Dan Mendoza has been a long-time friend of First Comics News. We have covered his work on Zombie Tramp, DollFace and Sad Girl Psycho Baby. He has a new comic Sad Girl Psycho Baby #3 hitting Kickstarter this Wednesday 1-22-2020. As he is getting ready for the big launch he stopped by First Comics News to update our readers on what to expect from the Kickstarter.
First Comics News: For anyone who may have missed your prior two Sad Girl Psycho Baby Kickstarter, who is Sad Girl?
Dan Mendoza: Sad Girl Psycho Baby is a post-apocalyptic genre book about at Mutant Latina anti-hero cursed with the power of suicide.
this power is so strong that anyone who is around her too long kills themselves. in this new world, there is no government or law. cities are overtaken by gangs
of different kinds of mutants. The Gang turfs are called Castles. it’s a blend of Mad Max mixed with Low Rider culture.
1st: Who is Sugar Pop?
Dan: Awe, straight to the cute unicorn girl. haha. Before I came up with the story of Sad Girl, I was already developing Sugar Pop for a while. At the time I was still knee-deep in Zombie Tramp books and knew if I was to branch out and get back into self-publishing, I would only have time to make one title. it was then, that I decided to take the two titles and mix them together and thus Sugar pop became Sad Girl’s sidekick. I really liked sugar pop’s design and personality but wasn’t sure if it was a title to start right off the bat with. she was so different from what Zombie Tramp fans were used to seeing from me. she’s cute, bubbly, and magical. As soon as Sad Girl issue 1 came out, she was such a fan favorite that I knew I had to tell her origin story. so with the help of ex Zombie Tramp artist, TMChu, I launched issue one of Sugar Pop last year and it was funded in less than one minute.
Dan: With 2 Sad girl books and 1 Sugar pop book under my belt, I was in the development of a third character to add to my new universe of Violent Fems when my Life Mate, Knightmare Lynch had an idea for a horror genre character that was a type of cat vampire. I liked the idea and asked her to see if she could expand on it. After a bit of back and forth of her ideas and my stubborn ways, we decided the only way this character could exist was to have her own title. I immediately put the new character I was working on back in the vault and Kannibal Kitty was born. This title became such a hardcore horror genre piece that I was drawing things I never had before and it was by far the bloodiest thing I’ve ever worked on (yes. way bloodier than Zombie Tramp). The entire script was written by Knightmare and when I was working on pages, I would read the script and ask her, “do you really want me to show it like this?” and her answer was always, “hell yeah!”
Dan: The Still iLL Princess is my Studio Mascot. she is a concoction that represents the drawing style I’m known for which is cute, sexy cartoon girls with dark twisted stories. I always refer to my style as a mixture of Disney and over the top sexy Anime, so in designing this Mascot, I created a cute, mentally ill, Princess.
1st: What’s the plot of this issue?
Dan: In this issue of Sad Girl Psycho baby 3, Sad Girl and Sugar Pop escort a Cavegirl back to the Castle she had once fled to overthrow the corrupt kingdom of Dinosaur Castle ruled by the notorious gang leader, Turtle Tutu.
1st: One of the fears readers have about Kickstarter is that the project will never get finished, How much of this issue is already completed?
Dan: One thing I’ve always been known for in my career is my speed. coming from an Animation Background, I was taught to draw very fast. when I drew Dollface back in the day, I could draw an entire issue in less than 10 days. It’s no different here. I always get the jump on these books before the Kickstarter launches. the stories are written throughout the year while I’m traveling to shows and I start drawing them about 2 months before launch. this book is completed. coloring has begun by Carlos Moreno who is also extremely fast and colors in that cell-shaded style that I love.
Dan: The 1st Kickstarter, Sad Girl Psycho Baby 1 was a nerve-racking one. I didn’t really know how it would do. yes, my Fans loved Zombie Tramp and the stuff I did with Dollface, but I didn’t know how they react to me going off on my own with this title. Needless to say, it was fully funded in 1 hour and made 44K. I knew I had a hit on my hands and started working immediately on issue 2. I launched it a year later and it was immediately funded in 4 minutes making almost 84K. after that, the other titles followed with equal success. each one gaining more fans and more backers.
