Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Web Artist Wednesday: The Other Sun interview






This Weds. we start the first of a two part interview for The Other Sun web-comic. Today, we interview the artist for The Other Sun Mike Leckrone. Later down the road we'll also talk with the writer Richie Pages but for now, let's get the artist's perspective on drawing the comic...



1. For the poor souls not already reading, please give a brief synopsis of your comic.

The Other Sun is a strip about two similar, yet very different, nine year old kids growing up on a planet very similar to Earth. Cory, the only human kid on the planet, is adopted by Tweezle's family and raised as one of their own. How he got there and why he's stuck there is yet to be explained. Tweezle's family also adopted an older girl, Tamsin, who is considered royalty on another planet.
2. What materials and/or software do you use?

I work digital mostly on a pc that I built. When I get the scripts from Richie I will scribble little thumbnails in my sketchbook to figure out the panels I will need and the content of each one, then use a variety of programs to get to the finished piece. The main program I use is Corel Painter 12  but I will usually do the panels and layouts in Illustrator CS5 or Manga Studio 4 EX. I would like to settle with just one program to make my life easier but none of the programs handle everything equally so I end up jumping around. I also have a 9X12 Wacom Intuos 3 pen and tablet.
3. Are there any books, movies, toys, artists, or authors that have inspired or continue to inspire your comic?

I grew up reading the daily comics. I think the most influential comic I read was Calvin and Hobbes. It was a very intelligent, yet funny, comic strip with probably the best characters ever created. Watterson knew how to bring out subtleties in his drawings that really gave the characters personalities. He also didn't sell out and knew when to call it quits. I admire him for doing that. To me, that says he cared more about the characters and story than just trying to make as much money as possible, running the characters into the ground until everyone no longer wanted to see them. I also like Fox Trot by Bill Amend.
4. Are any of your characters based on real people in your life?

As the artist, I think I put more of myself into each of the characters than just using someone I know.  Tweezle would be the side of me that seeks adventure and attention while Cory would be the quiet, innocent, cautious side of me. I think Sid might be my older, wiser, more traditional self too.
I also like to fill in the backgrounds with familiar things. In some of the strips you will see Tweezle with a can of Astro-cola nearby. In one I had a box of snacks on his desk. My favorite snack is Coke and Cheez-Its so I had to put those in there. Some of the toys will look similar to those that I worked on while in the toy industry too.
5. Are there any actors you know you would want to play or voice certain characters in a movie of your comic?

I always seem to have a voice in my head for Cory but I don't know anyone who would sound like it.
6. What songs would you like in a soundtrack of your comic?

I can't think of any specific songs but if the strip was ever animated I could see a fun intro similar to the Simpsons with Cory and Tweezle racing through their neighborhood on their  way home to dinner. And everyone from the family arriving at the dinner table at the exact same time.
7. What is your overall goal for your comic?

With The Other Sun, I want to have fun with it and get my name out there as an artist. I would really like to see this strip take off because it has a good story and characters to back it up.  I think once you get to know the characters it can be very entertaining. Also, not too many people can say they ever did a comic strip any time in their life. Now I can.
8. How has managing a comic impacted your life?

Drawing for a comic strip is a tremendous amount of work, depending on what kind of art you are doing for it. It certainly takes up a lot of time and energy. And it's very difficult to stay in creative mode 24/7. Even though I'm not managing any right now, I realize how much energy it takes and looking at some of the popular strips that I grew up with and how long they lasted, I appreciate them much more.
9. What do you do to advertise your work?

I have my own personal website that I built at www.leckroniumstudios.com. It contains not just cartoons but illustrations, concepts, life drawing, sculpture, and model building/painting. I like to try new things all the time so I have a wide variety of stuff on there. I also post stuff on my facebook page  for Leckronium Studios and on Deviant Art.
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?

