Category Archives: interview

Interview – Hari Conner

Today we’re taking a look at the work of Edinburgh artist Hari Conner.  Their webcomic Nyx in the Overworld is currently in the midst of a kickstarter to fund a print run of the comic.  You can check out the kickstarter here.

How did you get into comics in the first place? Was there a particular comic that made you feel you wanted to use this as your art from?

I actually didn’t read a lot of comics, and wanted to be an author when I was a kid. Sometimes I found it hard to describe body language or action in the way I wanted, and way easier to draw it! At school I was always drawing comics in class, and did complete stories that were hundreds of pages long (but obviously not very good, as I was about 13).

What inspired Nyx in the Overworld?

I’m interested in how similar narratives and monsters pop up in myths and fairytales all across the world, as well as stories that mess with story tropes.

Clearly you enjoy video games. How did you go about adapting a game like story into a comic?

I think it was more about adding old school video game elements to the story!

The Kickstarter is already funded which is awesome! You have some artists lined up to do art for some stretch goals. Can we give them a shout out?

Yes! They’re all really cool and varied artists who produce really incredible work –
You can find the comic Peter Violini does art for at The Sisters,  Faye Simms does the art for The Foldings, and Felix Miall has his drawings up on his Instagram, where there’s a link to his shop with his book of illustrated fantasy short stories.

Nyx started off as a webcomic. Have you had any problems adapting it from a webcomic to a book?

Personally I really love reading printed books of comics, and ideally want to print every comic I do, even if it starts off online. So, I kind of made sure I had good static versions of each page as I went, for if I managed to get it printed.

What do you listen to while you are drawing?

I normally swap between podcasts, audiobooks and music – drawing is pretty much what I do full time, so I try and switch it up. I often listen to audiobooks I probably won’t get around to reading like classics or big non-fiction books, and the adventure zone is my favourite podcast/thing at the moment, that everyone should listen to if they aren’t already.

Can you give us some links to some great webcomics you’d recommend?

There are so many webcomics that are absolutely amazing!! I’m gonna tell you a few and definitely forget a lot that I really like… pretty much everyone I follow on twitter is an artist that draws an amazing webcomic tbh.

I already linked to The Sisters above, it’s an urban fantasy comic with a lot of geeky jokes and horrible demons and occult stuff, it’s awesome and quite different from a lot of other stuff I’ve seen around.

I’m doing some guest art for Inhibit and Shaderunners soon, which I’m REALLY excited about because they’re both comics I love and have been reading for ages. Inhibit and Kingdom of Awakening are both by Edinburgh artists and Extremely Good.

Also Yellow Hearts and Witchy which are also queer fantasy comics… I think I have a tendency to go THIS IS AMAZING and then realise it’s a

pretty similar genre to the kind of work I want to do oneday. But they are amazing, though. AMAZING.

Also this: Verse
and this: The House on the Cliff
and these: Undine Adventurer
Blindsprings

Drugs and Wires
ShootAround
Puu

Honestly this was a terrible question to have asked me there are so many good webcomics that I love a lot??

Thanks Hari!

You can find more of Hari’s work here and be sure to check the kickstarter here.

Creator Spotlight: Ell J Walker

So. Creator Spotlights! Every couple of months or so I’m going to be asking one of our ELC regulars (or anyone in the Edinburgh comics community who’s willing to do it) to update the banner for this blog. I’m also going to be featuring the banner’s creator and their work here, so you can get to know them/it a bit more if you don’t already.

This month’s banner is brought to you by Ell J Walker!

Ell is the co-author of Galdr, a fantasy thriller webcomic available to read here.

Galdr-title-page

Galdr is co-written by James D Parnell, who in his own words ‘mostly sits’ while Ell does all of the artwork for the series. Actually though, he does a bit more than that – James studied film and uses his knowledge to help lay out the panels in an engaging, cinematic way, while Ell’s background in sculpture influences the distinctive style of the artwork. Ell describes drawing Galdr as a challenge she’s set herself mostly to develop her art, and you can already see that happening as the comic progresses.

