Ask Me Anything: Answers
Ask Me Anything: Answers
For easier browsing, I busted the Q & A’s into categories. One note- the phrase ‘PLOT VAULT’ is the answer to most storyline questions. It means that answering might, one way or another, reduce some of the suspense in the storyline. So those answers are locked in the PLOT VAULT. And without further ado, here’s some answers!
Personal and Misc
Creating & Publishing
Personal and Misc
"Don’t abuse your power"…
You do know this is the internet, don’t you?
How much wood could a woochuck chuck if a woockuck could chuck wood?
AGGGHHHH It’s starting, something tells me this is going to hurt-
Do you have deep lasting regrets about opening yourself up to the flood of questions?
I don’t know yet. Come along with me, won’t you, and let’s find out together!
This question always intrigued me: Do artists ever get aroused by their own drawings, when they are seductive?
I can’t speak for all artists. But for me, it’s yes rapidly followed by no. Sometimes the concept for a sensual drawing can get me fired up, but those systems go offline once I get into drawing mode. I think "Baby Makin’ Time!" and "Capture anatomy in a fluid yet believable manner Time!” use mutually exclusive parts of the brain.
Yah just out of curiosity how old were you when you really started to draw and what collages did you go to for art? I’m trying hard to get into the art institute/school of design in Rhode island but I was just wonder if any other good ones are out there cuz that shit costs more than Yale without dorm rooms included.
I started drawing when I was three years old, I’m told… But my earliest memories of art are from later on, during my Real Ghostbusters Movement. Liz and I both attended the Columbus College of Art and Design, and wow. Think twice before you mortgage your future for an art college. The cost is astronomical and, social experiences aside, I would have been better off with diligent self-directed study for four years rather than years of asinine course requirements. Before you jump into college, understand precisely what it is you expect to gain that you cannot get from anywhere else. And talk to some (non-school-supplied) alumni to see if it actually delivers.
Can I ask you to comment on some of my uploads? It’s not really a question, but I’d like it nonetheless. Wink/Razz
Ask away! But I’m scrambling just to get all these questions answered at present, so you may have to remind me again a little later. Best way to ensure I remember is to send the request to my gmail - Dreamkeeperscomic(At)gmail.com. There’s a risk I might miss things if they’re asked in here.
4. Were still waiting on that before and after picture of your art desk…wait, that was more statement than question ^_^;;;
You might be waiting forever, because I don’t remember what this is in reference to anymore… Eek. Welcome to my third-rate memory.
5. Aside from family and friends, who were your role models that spurred you on the path you now walk?
Bill Watterson comes to mind, as well as the band KMFDM… They’re examples that individually inspired and authored creation can stand the test of time.
6. Speaking of paths, how did you and Liz come across each other? When was the moment when both of you had that ‘your the one’ moment?
Liz and I met in art college (she was obviously the best part of college) when I was going door to door on the girl’s floor offering stolen cookies. Later that evening, I went to play Goldeneye with the other RA’s- to continue stomping the hell out of them. I’d been enjoying uncontested Goldeneye dominance for a solid week. Three players could team up with the sole goal of taking me down, and I’d still trounce ‘em. Liz mentioned she played a little, so I thought, why not. She played with us. But something strange happened, and the game ended early, before I got all the kills- turned out that she won the first round. Oh well, fluke. So we played again- she came out ahead again. So, to correct this mistake, we had a one-on-one battle in Caves with Grenade Launchers, where she proceeded to annihilate the living hell out of me. And then, I knew something was going on.
Here’s my Q’s, I started a thread on the DK forum called “A Decent Idea”. I Would like for you to read it and share your views on it with us.
Hmm- that is indeed a decent idea! I’ll have to ask some of the commission customers what they think about it, thanks for the suggestion.
Influence map? (or given how busy you already are, maybe you could tell us who your influences are)?
Generally speaking, the cartoons of the 80’s and 90’s when I grew up. Saturated in traditional-animation goodness. Some names that come to mind are Bill Watterson, Tracy Butler, Katsuhiro Otomo, and I’m indebted to many, many others.
What animated film do you say you were inspired by(also, have you seen The Iron Giant?)?
Saw Iron Giant, and enjoyed it thoroughly. Films that spring to mind immediately include ‘The Incredibles,’ ‘Aladdin,’ ‘Goonies,’ and ‘Akira.’
would you allow me to make a shock trooper cosplay? :)
Absolutely yes! For future reference, anyone who wants to do a cosplay featuring our stuff, go for it- and please share photos with us!
What are your thoughts on the numerous comic book superhero movies that have been coming out lately?
Hmm- I saw one recently… X-men first class. I was expecting it to be bad, but found myself pleasantly surprised, it had a lot of strengths. Most recent movies I haven’t seen- but as a general movement, bunch of superhero movies, that’s pretty fun. Good platform for visual effects. Hollywood will probably spam it until it’s run into the ground, but there will be good finds in the mix.
Dave, you played, or at least know some computer games?
Wolfenstein 3-D, Shareware version of Doom, Commander Keen, Zone 66… Those were during my computer games heyday, I’ve dropped off since then. I heard they kept making more.
And… thanks to your comic, on my account about 8 characters and a whole grouping called “Ice ghosts”, and dark knights under the name “Fallen”. Is this normal? xD
I hope so, because it sounds fun!
Where did you get that amazingly fancy outfit?
Not sure if this has been asked, but is there a song or piece of music that you imagine to be DK’s “theme” of sorts?
Yes, composed by Nolan Markey specifically for the series. Not available just yet, but perhaps down the road.
Is there a sort of character outline we could use in creating fan Characters for fan fictions or Role-plays? Like Name, Age, power, etc.?
Actually, yes: http://www.dreamkeeperscomic.com/forum/profile.php?id=1&view=dreamkeeper Users in our forum can make an alternate profile page for their Dreamkeeper. And let me not forget the built-in dice roller in the RP section of the forum…
2) Where do you see yourself in 5 more years?