It's fun. It's even worth it if you can make at least one reader smile or laugh. It's also about creating, being constructive with your time. If you spend two hours watching a movie or two hours writing or drawing a comic strip, which one is more worth your time? The movie might be more  entertaining and the comic might seem like hard work but in the end, you can look back and say " I created this" with the comic strip. And it will always be something you created. Each time a new reader reads it then you get to enjoy creating it all over again. If you sat on the couch and didn't move a muscle for the two hours of a movie, that's two hours you're never going to see again. I'm not saying movies are bad though, sometimes you do need to sit on the couch and do nothing for two hours. I just think creative people like to challenge their brain for entertainment.
11. Got any other projects we should know about?

I'm trying to get started as a freelance artist after being in the toy industry for seven years so I always have something I'm working on.  Drawing for The Other Sun has convinced me to dust the cobwebs off my idea I had for a strip  in 2005.  I created two devilish identities called Samsin and Itch that follow me around through technology and are assigned to make my life miserable. I created a section on my website devoted to them in hopes to finally get started on it. I just haven't found the time to write for it yet.
   I think my other bigger priority is a theme I've been working on called Galactigraphics that's also on my website.  The goal with that is to teach young kids about our solar system and all things involving space through fun graphics created in Illustrator. I turned the Sun, planets, moons, and dwarf planets into characters in hopes of getting kids interested in astronomy. I'm working on a book idea that I would like to see published but also want to turn the art into informative posters, t-shirts, and maybe museum gift shop items if all goes well. There's still a lot of work to be done.
12. What advice would you give to aspiring creators? 

Creating isn't easy so try to find out how to have fun with it and don't stop. There will always be barricades and things to block your path but as long as you can enjoy what you are doing you shouldn't have a problem. Something good will come of it eventually.
The other thing is to be original the best you can. It's easy to be caught up in other people's styles and ideas and want to do what they are doing but let them do it. Create what comes from inside you and not just what you see others doing. You can find inspiration anywhere you look. You just need to be able to know what to do with it. That's what being creative is all about.
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Those are the words of a passionate artist! Thanks so much Mike! 

Drop us a comment below to tell us how you feel about The Other Sun, Mike'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 dive into some alien antics at http://theothersun.com/!

-Mat
evanyeti.com

Next Weds.- The Beast Legion by Jazyl Homavazir

If you would like to be interviewed about your web-comic send an email to evanyeti@yahoo.com titled "interview" with a link to your comic.

Tomorrow, The Other Sun

Hope everyone had a nice long weekend! Join us tomorrow as we welcome Mike Leckrone artist for The Other Sun to take the Web Artist Weds. interview.
Check out The Other Sun today and swing back tomorrow to catch the interview.
See ya' then!






-Mat
evanyeti.com

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Web Artist Wednesday: ULTI-MAN interview




Who dares take on the tyrannical twelve question interview? None other than Jeff Beckman creator of ULTI-MAN



1. For the poor souls not already reading, please give a brief synopsis of your comic. 

Ultimate Man was once the worlds greatest superhero, back in the 80's he saved the world from monsters, demons, aliens... you name it. But then one day he defeated ALL of the bad guys in the world and was suddenly forced to retire. Now we bring you to modern day, Ultimate Man has become a loser, for lack of a better term. Almost nobody remembers him, he has girl trouble, a drinking problem, etc. The comic follows UM in his everyday life and the trouble he gets in.

2. What materials and/or software do you use?

I pencil and ink on some grid paper with my favorite pen. A Pentel brush pen I got on Ebay. Then I scan it and add the pink shading in Photoshop.

3. Are there any books, movies, toys, artists, or authors that have inspired or continue to inspire your comic?

I go through phases with my comic obsessions, right now it's Daniel Clowes. Other print comics I've gotten like "Carl the Cat that makes Peanut Butter Sandwiches" by Jim Mahfood, and "Mesmo Delivery" by Rafael Grampa have really inspired me to make comics focused on what I think is cool and what makes me laugh.
And just the webcomics (too many to list here) I read keep me motivated to keep on updating.

4. Are any of your characters based on real people in your life?

I like to think that all of my characters have at least a small aspect of my personality in them, but I don't really tend to base my characters on anyone.

