Today we welcome Jazyl Homavazir creator of the award winning web-manga The Beast Legion and all around great guy. I usually leave my opinions out of the interviews and let the artist's words be their own sales pitch, and give the reader room to make their own opinions without me shoving mine down their throats. But I always have to give props to Jazyl as we started our web-comics at roughly the same time and he has been a great ally with advice, encouragement, advertising, the works!
Let's learn more about The Beast Legion and what it takes to create it...
1. For the poor souls not already reading, please give a brief synopsis of your comic.
The Beast Legion is my solo webcomic venture. The comic revolves around the tale of a young prince, Xeus who is forced to leave his homeland after it falls into the clutches of the tyrant Lord Dragos & his band of Shadow Nexus Warriors. After 7 years of training by one of the last Wizards of Lithopia Xeus sets out on his quest to reclaim his homeland, but before that he must master the secrets to tame The Guardian Beasts.
Lithopia is filled with pieces of mystic armor that when bound to humans transforms them into Beasts with Epic powers. As the comic moves ahead, more will be revealed.
2. What materials and/or software do you use?
I work purely on a digital medium using the Wacom Intuos 3. I’ll be very honest on saying that I haven’t used a pencil for at least the last 2 years now. As for the softwares what I normally do is draw rough panel sketches in Photosop CS 4 & then add the finalized Lineart with Paint Tool Sai. Once that’s over I bring the files back tp Pshop for shading.
3. Are there any books, movies, toys, artists, or authors that have inspired or continue to inspire your comic?
Tons & tons. I’ve always beena fan of He-man & Thundercats & I’m sure it will reflect in this comic in some way or another. Apart from that, I’m now full into Anime & manga these days & I have to say I draw a lot of inspiration from Naruto, Bleach etc as well in terms of story.
4. Are any of your characters based on real people in your life?
Nope. I try not to mix real word characters with fictional ones.
5. Are there any actors you know you would want to play or voice certain characters in a movie of your comic?
Wish I did but no. XD
6. What songs would you like in a soundtrack of your comic?
That is very interesting. To be honest I’m really not much into music except for anime themes & such. You’ve done the opening theme for the Beast Legion so I definitely want that to stay.
7. What is your overall goal for your comic?
My first goal is to make sure I pass on the story to as many people as possible across the globe & hope that they enjoy the series as much as I do creating it. Another important goal of mine is to see the series professionally animated by one of the leading Animation studios in Japan. I know it’s wishful thinking at this point but you can never lose hope.
8. How has managing a comic impacted your life?
It really hasn’t. When I started the comic I made sure I had a decent buffer stock of pages. So at present even if I do one page week it really doesn’t put any load on my schedule. And I can’t actually affect my schedule anyway as I am a freelance animator & when I get a job time is always against me.
As of late however, after winning the award for the Best webcomic at the comic con India wards things have only been looking up. There is still a lot of room for growth but I’m sure that will be filled as the comic advances further.
9. What do you do to advertise your work?
Well I think promotion is one of the most important factors in our webcomic field. I’m no genius at it & I’ve taken a lot of falls along the way to come to the point where I realize how these things kinda work now.
Firstly, Project Wonderful. I think it’s one of the best ways to advertise webcomics online as it provides a a highly categorized selection & at the most reasonable rate. Plus you have full control of which ads need to be displayed on which site along with a statistical approach of what works & what doesn’t.
Secondly, Social media. This is a tool that has really helped Beast Legion big time. In fact Beast Legion gets 30% of it’s traffic daily from Facebook, especially on days when the comic updates. Creating a Facebook page really acts as platform to draw friends fans & fellow readers to your site. I use twitter as well but I still haven’t really hit the nail of how things work there.
Facebook Ads: in my opinion it is one of the most powerful & affordable mediums if used right. Rather than directly linking the ad to the Beast Legion site, what I do is link people to the facebook page. The moment they like the page they automatically get updates from the page which in turn link to my site. It’s an excellent way to build a decent fan base though I assure you that not every person who likes the page becomes a fan instantly.
10. Web comics can be very time consuming and sometimes expensive to keep up. Often there is little reward in regards to money and sometimes public attention. Why do you do it?
As I mentioned earlier, my main goal is to share my stories with people across the world & hope that they enjoy it. I’ll be honest I haven’t reached a phase where I can earn a living off the comic but recently things have been looking up. It’s still an expensive hobby to maintain, especially from the advertising perspective but I’m sure if it goes on long enough it will develop a decent fanbase. And I’ll be making a very important announcement
regarding it’s current status on the 1st of June.
11. Got any other projects we should know about?
Well I work on several animation projects in on a weekly basis. I can’t really reveal a lot of them as they are not my personal properties. But as regards to webcomics, at present I’m only focusing on Beast Legion though I have a few other ideas in my mind which I’d love to see transcend into a comic medium at some point if I can partner with the right artist.
12. What advice would you give to aspiring creators?
Haha I’m an aspiring creator myself so I’m not sure. All I can say is if you are making a comic, forget about gaining instant success or wealth. Do it because you love creating art & sharing it with people who appreciate it. Critics are something that you shouldn’t allow to hold yourself back , but instead overcome them & achieve what you must.
Remember there’s tons of competition out there & to make a name for yourself you will need to have both good art & a great story on your side. If you have that you are good to go!
Thanks for taking the time Jazyl! I was surprised to learn you draw digitally as I thought your pages were hand inked. Learn something new every Wednesday...
So to tell us how you feel about The Beast Legion, Jazyl's answers, the questions or additional questions you'd like to see in the future. If you don't have anything clever to say, please check the funny, interesting, or cool boxes at the bottom to let us know you were here.
Thanks for reading! Now visit Lithopia for yourself at www.thebeastlegion.com! You can also check out more of Jazyl's work here.
Next Weds.- Buzzboy by John Gallagher!
If you would like to be interviewed about your web-comic send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org titled "interview" with a link to your comic.