Hopefully finishing off Volume 8, roughly the halfway mark of the graphic novel series- and perhaps bringing some other stuff out as well. And I’m in a mansion. But I’ve lost the use of my legs- but my wheelchair is equipped with hidden weapons and a foldout drawing surface. So, ups and downs.
Ok Lille. Which one AND Why?
*The Beatles OR The Rolling Stones?
*JIM HENSON or TIM BURTON?
*Picasso OR Dali?
*BILL WATTERSON or Jeff Smith?
Beatles. The Stones have a great, rugged attitude- but the Beatles have melodies that are so good, they can surpass genre and find new interpretations and influence across a broad spectrum.
Jim Henson. He had so much heart, it still echoes in ours today. Love Burton’s early stuff, but his new remakes capture the style while missing the substance.
Dali. In my personal opinion, abstract art is more about historic than aesthetic value. Deconstructing art to examine its component parts can be interesting, but to me it’s like pulling apart a car engine to look at the bits. If that’s your thing, have fun- but most of us like to get somewhere, with a functional engine that works. With Dali, you can tell what he was trying to convey- which means his work functionally communicates- which is the point of art.
What did you do when you or Liz have nightmares ?
When I was a baby I had dreams that black things- not hairy necessarily, but more indeterminate in shape- were standing around my crib, hands on the rails, staring down at me. No features of any kind, just darkness. SURVIVAL STRATEGY: Stay under the covers. Time tested, and obviously it worked.
I hope you don’t mind me asking, but if you and Liz were Dreamkeepers, what would you be? and your powers? :)
Liz thought about it, and declared that she would probably just be Wisp. Able to float around, low dietary requirements, multitasking… I would probably be some type of reptilian squirrel- cold blooded enough to sit and focus for long periods of time on drawing or whatever, but with a fluffy tail and the ability to scamper up trees. That would probably be my power, some kind of ability relating to focus.
Also, a little fun question. I was playing a game called Dust: an Elysian Tail and it’s beauty and artwork reminds me of Dreamkeepers, have you and/or your wife ever played it? It’s on PC now.
Never played it, but I’ve seen it and it looks gorgeous! Independently produced, too.
Hooray for hypotheticals! I was just thinking…
We live in one universe, is a place that may hold millions of other universes. If this is true, then it may be plausible that your guys’ amazing story is actually taking place somewhere right now. What do you think?
…I think the Dreamkeepers would be pissed at me for making things so tough for them. If they ever ask who God is and why he’s such a bastard, NOBODY TELL THEM AAANYTHIIING.
1) Favourite music artist:
David: Kaptn K
Liz: One-hit wonders from the 60’s, because it brings back good ‘listening to the oldies‘ kid memories. But I favor musicians who sound like they could be animated.
2) Favourite book (including comics, short stories, novels):
The Codex Alera series by Jim Butcher.
3) Favourite videogame:
Goldeneye for N64
Would you purchase a non-functioning samurai sword?
I have a couple and ‘m too stingy to purchase any kind of samurai sword presently.
If R is the set of all sets which do not contain themselves, does R contain itself?
Are you working on Dreamkeepers full time, or do you still have another job?
2013 was our first year working on Dreamkeepers full time, and we’re hoping to continue long enough to finish Volume 4 this year. Every year prior to 2013, we paid the bills with regular jobs. Which is fine- but it did make the graphic novel production take way longer.
Would you guys ever have kids?
Probably not. I’d only want a kid if I had the time and resources to raise one properly.
Do you looooooooooooove Wisp?
If you could only eat one flavor of ice cream for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Dave: Vanilla. Because then I could cheat by adding non-ice cream objects, like walnuts or raspberries, and get a lot of custom ice cream flavors anyways.
Liz: Anything except Vanilla or strawberry.
Since you were a security guard for a time; Which of the three main ones who have a prominent (So far anyways)place in the story do you think you would be?
Probably a mix between Woods and Bill. Clueless AND sarcastic, that’d be me!
Also seeing as you like reading books from the library have you had the pleasure of any good reads as of late?
Read a recent Pendergast novel by Preston & Child, I have got a huge soft spot for that series.
And how is your pet Gator these days?
Sassy and indifferent.
Which type would Liz and you like to have as a ryuu-neko, if you would be able to get one?
Probably a plant, they’re so lovable and fluffy looking.
I looked back at Volume 1 and noticed a poster in Namah’s room with KMFD-M on it. Was this a reference to the band? (I enjoy their music a lot ^^)
Yep! I love that band.
With the music inspiration of the bar (KMFDM Remix), is that the type of music you normally hear?
It’s definitely in the rotation, but I also favor swing, pop, classic, ambient, very wide range.
Question: What is the most terrifying thing that you or Liz can think of? I mean, terrifying to you personally.
Hmm… I suppose being tortured to death.
Did Liz ever pay off what she owed to the Sanity Fairy or is Chuck Norris now stalking you two? XD (Sorry if this brings back any unpleasant memories of the real incident.)
We’re settled up at present.
How on earth should one approach you guys at cons? No, let me rephrase: how do you WANT to be approached at cons? What do you like talking to fans about specifically?
I’ve seen you guys three times at AC and it always feels awkward-though-appreciated if I were to come up and go “YOU MAKE GOOD ARTS ME LIKE” and scurry away like an embarrassed caveman.
Approach us however you like! Cons are one of the few time I get to socialize much, so it’s great to have a chance to meet and chat with people. We can talk about our comic and art stuff, but don’t feel like you have to keep it there. Personal anecdotes and questions are fun to share too. If you’re more comfortable with short exchanges, or feel like hanging around a bit and conversing more, it’s all good for us.
I’d love to hang out with you guys some time. want to get a drink at AC?
Yes. Liz doesn’t drink, but she’d love to join us.
We should hang out sometime. What convention would you perfer?
We always try to hit Anthrocon. Motor City Fur Con is new one we want to make regular, and we always try to hit Midwest Furfest. But any con where we both happen to be attending, that’s all it takes for us!
So Astro, in the future is it Hot or Not?
Um… It depends on how close to the Sun he orbits.
Who is your favorite author and artist?
Favorite authors of mine include Preston & Child and Jim Butcher. Favorite artist would be Tracy Butler.
