INTERVIEW: ANTHEA WEST ON HER SKETCHBOOK & MORE

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Anthea West has recently funded a sketchbook to be launched at MCM this weekend. I asked about the Fundit process and what we should expect from the book. I also asked about creating Earthbound God and the future of that world.

I want to start with Earthbound God. What was the inspiration behind that book?

Like I wrote in 7 Questions, the main inspiration behind TEG was a film by Studio Ghibli called Princess Mononoke but I also gather inspiration from the nature around my family home up in Bohernabreena where we’re pretty much surrounded by wild life like deer, an assortment of birds, foxes and the occasional badger that likes to invade our shed. There’s a great sense of openness up there that you don’t always get in Dublin and it really help to let my imagination run wild.

I really enjoyed the mythology you created. I felt it gave the story more depth. How much of it did you have worked out?

More then what has come up in the story so far, and I can’t really say too much more about it as it could lead to spoilers. I’m trying to build a world that seem believable to my readers even with giant skull deer monster prancing about, if it fits in the culture that you have build up then really there isn’t much you couldn’t get away with.

Will we see more stories set in that world at some point?

Oh yes TEG is a series and it will continue to follow the lives of Yaeya and Eusha, there will be some answers to some question that may or may not of been unanswered in the first book, like why exactly do they need land given to them? Whatever happened to their homes? And how did the two meet?

You recently got a sketchbook project funded on Fundit. What made you decide to do the book?

I felt I was missing out on the comic biz a lot this year due to my final year of college. I wanted to put something together that could remind people that yeah I make things and I still exist! Having people forget about your work cause mean near death to an indie artist such as myself. However college life really keeps me on my toes and busy so I couldn’t bring out another comic or book as I just wouldn’t have the time to write up a story, board it and get working on it. An art book was the answer to my problems as I wasn’t starting from scratch and it was a chance to show people what I have in store for them once I graduate.

I’m always interested in how crowd funding projects. I think it is a great way to support creators. This was my first experience with Fundit. How was the Fundit process for you?

I was thought it was great! The people of Fundit are a great bunch and Claire, the lovely lady who helped me every step of the way, was so helpful and enthusiastic with the project and getting it up as quickly as possible. It went so smoothly but it was still a lot of work what with writing up the proposal, making the video and organizing my files and such. I still have plenty of work ahead of me as I have a lot of books to sign and commissions to make and send out to the amazing people who invested in Girls & Monsters, It Seems.

As you mentioned, you said in 7 Questions that your influences included some Studio Ghibli movies so I’m looking forward to seeing what kind of sketches you are going to include in the book. What kind of thing can people expect to see?

Just as the title says, girls and monsters! It seems to be the running theme with me, but there will also be some comics, storyboards and backgrounds, also preview of future projects and my next graphic novel which will begin production this summer.
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I read that you planned a release at the upcoming MCM con. Is that still the plan?

Oh yes! What a better place to splash back onto the scene then with what could possibly be the largest convention in Ireland? I’ll be hanging in the comic village selling the art book, the last of my TEG books, print, bookmark and I’ll even be doing some con commissions.

Anything else we should expect in 2014? Any other conventions plans?

Oh I have plenty waiting for me once college is over. One is a secret project I’ve been hired to do with an already known Irish comic writer, and you’ve actually already done a 7 question with them. That all the hinting I’ll be giving there. I also have another graphic novel that I’ll be working on once summer hits, it’ll be an all ages fantasy adventure and I’ll be pitching it to a publishers. As for conventions, so far I have ArcadeCon and Dublin Comic Con confirmed.