Sunday, November 16, 2003

Adis says:Welcome to another Quicksketch Sunday. I gotta say I'm pretty pleased with how the artwork turned out. But what comic is that, you ask? Let the author, the ever lovely Rebecca "Bex" Veverka tell you more about it.

What's the name of your comic and what is it about?
My comic is called Grand Blue Door, and it takes place at a hotel of the same name. It's about a girl named Fiona and her summer spent at the very unusual hotel with vampires and elephant people

Where did you get the idea?
I used to work in a book store and, using the excuse I wanted to know what was appropriate for young customers, I went through kids books like a bowl of popcorn. Harry Potter, Pendragon, Bunnicula, His Dark Materials, and my personal favorite, a Series of Unfortunate Events to name just a few that I have read recently. I somehow got it into my head that I should write a series of kids books as well. So, I went back to all my favorite kids books, trying to see what they had in common that I liked, and what made them great. I narrowed it down to orphans in a terrible situation, a fantasy world parallel but not separate from our own, intelligent villains, impending puberty, magic that makes sense, and underlying social commentary and symbolism.
So, from there, I got to writing my book. While I outlined the whole book and a few ideas for future books in the series, I only wrote about half a chapter. GBD got tucked away into the recesses of my laptop. A few months later, my friend showed me his webcomic, Red Lexi. While I started a web comic awhile ago, it never caught on, and I lost interest in it quickly. So, I thought about making a comic again. After a few different ideas, I found myself coming back to GBD.

Your characters are very expressive and lively, did you take a lot of life-drawing lessons?
Yeah, actually, I did. I spent some time at the Cleveland Institute of Art, with aspirations of becoming a comic book artist. My drawing teacher thought I should have been a medical illustrator. Bleaugh. I've actually learned more about expressions from animation and a mirror than life drawing classes.

What are your goals for Grand Blue Door?
Goals, shoot. I just want people to enjoy it. I also want to stick with it to the end of book one, at least! It'd be nice if someone from Cartoon Network told me they wanted to base an animated series off GBD, too.

What other webcomic do you read that makes you feel the author and you were separated at birth?
Aside from Count Your Sheep? Uhmm... hmm. Oh! Makeshift Miracle by Jim Zubkavich, back when it was brand new and free on Keenspace. I recently saw a book in Borders on internet art that featured Jim. Made me think about how far my own comic could go if I really put effort into it. I don't much fancy having a pay webcomic, though. But to give Jim cred, it does it the best way anyone can charge for a webcomic.

Does GBD have a planned ending, or do you plan on just keep going, see where it takes you?
Book One has a planned ending. The ending is mentally storyboarded. Chapter one has just ended, and in chapter two the plot and mystery are going to start, along with a few subplots. The mystery will eventually be solved, and Fiona will go back to school come fall. The next book isn't totally congealed in my head yet, but that's a ways down the line. I also have an idea for books three and four, but nothing more than what could be put into one sentance.

Is any of the characters based on you?
Not really. Fiona is a girl because I am, and it's easier for me to write for her as the main character. Fiona's a bit like me, but braver and more athletic. She's more of my 11-year-old cousin Julie. I guess I'm Edgar if anyone, because both he and I know what's going on behind the scenes in the GBD world.

Tell me what it is like for you when people tells you they enjoy what you do. What goes through your head?
Aside from the rush of "Gosh, I got fan-mail!"? I'm just overall flattered. There's other artists out there better than me, and half the time I rush through a page to get it done. All artists are terribly critical of themselves, so when someone tells me that they like it, I'm very flattered and thankful. Then I want to pay the compliment back some way!

What song would be perfect for the GBD soundtrack?
That's easy. Rufus Wainwright, "One Man Guy." I have a whole cartoon in my head to the song, but unless I get permission from Rufus, one of my favorite artists, it ain't gonna happen.

Do you have a favorite CYS strip? Which one?
My favorite hands-down is Katie dancing with Ship in a tux. I also loved the one with Katie knitting Ship a sweater. I started making a fan-art off that comic, and I swear I'll finish it.

After doing the interview, I went to Bex's comic and re-read it again. And you should too: Grand Blue Door. See you tomorrow!
Now go to bed!

The first comic Today's comic

Count Your Sheep is Adrian Ramos.