FERGUSON’S 7 QUESTIONS WITH… ANTHEA WEST
The last in our bumper week of 7 questions is the creator of The Earthbound God graphic novel. Some great answers from Anthea West!
What was the first comic work you did that was published?
My first leap into self publishing was with the first chapter of my “forever on Hiatus” webcomic Desolate Ceremony. That was about… oh gosh 4 years ago? I’d just started college and I thought that was the best time to start a webcomic (turns out college keeps you very busy) so I put together the prologue and first chapter into a neat full coloured comic and sold it at conventions.
What is the biggest thing you have learned since that book?
Colours that look alright on screen, are not going to look as good in print. The biggest problem with that first book was that the colours came out super dark, some pages were just muddle unclear shapes. Thankfully since then I’ve learnt how to set my colours right for print so I hopefully won’t ever make that mistake again!
What’s your process for writing/drawing a comic book?
My process is I think about it for a long ass time waiting for a chance to actually do it. When the time actually comes I start off with a vaguely written script. From there I do design work. I design characters, backgrounds, props anything that will appear in the story so it will look solid and consistent in the story. Then I start on thumbnailing pages, depending on how readable my thumbnails are (sometimes not very) I’ll do a larger version in Photoshop and do correction and rewrites from there as it’s easier to edit and change. During that stage is when I send it out to fellow comic makers to get feedback and critique. Then I actually start the comic. First I sketch it out in either blue or red pencil (which I can easily get rid of later in PS) then I ink. When I finish inking I scan and do clean up in Photoshop then maybe colour in Paint Tool Sai. If there’s word I’ll do the speech bubbles and words PS
What is the biggest influence on your work?
I was influenced by a whole load of many different things, from movies to comics. Movies like The Last Unicorn, Princess Mononoke and Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind were all huge influences on me growing up and even now. Books wise I love Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series and books by Robin Hobb. Comics wise I love books by Ross Campbell (especially his Wet Moon series) and the graphic novel The Nao of Brown by Glyn Dillion and Bone by Jeff Smith. There probably whole load to add to that list there but I’d be typing all night if I did.
What are you working on right now?
Right now I’m in my final year of college, hopefully by the summer I’ll have a bachelor degree in animation! I’m focusing on a pre-production portfolio in that I’m doing storyboards, character designs and backgrounds. As part of this year I’m also doing an animatic (moving storyboards) which is going to be a self contained story that is based in the same world as The Earthbound God called “Yaeya and the Bird” once it’s finished I’ll be posting it on my website. As a side project I’m also working on new story called “Ash Tree and Fox”, which I have big-big plans for once the summer hits.
What do you have out now or coming out next?
At the moment I have The Earthbound God, my first graphic novel of a series I released last January. It’s a story about two hunters trying to take the heart of a deer-like creature. It’s available in comic shops like Forbidden Planet, Sub City and Dublin City Comics, or you can order a copy online from my website.
What is your favourite Irish comic?
My fave Irish comics are Jennifer Wilde which was written by Maura McHugh and drawn by Stephen Downey, Finn and Fish and Things Happen by Leeann Hamilton, Space Officer Triggs by Hayley Mulcahy, and Between Worlds by Anna Fitzpatrick. All are super and pretty much wonderful. I do recommend you lot look these comics up.