5. Are there any actors you know you would want to play or voice certain characters in a movie of your comic?

I'm terrible with remembering celebrities names and whatever they do... But I would have to say, I would want Hulk Hogan in there somewhere.

6. What songs would you like in a soundtrack of your comic?

Man, I never really thought about this one either... but if it had a soundtrack it would probably just be the music I listen to all the time, grunge bands like L7, Nirvana and Alice in chains and some rappers like MF Doom, Danny Brown and Das Racist somehow.

7. What is your overall goal for your comic?

My goal is to keep on going with it as long as I can. I don't really have an end for Ultimate Man's story in mind, so it's gonna keep on going.

8. How has managing a comic impacted your life?

At first the thought of updating so often was intimidating, but as long as you have a few weeks or months written ahead of time you can draw it whenever you have the time, and continue writing when you get inspiration for the next story arc before you have to worry about your updates. It also forces me to think and write and draw more for myself, which is a huge relief when most of my day is filled with doing art for clients. 

9. What do you do to advertise your work?

I do a little bit of advertising over on Project Wonderful, like anyone else that ever mentions them... I love PW!

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?

I do it for the love of comics! It's something I feel very passionate about and it's a lot of fun.

11. Got any other projects we should know about?

Not at the moment, I have a few projects in brainstorming phase right now though, and I'm hoping to have a couple of them done by the end of the year. I'll be posting progress and updates for future comic projects on the ULTI-MAN blog as well.

12. What advice would you give to aspiring creators? 

Make stuff that makes you happy, that's all that really matters. But if you're ever looking for critiques, don't get offended if someone doesn't like what you're making. As long as they are offering advice you should take it and learn from it. The critics won't always be right, and you shouldn't always change something just because someone doesn't like it either - but you can still learn a lot from what other people have to say.
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Thanks a lot Jeff! I think the advice web artists give in these interviews is my favorite part. Some valuable info here.


So once again we ask what you think? Leave us some comments below to tell us how you feel about ULTI-MAN, Jeff'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! Once you're all caught up with ULTI-MAN check out some of Jeff's animations at beckmanimation.com.

-Mat

Next Weds.- Mike Leckrone artist for The Other Sun!

If you would like to be interviewed about your web-comic send an email to evanyeti@yahoo.com titled "interview" with a link to your comic.

Monday, May 21, 2012

This Weds. ULTI-MAN

Join us again this Weds. as we interview Jeff Beckman about his web-comic ULTI-MAN. The story of a hero whose glory days are behind him. Check it out here!



See you Wednesday!

-Mat

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Web Artist Wednesday: Supermassive Black Hole A* interview

Hell hath no fury like a cloned female bounty hunter. Ben Chamberlain tackles the twelve questions about his hard sci-fi web-comic Supermassive Black Hole A*.



1. For the poor souls not already reading, please give a brief synopsis of your comic. 

Supermassive Black Hole A* tells tales of adventure set in a human civilization near the center of our galaxy. The current storyline focuses on a bounty hunter who is trying to live forever through cloning, and the various complications she encounters in her quest for this technical form of immortality.

2. What materials and/or software do you use?

Black and white ink on Canson Illustration paper, mostly applied with a Raphaƫl 8404 size 4 brush. I scan the resulting ink wash paintings with a Mustek Scan Express A3 1200 Pro USB Large Format Scanner and prepare them for the web with the venerable Photoshop 4.

3. Are there any books, movies, toys, artists, or authors that have inspired or continue to inspire your comic?

Aside from the bunches of science fiction I read and watched as a kid, probably the most direct inspiration was the world of The Matrix Online: I was a writer and game designer on that MMO before I moved on to A*, and I find myself exploring issues and personalities in A* that I first took up in that earlier project. I was also inspired by the comic book art of John Byrne and Frank Miller, and since starting A*, more inspiration has come from the work of other comic artists: Frank Frazetta, Sydney Jordan, Mac Raboy, Bill Sienkiewicz, and Sean Murphy, to name a few. Jordan and Raboy worked on classic pulp adventure strips--"Jeff Hawke" and "Flash Gordon"--and the spirit and style of those old serials has also had an influence on my approach.

