Webcomic Interview Round-Up

RoundupBecause really, what else should a write-up like this be called?

Kate Beaton talks to Newsarama for a 2-part series (Part 1, Part 2)

The Boston Globe talks with Jeph Jacques, Jeffery Rowland, Rich Stevens, Randy Milholland,  and Michael Terracciano about the business of webcomics

At CBR, Talkin’ Comics with Tim sits down with Canaan Grall

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Interview ~WITH~ Creators of The Guns of Shadow Valley (The Santa Barbara Independent)

Yet another perk of following a webcomic’s RSS feed; creators tend to mention when they are interviewed or mentioned in other media, thus providing you with a quickie post you don’t really even have to exert any effort towards! Thanks, James and David!

Go here and read a nice write-up of the comic The Geek and I universally agreed should win the Eisner this year, including some process stuff (always a favorite of mine) as well as general items about the comic in general. If you haven’t already, the link below will let you read the story thus far. Highly recommended.

Click this to check out the best webcomic of 2010

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Email interview with Model Behaviour’s author, Jin Sun Oh

Having just introduced Model Behaviour recently to you, I thought I will also interview the webmanga author, Jin Sun Oh, as well.

You can read more about her at her webcomic site here.

And one female friend of mine liked this webmanga after reading it, so do support Model Behaviour if this webmanga suits to your liking.

Take note that the following interview is unedited, and enjoy yourselves here:

/***START OF EMAIL INTERVIEW***/

1. Please tell us briefly about yourself: your name, which country you are staying in, some facts and figures, and how you became a webmanga artist.

My name is Jin Sun Oh. l live in the U.K. with my husband and our son. I am from Seoul, South Korea where I worked as an animator and a manga (manwha) artist. I decided to become a webmanga artist because I wanted to continue my original passion which is creating a manga for especially female manga fans.

2. What is your webmanga, Model Behaviour, about?

It’s about a man named Jack who works as a fashion magazine editor. He works with lots of beautiful women and is enjoying his life by simply being a womanizer but he kind of senses that he is somehow lost in life. It is basically his love story.

3. How did Model Behaviour come about, and/or what inspired you to begin Model Behaviour?

The story line was originally created more than 10 years ago when I was doodling around with ideas for my own project. I wanted to create something glamorous.

4. What do you hope to achieve through your webmanga. Model Behaviour?

I hope that I will be able to finish the story and would love to publish it. It would be great to see it on actual paper.

5. Any hints about how you are going to develop the story further?

There will be more characters appearing, especially Jack’s family and the readers will learn more about Jack’s inner side.

6. Your webmanga seems to be a little suggestive and mature in nature. Is this intended?

Yes, it was intended. Normally I don’t draw a male as a main character in my stories but in this case I thought it has to be… I felt it was necessary to show mature scenes to add more grown up elements to the whole story. Model Behaviour was created for young adult readers (not for younger teenagers).

7. Please tell us briefly how you prepare your webmanga for weekly updates.

I do all of my drawings by hand except for screentones which is done with photoshop.

8. What is the greatest challenge of being a webmanga artist for you?

It will be not missing the updates… I’ve got my hands full already as a full time mom. Sometimes I feel like I’m not even allowed to be sick. Hopefully when my little boy goes to school things will get easier.

9. What is the greatest sense of achievement of being a webmanga artist for you?

Being able to connect with readers, and being able to continue to do so. It’s a very long journey and hopefully that my manga is worthy enough for my readers to go through together till the end.

10. Any final words for our readers and aspiring webcomic artists?

There are always pros and cons in doing a webcomic. One of the good things is that you have total freedom of creating whatever you like to create and you can easily connect with readers directly. But it is a big commitment. Updating a comic regularly for a long time isn’t easy and readers can be easily bored if you miss an update. However if you are enjoying what you are doing and have creative ideas, why not? Go for it!

/***END OF EMAIL INTERVIEW***/

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NEWW Interview ~WITH~ Chris Hallbeck of The Book of Biff

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Chris Hallbeck represents two things: 1) the end of our NEWW interviews and 2) a creator I was hoping to get to know better of the course of the weekend.

I first came about The Book of Biff during last year’s Webcomic Idol competition, where he was in very good company with some truly outstanding strips. To stand out from that crowd, you had to be a quality comic from the word go and Biff was certainly that, with one panel gag-a-days that offer slightly askew bits of advice via the series protagonist (and only feature star), Biff.

Hallbeck’s was yet another face who I had no previous knowledge of going into NEWW, but his loving wife, Amanda, provided a simple portal to getting to know him. During the aforementioned Friday house party, I sat with Amanda and chatted about life in general while Chris wandered about, schmoozing the best and brightest that webcomics has to offer. Sure, she doesn’t work on the strip DIRECTLY, but it’s always fascinating for me to see the people behind the creators, to see what their perspective is on the whole process. Sadly, I didn’t think to create the Webcomics Wives Club series of interviews until I was well on my way home, but that’s what next year is for, right?

But I did manage, through Amanda, to grab a quick word or two with Chris before the show closed on Sunday. So check in to find out what’s up with those crazy eyebrows of Biff’s and stay tuned for the best well-rounded webcomics coverage out there!

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NEWW Interview ~WITH~ David McGuire of Gastrophobia

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There were many people at NEWW who were more than willing to talk about their work and ready and able to do so for minutes, nay HOURS at a time. From what I observed, however, David McGuire is not that sort of creator. But if you know anything about indie comics, be they on the web or offline, then you know McGuire’s name. It is simply a body of work that speaks for itself.

You may also know his current strip, Gastrophobia, about, and I’m quoting McGuire from our interview, “a barbarian single mom in Ancient Greece.” If that doesn’t scream webcomics, I don’t know what does.