And what is your favorite brand and flavour of chips?
Probably Tostitos tortillas are what I get the most. I like them because you can dip them in stuff.
How does the world end?
Falls off the back of the elephant.
WHO’S HOTTER, DAVE OR LIZ
Liz, I’m a witness.
Can I pet tali
If you can catch her, and sign the liability waiver.
Butts, question mark.
Yes, exclamation point.
What was your favorite cartoons growing up?
Inspector Gadget, Gummi Bears, Muppet Babies, Rescue Rangers, Duck Tales, Dragon Ball Z.
Think you could come to fursquared next year?
Possibly… It’s based on how I’m doing on the next graphic novel, versus how much time I have left to finish it.
How did you two meet (Dave and Liz)? Why a pet Alligator? Is Scinter modeled after Tally? Would you consider modeling a character after me?
Met in college (See elaboration above) We have Tally because Liz is allergic to fur, and she thought it would be funny to open a random kitchen cupboard, and behold, an alligator. They live 50+ years and are very durable pets, unlike some of our previous residents. Scinter is actually modeled more after a ball python than a gator. As for modeling a character after you, I’ll have to disappoint- we have all the storyline characters already pretty well in hand. But we do put reader cameos in when possible.
Just what /is/ the best way to defend an average home against vampire Santa?
First things first, don’t leave an open invitation. That gives vampires a free pass to enter via supernatural means. Next up, fire in the fireplace will prevent him from sneaking in through there. Lock the doors and windows- and besides that, you should be pretty safe. There’s no shortage of open households for him to prey on, so he doesn’t need to mess around trying to break into the rare protected dwelling.
When did you discover the existence of the furry fandom?
Around 2005. Showing early Dreamkeepers pages around, someone was like, “Ah, one of those *furry* things.” It’s been interesting ever since.
What would be my dreamkeeper’s power?
That’s a question only you can answer.
Creating & Publishing
Who named Mace and Whip?
When we first began talking about the idea of a story in the dream world, my roommate Brad named Mace. Then I named Whip, and the ball was rolling.
Number 1: Where did you get the idea for this comic and how has it changed throughout the years?
My roommate Brad was having nightmares in college, and mentioned how awesome it would be if there was a protector in his dreams to fight them off. This got us talking about the concept, and we came up with Mace and Whip. That summer I went home, researched dreams, and created a cast- Lilith, Namah, Bast and Igrath.
It was originally planned to be a pitch for a TV show, but I switched it to a comic to retain creative control. Volume 1 was the next stop, and from there, we just kept creating.
Number 2: Who?
'The Doctor' works just fine.
Number 3: What?
Number 4: When?
Number 5: Where?
Number 6: Why?
Number 7: How?
With a screwdriver.
4) Care to share a tip for people struggling to make webcomics?
Sure! We have time for some basic stuff. First tip, have fun- or you’re doing it for the wrong reasons. Second, make something as incredible and worthwhile as you possible can. To aid in that here are two key questions will help your story: “Who cares,” and “Why.” You have to know why readers will be interested in your concept, your characters, your current page, your next page. Who cares? And Why? Why applies to your characters as well. Why are they taking their actions? What do they want? ‘Why’ is the single best writing tool in your arsenal. That’s what I had with me when I made Volume 1. A library of books on writing and storycraft has helped since then, but ‘Why’ is where it started. Last tip- if you make something great, you have to market it or nobody will realize it’s there.
2. What inspires the Nightmare designs? Do you pull references from horror sources like Lovecraft, monster movies or scary games like Silent Hill or Amensia the Dark Descent?
I think I pulled a lot of influence from Giger and Tim Burton’s work, but my earliest influence would be Ghostbusters. I’ve heard of Lovecraft, but haven’t read him yet- and I haven’t played virtually any recent horror games.
3. Currently, stuff like Kafel’s “Wayward Astronomer” fanfic is non-canon; since you and Liz are the makers of DK, what factors must be meet for a non-canon form of media to be regarded as canon in the DK?
I have an idea, not sure if it’s good, but here goes.
Maybe canon isn’t up to me. Now, whatever’s canon *in my books* is of course up to me- I’m the author. But what about other Dreamkeeper fanfics and concepts? Even if I had the time, should I really sift through and declare some ‘official,’ but others not?
Aside from being a bit arbitrary, that could eventually lead to some kind of Star-Wars-esque rambling universe of obligatory stuff that any ‘real’ fan is supposed to know because it’s ‘official.’ Which means any new authors have that much more stuff they are forced to memorize as the price for making their own contributions. It snowballs. And, inevitably, glitches and inconsistencies between authors can pop up- it’s fiction, after all, and we’re only human. So here’s my idea:
Canon is reader-determined. Every individual gets to decide what Dreamkeeper stories they like and consider ‘real.’ The ‘Lillie’ canon includes the books I’m making- Prelude, the graphic novels. If other authors want to match the ‘Lillie’ canon, then they can read our stuff and make it as consistent as possible. And if not, heck! Have fun. Readers can figure out what they want to keep for themselves.
And, really, I think that’s how it works anyways when you get down to it. Every reader judges and selects their own personal head-canon. So I think we can officially put them in charge.
1. Have you ever considered doing a “The Art of DreamKeepers” book ?
Yes! It’s on my list of things to do eventually. I want to knock out a few more graphic novels first though.
2. The scenery in the DreamKeepers comic are absolutely stunning; I’m currently trying to improve on my background drawings for my own project-do you have any recommendations? Any dos and don’ts when doing backgrounds ?
Hmm… First, think through it as much as possible. When staring at a blank sheet of paper, if you don’t have a mental construct in place, it’ll be really hard to start.
What mood does your scene have? How does the background influence it? Is the setting helping the character? Hindering them? If you know how the setting is supposed to influence the reader, that will help make a lot of subsequent decisions.
What is this place, and how did it get this way? There’s almost always clutter of some kind around that describes an environment. Look around your own room, right where you are, right now. Is every surface blank and clear? Is there anything on the walls? On the floor? What have you been using recently- what could a reader deduce from seeing that in the image? If it’s a natural formation, what’s the history of it? Is it fresh? Eroded? Overgrown? A setting helps ground plausibility in a story.