4. Are any of your characters based on real people in your life?

Ooh! Hm. Well, certainly not directly, but I think almost everything we know about people we learn from those around us, so I'm sure various of my acquaintances are scrambled up in there somehow.

5. Are there any actors you know you would want to play or voice certain characters in a movie of your comic?

A* started out as an animated, voice-acted webcomic, but strangely enough I haven't really thought of who might play them in a real movie version--perhaps it's the trauma of having to do all the voices myself in those early days. ;) I do keep coming across various actresses or models who have some of the look I'd want for the main character, Selenis--Joan Jett and Swedish pop star September being some of the most recent. 

6. What songs would you like in a soundtrack of your comic?

I mostly listen to trip-hop, and recently I've had a vocal jazz kick, so tracks from those genres would most likely figure prominently: stuff like Freezepop's "Outer Space," De-Phazz's "Astrud Astronette," Hooverphonic's "2 Wicky," Bent's "Swollen," Sinatra's take on "Fly Me to the Moon,"  Chungking's "World of a Thousand Suns," Shirley Bassey doing "If," Dusty Springfield's rendition of "The Windmills of Your Mind," and Curtis Mayfield's "Right on for the Darkness." Hm and I'd probably try to fit Josie Cotton's "All I Can See is the Face of Bruce Lee" in there, just 'cause I like it. It might work for a fight scene, I suppose!

7. What is your overall goal for your comic?

Galactic domination! Perhaps making some sort of meager living off it, as a precursor. 

8. How has managing a comic impacted your life?

I'm working on it full time so it's pretty safe to say it is dominating my life currently; I am more impoverished but more liberated than I was previously, I suppose you could say. It's been nice particularly since I've moved into doing it in traditional media--it was all done on the computer initially--as I've got to transform my little apartment into an art studio and have been getting back into my college-era roots of painting, working with small local galleries, and that sort of thing.

9. What do you do to advertise your work?

I spend way too much money buying ad space through Project Wonderful, which has been pretty wonderful. I also cross-post stuff on various art/comic hosts, social networking, webcomic forums, and the like--but really it's been almost all PW in terms of what has gotten actual new readers, I think. 

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?

Galactic domination! And it's really fun, not only to have the kind of freedom you have in creating a webcomic, but I also just really enjoy the actual writing and drawing; it's both relaxing and exciting when I can set aside the world around me for a while and concentrate on painting a new scene or writing a new exchange of dialogue. 

11. Got any other projects we should know about?

I've done some other comic series on the side since starting A*--you'll find them linked from the A* site--but currently it's all A*, yep! 

12. What advice would you give to aspiring creators? 

I feel like I'm still an aspiring creator myself, so I'm not sure I can really call anything I'd say in this vein "advice." =o But hm... Well, I really like to see people out there who are trying something different, and really giving it their all. So...do that! :D 
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Awesome thanks Ben! Best of luck with your galactic domination. :)

So what do you think? Leave us some comments below to tell us how you feel about Supemassive Black Hole A*, Ben'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 check out Supermassive Black Hole A* updates Monday through Friday!

-Mat

Next Weds.- ULTI-MAN by Jeff Beckman!

If you would like to be interviewed about your web-comic send an email to evanyeti@yahoo.com titled "interview" with a link to your comic.

Monday, May 14, 2012

This Weds. Super Massive Black Hole A* interview

This Wednesday we welcome Ben Chamberlain creator of Super Massive Black Hole A* to take the 12 question challenge. Check out SMBHA* now and tune in Weds. to pick Ben's Brain!






-Mat
evanyeti.com

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Web Artist Wednesday: Commander Kitty interview

Once again we take a gander at the mad mind of an artist at work. This Weds. we interview Scotty Arsenault creator of Commander Kitty





1. For the poor souls not already reading, please give a brief synopsis of your comic. 
Commander Kitty is a daring space adventurer who doesn't play by the rules. Mostly the rule that says "you have to be daring and go on adventures to be a space adventurer".