Dan: When I launched Sad Girl issue 1, I set the goal to $8000. it was enough to cover the costs of printing a few hundred books to put in my online store and take it from there. the more backers I got, the more books I had to print. My kickstarters are generally 900% funded but the $8,000 goal has become the Still iLL Princess tradition.
1st: If your new to the series and don’t know if you want to jump on for a third issue will you have tiers that include the previous two issues?
Dan: Yes. this Kickstarter will be a big one. not only does any reward you order come with a digital copy of Sad Girl 1 and 2, but we have set up a special add on section where you can add funds to your pledge to get physical copies of Sad girl 1, Sad Girl 2, Sugar pop 1, and Kanniabal Kitty 1.
1st: Who do you have lined up on alternate covers?
Dan: For this run, we have an amazing lineup. we have Dead @ 17 creator, Josh Howard, Zombie Tramp famed cover artist, Bill Mckay, Jose Varese, David Harrigan and much more.
Dan: My rewards are always very simple. they are set to the artist that drew the cover. you pick the cover you like and BOOM! you’re done. But for those that want just a bit more, we mixed up the flavors
Grindhouse covers reward- Limited to 50
All Regular covers reward- Unlimited
All Nude covers reward- Unlimited
Regular & Nude covers reward- Unlimited
*Reward that has become a tradition for all my Kickstarter which is all the covers we have plus an original hand-drawn cover from me. This Reward is always limited to 10 so you gotta act fast.
Dan: The whole process of a Kickstarter from start to finish generally takes about 3 months. the Kickstarter campaign goes 30 days. next is building an order survey for all orders where we send all backers an email to fill out and confirm their orders and give us their address. next, we go to print which generally takes a few weeks and lastly, SHIPPING! this is by far the most tediously and expensive part of a Kickstarter. Still, iLL Princess is only a two-person operation and Since I’m always Drawing, and Knightmare is always writing and running the online store, it makes it extremely hard to take on the large orders of a Kickstarter. This is where Coffin Comics comes in. In the time of sad Girl 1, I had asked Coffin Comics Owner, Brian Pulido of Lady Death fame if he knew of or had any solutions to hiring someone for fulfillment. Knowing my hardcore work ethic and fast-paced mentality, Pulido Offered his staff’s assistance at Coffin HQ to take on the task. thus the awesome relationship between the two companies began.
1st: This is part 1 of Attack at Dinosaur Castle, how many parts are there?
Dan: This story will be a 3 parter but since I’m the guy in charge now, it may go 4 if the story needs it.
1st: How many pages are there in this comic?
Dan: About 44. when I started this label, one of the things that always bugged me was the shortness of a regular comic book. many times, I would have to cut a lot out of a story or cut a fight short because I had to stay in that 22 page limit of most books. So when I started self-publishing I told myself that stories were going to be as long as they needed to be. so I upped my page limit to be 44. double the size of a comic book store book. also since these indie projects run higher than a typical comic book price, I wanted to give fans more bang for their buck. we make on average 40+ page books of pure story on high-quality paper that you don’t get in a comic store book. When graded by CGC or CBCS, my books came back 9.9 and 10’s.
1st: When can readers expect part 2 of this story to come out?
Dan: We are shooting for the end of the year. with such a cliffhanger, I want to jump right in and try to get the next chapter completed as soon as possible.
1st: What is the minimum pledge for a print copy?
Dan: just $20
1st: For anyone still on the fence about this project, what makes Sad Girl Psycho Baby #3 so cool no true comic fan should miss this Kickstarter?
Dan: Sad Girl Psycho Baby is a no holds barred story that is completely raw and uncut. In the current PC world, we live in, that’s something that is a rare find. I grew up in the era of ’70s, ’80s, and ’90s movies and comic books. awesome times of Brutes and Babes (as Bart Sears called it) with no held punches. It’s what I grew up on and what I love. I think that shines through in my stories and art. If you like Grindhouse, Horror, and exploitation films, Sad Girl Psycho Baby comics are for you.
1st: Visit the Kickstarter