Google references. Reference is your friend.
Last thing to consider before I dash is lighting. Where is the light coming from? What’s the color? How does it influence the scene and the overall color palette? When you get down to it, light is all we really see of anything- and it marks the difference between a drawing and an illustration.
How do you make the characters so endearing?
Well, I get a big initial boost by making them cartoon animals. After all, what is it about Hello Kitty’s personality that attracts people? But the initial visual lure isn’t enough. Three keys to portraying magnetic characters: They must care. They must have something at stake. And they must try.
First part- passion is infectious. We have to know that the character’s goal is actually important- nay, crucial- to them. After all, if they don’t give a shit about what’s going on, why should we? We have to see that they care about things- and, especially, about the wellbeing of others. Mace can be kind of a jerk at times- but the first thing we see in V1 is him helping Paige out of the water. We know he cares about others, and so we care about him. There’s actually a writing label I’ve heard for this- called giving a character a “Care Package,” a scene where we see them caring about someone else. A care package can add empathy to a hero, and layers of complexity to a villain.
Second, the character must be in some kind of danger. There has to be a risk. It can be physical, emotional, social- but there has to be some kind of threat to the character that they cannot avoid by simply ignoring it. If they’re not in danger, well, then good. That’s nice to know. No need to keep reading.
And three: The character has to struggle, with everything they’ve got. If they just give up and break down, *without* getting back up… Well, not much of a story there. A story is *about* the character struggling with a difficult situation.
So, endearing characters must care, be at risk, and try.
How do you write all of Tendril’s poetry?
Um… With a laptop? I don’t really know much about poetry. We ’shine a lantern’ (point it out using story) on this when Lilith addresses him in Volume 3 about how poorly planned it is.
Besides Mace, has anyone else had their power changed over the course of development?
A few I think, such as Igrath, but Mace’s was the most drastic.
What’s your process when deciding what animal (or not animal) a character will be based on?
I’m not entirely sure. It has gone both ways- sometimes we start with an animal idea, and the character’s personality emerges from that springboard. And sometimes we have the character’s personality established, and then we have to match it to a fitting form. Color enters into the equation as well. One thing we try to do is compare the entire cast before making a final determination, so we don’t wind up having five different brown deer guys. So really, just a lot of playing, batting ideas back and forth, and doodling- and then things start to emerge.
How do you pick names for things?
Sometimes I’ll look up lists of baby names, or research scientific terms for obscure things, but just as often I’ll make up my own words because I like how they sound.
How does switching back and forth between focusing on adults and focusing on children affect the writing process?
It has strengthened it. Prelude writing helped us define our characters, so we have a better understanding of their roots when we continue writing graphic novel scenes.
Now that you’re further along in the story, is there any earlier stuff that you wish you’d done differently?
Actually no. Not that I think our earlier work is perfect- not by far. Neither is our current work. And our future work won’t be perfect either, none of it. But it’s all going to be the absolute best that we can do. I went at Volume 1 giving it my best effort, and the result is an accurate portrait of my attempt. If I’m improving, that’s great- but not a reason to scorn the footprints that brought me here. You’ve got to start where you’re at, or you won’t ever start.
When giving a Dreamkeeper a power, how do you make sure it isn’t more powerful or less powerful than what you had in mind?
We actually have a rating scale that the Troika developed to classify powers… It’s not spoilery, I should probably just post it sometime.
But generally, even if there’s the occasionally powerful Dreamkeeper, well, there’s going to be a Nightmare that will give them problems. Fear of Mary Sues often leads writers to avoid powerful characters like it’s some kind of literary sin- but as long as you have those characters clash with antagonists that meet or exceed their capacities, you can still have fascinating struggles. And the more powerful a character is, the more their power could wreak unanticipated havoc and work against them. When power is portrayed with realistic consequences, it’s not a problem.
That reminds me, do you have any other projects once you finish dreamkeepers, or will you start another beautiful series?
Actually yes- there are more projects planned beyond DK.
1) We known and loved the universe of Dreamkeepers, but I want to know if you have other stories in mind? More comics or such?
AGH, I’ve been caught. I’m currently plotting a novel series, and have another few concepts percolating- none of them are Dreamkeeper related.
I normally wouldn’t mention anything, because I try to announce results rather than plans. But you asked.
Question: how much time do you take to draw a page?
Way too much… Probably 12 hours or so just for the pencils.
and also how long does one piece of a comic page take in coloring?they are so beautifully done.
One comic page… Roughly eight hours of color blocking, and shading will take me a day of work usually- about ten or twelve hours. So just the colors for each page will take somewhere from 20 to 30 hours of solid work, depending on how elaborate the art is.
.Also do you have a word or quote to inspire yourself no matter how many the pages you are going to color or draw? Pretty simple questions :D
"Your future depends on many things, but mostly on you." ~ Frank Tyger
"The secret of getting ahead is getting started" ~ Mark Twain
What are you and Liz’s roles in the comic? Like, ive gathered that you do the pencils and stuff like that, but what do Liz do for the comic?
It starts with the concepts. Liz and I bounce the ideas off one another, talk about characters, and collaborate on where things are going. And then the ping pong begins:
I do a story draft, and take it to Liz for revisions. We finalize it together.
She gives me notes on how it should look, and then I go and doodle up some thumbnails. We review and edit the thumbnails together.
I do blueline pencils, and Liz checks over the poses and if necessary suggests alterations. Final pencils are then done, and layed out. Liz blocks the characters, we usually send background blocking to the freelancers, and then I do the shading with feedback from Liz. We do a final pass on the dialogue together. Everything is meshed pretty closely.
Lets say Dreamkeepers suddenly becomes one of the most famous comics in the world. Offers from big companies will come pouring in. They want to release all kinds of merchandise, which will make you richer then hell, but also want to change the story of Dreamkeepers to max out the selling. Would you accept the offer and be a sellout, or would you stay a lot less rich, but maintain the story line?
