I was born and raised in Brazil and always dreamed of telling stories to a global audience. I've been writing and Kickstarting projects (films, comics, TV) ever since 2012 to audiences worldwide. AMA!
Back in 2011 I had to leave California after a Master's degree in Film to go back to my home country Brazil. Instead of responsibly falling back on Advertising like most film making graduates do over there I set out to pursue my dream of making a living as a storyteller. I set out to write and direct my very first feature film for less than $10K while adapting a feature length screenplay into a graphic novel to be released two years later. I crowdfunded both projects. I was determined to find myself my own global audience no matter what.
Almost eight years later, and over 20 successful crowdfunding campaigns in both Brazil and the US, I found a passionate fan base that follows my work whether it's comics, film or my latest project - a board game. Ask me anything about making comics, writing for Film and TV, being an entrepreneur, a PR enthusiast, a passionate storyteller, a Brazilian Churrasco master chef and a determined fool that dreams for a living.
Proof that I'm here: https://truepic.com/5fq6auff
Link to my latest comic book on Kickstarter funded in an hour: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/felipecagno/the-few-and-cursed-6-season-finale?ref=904s33
Link to the Board Game based on my comics: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/mikegnade/the-few-and-cursed-board-game?ref=dw9mfq
THANKS FOR THE QUESTIONS!
I have a couple of films and a bunch of comics. Among my favorite films of all time are the original Jurassic Park, Raiders of the Lost Ark and Goonies. See a pattern there?
More than be inspired by specific films or comic books I'm inspired by professionals and in this case Steven Spielberg. Later on I also really got into Lord of the Rings too, I read all three of them during my junior in high school and flunked Math because I read them in class sitting in the far back (the Jurassic Park novel is also a favorite).
As far as comics I grew up on Marvel and DC and aside from Batman I was a huge X-Men fan as well. The comic that got me was X-Tinction Agenda Part 6 (loved it and had to go back to read them all!)
What are your main inspirations for The Few and Cursed universe? And especially the disappearance of most water?
When I approached Fabiano Neves to do a comic book together he asked me to write him a Western. I then drew inspiration from films like Shane or The Man With No Name. For the character I knew I wanted a female protagonist because you don't see a lot of women taking center stage in westerns and then I remembered of a film by Sam Raimi featuring Sharon Stone: The Quick and the Dead.
The disappearance of water was my McGuffin to explain the supernatural in this world I was creating and it came directly from this very serious drought that my hometown São Paulo in Brazil was going through. We only had water for a few hours of the day and that definitely influenced me.
Thanks for your reply! I was wondering if there were any deeper meaning to it that would unravel later in the series but it is nice to see how current events can influence creation in such a defining way.
My next story arcs are also influenced by some of the things going in the world now so you can expect a lot more of the real world affecting Red's universe.
What is your plan for AFTER the end of the current "Crows of Mana'loa" arc?
Definitely continue working on The Few and Cursed in other arcs. I have at least three more stories to tell in this universe but something tells me Fabiano and I will go a lot further than that.
I'm also prepping a spin-off graphic novel revolving around a character created specifically for the board game: Postwoman LaVerne.
Not sure if you also asked what's next outside TFAC but I'm currently working on another graphic novel as well with a Hollywood creative exec that I've become a huge fan of. He developed the story and outline, I'm scripting and editing and artist Bräo is doing the art. Expect to see it on Kickstarter soon!
That's great! So you plan at least 3 more story arcs for the Few and the Cursed. Will these follow the regular method of kickstarters? Should we fans buy bigger houses to get all the cool prints and collectible cards we will be receiving?
Lol, that's not for me to decide but I believe as long as fans and readers are jumping on the Kickstarter badnwagon, we will keep doing them =)
Will the Redhead ever get a proper name?
She has a proper name... I just choose to keep it to myself :D
Are there any other forms of media you would like to see The Few and Cursed go into someday? Film, TV, Web Series, etc.
Yes, absolutely! I'm actually working hard and building a large fan base as possible to hopefully one day make it to Hollywood preferably as a TV show but I won't be opposed to the idea of making a feature film too.
Especially if I could be involved creatively in any way.
That would be great. I agree, I think a TV show with the ability to really character develop and universe build would be an ideal fit. I mean films are great too - but usually don't allow for the same type of nuance and building within 2 hours that a season of a show would allow.
I'm always character driven when I write my stories and the TV format would really be ideal to preserve that aspect from the comics =)
What is your favorite anime? Have you got any influence to your creative work from anime/manga?
Vampire Hunter D!!