The comic is set in the fictional city of Rivers Pass, a historical merchant town with a dark and chaotic underbelly:

galdrriverspass

Tandy Tynan Fogg, clothing retailer and heart-throb, has a problem. Everybody close to him ends up going missing in mysterious circumstances (everybody except his pet iguana Marc, that is). He needs a lodger, but they don’t seem to last very long!

Eventually the post is filled by the enigmatic Mauve, who secretly begins to investigate the strange disappearances in his own gruff style.

Tandy Tynan Fogg
Tandy Tynan Fogg
Mauve
Mauve

As webcomics go, Galdr is still in its infancy. At the time of writing 22 pages have been published online. But the title might give us some clue as to the direction it will take – the word ‘Galdr’ is derived from the Old Norse for ‘spell’ or ‘incantation’. Just what is the mysterious power behind Mauve’s words? Will the secret of Tandy’s spare room disappearances be revealed? Is anything bad going to happen to the iguana? (Ell – it better not!) Galdr updates more-or-less every Tuesday, so check it out if like me you want some answers.

You can also follow Ell’s work on tumblr or twitter.

If you’re a Scottish/Scotland based comic writer and you have something to promote (or just too much time on your hands) then feel free to volunteer your banner-making services for the next Creator Spotlight!

Creator Interview: Stref’

Stref’, aka Stephen White is an edinburgh based  illustrator and comic artist.  His first graphic novel ‘MILK+‘ was published in 2011 with his second book ‘Raising Amy‘ following hot on its heels at the end of the year.  To continue our investigations into the workings of local creators, we sent over some questions for Stref’ to answer…
For up to date info and an interesting insight into his artistic process please check out Stref’s blog.

What are you working on?

I have just finished drawing my latest graphic novel, ” X ” and have just had my first cartoon humour book published, ” RAISING AMY”.

Your graphic novel ‘MILK+’ used a variety of styles and settings, how important is it to your creative process that you be able to use a wide range of approaches?

I like to approach each project with a style that I feel best suits it.  I work on a wide variety of scripts and they demand very different visuals to work properly as individual projects.  Changing styles also constantly challenges me, but I realise that I have no distinguishable look to the body of my work…which could either be seen as a good or a bad thing!

You write, draw, ink, colour and letter your work- is this through necessity or do you like it that way?

It’s a bit of both…I couldn’t afford to pay someone to colour or letter for me…also I am a bit of a control freak when it comes to that stuff!

Is there any difficult stigma you have to put up with trying to make thoughtful comics in the science fiction genre?

I don’t think about that stuff…ideas come to me and I scribble them down regardless of whether people want to look at them or not…like cleaning the cobwebs out of your brain.  I switch styles as much as I switch genres-always trying to be thoughtful and funny-though not always succeeding!

What was the last comic you read and what did you think of it?

The last comic I read was CLiNT,which I enjoyed very much.

Peanuts or Calvin & Hobbes?

Calvin and Hobbes.

Creator Interview: Magda Boreysza

© Magda Boreysza
© Magda Boreysza

Magda Boreysza is a comic artist, animator and illustrator.  She divides her time between Edinburgh, Sweden and New Orleans.  Magda’s comic series ‘Toastycats’ is soon to reach its sixth issue, for more info check out Magda’s blog and website.

What are you working on at the moment?

I’m putting together the 6th issue of Toastycats, which will have more pages and more colour than previous ones. I’m also developing ideas for graphic novels. I’m generating a lot of ideas in general, and trying to organize myself so as to actually get those projects done.

Some people feel that the word ‘comics’ comes with some unfortunate stigma they would rather be without and prefer terms such as ‘sequential art’ or narrative ‘illustration’- where do you stand on that debate?