Actually I have a blog that sort of covers this subject:
But it’s not bad to reiterate my thoughts in brief. I think there would be a balance. On the one side, I don’t want to sell out and see a painful travesty of Dreamkeepers gain public prominence as being definitive. On the other, I don’t want to be an artsy snob and refuse to let a show get off the ground over my precious, precious ego.
So there’s a scale. The more influence or assurance I would have regarding the quality of the story, the more I would be open to green-lighting a show. Being rich doesn’t really factor in either way- I sure like money, but that’s a secondary issue.
Where did you guys get your inspiration for Dreamkeepers?
Primarily from an 80’s childhood saturated in traditional animation and Jim Henson.
who out of all the characters you created has been the most challenging for you?
Scinter is the biggest pain to draw, because he’s got so many gadgets to keep track of. But he’s work intensive, not difficult. What’s difficult, actually, are Tinsel and her boobs. Drawing realistic breasts wouldn’t be too terribly hard. But DK is stylized to look exaggerated and cartoony, yet still have a somewhat real feel to it. Making something look unrealistic and still somewhat believable is a challenge. I’m not there yet, but trying to get better.
and where do you get reference from those amazing backgrounds?
Google is the easiest, and I also take photos of landscapes and such whenever I have the opportunity. Real life reference provides excellent fuel for the process of making up crap.
Will you be able to make more tutorials?
I really hope so. At present I can’t afford to break focus from the graphic novels- but if we get big enough to attain a bit of a buffer, I’d love to make some more. I’ve got one on perspective that has had artwork ready to roll for like two years, but there’s no time for me to assemble it just now.
Are you planning an animated series some time in the future?
I certainly like the idea. If we grow large enough, pursuing an animation might become possible. But at present there are no concrete plans.
3. When will you open commissions
At conventions I open for pencil commissions. Online, I won’t open until I get through my current que- a few more years at least.
In the special edition of V1, Jeneviv’s original sacrifice is much more gorey. Why did you decide to tone it down?
The scene was supposed to warn readers right off the bat that this isn’t intended for children. But beyond that, there wasn’t a need to really revel in the gore. The scene was more about Void’s return, and dramatizing that element. In the original version, he was just kind of there, and popped some Sandmen to show this. But why’d he pop some Sandmen? And why did the Sandmen run up to the body in the first place? It just had some stuff happening that didn’t make complete sense. Making it shorter and more dramatic worked, so we went with that.
Is there ever going to be a cop-drama spinoff of Dreamkeepers called CSI: Anduruna?
Oh God, I hope so. That sounds like the worst idea ever and I love it.
Hi, my name is Manuel, I live in Buenos Aires Argentina.
I really do admire your work, and I really enjoyed reading the comics online, unfortunately I have no way of acquiring the physical comic in my country.
Is there any chance that the comic come to Argentina and other Latin American countries? not necessarily now, but in the future.
Licensing the foreign publishing rights is certainly possible at some point. I don’t know when I can take the time to investigate potential literary agents- and, of course, if no publishing companies are interested in buying the rights, then that’s that.
I always wanted to ask: Do you use a special technique to make the outlines of your chars colored? And how exactly do you publish all your Books? Like do you print’em by yourself?
Actually, we have a tutorial that covers that subject pretty well: http://youtu.be/SVWKECLQhNc
Short version, turn the lines layer to ‘multiply’, and then paint colors onto it with the brush mode turned to ‘lighten.’ We publish backlist titles via print on demand companies, and frontlist titles we’ve been able to afford offset runs lately. We sell and deliver the books all ourselves currently.
Also, have you ever considered using you’re publishing company to publish other people’s graphic novels? Just curious. :D
Definitely. I’m planning to host and announce submission guidelines this spring.
Would you ever get a webcam and stream your drawing(though not from the graphic novel cause spoilers, but maybe your monthly commission and your web-comic?)
I have trouble focusing on drawing if I’m also online with socializing happening. I’m not strongly opposed to the idea, but I don’t have any plans to try it presently.
Does your merchandise (printfection) ever go on sale? $61 shipped for two T-shirts is rather steep.
It’s steep indeed. They have to be custom printed for every order, so there’s not an easy way to lower the price without saddling ourselves with hundreds of shirts. Printfection is the best we can do at present.
When it comes to essentially drawing/shading/painting in photoshop is there a book you personally recommend that you know of?
There are probably good books on the subject, but I haven’t read them. I would start with online tutorials for free, and see how things go from there.
Oh, and also, any chance you could make Happy Birthdat to the Floor with Bast and Whip into a wallpaper? I love that bit. ;)
That sounds like a fun wallpaper, now that you mention it. I’ll try to remember to do that sometime when a good chance comes up- if you want to e-mail me a reminder down the road, that helps the odds of me remembering and getting it done.
Do you have any pointers on how to do water? I LOVE how you draw and color it ^^
Sure! Water is inherently gorgeous- it’s one of those things we can spend a lifetime chasing, and still never really capture it. But here are some tips on trying:
Reflections- Make a copy of your image and flip it upside down. Move your upside down colors to make reflections on the surface of your water- maybe blur them a bit, mask them in and out if the water is rippling, turn down the opacity- but it’s an easy way to make something look glossy and smooth.
Transparency- in the right lighting conditions, we see through the surface of the water to murky things beneath. Try painting some fuzzy things down there, and mask the water surface out in areas where it’s closer to the viewer.
Sharp highlights. If you take a big ball of clay and shine a light on it, you’ll get a big soft highlight. But make that clay wet, and suddenly you get a small, sharp highlight. Hard highlights make things look wet- and nothing’s wetter than water. Give it some white glints and see how it looks.
Do you have any thoughts on doing more animation in the future?
Two thoughts: One, I really want to. And two, I need to focus on Volume 4 without distractions. But down the road- I’d like to find time for more animations.
How do you get a cameo in the Comic?
By asking! Just e-mail me with a description of your character. I can’t guarantee we’ll have a good spot, but I try to add reader characters as extras when the opportunity presents itself. It’s better in email form rather than at a convention. Not guaranteed, but we try.
On your website you have a vast amount of lore created for the world of Dreamkeepers, rich with detail and imagination. Where did you get all these ideas from to form this archive?