So with a working knowledge of the man’s name and his contributions to the art form over the last few years, I plopped down beside McGuire to excise from him some details about Gastrophobia and his webcomics career in general. I knew the questions wouldn’t be the greatest (before turning on the recorder, McGuire simply said, “I’m sorry” to preface what he assumed would be a bad interview) but having now seen a larger smattering of his work, I’m certainly glad I seized the opportunity.

And yes, I did say Webcomics Weekly in the intro. And no, this is not that show. And yes, I will cease and desist with doing so again.

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NEWW Interview ~WITH~ Randy Milholland of Something Positive

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This was one of those awkward interviews, mostly because I have never read Something Positive or met Randy Milholland before NEWW. Luckily, my plan to arrive Friday and establish my cred as one of the media types covering the weekend was successful and so Randy knew my face when I came around gathering up interviews. Either that or he was incredibly good at faking it.

The good thing is that I don’t really need to talk up the strip to get people to go check it out. Something Positive has long been a staple of many lists cataloging the best in webcomics, and Milholland is very well known in the community. And rightfully so; I can’t tell you how many times I saw him come from behind the table where he sat for a better part of the weekend to give hugs or just chat casually with his fans.

So listen in for my incredibly positive interview with the popular creator and go check out Something Positive to keep up with the latest in Milholland’s world!

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NEWW Interview ~WITH~ Gary Tyrrell of Fleen

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You would think that when you finally meet your sworn enemy face-to-face, you would realize the gravity of the situation and react accordingly. I should have researched my foe, studied his every move, and memorized the face of the man I would one day conquer. But no, instead, the first time I saw Gary Tyrrell (of Fleen) in real-life, full-on three-dimensional, Technicolor glory he was pulling various pans of food out of an oven at a house party on the Friday before NEWW kicked off.

Of course, you can’t take a man by surprise when he’s wearing freakin’ oven mitts and an apron. That’s just how things are done in Manland. I opted instead to remember that mustachioed, thin competitor of mine and resume this battle on the floor of the Eastworks building.

What I’d built up in my head to be an all-out, bloody, epic battle for the ages was actually a cordial, soft-spoken (as softly as you can speak on the floor of a convention, at least) conversation wherein Gary and I traded a teeny little bit of respect for one another. We even bonded over taking away business from Bill Barnes (Unshelved), who was also Tyrrell’s roommate for the weekend. Terribly sorry about that, Bill.

Listen in and join me in verifying Fleen as a great site for webcomics news. Completely different than ANYTHING Digital Strips does, but great nonetheless.

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NEWW Interview ~WITH~ Zach Weiner of Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal

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It’s not too often that errors are made here at Digital Strips. We pride ourselves in a grueling, fact-checking process that involves no fewer than thirty top men and women who in turn pride themselves in running each blog post through a battery of tests to determine whether or not an article is fit to make it to the front page.

Unfortunately, these fact-checker all-stars cannot accompany me on trips to conventions, so I’m bound to make a mistake or two. Like this one! Where I accidentally referred to the animal inhabitants of the B&B where Zach Weiner and his fiance, Kelly, stayed while they were in MA for NEWW, as emus when everyone knows they were actually llamas. I was apparently very convincing in my falsehood, though, as I got Kelly to play right along.

But that’s not why we’re here! We’re here because I got the chance to sit down with a webcomics all-star, the aforementioned Mr. Weiner, creator of Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal and the tragically snuffed out superhero parody, Captain Excelsior. As a huge fan of both works, it was great to sit down and pick his brain for a moment or two. Bonus points for scoring another member of the growing Webcomics Wives Club as well! (As they said at NEWW, mark it on your webcomics bingo board!)

More bonus points: listen in for a snippet of information regarding the upcoming DS strip relaunch! 

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NEWW Interview ~WITH~ David Willis of Shortpacked!

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There are some writers, in both comic books and webcomics, that write for the sake of continuity. It’s about the story, seamless and long-form, and the characters are simply there to help that tale along. Fun becomes a happenstance consequence in regards to the greater good of the almighty plotline and eventually it doesn’t matter who’s pulled into a story because each character is as paper-thin as the next.

But then there’s David Willis. The young creator of Shortpacked! (and many others) excels at developing characters, people (and automobiles and deceased ex-Presidents) who have a purpose for being and who can make any situation instantly entertaining, not because of what they’re doing, but because of who they are. This is really all just a drawn-out way of saying Willis has crafted some immensely satisfying moments with his characters on Shortpacked! and you must all go and read them right now.

After you listen to this interview with the man himself, of course.

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NEWW Interview ~WITH~ Ryan Sohmer of Least I Could Do, Looking for Group

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Never let it be said that Ryan Sohmer is a boring man. While his entourage/small tactical force sold the goods and made the sketches (that would be Lar DeSouza, artist on Least I Could Do and Looking for Group), Sohmer sauntered around the show floor, trademark Red Bull in hand, shaking hands and just generally chatting with those who had come to see him in the flesh.

There was one point on Friday where I joked with other creators about the Halfpixel guys rolling in, wearing matching aviators, and walking in slo-mo with their coats billowing in the breeze. After meeting the Blind Ferret crew, however, I’d say the title of toughest team in webcomics is still up for grabs. I’ll be in talks with Mer about a possible steel cage death match for next year’s NEWW to decide that title once and for all.

But getting back to meeting Sohmer, what an experience that is! The charismatic creator holds nothing back, even with a recorder at his mouth. I hadn’t bothered to include my DS moniker on my name badge for the weekend, a mistake that Sohmer was happy to call me on (listen to the first few seconds of our interview for the audio context of this error). After that, he was pretty much in control of our encounter.

But next time you have a meet-up at a local bar, Mr. Sohmer, you had better believe I’ll bring my recorder.

(Language slightly NSFW)

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