He has a crew of complete misfits who couldn't adventure their way out of a space paper bag. 
CK meets up with a fellow spacer named Nin Wah who might be as big a faker as he is, but neither one wants to tip the other off, lest they discover they're both complete numphs.
Of course they find themselves mixed up with a megalomaniacal android babe who wants to take over the galaxy!

2. What materials and/or software do you use?
CK is done 100% in Photoshop. I work on a 2nd gen Cintiq 21" tablet.





3. Are there any books, movies, toys, artists, or authors that have inspired or continue to inspire your comic?
I usually fall back on Usagi Yojimbo by Stan Sakai when I need inspiration. Stan is my hero. Also graphic novels like Nausicaa of the Valley of Wind by H Miyazaki and Buddha by Osama Tezuka.


My early inspirations were Pogo by Walt Kelly and anything Carl Barks created.
I am an enormous MST3K nerd.
I listen to a lot of progressive rock like Yes, Rush and Frank Zappa, but recently I've found I work better when I don't listen to anything while I work.

4. Are any of your characters based on real people in your life?
Just about everyone in the comic is an alter ego of mine. Which is probably why it's not so popular. 

5. Are there any actors you know you would want to play or voice certain 
characters in a movie of your comic?
CK himself has got a little Rowan Atkinson in him, especially his Blackadder character. Just a complete self-centered rascal. But CK appears to be warming up a little in his own way.


I also have envisioned Frank Conniff to voice Lieutenant Mittens. A perfect match!

6. What songs would you like in a soundtrack of your comic?
Anything with lots of theremin music and a few Brian May guitar solos mixed in.


7. What is your overall goal for your comic?
I am trying to compile the strips in a book, but it is going slowly. That'd be fine with me. I've had T-shirts, buttons and pins to sell, but they didn't go over so well. Book first, then other things.

8. How has managing a comic impacted your life?
It's given me something to do. Hasn't impacted my life as much as I'd hoped, really.


9. What do you do to advertise your work?
Just Project Wonderful and word of mouth. I've tried things like Scribol and inkOutbreak, and those countless "Vote For This Comic" things, but they don't bring in all that much traffic. 

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?
The less I contemplate that, the better I'll be. Labor of love.

11. Got any other projects we should know about?
When CK finishes, I want to begin a sort of prequel to the CK universe. A story that tells how "spacers" came to be in the first place. Something that lets me put a bit more drama in if I want. I often feel my weird humor isn't catching on with people, so maybe I should try something different.




12. What advice would you give to aspiring creators? 
Don't pay anyone for advice on how to make a comic. It's possible to follow all the rules and still FAIL. Just do your thing. 


And make sure your characters swear a lot, play video games and dress in skimpy outfits if you want to be popular.
See you in the funnies!
Scotty A


Some great input and entertaining answers. Thanks for your time Scotty!


So what do you think? Leave us some comments below to tell us how you feel about Commander Kitty, Scotty'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 head on over to http://www.commanderkitty.com/ and see what trouble CK has gotten himself into now!

-Mat

Next Weds.- Super Massive Black Hole A* by Ben Chamberlain!

If you would like to be interviewed about your web-comic send an email to evanyeti@yahoo.com titled "interview" with a link to your comic.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Web Artist Wednesday: Rusty and Co. Interview

Since this is the first interview let me explain a little bit about what Web Artist Weds. is all about. I've been writing and drawing Evan Yeti for almost three years and always wonder about the processes and preferences of other web-comic creators. So I made a list of twelve questions that I would love to have answered by my favorite web artists. Like the awesome people they are, the artists responded. Now every Weds. we'll take a walk into the mind of a new creator and see what makes them and their comic tic.






Let's get to know Mike R. Author and Artist of the web-comic Rusty and Co. which updates every Wednesday at noon. Today! Here are Mike's answers to the big twelve...



