“If you let your imagination work hard enough, son, this bear will travel in space.”
The boy spent many years developing his imagination, remembering that day on the bicycle as they attempted to go fast enough to fly. He attempted again and again to have his bear become an astronaut, but his dream remained unfulfilled.
Then, one day, many years later, he was searching the depths of a newfangled invention called the Internet and came upon the Kickstarter campaign.
At last, someone’s imagination had let a bear truly fly. At last, there was a true SpaceBear.
I’ve mentioned before my friend Andres Salazar. Besides being a cool dude, he’s working on running two independent projects: Pariah, Missouri (a graphic novel series with vampires and cowboys), and Spacebear (a children’s book in SPACE!)
Today, you have the magnificent opportunity to meet him. Without further ado, here is…
Spacebear: The Interview
LP: Please introduce yourself.
AS: Hello there! My Christian name is Andres Jose Salazar, but I go by Andy, Andy Joe, Daddy, Comic Nerd, Level 9 Geek.
LP: Why do you qualify as a Level 9 Geek?
AS: Well, I’m 40 and still play role-playing games and video games. I go to board-game conventions, comic book conventions. I can name all the Star Trek captains by stardate, and own a lightsaber replica. I could go on and on.
NOTE: Having been to Andres’ apartment, I can vouch for the countless board games, DVD box sets of sci-fi series, comic book collection, and more.
LP: Tell us about SpaceBear
AS: SpaceBear, a sci-fi educational children’s book is my new project, which I am very excited about. SpaceBear is the 1st of a series of children’s books in the Bear-verse. As a full-time creator, I have many pans in the fire, and right now SpaceBear is taking center stage due to the Kickstarter funding window.
LP: What was the inspiration for SpaceBear?
AS: It’s hard to nail down one thing, it just came up one day at a convention. I was drawing some sketches and I had seen the movie Gravity the night before and was playing around with toy ideas. Once I drew SpaceBear, I showed it to my wife, she said it was cute, and the ball started rolling. Being a father of three, I’ve read a number of children’s books and some are really great. I studied them and mixed in sci fi elements and imagery of the 50-60’s.
(NOTE: Being friends with Nicole (Andres’ wife), I can vouch for her good taste in cuteness.
LP: Why should kids read SpaceBear?
AS: Because it’s fun! He’s a cute, clever bear that loves pickles and adventure. They also learn some science and history.
LP: Why should adults read SpaceBear, even if they don’t have kids?
AS: Because it’s chock full of sci-fi references and Easter eggs that adults who are familiar with science fiction will enjoy. They will enjoy the art, and when they go visit family it’s perfect to read to the nephews and nieces.
LP: What is the process for the art work for SpaceBear?
AS: Pretty traditional methods. I sketch it out, and then draw it up with pencil on a 11×15 watercolor paper. I paint it, ink a little, and let it dry. I scan it and do any touch-ups in Photoshop and Indesign for the letters. I used my experience making comic books to make this one, and I’m very pleased with the product.
LP: Why fund-raise on Kickstarter?
AS: Kickstarter has become one of the best ways for a self-published author to get his work out and attract buyers/fans. I’ve ran 2 successful campaigns in the past, and have a grasp of the system. I enjoy the process of crowdfunding and interacting with fans. For me, Kickstarter is a perfect launch pad. I have backed 30 projects myself, so I’m a believer. I love helping out people make their dreams and hope others jump in and discover some really great projects there.
LP: What do backers get out of supporting you? (Incentives and Beyond!)
AS: Besides sleeping well at night because they helped someone realize their goals, I am rewarding backers with copies of the hardcover book, as well as patches, stickers, coloring book, shirts, original watercolor paintings, all that good stuff!
LP: What can we look forward to from Salazar Entertainment?
AS: Hopefully, many quality stories told in various media. We have SpaceBear which is the first of a series of books in the Bear-verse. I am working on SteamBear, which will be book 2, and then perhaps some animation which will include all the bears together.
Pariah, Missouri Vol 2 will be completed this summer and a have some other projects that I am working on with other creators. One of those is called The Leviathan Project, an original graphic novel that is my ode to Kaiju stories.
Kaiju: Another form of dinosaur (or Godzilla)
LP: If you had to choose a single Nerdtastic series to read/watch, which would it be and why?
If you think this is an awesome project, spread the word via Facebook, Twitter, your local writer’s group, your dog’s play buddies, your local coalition of teddy bears. Everyone deserves to hang out with a bear in Space. #SpaceBear.