A lot of the graphic novel storyline is tied in to the past of the Dreamkeeper world- so writing the story necessitated a history of Anduruna and the Nightmares. From there, it was easy enough to write it up and put it on our site.
Would you ever be willing to work with a writer? (ie— do someone else’s material?)
Sure! There are a lot of great writers out there.
How do you approach drawing each page?
Starting with the script, I break it into panels and draw a thumbnail. The thumbnail is critical for organizing the flow of the page, avoiding redundant camera angles, and establishing the dominant focus of the page. From there, I just take the thumbnail as a springboard and then use blueline pencils to sketch out the panel illustrations. Then final pencils, and that’s the process.
How did you find your current style?
I started experimenting in high school. I really liked the dynamic feel of anime, but wanted to capture it in a more realistic style- so I tried some fusion stuff. In college I was exposed more to animation and cartooning, and then tried to learn how to create animation-friendly distinctive character designs. It all kind of mixed together into Dreamkeepers.
What tools do you use.
Pencil and paper with Photoshop.
Ed-209, yay or yay?
Um… I’m not sure what that is, so I’ll say YAY! Because that’s the most fun.
What kind of food do you have near hand while drawing?
Coffee, coffee, coffee.
what are your inspirations that got you into doing dream keepers ?
Growing up in an 80’s and 90’s flood of gorgeous traditional animation.
Do you have any pictures from your character design/development process that you would be willing to show?
That is, pictures of your characters before they looked the way they do now.
Yes! We have some early, early sketchbooks and stuff. I’ve been meaning to add a concept art section to our site for ages, but I haven’t found time to put it together yet.
In Volume 1 and 2’s special commentary on Graphicly, you mentioned something about each book having an unintentional theme - since this was before V3 was finished, what would you say is its unintentional theme?
Hmm… I would say it kind of nailed home the idea that splitting up = BAD IDEA, KIDS! It was also a chance for all the main characters to touch base with their roots before events took them forward.
Is Volume 4 gonna be a Kickstarter thing like the Prelude Collection was, or just a straight up preorder deal? Also, how much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood? (that’s almost harder to type than to say)
V4 I’m not certain yet- I really like the visibility of Kickstarter stretch goals. I may wind up doing a Kickstarter with Paypal Pre-Orders simultaneously counting towards it. And if a woodchuck could chuckkkkkkaaaaahhhhhGGGGGGG!
Is there a way for both races, both dreamkeepers and nightmares, to co-exist peacefully without further conflict? I mean, given into account that the dreamkeepers used to have all sorts of powers before the law came down, there must be someone in that world that can adjust a non-conflict spell to encompass the globe, turning the two races into something like negative and positive magnets, in which they would never be able to attack the other or even get close enough to harm each other with violence, save for those who live in their own races. Or a emotion-manipulating spell that causes nightmares to be friendly and non-hostile whenever they encounter a dreamkeeper, and vice versa for dreamkeepers as well.
If someone could brainwash other sentient beings on a scale sufficient to change the balance of global reality, I could only imagine the hell of unexpected side effects that would ensue. And even then the change would only last as long as that particular Dreamkeeper was alive. Short answer: Nightmares will stop being a threat when they decide they no longer want to eliminate life.
I have two questions :) why exactly is it outlawed for Dreamkeepers to use their powers, and why do they have powers in the first place if they cant even use them? Thanks :D
The fastest way to answer the former is to point you at our history page: http://www.dreamkeeperscomic.com/DreamworldHistory.htm As for the latter, why do we have fists in the first place if society doesn’t let us punch people with them?
4. Why do some characters wear shoes while others don’t?
Short answer- Cartoon Animal logic. Longer answer - most characters have paw pads or otherwise serviceable feet, and don’t necessarily need shoes. Some wear shoes for aesthetic reasons, or for a bit of extra protection. Shoes might have been more common, but they’re harder to customize than pants and shirts. With such a huge range of body types and foot shapes, one size does not fit all.
1. Back when I use to frequent the DK Forums, I’d often ask if ‘feral’ DK’s could exist in the Dreamworld (i.e. creatures that maintained their animal form, but could think, emote, reason, etc.). Examples can be seen in movies such as Balto, Lion King, Homeward Bound, etc.) So my question to you & Liz would be; Can ‘feral’ DK’s exist in the Dreamworld?
Yes. They’re not common in Anduruna, and I don’t know that we’ll see any in our books. But it’s fully possible for some Dreamkeepers to be quadrupedal.
How often do powers repeat
I’m not sure, I’d have to calculate the number of possible powers, and divide the total population by it. But it is possible for some Dreamkeepers to have similar or identical powers.
How often do Dreamkeeper powers “repeat,” like how Flain and Kaji (from your commissions) and Bast all have fire powers?
How many dreamkeepers have mental problems like Wisp
Roughly the same percentage of people diagnosed in the real world, around 26%, at one time or another.
How many Dreamkeepers have “special needs” like Wisp?
Will we see any more bizarre and interesting geographical features like Starfall’s snow volcano?
Yep! There’s plenty more in the Dreamworld to see yet.
How aware would you say the ancient Dreamkeepers were about their purpose? And how aware would they be when compared to the current, modern Dreamkeepers?
The ancient Dreamkeepers knew Nightmares were trying to kill them, which is already more than mainstream Anduruna is aware of. And additionally, I think they had some good metaphysical guesses regarding the nature of their reality, and it’s possible relation to other planes of existence.
Any miscellaneous piece of Anduruna technology you feel like talking about?
Hmm… The data-scroll internet technology is kinda neat. The circuitry integrates flo-wood components, which generate a field that allows communication between devices. The more scrolls in a region, the more the field is amplified between them all. And because the network is cumulative, it’s impossible for it to fall entirely under a central control scheme.
How many Dreamkeepers are cold-blooded like Scinter?
A minority- ballpark, five percent? Neither common nor unheard of.
How commonly practiced is Sacrare?
It’s the most prevalent religion in Anduruna. About half the citizens subscribe to it in theory, but in practice the fervent practitioners comprise a small (but vocal) minority.
