She’s a Ringo nominated Illustrator and Writer with a love for Sword Women and Sharing the Pain equally with everyone else. She’s also a huge supporter of the LGBTQ+ Community, she is… Fell Hound! And the latest to join the Mind Meld!
1. Hello there, and welcome to the Mind Meld here at IndieComiX! For those who may be unaware of you and what it is you do, could you tell us a bit about yourself?
Hi! Thanks for having me! I’m Fell, I’m a writer and artist probably best known for creating the sad, Queer Sci-Fi Saga that is Commander Rao and And We Love You. Both of which are available now from Scout Comics! In my free time I like to draw sword ladies and play video games.
2. You’ve got quite the resume under your belt when it comes to making comics, what was the deciding factor for you that led you to wanting to be involved in making comics?
I’ve always loved storytelling, it was one of my dreams since middle school to become a writer. But during the tail end of high school I picked up Batwoman: Elegy and was blown away by its beauty. I think that’s what really convinced me that comics were the ideal medium to tell my stories in! The problem was that I could not draw at the time, and I actually ended up spending my college years learning to draw from the ground up.
In high school I watched all of Disney’s Gargoyles for the first time and became obsessed. When it ended I found out the story continued in the comics, so I scoured the land (the GTA) for comic stores hoping to find copies of the comics! On my journey I ended up buying Batwoman: Elegy as well, which loops back to my comic origin story haha.
4. Generally, we all seem a bit obsessed with romance and happy endings but in your stories, while the romance is there, the happy endings necessarily aren’t. What made you decide to go in the non happy endings direction?
I think whatever kind of story you tell, a good story is one that can effectively make the reader feel whatever you want them to feel. So comedies should make people laugh, and tragedies should make people cry (or feel dead inside). I’m not great at comedies, so I decided I’d make everyone cry instead! That, and the comics I made all stemmed from some personal experiences that are hard to put into words. Sometimes it’s hard to explain how you feel, and I figured, why not just show people by making them feel the same way I do? Share the pain!
5. As you are both writer and artist for your stories, would you say its a lengthy process to finish them?
Lengthy is an understatement. I am admittedly not fast at either process. But it’s fun, sorta, at least!
6. You mentioned earlier that you are now getting the chance to publish Commander Rao and And We Love You through Scout Comics, what led to that happening?
There aren’t that many publishers with open submissions, and Commander Rao was my first Self-Published comic, so I honestly figured I’d just shoot my shot and see what happens. I’m grateful for the opportunity to see my comics in shops and at the hands of readers around the world!
7. Do you have a process for writing and drawing?
My process is pretty chaotic. I think for Commander Rao I did the thumbnails, went straight to art, and then wrote all the actual words retroactively. I don’t really know how I pulled that off. For AWLY I went the more traditional route of having a script, getting it edited, then going to art. But even then I added 20 pages and rewrote large sections of it from the initial draft. My process is Chaos and Hoping For The Best.
8. Which do you prefer more, writing or drawing?
I like both, and it really depends on my mood, but lately? Writing. To be honest I always wanted to be a writer more than I wanted to be an artist. And I felt in the last few years I let some of those skills lay dormant because I was so bogged up with drawing. So these days I’m definitely doing more writing, and it’s fun getting back into it.
9. You mentioned earlier that one of the things you like to do in your free time is draw sword girls, what is it about them that captivates you so?
I just think they look cool! I love fantasy stuff, and anything that feels escapist, and having a giant sword feels pretty escapist to me haha. Also it gives my characters something to do with their hands. What else would they be holding if not a massive sword?
10. Have any upcoming projects you’d like to hype a little?
I’m working on a couple pitches right now, everything’s very hush hush but I hope I can talk more about them soon! Otherwise to be frank I’m still in some burnout recovery mode, so I’m less focused on projects lately and just trying to find the joy in drawing what I love again. I’ll also be in a couple anthologies TBA, and some covers that are TBA, stay tuned!
Everything I make is Queer until proven otherwise haha. And honestly I haven’t gotten a lot of pushback on it. I tend to curate my crowds very carefully, especially online, and I have no hesitation in blocking trolls or people I don’t want to be around.
12. When it comes to Print vs. Digital, which do you prefer?
I’m a print person myself. I used to read digitally but now I’m old(er) and reading on a screen too long hurts my eyes.
Probably big screen! All my books are Queer, and almost every Queer show I love gets cancelled prematurely. There’s nothing I hate more than not having closure, so if they made a done-in-one movie with a solid beginning, middle and end, I’d vastly prefer that.
14. And for my last question, what advice would you give to those looking to get in to the Industry?
Giving advice is hard, and I always start with my takeaway that you should take all advice with a grain of salt. But coming from my own personal experience, my advice is to learn to love what you do. And I say this as something you gotta *learn*, not just feel, because the comics industry is a bumpy road to navigate. Learn to love what you’re doing even if your audience is 5 breadcrumbs and a paperclip. Find things to love about it even when you’re crying yourself to bed. Learn to think about what you have rather than what you don’t have. There’s a lot to like about the industry. There’s a lot to *dislike* about it too. But if you love your stories, love your craft, then it might be something worth fighting for.
Interview by: Rob Wrecks