hey because yours & toril's zine is set for preorder, when do you expect it to ship out and stuff? I've never actual preordered anything before so I don't really know how it works :U
They should go out sometime around the first week of September! We’re both exceptionally happy that we sold out of our first print run, so we’re just waiting on another. Thanks so much to everyone who has bought a copy!! We appreciate it so much!
Is the strangestar Take 2! Zine concept art and character studies for yours and starlock's upcoming comic? Or is it something else?? (I'm planning on buying so I wanted to know ha ha)
Yup, its for Mahou Shounen Breakfast Club! Basically there’s a profile on each of the characters, as well as a range of character study drawings by both me and Toril, and a lil omake comic about us at the end!
Thanks so much if you end up buying it, we’re so happy with everyone’s response so far and all the support really really means a lot to us! ;w; We appreciate it so much!
Is the flowers of any importance in Breakfast Club or is it more of a visual thing? I've noticed you seem to like to draw flowers growing everywhere (including on people)
It’s kind of a little bit of everything! They function as a visual metaphor, as well as being important to the story/characters, and also Toril and I just really really like flowers haha. I’m glad you picked up on it though! We’re planning to make a lot of small decisions visually that we hope people will notice~!
Hi, I just wanted to say that I love your art, and your rockin comics were so inspiring that I've decided to write my own! Any advice for someone totally inexperienced in comic-making? Also, do you have any webcomic recommendations? Thanks <33
Oh I’m so glad you’re inspired to make comics!! Just sitting down and creating them and putting them out there has brought SO MANY wonderful things into my life, I can’t stress enough how important it is just to get started!
In terms of advice, here’s what I think has been especially important for me on my journey:
READ LOTS OF COMICS! 2 years ago I didn’t have the remotest concept of the broadness and scope of stories that were possible to tell through comics. But there’s honestly SO MUCH there and even though you will definitely forge your own path, it’s great to find work that really speaks to you in the way it tells its story as well as the content itself.
START SMALL AND PRACTICE HEAPS! My first ever finished comic was only 8 pages! It was a good length to start with, because it allowed me to see it through without losing courage or motivation - the end was always in sight! Also you can share the finished product much quicker, which is a really good feeling. You’ll also improve wildly as you go, so it’s nice to start out a little smaller and not feel pressured to go back and make changes as you’re working on something/become more aware of your mistakes. That said,
MISTAKES ARE COOL AND YOU SHOULD MAKE THEM! It’s way better to make mistakes because you were actually out there doing stuff and trying and experimenting than to not make them at all! I look back and CRINGE so hard at my previous comics but it’s okay - we’re learning all the time, so if you get too hung up on ensuring all your output is of The Highest Possible Standard, you’re gonna spend a lot of time agonizing and revising. Definitely do the best you can, but also breathe and let go.
MAKE STUFF YOU REALLY REALLY LIKE! Don’t worry about what a comic “should” be. It should be whatever the hell you damn please. If you wanna draw a hard scifi political thriller, do it. If you wanna draw cute boys working in a cafe, do it. Never ever feel bad.
TALK TO OTHER PEOPLE MAKING COMICS! One of the coolest things is that there are SO MANY PEOPLE making amazing comics online right now, and another cool thing is that they’re all super excited about it and are generally pretty dang nice!! Tumblr isn’t bad, but honestly you should grab yourself a Twitter if you haven’t already, it’s where so many comic/webcomic artists hang out and it’s really easy to yell nice things and start conversations!! Peers are really important to have, and a huge part of why I’m still excited about comics every day! I’m so grateful for Twitter for letting me get to know the people I always admired and even work with them and have them in my life!!
As for recs, I definitely have them but this post is already fairly long and I’ve actually been meaning to do a big detailed webcomic recommendation post for a while! So I’ll end this here and ask you to look out for that soon~
I hope this was able to help a little bit! Best of luck with your comics!!
Hi just wanted to say it was awesome meeting you today at smash and your art is seriously amazing!!
Ohh that’s so sweet, thank you!! ;o; It was a pleasure meeting absolutely everyone so whoever you are, it was great to meet you too!
Seriously, thanks so much everyone who dropped by today. Thanks to you all I had a fantastic (though v tiring) day! I sold out of a lot of stuff including Princess Princess because I really wasn’t sure what to expect, but there are still a few prints left in case anyone is coming on Sunday! I’d love to meet you!!
hey!! have you posted anything on yours & kate's collaboration process? my friend and i have wanted to do a comic together all summer but we're kind of confused on splitting up the workload
I haven’t, but the way we work together is so incredibly rad that I’m surprised I haven’t found an excuse to talk about it yet!
Collaborating on a comic project (or anything, really) can be either extremely rewarding, uplifting, and beautiful, or it can be Hell. Katie and I don’t have a set step-by-step process, because we both like to get our hands into everything we make, but here are some things we do that have unquestionably worked for us:
❀ we’re candid, honest, flexible, and receptive to ideas– our own and each other’s. we don’t hesitate to suggest anything, even if it seems crazy at first, or it means changing up something that’s already been decided. by doing this we’ve created a lot of trust between us– whether we’re writing, or drawing, or even just chatting, it’s very Safe and Sincere. this allows us to be solid sounding boards for each other, and lets us develop our projects much faster (and, I think, better) than we could do by ourselves!
❀ we tell each other how much we care and how excited we are and how much fun we’re having, a lot. like, every day. it’s super important to know that you and your partner are on the same page, creatively and emotionally! that way neither of you spend time second-guessing the balance in the relationship.
