From Sidekick To Superhero – Jason Inman Talks ‘Super Best Friend’
by James Ferguson
Writer Jason Inman has hit Kickstarter for Super Best Friend, a new 48-page comic illustrated by George Kamdadais and lettered by Taylor Esposito. The comic explores Silver Age comic adventures through a modern lens, telling a story about a superhero’s sidekick / companion. I had a chance to speak with Inman about the project, what led to it, and Kickstarter itself.
James Ferguson: What is the elevator pitch for Super Best Friend?
Jason Inman: What if the world’s greatest superhero had a best friend who livestreamed his every fight and deed? Meet Mattie Moore, the best friend and videographer for Captain Terrific, the world’s greatest superhero. The villains hate Mattie and the fans love him. However, Mattie himself will have to deal with his love of superheroes when he accidentally reveals hidden secrets in one of his online videos. This comic is a deep dive into the mythos of heroes and their connection to their biggest fans.
JF: How did the creative team for Super Best Friend come together?
JI: I’ve been a fan of George Kamdadais for years. His work on The Secret Life of Miranda Taylor is a hidden gem. Luckily, I was on Twitter when he announced he was available for additional work in 2018. So, I quickly scooped him up. George loved the feel of the book and promptly drew a sketch of Mattie Moore. The design was so good we made it the main design of Mattie for the series!
Taylor Esposito is my lettering master. He’s created fantastic work on my last three books (Jupiter Jet, Science! and Jupiter Jet and the Forgotten Radio). There was no way I wasn’t working with him on this book, too.
JF: You have an interesting background including hosting DC All Access. How does something like that lead to the creation of Super Best Friend?
JI: My old show has everything to do with the creation of Super Best Friend. When you work for DC All Access, promoting and interviewing every comic book creator on the DC Comics docket, your entire life becomes talking about superheroes. It was an amazing job. I loved working there and discussing my favorite superheroes. However, there were days when the last thing I wanted to talk about was superheroes. This led me to ask the question. Would this happen in proper life if superheroes were real? Would people tire of discussing these extraordinary beings if they could watch YouTube videos of them every day in the actual world? I don’t think so.
In a lot of ways, Mattie is a much younger version of myself. He’s the superhero fan who has one of the greatest jobs in the world: Livestreaming and chatting about superheroes all day long. But unlike Mattie, I never had the stress of maintaining secret identities, hidden bases, and threats from villains who want to know where these heroes lay their heads at night. Which would cause a lot of problems and awkward situations for someone like Mattie Moore.
JF: This is your fourth Kickstarter campaign. Do you have any tips for folks looking to jump into the crowdfunding space?
JI: Always be realistic about the target of your Kickstarter. It’s the number one thing which will kill an excellent campaign; they set the goal too high. Add up the number of fans/audience you have online, and figure out what’s six percent of that number. Unless you have an extraordinary Kickstarter campaign, that number will be close to the number of backers you’ll have for your project. Set your goal at the number and fund the campaign. Then increase the aim with each new campaign. It’s more important to fund on Kickstarter than anything else.
JF: Would you compare Super Best Friend to any other friendship in comics?
JI: Most people will presumably expect this answer to be Jimmy Olsen and Superman. Which I’m definitely borrowing from. The truth of the matter is, I was more inspired by Daredevil and Foggy Nelson. Think about it. Daredevil has superpowers, but doesn’t think Foggy can help him take down the Owl. Still, Foggy’s legal skills and perseverance are just as powerful as Daredevil’s billy club. The relationship between my principal characters, Mattie Moore and Captain Terrific, is very similar. Terrific is going to learn that Mattie is more powerful than he ever expected. And Mattie? He’s going to learn how to go from a sidekick to a superhero. Everyone can be the hero.
Comicon would like to thank Jason Inman for taking the time to speak with us. The Kickstarter campaign for Super Best Friend is running now. It has already surpassed its funding goal.