QWtD - BlkKnight interviews alejkhan!
lucky7s76 at 12:53PM, Jan. 28, 2009
posts: 229
joined: 10-25-2007
The following interview was conducted by our own BlkKnight in the Community Interview Project!

Username: alejkhan

Comic(s): Jump, Lola, FireBorn

First off, let's start off with the usual starting information (Name, location, etc.)

My name is Victoria Rehfeld Smith, aka Alejkhan. I am a female of the species of mixed cultures and ethnicities and have made it to 26 years of living. I currently reside in the state of Texas but am most definitely not texan. I am unemployed, but I have just begun art school (about a week ago). I think that’s some good starting info.

I noticed you have started and maintain a number of comics at once. What gave you the urge to start them all at once?

Well, I have too many ideas, and I get bored with them easily. Or perhaps I should say in a more positive vein, that I get inspired by them easily. So, I will jump from idea to idea, as it strikes my fancy, real intensely. Then I think, “oh let’s draw this a bunch and post it on the internets. I’m sure I’ll be dedicated to it forever until I finish it, and it won’t interfere with any of my other comics, oh noooo….!” I have many, many barely started comic ideas sitting on my hard drive. First pages of things, roughs of first chapters, sporadic dialog, summaries, charts, maps…. It’s a real sickness I think, being a story teller. Like multiple story disorder.

Would you recommend such a practice to others?

No. Not unless you are super organized and diligent and dedicated. It’s a real hassle. It becomes a lot of pressure, and then drawing your comics stops being fun. It’s a vicious cycle really. When one comic stops being fun, you make another and another and another…. But, if you’ve got an active imagination, you kinda can’t help it. Like I said, a sickness.

Looking at the three comics you're actively maintaining, they all appear to have a dark nature to them. Is this just a preference, or is there an underlying reason?

Hmm… In part, it is a preference. I have never liked vacuous things. I’m very serious; my sense of humor is pretty acerbic. Not to say I don’t turn into a slobbering fangirl now and then…. Even in the most bubbly subject, I’ll seek out the darker side of it (maybe even make one up to make it palatable). I suppose, I’m a very intolerant person and simultaneously very empathetic and sensitive. All these notions fit into my preferences in entertainment and story telling.

According to your profile you are almost a lawyer. Has anything from your education worked its way into your comics such as finding a way to have a character get away with murder?

If anything, it has made me write like an academic at times. Especially when I was still in law school, I found myself writing as if I was a law dictionary when defining things. I think a great example of this is found in the Fire Born forums (where I keep random cultural info of that fantasy world). I describe what the “merchant caste” is, and I totally used the definition of a “merchant” from contract law…. Horrible. My dad says I should write a comic strip about being a law student, but those were the worst years of my life, and I really don’t want to go there!

What authors, movies, books, etc. do you feel have made the largest contributions to your writing or style?

Although, I have never read Stephen King, I have seen the tv-movie series “The Stand.” That had a great impression on me as a kid. It taught me about the ensemble cast of cool characters. Also, you gotta have a good villain!

Another thing I never actually read, but reading about it inspired me (oh and I saw the anime, too), is the manga “Angel Sanctuary.” It taught me about the coolness of the judeo-christian heaven and hell as a great backdrop for drama and fantasy battles. Similarly, when I was a child, I was way into ancient mythology, particularly of the Greek, Norse, and Egyptian varieties. The concept of the gods and humans interacting so fluidly left a huge impression. What is the profane and what is sacred? What ever happened to that in our society?

The movie “Interview with a Vampire” definitely informed my aesthetic for sexuality and gore. It also affirmed my love of the Vampire. I had that movie memorized. No idea why I’ve never done a proper vampire comic…..

The anime and manga “Dai no Daibouken” aka “Dragon Quest: The Adventures of Dai” taught me the importance of seeing into the lives of the villains. What are they doing while the heroes are off being all hero-y? It also taught me that all my favorite characters are villains turned slightly good.

The David Lynch version of “Dune” (and then later actually reading Dune) taught me it’s ok to be fucking insane.

