Editor’s Note: As reported previously, comic book artist Eddy Hedington and Grit City Comics currently have a Kickstarter campaign for their comic book anthology Heroes Need Masks to raise funds for PPE for healthcare workers. One of our Terror Time writers, Kevin Winslow, is a contributing artist to the anthology. Winslow was able to interview Eddy Hedington about the indie Grit City Comics label, the state of the industry for small comic companies and general comic book nerdiness. With a contribution to Cthulu Is Hard To Spell and the creation of The Dunwich Boys on his resume, Hedington is an artist after our own heart.

Kevin Winslow: Please tell us about Grit City Comics.
Eddy Hedington: GCC is very small and very indie. Though I am releasing The Dunwich Boys through it, we plan to use it mostly for comic anthology releases with future goals for more non-profit ventures. We hope to one day grow our company but as for now, we are content with where we are at.

How did you get started in comics?
As for how I got started…I’d say I’m still working on it. I have an absolute love for writing stories and to me, that is the real goal. I’ve been writing since I was a kid, but only recently have been brave enough to share my work with the world and comics felt like the best place for me to express myself. Once I decided to finally apply myself, I’ve never let up. I’m grateful for the success I’ve had and can only attribute it to one thing…my absolute love for writing stories.

What makes indie comics special?
Some of the greatest artwork is made simply for the love of creation. Comics isn’t the easiest way to make money, so to be an indie comic creator, your love is the only thing that keeps you motivated. As a fan of comics, I’m always looking for that and it can be easily found in the indie comic community.

How has Kickstarter treated you?  What have you learned doing campaigns?
Kickstarter has been a great forum for me as an indie comic creator and so far, it’s been integral to the creative process. It both facilitates creation while also being a venue to showcase your creation. I’m grateful that it exists. And mostly what I’ve learned is that maximum effort is the least one can do when chasing your dreams. You may fool yourself with minimal effort, but it takes maximum effort to fool everyone else.

What motivated you to focus on the cause of providing PPE for medical workers?
Simply put…I felt helpless and needed to do something. None of these healthcare workers asked to have the burden of the world placed on their shoulders, but they accepted it with no questions asked. They felt a human need to heal and they asked for nothing more in return. So it broke my heart to see that they couldn’t even get  basic protections. That was unacceptable to me and I needed to do something.

How have you been dealing with the pandemic?
Its been ruff. I’ve been focusing on my family and my craft. This is something I normally do, but lately, it’s been more detrimental to my existence than before. 

Any thoughts on the overall health of the comic industry in light of the pandemic response?
I can only speak for indie comics. The cancelling of a year of cons has been a huge impact. We don’t all have distribution deals, so cons is how we get comics to fans. I hope after this, convention organizers recognize this and allow for more opportunities to help struggling creators.

As “monster kids” we were huge fans of “Monster Mashup:VOL 1” – can you tell us how that came about?
I love using the public domain. I equate it to having both the Marvel and DC universe at your fingertips. As aspiring comic creators, we often dream of what we’d do with those big name properties, but we already have plenty to work from already. With the concept of “mashing up” PD properties, it allows us to use known properties within a connected universe while still having complete freedom do what we want. As comic nerds, we often wonder what it look like if two universes collided. As comic creators, the public domain gives us the ability to create that wonder. As for the use of monsters…everyone loves a good villain.

Any stand-out memories of putting it together? 
Seeing the end product as a book in my hands. The book came out looking really great and holding it in my hands made all the hard work worth it.
Any updates on Vol. 2?
That’s a tough one. In all actuality, we can start the campaign next week. We’re still waiting on a few important pieces, but most of it is ready to go. We’re just waiting for the right time. Not too sure when that is…but should be soon. Heroes Need Masks has taken up my most recent efforts, but it hasn’t affected MM volume 2 in the long run. Just like most things in the world today, we’re just putting things on hold. Hopefully, it’ll be soon, but we’re ready when we finally decide.

Could you tell us about Dunwich Boys?
The Dunwich Boys issue 2 is in production and we’re itching to show what we have planned. This issue is action packed and a huge step forward into a larger story arc. We will learn about our characters more on a personal level in this issue and, as the creator, that’s important to me. This issue will give each of us on the production team the opportunity to show off our skills and we can’t wait to show everyone. Once this current campaign wraps up, I plan on giving a series of updates with our creative process. We’ll be focusing on the first 2 pages and how it goes from an initial idea to a final product. Stay tuned.

Where else can we find your work?  (We’re fans of “Cthulhu is Hard to Spell”, too, so feel free to spotlight that)
Right now I’ve released The Dunwich Boys through Indyplanet, so that’s always available. Cthulhu Is Hard To Spell is always available through Wannabe Press. You can get Little Heroes volume 2 and volume 3 on their site. It’s a great charity, so I recommend going there. Otherwise…think most of my titles are on Comixology? I have some anthologies coming out and some in production, so Kickstarter will always be the best place to find that. I’ll be in Always Punch Nazis: volume 3 and We’re Zombies Too: volume 3, which should be coming soon. HOWEVER…everything I have will be available during the 2021 con season at my table, so keep an eye out for me.

How can people help the Heroes Need Masks Kickstarter?
Backing will always help, but sharing is just as important. And don’t just share, put your emotions into it. Explain why you feel a need to share. Also, find a way to share it outside of the comic community. Get some fresh eyes on it. It really does help us out.

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