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Lee Newman & Shiro Gauthier: Torn Between Scylla and Barbarian Queen Karybdis [Interview]

Lee Newman is the creative mastermind behind Benalee Books writing books such as Burdened Vessel, Tales from the Odditorium, and the superhero Sissonne.  Shiro Gauthier aka So Very Unofficial, is an incredible artist who’s been creating entertaining content for Webtoons, Tapas, and so much more!

I got the chance to sit down with Lee and Shiro to talk about what they think an underrated song is that everyone needs to hear, and what it was that inspired each of them to become creators in the first place. Lee shared an incredible story about how his first experience as a writer was winning a radio station contest, which allowed him to meet Rob Zombie and Alice Cooper. Shiro has been drawing since she was old enough to hold a pencil.  

Lee Newman & Shiro Gauthier

We then talked about where they get their ideas from, with most of them being inspired by classic horror monsters, Saturday Morning Cartoons, lots of 90s nostalgia, and copious amounts of anime.  We also chat about the process of prepping and releasing a Kickstarter, how long they plan to tell the story of BQK, whether or not they have already figured out the ending of the story, whether or not there are any crossovers planned, what we can see from them in the future, and any advice they may have for up-and-coming creatives!

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Lee and Shiro’s latest book, Barbarian Queen Karybdis #1, is available on Kickstarter right now!  The idea for this story basically came as easy as “going to the toy box, pulling out a couple of action figures, and banging them against each other until a story pops out!”. If you’re unsure if this book is for you.

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Check out the premise:

In the untamed, ever-changing world of Mael’ström the corruption of the evil Necromage twists its way into every corner of the land. One warrior stands to oppose his desiccating hand; not for glory or power, but for revenge and family.  (We REALLY wanted  Vin Diesel for voice-over on that bit, but it just wasn’t in the budget)

That warrior is the Barbarian Queen Karybdis. With the help of her acceptably treacherous, usually well-meaning, friend-adjacent companion, Slink the Lizardman, Kay quests across Mael’ström in an attempt to rescue her kidnapped daughter from the clutches of the Necromage before his evil corrupts the entire land.

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Lee has a lot of cool stretch goals and rewards, so let’s make sure we help him spread the word and get this funded, so we can get this amazing ’90s nostalgia piece out into the world, and bring back the magic of Saturday Morning Cartoons!

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Chris Dailey

A jack of many trades, but a master of none, Chris dabbles in many nerdy hobbies including toy collecting, reading comics, writing fiction, reading novels, and playing video games.  He’s also a huge wrestling fan, and knows more about it than most normal people should.  

When he’s not writing or hosting podcasts for Geek Network, he can be found listening to podcasts and hanging out with his wife, his two daughters, and his little dog Gertie.

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