comix Collective) that Lee Oaks came up with the idea to do an independent comics crossover. Not an anthology series, but a cohesive story that is made just like a professional comic. And so he united the talents and characters of over 30 comics pros for an epic crossover event - Colorado style - and The Centennials were born. This groundbreaking comic team-up headed to Kickstarter for the crowd funding it would require to get started, and they held their launch party at one of Denver's largest comic shops. Roberto Martinez was on hand to talk to several of the creators responsible for the new book about what they had contributed.


 The Story:

A young boy named Milo, (from Stan Yan’s book: There’s a Zombie in the Basement). He has the ability to imagine things to life. He unwittingly imagines a kaiju sized monster with nuclear-like powers, (created by monster extraordinaire Robert Elrod). The boy Milo must then use his power to summon heroes to stop the monster he has unleashed on the world. With unexpected twists that only the Bloody Red Mike Baron can concoct, The Centennials features characters like Tom Rasch's Black Alpha, Dan Conner's My Gal the Zombie, his and Patricia Zoom-Cat's Black Diamond, Mike Baron's Badger and Nexus, Lee Oaks' Thunder Monkey, the one and only Enigma and creative talent like Jason Meents, Cachet Whitman, Barry McClain Jr. and many others. This will be one eventful book you won't want to miss!

And to keep it local we will be printing the books in Denver with Bob Conway, who printed Thunder Monkey: The Young Years.


 Lee Oaks at the Centennials launch party.

Lee Oaks at the Centennials launch party.

 Lee Oaks

What are you doing for The Centennials?

I’m the guy who decided to put it all together. It actually spawned from a poster that was someone else’s idea and I said, ‘hey, why don’t we do a full on crossover comic?”

My character is Thunder Monkey, he has explosive skin and so whenever he punches something, it explodes. The tricky part is he can’t actually touch regular people, inanimate objects, anything. His adoptive human father is a scientist who comes up with technologies (clothing basically) that he can wear and that protects him.

What other projects are you working on?

The biggest thing I have going right now is the Centennial crossover. If funded we’ll have 30+ Colorado independent authors working on this book or contributing their characters and you know, people who’ve  been in the industry years, worked for major publishers, down to people who this might be their first paid comic book work. So it’s an exciting project for me because I’m a fan of most of the creators and I’m a huge fan of indie comics coming together. This is just the one-shot right now, but there’s nothing to stop us from doing more. And there’s nothing to stop us from having more people join the team in the future.

Where can we find you online?

If you Google “Lee Oaks Comic Art” my stuff is super easy to find. I’m on Facebook, Thunder Monkey has a Facebook page, the Comix Collective has a facebook. If you are familiar with any of the 30+ artists involved in the project you will definitely find a link to me


 Robert Elrod at the Centennials launch party.

Robert Elrod at the Centennials launch party.

Robert Elrod

What are you doing for The Centennials?

I created the giant monster/kaiju creature that’s going to be featured in the book and I will be providing a variant cover for the kickstarter.

Well it just started out as something I was doodling that I thought I might paint at one point, and it just ended up going into a pile of other drawings and waiting and waiting and waiting. Lee Oaks contacted me about the Centennials project and asked if I might have anything to contribute in terms of a giant monster creature - and I really liked this one and thought it would be a fun thing for people to check out. I named him Svansarmar. I was looking at, I think it was Norwegian for “two tails”. I came up with this interesting combination of words and I put it together and made up my own word for it. So it was just a doodle, just an original thing I was going to do and maybe do a small painting of. I will probably still do the small painting and that may end up being incorporated into the variant cover I’m going to do, or it’ll be something that I have at a show coming up.

Where can we find you online?

My website is RobertElrodLLC.com, you can always find me on Facebook or Instagram, again Robert Elrod LLC should get you where you’re going. Or if you go to my website you can get to my social media.


 Mike Baron (and his popcorn) at the Centennials launch party.

Mike Baron (and his popcorn) at the Centennials launch party.

Mike Baron

What are you doing for The Centennials?

I am writing the Centennials and I contributed Nexus and Badger to the team. Lee asked me to work on the project, I've been working with Lee for years.

You know I’d have to look at a chart because there are so many characters involved.  But it starts with a little boy dreaming about a monster and when he wakes up the monster is real and it starts eating people in Colorado. So every hero that’s based in Colorado comes together to form an ad-hoc committee to get rid of the monster.  And the heroes include Thunder Monkey, and several others – I need my list. The Vanishteer, Nexus and Badger of course, and Robert Elrod has created the monster.  So if you’re familiar with Robert’s work you know what it’s going to look like. Kind of Cthulhu like.

