Scott Harris-King talks about CRIMEBUSTERS

Scott Harris-King joined a collective of 5 Kickstarter campaigns with 5 independent creators banding together to launch on the same day (or within a few days of each other). Their goal is to help promote each other’s campaigns and support each other during the long days of a Kickstarter campaign. Scott is launching Crimebusters #1-2 and he stopped by First Comics News to let our readers know all about Crimebusters.

First Comics News: Does your Crimebusters series have any relation to the Golden Age hero Chuck Chandler — aka Crimebuster — from Boy Comics?

Scott Harris: Yes! Though new readers don’t need to have ever read the original series, The Crimebusters does co-star Chuck Chandler and continues where that title left off with #119. That means Chuck and his new partner Trixie Trouble are beginning their Junior year of college at Curtiss Tech in the fall of 1956.

1st: What made you want to bring back Chuck Chandler?

Scott: Ever since I first discovered his series over a decade ago, I’ve been in love with the character, whose stories were expertly written by creator Charles Biro. I was particularly drawn to the tales at the end of the series, which were classic teen detective tales, filled with adventure. From one issue to the next, Chuck would investigate jewel thieves, fly to the Amazon jungle, get trapped in an abandoned mine, or infiltrate Spanish bullfighting rings. As a kid, I loved teen detectives like Nancy Drew and The Three Investigators, and Chuck’s adventures were the closest I had found in comic book form. I wanted more — so I decided to do it myself!

1st: Who is Trixie Trouble?

Scott: Trixie is Chuck’s new partner. A spunky and fearless reporter for the school newspaper, Trixie is my homage to classic girl detectives like Nancy Drew, Veronica Mars, and, of course, Trixie Belden. I’m also a huge fan of Lois Lane; like Lois, Trixie has a habit of heedlessly rushing into danger in search of a good story, which is why she’s known by the nickname Trixie Trouble — because she always manages to get herself and everyone around her into trouble!

1st: Is Chuck’s pet monkey sidekick Squeeks still around?

Scott: Since most colleges don’t allow students to keep a live monkey in their dorm room, Squeeks is back in New York City while Chuck is off at school. But I love Squeeks, so I definitely wanted to keep him around, which is why issue #1 has a Squeeks solo backup story showing what Squeeks is getting up to by himself. We’ll be seeing more of him in the future too!

1st: What about Chuck’s archenemy Iron Jaw, is he still in the comic?

Scott: Not yet, but I have plans for him!

1st: Who is Vera Veritas and how does she fit into the story?

Scott: Vera is Trixie’s roommate and best friend. She’s also a brilliant science major studying astronomy and rocket science in the hopes of joining the nascent space program, which is just getting started when the series begins in 1956. She’s their tech specialist — when Chuck and Trixie need a hand understanding something science-y, they call Vera. Sometimes she’s too busy with her own secret projects to help, though, which is the focus of her solo backup story in issue #2!

1st: You seem to have a more Archie/Scooby Doo vibe to your presentation. Is that intentional?

Scott: Absolutely! I’m a huge Archie fan. One of the biggest influences on the creation of The Crimebusters was the original Life with Archie series, which featured the Archie gang in all sorts of weird — and often supernatural — adventures. So I intentionally designed the art to have an Archie-esque feel. And Scooby Doo is the gold standard for supernatural adventure mystery.  I’m not trying to reinvent the wheel here — I’m just hoping to maybe roll it a little faster than readers are used to!

1st: I notice you are kickstarting both issues 1 and 2, what if you already got issue 1 on the last Kickstarter?

Scott: If you already have issue #1, firstly, thanks so much for supporting me! This project is a total labor of love, a real passion project, and I am truly grateful for every person who spends their time and money checking out The Crimebusters. And don’t worry — there are reward tiers available where you can just get issue #2 if you don’t need #1!

1st: What is the minimum pledge for a digital copy?

Scott: For $6 you can get an enhanced PDF version of either #1 or #2, each featuring over 50 pages of bonus material including complete Chuck stories form the Golden Age of comics. Or you can get both of them for $10!

1st: What is the minimum pledge for a print copy?

Scott: It’s $8 plus shipping for the regular edition of either #1 or #2, or $15 plus shipping for the pair.

1st: What rewards do you have planned?

Scott: There are four different variant covers for issue #2, including a Boy Comics variant that continues the numbering from Chuck’s original series, and a Trixie’s Mysteries variant by Juvenile Diversion creator Heather Farrington that pays homage to classic detective novels like Nancy Drew. There’s also a Kickstarter Exclusive variant cover and a variant cover collaboration with neurdiverse comic creator Avery Houle.

Additionally, you can get a sketch cover of #1 where I will hand-draw the scene and characters of your choice or a Make 100 with sketch cards of the character of your choice. There’s even a higher level reward where you can be drawn into the background of the comic!

My favorite reward, though, is the Fan Club Membership Kit, which is modeled after the fan clubs from the 40’s and 50’s — with this you receive stuff like an exclusive pin-up, a membership certificate, a Junior Crimebuster badge, a replica of Trixie’s press pass, a secret decoder book to decipher messages hidden in each issue, and more. I just love the flavor of it!

1st: This is the second issue. The first was successful, so why join the 5 independent creators Kickstarter launch campaign?

Scott: Because I love the Kickstarter comics community! Every time I go to Kickstarter, I come away inspired by all the new ideas, new voices, and new creators sharing their passion and art with the world. I love supporting other indie comic creators. There’s an energy and a vibe with indie books that’s unique and wonderful; I want to support it, and I want to be part of it!

1st: For any readers still on the fence, what makes The Crimebusters so cool no true comic fan should miss it?

Scott: Though there’s an ongoing narrative that weaves through the series, I’ve tried very hard to make each individual issue a complete and fulfilling reading experience that stands alone on its own merits. Issue #1 features “Return of the Death Mask,” a self-contained, 30-page comic novel with a beginning, middle, and end. And issue #2 features the complete 31-page story “The Secret of the Ghost Bride!” There’s no writing for the trade here or decompression — I’m writing for now, and I’m packing each page with plot, action, and dialogue! I’ve had several readers tell me it took them a half hour or more to read issue #1, and that’s what I love to hear. Because it’s not about being flashy, it’s about telling a good story and telling it well.

So if you like good old fashion storytelling, check it out! And thank you!

Sign up to become a Junior Crimebuster today and receive a free digital preview of The Crimebusters #1 and #2!

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