It's been 84 years since I did a journal meme but I really wanted to do this one because...y'know, comics. Here we go!
1. What got you started drawing comics?
I was always really interested in comics, and I actually got into newspaper comics before I ever touched a webcomic. I read a lot but the only one I feel now had any actual quality was Calvin and Hobbes (if you look at any comic artists of this generation, they probably grew up reading Calvin and Hobbes). And then I discovered manga, and THEN I discovered webcomics when I was 10 or 11. XKCD was probably my first, but the first one I remember really loving was Slightly Damned.
Amazingly, it took me until 2012 to realize that I wanted to do comics as a y'know. Life/career thing. I started Two-Faced on a whim (at the time I thought i wanted to be an animator) and then three pages in I dedicated myself to comics forever.
2. What is your favorite comic that you've read?
VATTU BY EVAN DAHM I LOVE IT SO MUCH AND ITS ONE OF MY BIGGEST INSPIRATIONS. Honorable mentions: Wilde Life by Pascalle Lepas, O Human Star by Blue Delliquanti, Dumbing of Age by David Willis, Digger by Ursula Vernon, and Nimona by Noelle Stevenson
3. Has there been a scene so far that has been particularly hard to capture in your current and/or past comics?
A couple times but not always in major ways. I wouldn't say I'm a perfectionist with Fragile, but I'm very invested in maintaining a specific mood/feeling for it so I'm very sensitive to tiny details in color palettes and the like feeling "off".
There's a lot of scenes coming up in Fragile that I'm nervous about tho...mostly because they contain fancy architecture and/or very large crowds.
4. How long did wait before starting your current comic and/or comics in the past? (i.e. the writing/story development process)
I started Two-Faced on a whim only a few months after I got the idea, and at the point where only the prologue was set in stone. Throughout the first few chapters I was working on the outline as I worked.
Fragile, on the other hand, existed for about 5 years before I started it. It took me a really long time to settle on making it a comic, and it went through no shortage of developmental troubles, so I only started writing it seriously in 2014. I couldn't start it until I was done with Two-Faced, so I had a lot of time to write the script before starting it in feb 2016, although I didn't launch it until may 2016. So from start to finish, yeah, about five years.
5. If you could have done anything differently when you were starting out, what would it be?
Honestly, I can't think of anything I would have done different...there's things in Two-Faced that I didn't enjoy writing or drawing but it was definitely important to me. There's story things I'd wanna change if I could do it over (if you're curious, I'd refocus the story on Janice and Asha), but I don't want to do it over. And there isn't really anything I've regretted about Fragile yet. Maybe I'd wanna start doing comics even sooner, idk, but I was 14 when I started so you can't get much earlier than that.
6. Who is your favorite character to write?
I love to write all of my characters, but in Fragile Clockwork and Gabriel are my personal favorites. Clockwork has an enthusiasm that's contagious, and they're smarter than me which is always fun to write. I can't talk any about Gabriel without spoiling his entire character arc, unfortunately.
7. Who is your least favorite character to write?
Again, I like writing all of my characters, generally if I don't enjoy them I drop them from the story or change them up until I do. I really disliked most of the Two-Faced cast for the last year or so, but I can't really isolate one of them as my least favorite. Maybe Tom. He was kinda bland.
8. How drastically did the story change since you started?
Original Fragile barely had a plot. It took place right after Elliot lost his wing. Garret was also a mass murderer. Her son was 100% definitely dead and she went on a big revenge murderfest and then retired to a remote cave for 10+ years. She had no motivation. Elliot had no motivation. The dragons were incredibly different. It sucked. I had to completely restructure it.
Also there's a lot of difference between the first draft of the script and the second one which became the comic, namely involving Riga. there was a whole big subplot involving her pack and about...4 or 5 ancillary characters relating to her. I cut all of that out because it wasn't relevant to the main story, and surprisingly, that gave Riga some room to have actual development on her own.
9. What are the major influences/inspiration for your comic and/or previous comics?
Evan Dahm is probably the biggest one. I'd be lying if I said Slightly Damned wasn't one also, haha. Wilde Life too was a bit of an inspiration for Fragile's more grounded/rough style as compared to Two-Faced.
10. What does your process look like?
Referring from my script, I do thumbnails traditionally in a tiny sketchbook whenever I can. When I deviate from the script in staging/events/dialogue i try to make notes of it (although sometimes I don't make it legible enough and its confusing). Before I start working on the actual pages I make a concept for the scene which is basically; layout of the space, color palette of the backgrounds, lineart colors (i do the character lineart in one color and then the background lineart in a different one which is usually paler and less saturate), and shading/lighting colors.
After that I layout and sketch pages in batches; I really really hate sketching so it works best for me to do it all at once. I also sketch in the dialogue, as I handletter, so I need at least a simple guildline to make sure i can even try and make it legible. This is when I put my final changes on the dialogue. After that I, in this order, line, do the backgrounds, draw the speech bubbles/lettering, do the flat colors, shade, add details such as tears or blood if needed, and then put final lighting effects. It's worth noting that I do the shading on the same layer as the colors just by painting a shading color right on there and then blending as needed.
And there you have it! A finished page.