What other projects are you working on?

We’re in the midst of a fundraiser right now for Q-Ball, which I’m doing with Barry McClain who’s right behind me. Q-Ball is a martial arts/espionage thriller and aside from being a very gripping story the martial arts are going to blow your mind because they’re going to be very accurate and exciting. If you google Q-Ball Kickstarter it’ll take you to that. And Q-Ball is Curtis Ball, who is a Detroit native, joined the Merchant Marines at 18, all he wanted to do was see the world and study kali escrima. Kali escrima is the Phillipino art of stick fighting. Q-Ball ends up managing a warehouse in Manilla and one day a big crate comes in. The next day some sketchy characters try to take the crate away but they don’t have the right papers so he turns them down. Well they come back at midnight and Curtis has to defend his warehouse.  Turns out the crate contained a Chinese dissident who was forced to flee the country because of her exposes of human rights abuses. Curtis tracks her down and they end up on the run, they’re trying to make it to the United States with the Chinese Government on their tail and the Tongs and a gang of mercenaries.

Where can we find you online?

I have a website called BloodyRedBaron.net and I often blog there. I’m also on Twitter @bloodyredbaron, and of course a Google search will take you to every comic I’ve done, which is a lot.


 Barry McClain Jr. at the Centennials launch party.

Barry McClain Jr. at the Centennials launch party.

Barry McClain Jr.

What are you doing for The Centennials?

I am an artist at Valiant, Blue Juice Comics, Source Point Press, I dunno, I just work in comics. I am going to be doing some of the pencils on The Centennials.

And again it was a good time to get me, ‘cause I’m in between two projects right now, the Q-Ball project with Mike Baron. Well I knew the editor of the Centennials, so he just reached out to me and he knew I’m making noise locally here, and I’m the type of guy that doesn’t shut up as you can see. And I think that kind of got his attention, probably, with some of the work as well that I did with Valiant so he reached out to me via the internet and he was like “hey you want in” and then he told me the premise of it, local aspect, I’m all about local. And as well cultivating local talent, and I’m like, ‘I live in Englewood, why didn’t you holler at me earlier’ so like, no brainer.

What other projects are you working on?

Oh, besides that beautiful project Centennials which is getting backed right now, (thank you everybody for the support on Kickstarter, we really appreciate it), Q-Ball, another Kickstarter that I’m doing with Mike Baron as well, that’s getting funded so if anyone can contribute to that, please we’ve got several days left, it’s very much appreciated, we’ve got some good gifts and prizes and that.  As well I’m working with Justin Grey, we’re going to be doing a project here so be on the look out for Billy The Kid, it’s really exciting. I’m also got work out on Blue Juice Comics with the Comic Book Men, Kevin Smith and all of them, that gang. I’ve got two pinups in Accelerators #14 and #15, sold at Barnes and Nobles. And the new issue of Badger that’s coming out, I did a cover on the Badger. As well Source Point Press work, the Salvagers with Bob Sally, please get that ‘cause I’m going to be in the trade paperback of that. Really exciting stuff. Harriet Tubman: Demon Slayer, David Crownson, I’m gonna be on issue 3 with a pinup in there. And I’m always busy, man, your boy got a lot of work going on, what do you want from me?

Where can we find you online?

Online you can go to BuyBlueJuice.com for the Accelerator stuff, SourcePointPress.com. What else? You can reach me FirstComics.com. MechaWorkshop.com  (cause I also do a book in Singapore with Mecha Workshop called The Armarauders, with Brandon Easton. You can Google me, it don’t matter, I mean I’m everywhere, you can’t get away from Barry McClain Jr.


 Bob Conway & Dan Conner at the Centennials launch party.

Bob Conway & Dan Conner at the Centennials launch party.

Dan Conner

What are you doing for The Centennials?

Well I’ll be doing some colors on the finished story for the book, the art, I guess as it’s published. And the My Gal, the Zombie character of mine, Chelsea, will be one of the team members. And then Black Diamond who I work on with Patricia Krmpotich, is going to be in it as well.

Lee Oaks reached out to me. Lee was probably one of the first artists that I met in Denver when I moved here  not quite 10 years ago. We've been bumping shoulders at conventions ever since then. I’m just really excited to be a part of this project. I think it’s a great opportunity to have some great characters all on one team.

What other projects are you working on?

Other than that, I have the My Gal The Zombie webcomic and I'll be doing flats on the next volume of Cleopatra In Space with Scholastic. I have some art in the new 3 Stooges trading card set coming out. Also, I colored the entire Halloween Man Christmas issue with Drew Edwards. That will be out before Christmas.

