QWTD: Warpedwenger interviews Doctor Shadow!
lucky7s76 at 8:09AM, June 27, 2008
posts: 229
joined: 10-25-2007
The following interview was conducted by our own Warpedwenger!

Name: Doctor Shadow
Comic(s): The Chronicles of Wyrden

This is your first webcomic?… What made you decide to do it?

That's a good question. It's the first webcomic that we've actually done that's appeared online, there was an abortive attempt at another more core fantasy webcomic quite a few years ago, but we didn't like it so the time wasn't right for us to collaborate on something like that. Then, when I sat down and wrote the first Hestonian novel (Akas) and the kind-of sequel (Fate's Hand) the world jumped out of the page at me and I said to Reva, now /this/ would be a good webcomic to do.

So I wrote the first script and Reva drew it, it was rough I think in the beginning, I didn't know much about comic style in general, but I think we picked up some tricks here and there along the way thanks to Ducker's replies and so on.

Tell us who are your greatest influences as a writer?

That's a tricky one. Hans Christian Anderson, the Brother's Grimm, J.R.R. Tolkien, Phillip Pullman, Douglas Adams, Terry Pratchett are some of the people along with the likes of George R.R. Martin, H.P. Lovecraft, Orson Scott Card and Tanith Lee.

What is your ultimate goal as a writer?

Most people would say, to be published, I think, or to be published in a variety of mediums. I've done my computer game writing, console game writing and even tabletop rpg writing, so now it�¢ï¿½ï¿½s really down to telling interesting stories and writing as much as I can in different kinds of ways. I�¢ï¿½ï¿½d really like to produce a graphic novel or illustrated story one day, perhaps even a kid�¢ï¿½ï¿½s book, but it would be a twisted fairy tale.

The artist is your wife?… Is there anything interesting you can tell us about her?

Hmm, she's a red head, with a temper to match. She's taught in various schools, colleges and currently works as a Reprographics Technician in a local school. She's been drawing since she could first hold a pencil and even her early sketches from when she's a kid make me go wow.

Her costume designs and backgrounds are very detailed… Where does she get her inspiration?

The time periods throughout history, she also has numerous source books she can draw inspiration from. She reads a lot of classic literature and is probably more of an avid reader than me. Her mind is incredible at picking up, from just a few words, exactly the kind of thing that I want a character to wear or to look like. I described Verity in only a single sentence for instance and she got her barmaid's look spot on for that piece.

For the backgrounds, well, again, she's got an amazing eye for detail and she likes to hide things in those backgrounds. The cats, the children playing and so on are just some of the visual tricks to use to make time seem fluid and a scene less static. The city scenes, the villages, she's a “country lass” so she's had a lot of exposure to the rural side of life in some of the farming communities where she comes from. The rest of it just comes from her imagination.

Her inking is amazing! What can you tell us about the process she uses?

I can't really speak for her process since she tends to just take a fine-line pen and ink up over the pencil sketch. She'll present me with a very rough outline of what the scene is based on my script and a few hours after approval, she's got the finished page all inked up. She is a demon with cross-hatching and her style often looks old-world, which is the look I want for Wyrden.

Do you have anything you like to do to stay motivated or inspired?

If music be the food of love! I use a lot of different soundtracks and so on, when I'm writing. I read a lot too, not just novels but anything. I also do a metric tonne of research when I'm inspired on a project. The biggest thing is that I am an extremely driven person, I'll write just for the pleasure of it, since if you treat it like a job (which is my job) that's when the danger of writer's blocks and lack of inspiration dawns. Being able to turn my hand to something like an illustrated story or webcomic is a good thing; it keeps me on my toes.

Where would you go if you had an airship?

Now it depends if you're talking purely real-world geographic locations, or, fantastic realms. I guess if it were real-world, I'd take Reva to Egypt and fly over the great pyramids, especially the one at Giza. Fantasy wise, I'd have to take myself to the City of Wyrden since I can see it in my mind's eye and it looks incredible.

Are any of the characters in your story based on real people?

I think there are elements of real people in most authors' work, whether they like to admit this kind of thing or not. I can tell you that for instance, there are two characters so far in Wyrden who are physically based on the actual look of people who I've come to know through Drunk Duck and regard as good friends, they also know who they are if they're reading this. As for attitudes, mentality and so on, of the various characters again, there are elements of people I know or have known in the past, good or bad, in a fair few of them.

Why do you think that Duck is so drunk all the time?