Finally, my greatest inspirations were the good ol’ american comics (“The X-Men” comics, “Gen 13,” “Witchblade,” “Spawn,” etc.) and japanese anime (“Ghost in the Shell,” “Ninja Scroll,” “Demon City Shinjuku,” “Akira,” etc.) of the 1990s. Without them, I never would have drawn comics or survived high school.

Transitioning from the writing to the art, what are your “tools of the trade?”

My computer - currently an iMac, my tablet - a Wacom Bamboo, Corel Painter Essentials 4, and The Gimp.

How much is done by hand and how much is digitally created?

Used to be I drew by hand first, then scanned, then digitally inked. I got lazy, so turned to the computer. Yup, all my comics are 100% digital. Now that I’m going to art school, I’m sort of rediscovering paper. It’s only been a week and half, and I already miss “undo”….

Are color pages ever going to become part of your repertoire, or would you never consider it?

I hate color. Every time I try, it all goes horribly wrong. I killed “Jump” when I went to color for a chapter. (One of my greatest regrets.) I missed updates when I colored a chapter in “Lola.” Color is the devil! In the end, I wish I was better at it, and I’ve yet to create a good vehicle for color.

Finally, if you had to make up a word to describe your comics what would it be?


Have fun!
By the time you finish this, you'll have read it. :3

last edited on July 14, 2011 1:48PM
DAJB at 10:19AM, Jan. 29, 2009
posts: 1,462
joined: 2-23-2007
Great interview. Big fan of both Lola and FireBorn (even if I do sometimes struggle to work out how they could possibly both spring from the same person's imagination!)

On which note, I'm sure you're not alone in suffering from Multiple Story Disorder. I bet there are enough of us here at DD to fill several group therapy sessions!
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:03PM
alejkhan at 11:04AM, Jan. 29, 2009
posts: 390
joined: 1-5-2006
Glad you liked the interview (and that you're a fan - the feeling is mutual in regards to “Shades”!), DAJB. It was very fun to do.

And yes, there really should be some sort of awareness group for us at the very least.
last edited on July 14, 2011 10:48AM
NickGuy at 11:13AM, Jan. 29, 2009
posts: 988
joined: 2-22-2007
cool interview. keep up the good work.

“Kung Fu Komix IS…hardcore martial art action all the way. 8/10” -Harkovast
“Kung Fu Komix is that rare comic that is made with heart and love of the medium, and it delivers” -Zenstrive
“Kung Fu Komix is…so awesome” -threeeyeswurm
“Kung Fu Komix is..told with all the stupid exuberance of the genre it parodies” -The Real Macabre
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:15PM
PIT_FACE at 11:56AM, Jan. 30, 2009
posts: 2,730
joined: 4-21-2007
great interview, Ale!i used to wonder about the law thing too! very informative!

last edited on July 14, 2011 2:44PM
skoolmunkee at 4:37PM, Jan. 30, 2009
posts: 7,058
joined: 1-2-2006
Interesting questions as usual, well done BlkKnight!

Alejkhan is well spoken and had engaging answers. :]
“Dune” … taught me it’s ok to be fucking insane.
Ahahahaha lol!
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:42PM
alejkhan at 5:39PM, Jan. 30, 2009
posts: 390
joined: 1-5-2006
Yay! I'm not boring! Thanks for reading, you guys and gals!

skoolmunkee: I still have half of the last of the Frank Herbert books to read…. But, I'm afraid that if I do, my mind will be completely blown. @_@

PIT FACE: Ah the law… I'm so glad I'm not an actual lawyer, having the diploma in a folder in the darkest depths of my closet is more than enough.

NickGuy: On behalf of BlkKnight and myself, thank you. It wouldn't have been cool had it not been for the cool questions.
last edited on July 14, 2011 10:48AM
BlkKnight at 3:56PM, Feb. 1, 2009
posts: 1,101
joined: 5-28-2007
I'm glad you enjoyed my questions.
That's “Dr. BlkKnight” to all of you.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:26AM
JillyFoo at 12:05PM, Feb. 10, 2009
posts: 630
joined: 1-2-2006
It was a great interview. But I'm confused. You are going to art school? Did you quit law school, alejkhan? Are you not going to pursue the Law profession now?
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:08PM

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