Roshawn Rochester (Red Headed Mule): First off, I wanted to say thank you for letting me interview you!
I’ve followed the last two Kickstarters and am looking forward to asking questions about Xtreme Champion Tournament (XCT) for those that want to know more heading into this third Kickstarter. Would you mind telling us about yourself to get things started?
Shaun Paulet: My name is Shaun Paulet, I’m 33 years old, and I live with my wife and two dogs in Melbourne Australia. I am a big collector boasting a massive comic book, DVD/Blu Ray, book, artwork, statue and print collection.
RHM: Can you elaborate for people that don’t know what the book is about?
Shaun Paulet: The series is set in the year 2069 where the remains of historical figures from the past have been cloned, retrained and forced to fight in a sport called the Xtreme Champion Tournament.
This sport is watched by millions around the globe and it makes these clones face off against each other to the death. Our main character is Spartacus and his story about navigating the XCT and all the dangers that come with being a XCT hero.
RHM: Where did the inspiration for XCT come from?
Shaun Paulet: The inspiration behind XCT came from several places. I have always loved the story of Spartacus and greek mythology but when the Spartacus STARZ series and the UFC came along that’s when I put pen to paper and came up with XCT.
It was something that I started from a fan boys view when I was thinking about all different historical figures and who would beat who if they were all alive at the same time.
RHM: The book looks to cater to those that are missing the days of the Starz original series, Spartacus. It also looks to take a place in the realms of science fiction with cloning and mythological beasts. Do you plan on playing in one genre more than the other?
Shaun Paulet: The series has a great mixture of Sci-Fi and Fantasy as we cut back and forth from the past to the future, giving readers the best of both worlds. Being able to expand each characters story by going back to their past is something I think readers will really enjoy.
Not being to set in either direction will, I believe, keep readers interested and guessing at what’s coming next. Plus we have a few ideas up our sleeves.
RHM: As of right now, there are three issues. Issue Zero (Reborn), issue one and issue two. What made you want to use Kickstarter as a means to bring this book to the masses?
Shaun Paulet: The initial reason was to see if there would be any interest at all in our story. With the amount of indie and professional comics I was a little worried our story might not reach a large audience.
With Kickstarter we were able to gain a good foundation of followers which has now increased each with each issue and each Kickstarter. Kickstarter was also a great way to keep creator control and help with the massive cost of printing which is the main cost of a series like this.
RHM: Obviously, your last Kickstarter was successful. For those that didn’t participate in the first one but would love to get caught up, are there any rewards that will help do that?
Shaun Paulet: This being our third Kickstarter it is the best time to be a new backer. We have really added value and a collection of different rewards we haven’t had in the others.
Not only do we have the whole collection of the series at a reduced price but we have other rewards like creating your own monster, having your likeness in the next issue, being interviewed and having it published in the next issue, signed items by Liam McIntyre & Manu Bennett and a whole lot more!!! This is one Kickstarter that has something for everyone!
RHM: There is obviously a lot of talent in this book and it has attracted a lot of attention from the Spartacus cast. Can you elaborate on the style that was chosen to bring this series to life?
Shaun Paulet: I have always been a massive fan of J Scott Campbell and Humberto Ramos, after reading the Fanboys Vs Zombies series I was really keen to get Jerry Gaylord on board as his style reminded me of those two. Whether it was fate or luck we were able to secure him for the series and we haven’t looked back.
I’ve had some great feedback about the artwork with people saying it’s a great mixture for all ages. As long as Jerry is happy doing issues we will keep him.
RHM: Are there going to be character sheets, or profiles, available for other characters such as Leonidas, Baykok and Medusa?
Shaun Paulet: That’s a great question and something we are working on at the moment. We currently have a website for the series which you can checkout at www.xct.com.au and have characters profiles up there but we are in the process of having an Australian artist Dave Atze produce a more uniformed character profile for about 60 different characters in the series. These will then be released when each character makes an appearance in the latest issue. It will also be where their backstory is expanded on.
RHM: Thanks for taking time out to talk to us over here at Red Headed Mule! For those that are looking for more information on the Kickstarter, please follow the link to see how you can get your own copies of Xtreme Champion Tournament. The Kickstarter is going on until the 26th of February so lock in your rewards now!