1. For the poor souls not already reading, please give a brief synopsis of your comic. 
When a few monsters realize that lurking in dungeons is no way to live,
they decide to become famous adventurers, just like all those humans and
elves and dwarves and other "pretty" races.

2. What materials and/or software do you use?
Most of the strips are done completely digitally, using a Wacom tablet,Paint.NET (to ink) and Photoshop (to color and letter).

3. Are there any books, movies, toys, artists, or authors that have inspired or continue to inspire your comic?
Most of the monsters and settings in Rusty & Co. come from 20 years of
experience playing Dungeons and Dragons.  There are a lot of cliches (and
reversals of cliches) at work there.  My favorite comic artists are Adam
Warren, Jamie Hewlett and Jack Kirby, though I got my start as an artist
by painstakingly copying panels by Rumiko Takahashi.

4. Are any of your characters based on real people in your life?
All of the characters are composites of people I've played D&D with over
the years.  The guy who thinks he can talk his way out of any situation,
the guy who only cares about killing as many orcs as possible, the girl
who only plays at first because her boyfriend does, then continues to play
even after he leaves the group... they're all in there.

5. Are there any actors you know you would want to play or voice certain 
characters in a movie of your comic?
While Dan Harmon was writing "SCUD: The Disposable Assassin", he would
give a "cast list" at the start of each issue so you'd know which actor's
voice to imagine while reading the comic.  It was pretty effective, at
least to me.  So I always have a specific actor (not necessarily a famous
one) in mind for each character in Rusty & Co.  I find it helps me write
them more consistently.

That said, Mimic is John Travolta, Rusty is Frank Welker, the Princess is
Debbie Harry, Roxy is Gwen Stefani,  Presti is Nicki Minaj, and Madeline
is Tara Strong.  I hope they don't mind.

6. What songs would you like in a soundtrack of your comic?
Probably a mix of goofy 80's pop, sitcom themes, and Norwegian black metal.

7. What is your overall goal for your comic?
To make D&D players say "I wish we played in THAT game!" and to make
non-D&D players say "I get why you play, now!"  It's up for debate
whether that's a reachable goal.

8. How has managing a comic impacted your life?
Very little.  It only takes about 6-8 hours a week to do the strip, so I
usually get it done Sunday evenings.  I still have a day job and all that.
Most of my friends, if they read the comic, rarely mention it.

9. What do you do to advertise your work?
Not too much.  I occasionally drop a few bucks on ProjectWonderful.  Most
of my traffic comes from word of mouth, since my strips get frequently
linked to on various RPG forums.

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?
In my day job, I don't always get a lot of control over what I have to
draw, model, animate, or storyboard out.  The comic is a great outlet
where I can do what I want, only having to answer to my fans.  And
thankfully, most of my fans (the ones who comment regularly anyway) have
reached the point where they know I'm going to take them on a fun journey
so they don't nitpick the details along the way.  It's a good deal.

11. Got any other projects we should know about?
No, but I'm planning to ramp up the Rusty & Co. media empire this year.
With any luck, I'm hoping to get a store up and running, along with a few
other little surprises you'll just have to follow the comic to see.

12. What advice would you give to aspiring creators? 
Don't stagnate.  Don't ever stop improving because you found your "style"
or because your friends tell you how awesome you are.  Try new things.
Last year, I started looking into Flash animation because I'd never done
it before, and this year, I began learning to sculpt with clay.  You'd be
surprised how often a new creative venture feeds all your other ones too.

Informative answers and great advice! Thanks so Much for your time Mike!

So whatta' ya' think? Leave us some comments below to tell us how you feel about Rusty and Co. ,Mike'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 head on over to http://rustyandco.com/ and read Mimic's dialogue with John Travolta's voice.

-Mat

Next Weds.- Commander Kitty by Scotty Arsenault!

If you would like to be interviewed about your web-comic send an email to evanyeti@yahoo.com titled "interview" with a link to your comic.