feature Campaign Spotlight - Jonathan Saunders

Written, Penciled, Inked and Coloured by Jonathan Saunders, a first nations creator from Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia, ZERO POINT: ORIGINS is an superhero origin story spanning across several genres, but originates from the creator's love for all things comics and manga. Their campaign for ZERO POINT: ORIGINS is currently live on Kickstarter.
zero point: origins

Where to get it : Kickstarter campaign or wildnorthcomics.com

Currently funding on Kickstarter, ZERO POINT: ORIGINS is the high octane, action-packed prequel to the award-winning animated web-series Zero Point: Season Zero directed by Jonathon Saunders and produced by Undergrowth Productions, revealing the origin story of Australia's most powerful superhero and the world of UNIVERSE ZERO.

About the creator
Jonathon Saunders, the creator of Zero Point : Origins

Jonathon Saunders | Writer, Penciler, Inker, Colourist.

Jonathon Saunders is a Darwin based illustrator and animator. While born and raised in Darwin, Jonathon is a member of the Woppaburra indigenous people, from the Kanomie clan of Keppel Island in Queensland.

Q: A Brief background about yourself and how you got into comics?
Like a lot of Australians, my first exposure to comic books was through The Phantom! I also read Mad Magazine and Footrot Flats as well, since they were the most accessible. During my teenage years I began getting into American comics, like Dark Knight Returns, Ronin, Watchmen and really getting into Green Lantern. It was around that time I really got into anime and manga as well! After I finished high school, I studied fine art at Charles Darwin University. It was there I created my character Zero-Point, that I used in my stencil art, but always wanted to tell a story with this character in comics. In 2012 I got a copy of Manga Studio (now Clip Studio Paint) and started to play around, figuring out how to make comics and follow in the footsteps of the creators I admired.    

Q: What are your favourite comic book characters, Indie and/or mainstream?
Hmmmm, hard to say! There’s so many great characters in comics and manga. One that I always come back to is Clark Kent from Superman: Secret Identity. It's the best Superman story that isn’t about Superman. Clark is a really engaging character as he deals with his powers, sense of responsibility and isolation for being so different, all while protecting his loved ones. I love Frank Miller's Batman in Year One and the Dark Knight Returns. I always feel the character works best when he is taken back to his gritty, pulp roots as a figure that lurks in the shadows and not the bat-god with a million contingency plans. And I love Miller's take on Daredevil too. I like Hal Jordan/Green Lantern in The New Frontier, a great mix of the fearlessness of the silver age, while also struggling with his place in the military industrial complex dealing with PTSD.   Rorchach from Watchmen is probably Alan Moore's greatest creation and every other anti-hero feels pale in comparison. In the world of Manga, I love Major Motoko Kusanagi from Masamune Shirow’s Ghost in the Shell. In the manga she isn’t as stoic as in the 95 anime, she's more mischievous and kind of an asshole. I loved Vegeta and Trunks as a teen watching DBZ in the 00’s, but re-reading Dragon Ball now, I’ve come to really appreciate Goku, and that he has more depth than most people give Toriyama credit for.

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About your Creative Inspirations

Q: What kind of characters excite you in comics?
Characters that are chasing something, whether real or metaphorical. Characters are more interesting to me if they have to fight and claw their way to their goal.

Q: What kind of stories should your audience expect from you?
Hopefully non-stop thrills! 

Q: What’s the last comic book you read?
Been catching up on Chainsaw Man lately, Tatsuki Fujimoto has made a dark fantasy like no other, and each new chapter is crazier than the last!

About your latest project
Zero Point : Origins Cover
Q: Can you describe your latest project without spoilers?
ZERO POINT: ORIGINS is the epic origin story of Kyle Burton AKA Zero Point - a gritty, urban Australian take on the superhero genre mixing epic action, political intrigue, superhero mythos and shonen fantasy into a unique graphic narrative. 

Q: How did you develop the concept behind your latest project?
Zero-Point is a love letter to everything I love about comics, manga, anime and video-games rolled into one. I wanted to make an action thriller with superheroes that was a little more Tom Clancy than Stan Lee. I also felt it was important to make a cool superhero that happened to Aboriginal, rather than a Aboriginal superhero. 

Q: Who else other than you collaborated on the project?
ZERO POINT: ORIGINS is published through WILD NORTH COMICS, which I am a co-creator of. But for the comic itself, I write, pencil, ink and colour the whole thing myself. Timothy Parish, my WILD NORTH COMICS partner puts not only ZERO-POINT: ORIGINS together, but all WILD NORTH COMICS together and lays everything out.

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Q: How was your experience collaborating with the rest of the team?
I’m grateful for Tim’s expertise in Graphic Design and InDesign. I don’t think any WILD NORTH COMICS publications would look good without his skills.

Q: What's your next project, any ideas you're working with?
I might be doing a historical comic about Nemarluk in the future. I also want to make another independent animation this year as well!

Q: Where can people buy your books?
They can buy ZERO-POINT: ORIGINS at wildnorthcomics.com! You can also get it from our Kickstarter campaign that's currently on.
Q: Any words for fellow creators?
In the words of Shia Labeouf, do it. Just do it! Don’t let your dreams be dreams. Don’t wait until your art or writing is perfect, because perfect is the enemy of good. It doesn’t matter if it's not perfect, it's better to have a flawed comic in the real world, than a perfect comic in your imagination. Plus, the more you make comics, the better you get at making comics.

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