5 Questions About...

For the third edition of our 5 Questions About... series, Stuart got in the ring with Luke Kondor and Ben Errington to ask them some questions about their KickStarter campaign for the fantastic looking El Marvo #1...

First off, what is the secret origin story of El Marvo?  How did the project come together?

LUKE: El Marvo was born way back in 2000. It was this wonderfully independent thing that Ben wrote, drew, coloured, stapled, polished, etc. He did everything and it was this wonderful amalgam ofinfluences and inspirations at the time. It’s good. If not, a little, rip-offy. (His words).

So when we started working together about a year ago and he told me about this luchador vigilante character called El Marvo, I said, “Let’s throw him into a post-apocalyptic future”.

And Ben said, “Sure, why not?"

And that was it really. The two ideas come together strangely well. One internet-being said, "This is the strangest combination I never knew I wanted.”

I agree!

There’s just something strangely catchy about those two elements combined and the ideas have flourished from there. It’s an incredibly fun world to write in.

BEN: I used to draw my friends in less than flattering ways when I was in school. I turned my good pal Marvin into El Marvo, a buck toothed less than impressive superhero. The character is completely different now, he’s a Luchador rather than a hapless Spider-Man rip off, the only thing that’s really remained is the colours he’s daubed in – red and gold.

Without giving too much away, what's El Marvo about?

LUKE: The story is really about Muck. This singular continent full of mutants and humans living under the draconian rule of Sokrates.

It’s a world with a half-remembered past. The ruins of the modern world are broken and strange. Muckers think that Apple was an omnipotent God-being, that zero-hour contracts was a disease in keeping with the bubonic plague, and that the heroes of old — Robocop, Han Solo, etc, were real.

So then we introduce this luchador with a broken mind and an unwavering sense of honour and right-and-wrong, and he sees the corruption and decides to fight for the people again. To reclaim his title as the people’s hero.

On top of that we have our two sidekicks with their own stories to play, and a whole host of mutants and freaks that make up Marvo’s rogue gallery.

Who are the people behind the comic and where have we seen their work before?

LUKE: Will Robson worked on the cover. He’s now been fully assimilated into the Marvel offices. I think he’s contractually obliged to Misery-snap his own ankles now. He’s so good, they will never let him leave.

Dan Butcher is doing the interiors. You’d recognise his work from the fan favourite superhero webcomic, Vanguard. His storytelling craft is on-point and I think he’s having fun making sense of the madness of Muck.

This is mine and Ben’s first comic, but you might recognise us from one of our various podcasts, novels, or local street corners in our flashing reds.

BEN: Luke and I are Hawk & Cleaver founders (along with our colleagues Dan Willcocks and Matt Butcher). It’s a digital story studio, a totally independent thing.

We’ve released loads of short stories and novels, but this is our first adventure into the realm of comics. We’re both huge comic fans so writing a comic script felt quite natural, despite the fact we’ve never published anything of this scale in the medium before.

With so many Small Press and Indie comics choosing to go the KickStarter route, what was it about that platform that appealed to you to launch this comic?

LUKE: Kickstarter is now the third biggest comic publisher outside of the big two. I think. Somebody said that to me and it sounds kinda-sorta right.

In all honesty, it pretty much seemed like a rite of passage and it was something I personally really wanted to do. I figured it would be nice and breezy. We’re now 2 weeks in. Not so breezy.

BEN: We’re definitely Kickstarter amateurs – there’s been a lot to learn while putting the campaign together. BUT, we managed to 100% fund the first issue in just over a week so we must be doing something right.

You have a plan for El Marvo beyond issue 1 and the KickStarter - again without spoilers - what can we look forward to in future issues and do you have a timescale in mind for when they'll be released?

LUKE: Well as this is only issue one, and it’s our first comic, we’re really just trying to make this as good as it can be, and try to get it out to as many eyes as possible. So it’s all geared towards that. (You can grab the digital copy for £1 from our Kickstarter.)

The first arc will be 4-5 issues and at the very minimum, we’ll get issue 2 out by the end of 2017. But all going well, I’d like to push for issue 3 on top of that.

BEN: We’ve got a lot of stories to tell in the world of Muck, not just that of El Marvo and his friends. There’s a whole world full of interesting characters that we just know we’d have a lot of fun bringing to life! Whether that’s in future comics or in another format, we’re not quite sure yet.

Thanks guys.

You can check out and pre-order El Marvo #1 on the KickStarter page.