Actually, do the characters as they appear in the graphic novels have the same powers as the characters as they appear in commissions?
The commissions aren’t all necessarily graphic novel canon- some commissions aren’t even Dreamkeepers related. But if it doesn’t contradict anything in the books, then it’d be safe to call the Dreamkeeper powers in commissions accurate to their character.
What are some fun Dreamkeeper superstitions?
One of my favorites is an old one from before the Sabbaton Towers were built. The center of Anduruna was desolate for a long time because it was believed to be cursed, haunted land.
Well, I was wondering if there are any nightmares that looked like a dreamkeeper, I mean LITTERALY a dreamkeeper, from head to toe or in this case the physical appearance of a dreamkeper. If there is such ‘perfect’ nightmare, how can you distinguish from the others, both dk’s and nightmares. If not, what would you imagine if there is such thing as a ‘perfect’ nightmare, that looks exactly like a dk?
Nightmares naturally manifest looking somewhat terrifying- because that’s what they are at the core. But they can exert willpower to influence their appearance during formation. A nightmare with an exceptionally powerful will might make a very good approximation of a dreamkeeper.
Would any nightmare ever decide to become a good guy?
The purpose of their kind is to annihilate life. That said, they are sentient beings with the ability to make decisions- so it’s conceivable that one could choose to diverge from it’s purpose. But it would be punished severely if caught- and once it died, it would be back among it’s kind, and in huge trouble.
Three: Is there a Dreamkeeper equivalent of the Illuminati or the Bilderberg Group?
I vote yes! I bet that a lot of shadowy organizations and guilds would have formed during the Reign of the Kings ( http://www.dreamkeeperscomic.com/DreamworldHistory_ReignoftheKings.htm ) Even if they don’t come to light in the graphic novel story, there’s a lot of elbow room for fun ideas like that in the world.
I was wondering about the name Calah. I remember reading an article that you guys read detailing the research into myths about dreams and the lore of previous civilizations, and I stumbled upon the Gupta empire in India and the more recent ones like the Mughal. The rulers were “Caliphates”; is there any chance that you derived this term?
Close- but the origin is a little further West. ‘Calah’ comes from ancient Mesopotamia, it was one of the cities of the Assyrian empire. It’s more commonly known as Nimrud.
How many dreamkeepers does it take to screw in a light bulb?
Two, but I don’t know how they’d get in there in the first place.
The distance from one end of Anduruna to the other is the distance from Gary to Indianapolis. This isn’t a question, I just think it helps to appreciate what an enormous city it is.
Yeah, but what if Gary decides to go someplace else?
Okay. If the Nightmares got out in the human world. would the Dreamkeepers have any way to fight them after that? or are the doomed?
If Nightmares got into the human world, I think it would be our problem- the dreamkeepers are just as stuck in their world as we are in ours.
If nightmears can get out into the human world, could a Dreamkeeper? That would be strange to meet there human half’s.
I suppose it would be remotely possible, but we’d have to track down Dr. Who to explain the particulars.
I’ve always wondered, what would happen to the human when their DK counterpart dies?
Their lives are synchronized- they die at the same time. The only exception is if the dreamkeeper is prematurely killed by an unnatural Nightmare- then the human becomes vulnerable to Nightmare influence whenever they’re asleep.
Heya first off is mace ever going to get a girl
PLOT VAULT but we can all hope.
Also, what’s with Triffany’s fascination with zippers? Can you redeem Kalei points for fabulous prizes? What does Tinsel’s music sound like?
Triffany is fascinated by zippers because she doesn’t understand how they work- they’re like magic. I’ll pretend like I understand zippers utterly and this doesn’t in any way reflect on my views. Kalei points can be redeemed for favors of varying importance, depending on Jeneviv’s mood. Tinsel’s music sounds a lot like contemporary radio pop.
I noticed that in the first Lilith and Namah arc, Namah doesn’t really know why she’s locked away - but in the most recent one, she bursts out of the Viscount’s office shouting that she’s illegitimate. I was wondering if you’d changed her knowledge about that particular matter in the years since the first arc due to story reasons, or if she was just bluffing.
I believe the dialogue causing the confusion is when Namah declares in arc 1, “How come I can’t go to school, too? What am I- some kind of freak!?’ She’s being less accurate and more emotional at that point, so it‘s more of a rhetorical question. Worded with precision it would go something like, “Why can’t I attend school, too? Does being illegitimate make me somehow unfit to socialize?” She might not entirely understand the particulars, or she might be ignoring them to better enjoy her pity party- but she has a general idea of why she’s locked up. I think fuzzy writing on my part is at fault here.
1. What was that black smudge on Tinsel’s boob near the end of Volume 2? I think it was hinted at in Volume 3 that all it did was her chest all fuzzy. Is that true?
The black smudge is just that- a black mark on her skin. The fuzzy thing in Volume 3 is a piece of clothing she’s wearing to hide the blemish.
2. Why was she smashing up a museum to herself? I just thought it was odd that there were actually statues of her.
She was throwing an irate tantrum. With her own beauty marred, she had a subconscious urge to smash anything that might exceed her in that department. Including artwork she herself had commissioned in years past.
3. Are there any new characters planned to appear?
5. Are there “older” version of the Class Brats from the prelude comic? Will they appear in the novels?
I don’t think the Class Brats are going to pop up in the graphic novels, at least not in any significant manner.
How many volumes until all of the main cast can use their powers effectively
This one is kind of Plot Vaulty, but I can say that power use increases as the books go forward.
Will all the main cast survive to the end.
If Paige had survived, how would the story be turning out differently?
That’s an interesting one. Mace and Whip would have run away with her. With no murder in the orphanage, it’s possible the adults never would have been aware that there was a sandman- so they might not have tried to find Mace, Whip, and Paige. That trio would likely be hiding out somewhere, and they never would have met Lilith and Namah. It’d be a very different chain of events.
Am I the only one who looks at Anduruna tower and worries that it’s going to get knocked over?
Can Grunn breathe underwater?
Nope. But he can swim better than you’d think.