Where can we find you online?

You can find me online at CrazyGoodComics.com, MyGalTheZombie.com, CrazyGoodConner on most of the social media, Instagram, Twitter, probably Facebook


 Stan Yan at the Centennials launch party.

Stan Yan at the Centennials launch party.

Stan Yan

What are you doing for The Centennials?

I’m contributing a character. The main character (I think) who kind of launches the story - but you’ll have to ask Mike Baron because he’s writing it. But my character is Milo, the little kid, and all these characters that sprout from his imagination. That’s what I’m lending. It’s a character that’s based on my son from my children’s picture book There’s a Zombie in the Basement

What other projects are you working on?

I’m also working on a couple of other things right now. One of them I’ve been working on since 2009 called Regret: Cancer Survivor Story. It’s a memoir graphic novel about my best friend’s battle with cancer. I hope to have all of the pages done in this 100+ page graphic novel roughed out by the end of the year. And you can follow the progress on that with my Patreon page along with what I’m working on for NaNoWriMo, which is a graphic novel project based on the comic that was in the Denver Comics Newspaper, Salem Charter Academy, so I’m expanding this into a full-fledged middle-grade graphic novel featuring my zombie girl from There’s a Zombie in the Basement as well.

Where can we find you online?

You can find me at StanYan.me and instagram @Zombicatures and twitter @Stan_Yan


 Cachet Whitman at the Centennials launch party.

Cachet Whitman at the Centennials launch party.

Cachet Whitman

What are you doing for The Centennials?

I’m just doing some pencil work for some of the comic pages. Lee had reached out and asked if I was available, and I said "Yeah".

What other projects are you working on?

I'm not really working on any other big projects right now, though I am working on a bunch of commissions.

Where can we find you online?

You can find me on Tumblr and Instagram, Pirate-Cashoo.


 Todd Jones at the Centennials launch party.

Todd Jones at the Centennials launch party.

Todd Jones

What are you doing for The Centennials?

Mike Baron told me that he was going to be using Clinton Slade (The Paranormal Consultant). Clinton's background is somewhat mysterious. He has appeared in two issues so far in Wicked Awesome Tales. We know from the first story that he can speak to ghosts (although he can't see them). In the second story, he is called by a friend in the church to help him deal with the possession of a young boy. Demons aren't very fond of him. There is a history there that we'll get to eventually. His name - Clinton Slade - comes from my grandfather's name: Clinton Slate. He was one of the best men I have ever known so I decided to use that name to honor him. 

Also, Chad Blakely and I might be contributing a second character from a story in Wicked Awesome Tales. Lee told me they were looking for a robot. I decided to hit up my friend Chad Blakely about a character that we used in this Dad 2.0 story. This guy basically creates a robot to be a father to his daughter because he knows he’s dying. Its heartbreaking. But he dies off panel, you don’t see it. You basically just see the kid growing up with the robot dad and the humor that comes with that. But he is programmed to “care” as you can totally see in the story.

Where can we find you online?

You can find any of the Wicked Awesome Tales comics on Comixology, I think Stakes is also up on Comixology. And you can follow the Wicked Awesome Tales page on Facebook.


 William & Pepper DeLuca at the Centennials launch party.

William & Pepper DeLuca at the Centennials launch party.

Pepper and Bill DeLuca

What are you doing for The Centennials?

We contributed our character called “Ant Gal”, she’s from the first episode of Campfire Stories of Lake Kikipapi. Visually she’s this normal, everyday girl-next-door type character. Unfortunately in the course of our story she gets drowned and then inhabited by a demon ant that brings her back as an ant-human hybrid. And she does a whole bunch of hi-jinks to get revenge for the killing of her ant-pile, and ironically enough her name is Anne Pile.

What other projects are you working on?

As of right now we’re in chapter two of Campfire Stories of Lake Kikipapi and Ant-Gal (Annie) is actually the lunch lady in the modern day camp. So she’s still a part of our story. She’s this big robust woman who basically cooks food for campers during the camp season and she enjoys what she does.

Where can we find you online?

LakeKikipapi.com is our main website if you want to find us online.


The campaign finishes on December 16, 2017. As of this writing, the Centennials Kickstarter still has two weeks to go before it ends - with several high end rewards still available to backers. You can back their campaign here.


The Rest of the Creative Team

Below is a photo gallery of all the creators who will be working on The Centennials that we were not able to speak to at the launch party.

 The Centennials

The Centennials