I’m often hesitant to use the word ‘comic’ when I describe what I do to people who have little contact with the form. But I’m equally uncomfortable with ‘sequential art’ or ‘narrative illustration’. Those are incredibly dry terms and make comics sound like a total drag. So I do say comics. It’s short and it has a good ring to it. We need to use the word until it looses its association with comedy and funny papers.

Do you have a specific grand plan in mind for Toastycats or do you just work on it as and when it seems appropriate?

It’s certainly something that I plan to continue for a long time, and I would like to publish it more consistently than I do now. I think that it improves with each issue. When I first started, there was no plan at all. I didn’t think that there would be more than one issue. Then I made another one, and another… with each, I’m getting a better idea of what I want to do. There’s been a lot of experimentation, and some things worked while some didn’t. I think that I painted myself into a corner, somewhat, with The Seed, because it just keeps expanding and I feel like I need to continue it in each issue, when I would actually much prefer to have all the issues be self-contained. So, I’m contemplating whether I should remove The Seed and just publish it separately as a graphic novel.

I also try to improve the print quality. I think that I’ve hit a point at which it makes more sense to have Toastycats printed lithographically, which has given the whole endeavour a real boost. At some point I might start experimenting with the form a little more. We’ll see.

What was the last comic you read and what did you think of it?

I recently read ‘Laika’ by Nick Abadzis. It’s such a well crafted story, and very moving. I was floored.

Peanuts or Calvin & Hobbes? Discuss

Both. They are both great.

Creator Interview: Malcy Duff

Excerpt from 'The Weather and The Weather Forecast' (c) Malcy Duff

Malcy Duff is a comix creator, artist and musician currently working from edinburgh.  We recently sent a few questions his way via email to catch up on what he is up to- enjoy!

If you want to find out more about Malcy’s past and future work please check out his blog.  His new comix ‘The Weather and The Weather Forecast’, ‘Faded Book Spine’, and ‘Writing Postcards in the Visitor Centre’ can all be obtained by emailing the contact details on his website

What are you working on at the moment?

I have this rule where by I don’t tell anyone the project I’m working on because if I do it will never get finished, so….

In the past you have exhibited your work in a gallery setting as well as through publications- where, if anywhere do you see your non-printed work developing in the future?

I’ve had an idea but again I better not say.


What degree of similarity is there between the way you create your music and your comics?
I think a massive degree.  I’ve often thought one way people could read my comix is as if they are music.  My favourite artists who work in a number of mediums, you can tell it’s them when you look at their art, whatever the medium.  Maybe they made a painting.  Then a bike wheel.  Then a remote control.  Then a cake.  And you know by looking at each piece of work that it’s them.  It’s hard to understand what it is about the work, but it’s definitely them.  These are intuitive emissions and shouldn’t be overanalyzed.  I think when you do overanalyze these things you can start to create parodies. I hope if you listen to my music you can hear, if you wish, the connections yourself.  The process is probably similar in the way that I form ideas and develop or improvise on top of them.  The major difference is that mostly I will work collaboratively on music and that changes things slightly.  Control is easier to lose when you work with someone else, and that’s a guid thing to lose.

What do you feel the differences are between comics and comix?
If you dig under the last letter of comix you will find some treasure.

Peanuts or Calvin & Hobbes? Discuss

If you’re asking me to choose one I would choose Peanuts.  I have a nostalgia for Calvin and Hobbes but only because my brother read it when we were growing up and Calvin really reminds me of him.  I never really liked it very much.  I like pictures of snow so it coaxed me in sometimes, but the snow seemed to be the only thing I could relate to.  I’m looking at the light from this computer screen light up my hands and I can see all the wrinkles, crosses, pimples, lines going through my nails, jim henson rocks, wisps… clearly, all over my hands as they age.  There are 60s compilations of Peanuts with these really clunky Ben-Day dots for shading which they themselves become characters and abstract forms in the strips.  They make it look like the book has acne.  That’s why I choose Peanuts.