I remember watching it late late at night on Cartoon Network. I also love Saint Seiya and the Zodiac Knights, I've watched that one over and over again for years. I'd say both had an influence on me as a storyteller.
One of the most difficult aspects of designing a product can be not the brainstorming, but deciding what doesn't fit. Are there any features/story/art/etc that are killing you that they didn't make it into the final product? Are you dying to fit them into later expansions? Some you hate to see go but realize they'll never fit?
You are absolutely right and I learned that the hard way. The first graphic novel I wrote I had this huge cast and I wanted to do this epic adventure that would have spawn dozens of comics but you learn pretty quickly that less is more.
I do save all my ideas to hopefully use them in the future.
I really wanted to have more characters and monsters both in the game and in the comics. I've said it somewhere here before and I will say it again I've always been character driven when writing and I'm always coming up with these rich back stories that really have no space when you are going for a leaner narrative.
That's why I did Chronicles of The Few and Cursed and why I plan on start doing one-shots within the same universe.
What's your favorite comic book movie? And most hated?
I gotta say Avengers: Endgame is pretty up there but one of the first times I went to the movies in my life was to go see Tim Burton's original Batman. I was five at the time and my dad has always been this big movie fan so he took me with him.
That had an impact on me.
I hated the latest Fantastic Four, that one was painful to watch... X-Men Last Stand and Justice League are also up there as most hated films too.
Batman was the same for me. My aunt took me to the local drive-in, I was big enough to stand up in her truck and not touch the roof. It was the first movie I remember seeing and it holds a special place for me.
I just remember leaving the theatre in absolute awe.... however, deciding to pursue a career in film and storytelling came much later in life.
What was the most difficult problem you faced in writing TFC? What was your inspiration in creating Red?
I always wanted a female protagonist for the western I was developing for Fabiano Neves.
The visual inspiration though came from Sam Raimi's The Quick and the Dead featuring Sharon Stone. I also love Mel Gibson's Maverick and Jodie Foster's role in it.
Since they were both blondes I figure my character would be a redhead.
The most difficult problem tackling TFAC is definitely keeping things fresh when there are so many Westerns and monster-chasing films out there.
I could have easily pit the Redhead against Werewolves but I made sure, and did a lot of research, to come up with my own monsters: the Crows, Tsilkali, The White Demon.
Finding an original voice with so much content being constantly produced is definitely the hardest thing.
Given your background in film, any chance we’ll be seeing Red in a live-action or animated feature or series?
I'd love to say it's a big chance but even if and when it lands at a studio or network the chances of actually making to the screen are still pretty rare.
I can say though I'm actively working on it and that I'd rather go with live-action than an animated feature but in an ideal world why not both, right?
Hopefully with all the streaming platforms out there like Amazon & Netflix - there will be a chance to get some traction! I'm still sad that Amazon passed on "Edge" a few years ago. I need a good Western series now that Deadwood and Hell on Wheels are over.
I just started watching Deadwood and I'm loving every minute of it!
And yep, with Godless done on Netflix, Westworld moving further and further away from being a Western, we could use The Few and Cursed on TV, couldn't we?
Glad to hear you’re working toward it!
Let’s say it does make to film and with your preference, live-action. Are there any prominent actresses which you envision capturing the essence of the Redhead and would like to see play the role? I’m curious to see if the ones I could imagine are in your ballpark.
Oh it's hard not to daydream about these things. I have two favorite actresses that I think would kill as the Redhead because they have that very strong on-screen presence, that commanding attitude that imposes respect.
I'd say Katheryn Winnick and Vanessa Kirby.
Yay! I got one of them right...Katheryn Winnick. I do enjoy her work.
Thanks for the responses. Good luck to all your endeavors and hope to see more of the Redhead in future comics and on-screen (::crosses fingers for ya::).
Thanks so much!
How did you and Fabiano meet?
We actually did a convention in Brazil with the same group of friends in common. After that we decided to do a short comic book story together which turned out to be Red's first appearance.
What are some of your favorite board games?
When Mike started developing TFAC board game he told me to play Clank to understand what the deck-building genre was. I loved it!
I've always been a more traditional board game kinda guy, I love Risk, Life, Monopoly, just recently I started veering towards the board game world past the family games.
Rock Manor Games' Maximum Apocalypse is phenomenal and I had a blast playing Set a Watch last week!
Honestly after our playtest at Origins I was feeling the Clank! vibe pretty strongly too, but I did like the level of variability between the different characters starting decks and in just the general other things you can do on the map. I really enjoy Clank so it's no surprise TFAC hit me in the same way, but it has so much more openness to it I'll be very happy once I have it on my shelf next year. Plus I love me some good minis. I know the playtest set was just rapid prototype, but I'm still looking forward to it and the painting it will require
As much as I love Clank it does get repetitive halfway through the game and that's something I did not feel with TFAC. In fact, I can't wait to play again so I can try a different strategy and perhaps this time be able to beat Mike lol
I definitely agree and I look forward to the final game!