He had a traumatic childhood where he was forced to work in the dark code mines for Platinum, the overseer Volte, who secretly had a heart of gold finally took duck out of those mines and set him to work in an enclosed secret location, his only payment, day in and day out, bottles of Russian uncut vodka. This could also explain why the duck's site occasionally breaks down around 12:08pm (GMT) mostly every day for me. Drunken code-duck!

Tell us about the stories and books you wrote before you got into webcomics.

Well, as a freelancer, I get to write a lot of disparate things. I have to work in a variety of genres for other people, whereas I'm quite fond of the fantasy and the steampunk genres for myself. I've written novels, a couple of which are in editing waiting for publication. I've written sourcebooks for Dungeons and Dragons, most of which are in pdf format since the electronic publishing format is a lot easier to work with than print these days. If you ever get the chance to read the sourcebook for d20 modern called: War in the Information Age, I wrote that.

I've also written dialogue, story, background, missions and manuals for several games on the PC, some of these aren't well known and at least one of them bombed due to developer/publisher disagreements and publisher tampering (Breed, being a prime example).

Verity is hot… Umm I guess that's not really a question…

She's hot yes, but I think not as much of a fan favourite as Silver. There are quite a few stunning women in Hestonia and between the books; Akas the Bloodless and Fate's Hand, there are several who may make an appearance in the webcomic. Of course, the beauty of setting this several years after Fate's Hand is that I can spin off any story I really want and introduce characters that I couldn�¢ï¿½ï¿½t use before.

The main character hasn't made an appearance in a while. Will we get to see him soon?

Oddly enough, the moment you asked that question, we'd already done the scene where the message from Morgan is relayed to Captain Talon Mane aboard the Mist Reaver, so I can say, yeah, you got to see him sooner than you thought!

What are your interests outside of writing?

Music, drama, television (especially Doctor Who and also old cult TV shows like Sapphire and Steel). Computer and console games, reading, playing the guitar. Roleplaying (Dungeons and Dragons, Warhammer, Warhammer 40K: Dark Heresy) and at one time, teaching.

Do you think you could take Ozoneocean in a bare knuckle street fight?

Sure, just let me get into this suit of power armour, because I had this problem with some shrapnel in my heart years ago!

Is there anything you want to say that I didn't address?

I'm hoping that everyone is enjoying the Chronicles of Wyrden and continues to support the comic. You might see a new comic from us eventually, but I think that as a place full of interesting people and stories, Hestonia, has many more tales yet to tell in the Chronicles itself. I'd like to spotlight Silver's backstory at some point and expand on her character some more. Thanks for the interview and the opportunity to answer some excellent questions!

I'd also like to thank everyone for their support!
By the time you finish this, you'll have read it. :3

last edited on July 14, 2011 1:48PM
amanda at 8:23AM, June 27, 2008
posts: 2,075
joined: 9-19-2007
Awesome! And interesting timing since George the Dragon just had a Doctor Who reference, so I'm already brushed up on my DW knowledge. Heh.
last edited on July 14, 2011 10:51AM
DAJB at 11:00AM, June 27, 2008
posts: 1,462
joined: 2-23-2007
Great interview, guys.

And Reva's a fiery redhead, eh? No wonder you're so fond of Boo!
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:03PM
Doctor Shadow at 2:17AM, June 30, 2008
posts: 904
joined: 1-6-2008
Exactly DAJB, exactly!
A Ronin writer, a masterless samurai of the written word…
Updating: Thursdays. Now in glorious Ink Wash and Water Soluble Pencil! Reva's note: This is not created digitally, it's all hand drawn and inked.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:12PM
ttyler at 2:27AM, June 30, 2008
posts: 441
joined: 3-20-2008
I love Doctor Who too, but wish he was more popular, here in the states. So much history behind the character…..the closest thing we have as far as long runs is the simpsons……..ugh. Think those missing early episodes will ever show up? Kind of reminds me of the search amd legend of Lon Chaney's infamous, “ London after midnight.”
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:34PM
Doctor Shadow at 2:41AM, July 5, 2008
posts: 904
joined: 1-6-2008
I am just impressed the show's bounced back from a 15 year hiatus in the last four odd years, gone from strength to strength and managed to capture a whole new audience of fans, as well as entice old Whovians like me back.
A Ronin writer, a masterless samurai of the written word…
Updating: Thursdays. Now in glorious Ink Wash and Water Soluble Pencil! Reva's note: This is not created digitally, it's all hand drawn and inked.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:12PM

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