FinalArcanum is the story of swashbuckling adventure, magic, islands floating in the sky, and pirates! It follows Acacitli, a young sky pirate out to prove himself to his crew and inadvertently walking into a high-stakes struggle with a tyrannical empire.
In part one the following interview I did with Stephanie Stober, the creator of Final Arcanum, she describes how she got into comics and how she went about creating her tale of adventure. In this second installment, she talks about her favorite part of the creation process and the lessons that she has learned throughout the project.
Q8. What's your favorite part of the process?
Probably the actual art making (as opposed to script writing, publishing, marketing, etc.), and there's certainly parts of it that fall in and out of favor with me all the time. This is mostly due just to the content on the page. Sometimes I'm really excited to draw an interesting pose or coloring a certain scene with special lighting. It really tends to vary!
Q9. How has your art style changed over the course of the comic?
It's changed a lot, that's for sure. The way I render figures, the materials I ink with, and how I color have all changed several times throughout the course of the project. Some of them I know are really noticeable, but I think there are quite a few that get past the reader's eye. I'd love to challenge anyone to find the point in the story I switched from inking with microns to ballpoint pen, haha.
Q10. What are some things that you have learned along the way?
There have been a whole lot of things I've discovered along the way! A lot are simple and simply related to being a better artist - how to better draw dynamic poses, how to be more consistent, improving at perspective, etc. But more importantly, I learned a lot about how to write just through the experience. That means, yes, there are certainly parts of the story right now where the pacing might be strange or the narrative isn't as strong, but overall I've learned so much about storytelling from doing Final Arcanum. Some of these things include pacing in comics (an example being how to use paneling effectively), writing for serial readers vs. archive readers, what sort of scenes and characters readers enjoy, and the list goes on for awhile! I've had a lot of people mention how they want to start a webcomic, or any sort of similar project, but are too afraid to do it because they don't know enough or don't think they'd do the project justice. My advice has always been to just go for it. I learned so much while doing Final Arcanum, and I learned it far faster by pushing myself to update every week than I would've otherwise.
Q11. Creating a comic and updating regularly can be quite a daunting task. What inspires you to keep going?
Ahahah it's something I wrestle with every week, especially when I was in school and now with a full-time job! It helps that I do find the work really fun. I do creative work during the day, but just because it's creative doesn't mean it's personal. Final Arcanum is my special project I put time aside because I look forward to working on it. It also helps to know though that there are people out there interested in knowing what happens next! I always feel like I let readers down if I miss an update, so I make sure to only skip weeks if its absolutely necessary and impossible to have a quality update!
Q12. You go to a lot of conventions. Which ones do you frequent and what is your favorite thing about going to such events?
I do! Comic and anime conventions are fantastic events and I recommend them to any and all comic enthusiasts (if you don't already go). I definitely say I would go for the people too. You're around so many others that are like-minded and have similar interestes, and the atmosphere is so open that I often have a lot of long conversations with strangers about anything from webcomics to cosplay to bunnies. Conventions I attend regularly are Katsucon, Otakon, San Diego Comic Con, and New York Comic Con, even if I'm not always selling books at these cons.
Q13. Do you have plans for webcomic projects after you have finished Final Arcanum?
Sure do! They won't be announced for quite a while still, but keep an eye out for when they do!
Q14. What do you want people to take away from reading your comic?
Above all I want people to enjoy the comic. I'd love people to really get into the story and to laugh and cry with the characters the same way I do! If I know my readers are having fun reading the story, then I consider Final Arcanum a complete success.
You can read my review/recommendation of Final Arcanum here.