How do you feel about Kickstarter now as a creator compared to when you started crowdfunding? How does the growing fanbase impacts the campaign and does it feel different than before (since now you have to compete with more and more established creators using it more for preorders than for its original purpose, this is particularly true for board games I do not know the situation for comics)?
This question is also addressed to u/boomgnade
That's an excellent question. Running Kickstarter campaigns has become a much more complex endeavor now than when I started out because when you are in the beginning I feel there isn't as much pressure to perform.
And that's the same with comics and board games. We've been doing fantastically well on TFAC board game Kickstarter but because Mike has been so successful in the past and unlocked so many Stretch Goals that's what's expected from this game too.
Having more and more backers definitely makes the campaign easier because you know there's an audience already waiting for it but at the same time so much is expected from you. And you always want to keep the Stretch Goals fresh and the added content to be new and exciting.
So you end up finding yourself not just thinking about the product you are kickstarting but also all the extras around it unlocked via Stretch Goals and how to strategize them, it's not just getting funded as it was in the past. It becomes this complex project that needs to be worked on every single day and to perform every single day. The room for errors become smaller and smaller.
Everything I said here works for both comics and board games.
Which comic book (not created by you) do you wish you would have created? (and please elaborate)
Oh that one I have at the tip of my tongue: Marvel's Runaways!
It literally has everything I loved growing up from dinosaurs to teen angst/drama, from superpowers to Los Angeles, it is really a true amalgam of a lot of things I love in a story.
The TV show is fun but it didn't quite capture the same magic from the comics....
What's your favorite comic book hero?
It's Batman and that pretty much cost me an internship over at Marvel Studios back in 2007.
I know some people say they are honest to a fault as if that's a good thing but in this particular case when I was asked at an internship interview at Marvel what was my favorite comic book hero my answer was:
"Want me to be honest or tell you what you want to hear?"
Needless to say I did not get the internship... lol
Should've gone with Spidey
Isn't Moon Knight the Batman of the Marvel universe? :-)
Lol, damn it, that should have been my answer!!
Do you think you have to go to college to gain the skills to do what you do?
Not necessarily but it was definitely helpful for me.
Finding a job as a writer, whether in Hollywood or comics, has more to do with your body of work then where you went to college but having qualified instructors and the right environment will certainly benefit your skills at a much faster rate.
Is Sao Paulo as terrifying as I'm lead to believe?
Yes and no.
Pick-pocketing is very very common and you must be cautious at all times and anywhere you go.
More serious crimes are sort of contained in the dangerous neighborhoods like any big city. It has gotten worse over the years though... and it's always scary walking back to your car at night in the dark.
As an indie comics creator have you tried to shop any of your series to Image, Boom!, Oni Press, etcetera so they can reach a wider audience?
Yes, I have.
In fact, the decision to go ahead and fully produce issue #1 was to submit it to publishers but once we had a successful Kickstarter and publishers wanted to see more before committing to the project, we decided to keep making the comics.
What was your favorite game you played at Origins (besides TFAC)?
Definitely Set a Watch by Rock Manor Games as well and Sorcerer by White Wizard Games.
Both are board / card games, that's my thing. As an avid card collector this sort of game really attracts me.
What's your favorite part of the game based on your comic book?
How immersive it is. You really feel you are inside the world of The Few and Cursed.
As far as mechanics go I love that every character needs to balance out their curse threshold either to get cursed or avoid it. And the cool thing is sometimes you do want to get cursed, it's not necessarily a bad thing in the game. It has advantages and disadvantages to it.
What character do you recommend I play for my first play through?
The Redhead, she's my gal!
But honestly you will be fine with any character, Mike did a great job balancing all the characters. Just remember each one has their own particular strategies =)
Hey, Mike here the designer of the game and I feel like this is aimed right at me...LOL - I find that the Redhead and Jebediah are the most straight forward to start with on your first play... Maecenas isn't too difficult either just be sure to increase your curse threshold with all your cash. Annabelle is the trickiest but none of them are overly tricky. The trickiest one to play is definitely Ze Amado... so hopefully this whole reddit thing leads to his unlock. I hope to cover some of this stuff in my update on the KS tomorrow.
Where do we stand so far with Ze Amado?!
Almost halfway through!
Is there a specific film or novel/comic book that inspired you to want to make it your career?
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