“We all think that we are a bit immortal at times… you can find out very quickly just how human you are after you get a cancer diagnosis at 33 years old.” Joe Martino on the emotional journey behind his comic book The Mighty Titan
Joe Martino’s The Mighty Titan is a Kickstarter funded superhero spectacular that uses the emotive issue of cancer to make his tales of heroes and villains resonate with a real emotional core. Fresh from the success of issue 1 which we reviewed back in May, issue 2 was successfully funded in just 30 hours and is set to hit the newsstands in August. Keen to find out the secret to crowd sourced comics we got in touch with Joe to ask him all about it and also to give us his own take on the fascinating and very personal journey that brought us The Mighty Titan.
You’re using your own experiences of cancer to give the story it’s emotional core, why did you chose to go down the superhero route rather than a more introspective approach?
JM: I know comics. I know superheroes. Honestly, the inspiration came to me back in 2004 when I was home after my first cancer surgery. We all think that we are a bit immortal at times, even invulnerable. You can find out very quickly just how human you are, and how little time you have here on earth after you get a cancer diagnosis at 33 years old.
So which superhero books inspired you for The Mighty Titan, and which writers and artists?
JM: I am a huge Superman fan and people are suprised when I say that Superman wasn’t the inspiration for Titan. Captain Marvel is the main inspiration. Titan is the first character that I actively looked to be like another character. That is why having Jerry Ordway’s art was so awesome to me becasue it is his take on the character that is the most “Real” to me.
The first issue was Kickstarter funded, what inspired you to go down this route and what was the response like? How much did it exceed your expectations?
JM: I’ve backed every book I’ve ever done myself. I figured, with Kickstarter, that maybe I can do a series without taking food out of my kids’ mouths.
How do you think self publishing models like Kickstarter have helped smaller publishers like yourself? Would you use this process again for future projects are there any other self publishing models that you want to try for future projects?
JM: I think it is great. You will start seeing really great projects that bypass traditional venues. I mean, I would love to be in comic shops, and I plan to be, but this gives me instant access to my fans. It is awesome. You know that these people really care about what you are doing.
I am working on a deal now with Cloud9 for digital distribution. I like the idea of being a big fish in a little pond. I doubt anyone would find me in ComiXology, although, I think what they are doing is great.