When Scythe put one of his rings around Vox, did Vox turn off his power out of surprise/fear of getting sliced, or does being surrounded by Scythe’s rings suppress power use?
Vox backed down to avoid getting sliced- Scythe can only suppress powers via good old-fashioned intimidation.
Are the Troika aware of the Nightmare’s ability to sense nearby Dreamkeepers or to re-manifest after death?
No. But they know that, generally, the Nightmares do have some kind of replenishing source, so the knowledge wouldn’t necessarily be a game-changer for them.
Besides Void versus Nabonidus, are there any other inter-Nightmare conflicts?
Nightmares tend to get on each other’s nerves pretty frequently, but usually they band together to get their work accomplished. Rarely do they have incompatible motives.
This is your fault. And Rich Burlew’s, partially. So, my question is… Will the Graphic Novel have an happy ending?
Will the prelude for Bast help make him more likeable? To me he comes across like a mix between an arrogant jock and Bella from twilight. I find most of the bad guys more interesting.
I’m not sure Bast is entirely a likeable character- we’ll see a bit more in Prelude, but I don’t know if he’s necessarily going to start earning gold stars from everyone.
One: Will Paige’s Dreamkeeper power eventually be revealed? (I have some theories about what it is and why Nabonidus wanted it)
Two: Will time travel or multiverses play any role at all in the plot? (Again, this is related to question one.)
Nope. I’m not saying a Dreamkeeper with time travel powers is impossible, but that’s a can of worms that I don’t want to mess with for the graphic novel story.
And Four: What’re the human counterparts of Wisp, Mace, Lilith, Paige, Ravat, and Tinsel?
Wisp and Paige are based loosely on Liz, but as for the others, we just made them up- your guess is as good as mine.
Will we know why Igrath is blind?
How did Grunn end up in the orphanage, hehehe I mean he was like the last one I should have thought about?
2. Is mace going to revel his powers soon
4. Is nahmah going to get a love intrest is it going to be mace.
5. Why does the main baddy want mace dead so badly
Forgot to alsoask who wre maces parents
Do the main cast have any odd hobbies or secrets they keep from everyone else?
I think they would- everyone has secrets. The example that pops to mind first is Namah’s notebook. She keeps a journal on everything- she didn’t have it with her since her unceremonious Volume 1 departure from the Tower, but I think we’ll see it at some point.
What are the ages of the eldest orphans?(Vi, Bobby, Karo)
Their approximate ages in Volume 1 (5 years after the start of Prelude) Vi is 20, Bobby 22, and Karo 24.
Who do you think is a bigger douche, Randy or the Viscount?
Randy. The Viscount is a douche only because he cares about protecting his political office above all else. He has an external motive. The pain of others is just a side effect. Randy is a douche because it’s the only way he’s learned to give himself personal gratification. The pain of others is the point.
Why were Lilith and Namah attending a public school all the way in the outer Margate district?
Can we see Mace and Whip’s full student profiles?
Unfortunately I no longer have the Volume 1 PSDs, they were lost in a hard drive failure- so what we see is what we’ve got.
What kind of person would ever marry Grunn?
You’ll find out at some point, I’m just not sure when…
How did the girls meet their uncle Igrath if he became a fugitive in 1215, before they were born?
Will we meet some of the other celebrities on Boore’s wall of fame?
Probably not, none of them are relevant to the story. It’s remotely possible they might pop up in Prelude sometime.
Why does Tinsel hate Wisp so much?
Because Wisp is annoying, Tinsel has gotten tired of her, and most damning of all, Nabonidus seems to approve of Wisp as much as or more than he approves of Tinsel. Nobody outshines Tinsel, whether they know they’re doing it or not.
Is everyone gonna die?
will there be a Bast Prelude with a cast of Bast Prelude Characters in Bast’s Backstory, and will the Bast Prelude have a story where Bast as a Kid grows up in the past with a single Alcoholic Father who Abuses him, please tell me thats the kind of Bast story your trying to work on? cause he does have somewhat have an attitude problem, after that one school fight he had with mace in the 1st Volume.
There is going to be a Bast Prelude, but the particulars are in the PLOT VAULT.
Will we ever find out the identities of Lilith and Namah’s Mothers?
Yes. It’s not terribly relevant to the graphic novels, but Prelude will reveal it at some point.
Will the main story only take place in the city or will the five young Dreamkeepers’s adventure bring them to places outside the city?
Pack your bags.
What happened to the maid that helped look after Lilith and Namah?
Who do you consider the big bad of the series, Void or Nabonidus?
I’m still curious if I can warm you up to choose a name for the nameless snow leo girl from the Neon Knifes.
I feel like Evzen’s been given a lot of attention in the Prelude (compared to other Prelude-only characters).
Think he’s gonna crop up in the graphic novels sometime?
Which pairs of “Dreamkeepers” characters would be your favorite couple?
Mace X Namah
Lilith X Bast
Bobby X Vi
Hmm… It’s hard to choose, but the color scheme of Bobby and Vi would look pretty awesome.
Okay, I’ll give the first question: Do you plan on expanding on the Alchera Ocean in the GNS, like the Main Five having to travel via a chartered ship or the Troika smuggling goods from port towns outside of Anduruna? In other words, do you plan to incoporate sailing into the story?
What happened to Bills’ wallet that Namah stole in the garden of the tower in the Prelude?
You’d have to ask Namah. Bill got a new ID and a new wallet, but he’ll never see that $12 again…
Are you ever going to address how Jeneviv got taken by the Nightmares from Chap. 1?
Are you going to take the Prelude all the way up to the start of the graphic novels? If so I think many of us here in the fandom would REALLY like to see Paige again.
Yes- and I hear that sentiment frequently. She’ll be there.
WHAT IS MACES DREAM-KEEPER POWER?!?
WHEW! That’s a lotta answering. I’m sorry if I missed any questions between the time I started answering, and the time I posted this up. Thank you to everyone for your curiosity, woodchucks aside I hope you enjoyed this as much as me! Thank you for caring about what we’re working on, I’m extremely fortunate to have readers like you guys.
With warm regards,