❀ we don’t do “my toys/your toys.” we share all of our characters equally, and switch between them effortlessly because of it– this also creates instant ‘outside the box’ way of thinking, because although we’re very much in sync with what we want, we still sometimes come up with ideas the other person never would have figured out on their own!
❀ we communicate about the work we’ll be doing, what each of us wants to do, and what needs to be done– since we’re capable of splitting the art and writing exactly 50/50, we have the luxury of being able to do just about whatever we want! we also are clear on our other work we have to do– we both have ongoing freelance projects, I run Hotblood!, and Katie has another job besides.
❀ which brings me to: we’re both busy, but we MAKE THE TIME. Mahou Shounen Breakfast Club started out as something we’d chat about as a warm-up/cool-down side project, and six months later we pretty much want it and STRANGE STAR to be The Job. so, that’s what it’s becoming~
❀ and, finally: this isn’t true of everyone, but Katie and I live 16 hours and 9200 miles apart, in New Zealand and Boston, respectively. we’ve never met in person! we interact via Skype, Google Drive, Livestream, Twitter, and Snapchat– and we understand that we live in different countries and have different lives outside of the computer. no one ever is made to feel bad when they have to– or want to!– get outside and enjoy the sun, or go to sleep, or finish off their other work. but we talk every day, and we have mega travel plans, and fortunately I have some extremely flexible work-from-home gigs that let me keep nocturnal hours, and Katie’s work is also p chill!
as for you and your friend, what it comes down to is: get a handle on what it is you want to make, figure out what you’re both interested in doing and how much time you want to spend on it (be honest!), and just start developing it! every day, if you can!!
PS. SOLID #1 COMICS ADVICE: MAKE A PITCH FOR A PUBLISHER, EVEN IF YOU DON’T WANT TO ACTUALLY PITCH IT. Nothing is better for nailing a concept and plot down in a good amount of time!! Faith Erin Hicks has a great post about how to do that here~
Hey Katie, thanks for being so awesome. You're such a huge inspiration to me, and I was wondering how you deal with art block? I'm in a bit of an artistic rut and I could use some advice on getting out of it.
Hello! Ahh man, feeling art blocked can be really scary, but don’t worry you can TOTALLY smash through it!!
To me, art block isn’t a thought so much as a habit? It’s thoughts that turn into habits, maybe is more accurate. Of course a big cause of it is just feeling bad, bored, uninspired or inadequate for whatever reason, but what makes it an actual block is when this starts affecting your ability to draw and produce.
So my advice is to try and reverse engineer that shit and focus on changing your habits first! Just sit down and make yourself do some work, on anything! It can be studies/life drawing, thumbnailing a comic, writing a script, attempting a finished piece, trying an artistic challenge, or just filling up pages in a sketchbook. The important thing is to just keep at it! Set aside some time to draw and don’t let yourself put it off with excuses like “too tired” or “don’t feel good”. Of course you MUST take breaks and rest when necessary, but the thing about breaks is that they feel a whole lot better when you’ve done some work first! haha
You’ll still produce things you’re unhappy with - but you’ll be producing! You won’t be stagnant! “Art blocks” are temporary, and I think the best way to overcome them is to get busy. I draw literally every day, and it leaves me with very little time to get blocked! I definitely have bad days (some very bad) but when that happens I do as much as I can, then go to bed and pick up the pencil the following day.
I just started reading Yotsuba again and remembered you like it too, so who is your favorite character other than Yotsuba??
Ah you are very attentive!! Yotsuba is indeed my favourite manga ever! What a cute question, as much as I love everyone it has to be Mr Koiwai. I mean, he’s such an awesome dad?? And when I was at uni he was one of the main reasons I wanted to work from home in Japan and live in boxer shorts (both of these goals have been achieved so). He also seems super laid back and isn’t afraid to be just as childlike as Yotsuba.
This is also a very timely ask as well, I’ve been wanting to Get Stronger at slice of life stories a whole lot lately, and I’d love recommendations of good slice of life comics, manga, webcomics etc if you guys have any!
Sure! They’re both voice actors on a new anime show. Kenta (the one with terrible hair) is a veteran and takes manga/anime super fuckin seriously, to the point where if something doesn’t fit into recognised tropes he just doesn’t understand it. Gomi on the other hand is a total rookie and has never acted before, but is much better with emotions and people (though he has trouble seeing characters as such because anime is for kids right?). …. They hate each other.
They pretty much live in boxers and have perfected the Trash Life.
Mahou Shounen Breakfast Club seems suuuuuuper interesting. I feel like all the characters are going to have sad little lives though, haha. It sucks that we have to wait for something so cool for awhile, but that's because you guys are working hard, and making quality art, and quality is really super duper awesome!
I’M SMILING SO HARD MY CHEEKS ARE GONNA FALL OFF ;____; THANK YOU?? I’m so glad you have faith in us! We love this project so much and I can assure you, we have every intention of going off the chain and making it as good as we possibly can.
(I’m laughing at “sad little lives” though, it’s not… completely off the mark for some of them, that’s for sure…)
YOU HAVE NO IDEA HOW PSYCHED I AM FOR MAHOU SHOUNEN BREAkFASt CLUB, it sounds like everything I've been looking for in a comic recently. ;_; I just had a question---will it be a webcomic, or will we have to purchase it? I'm fine either way, just I want to know in advance if I have to do ninja-esque techniques in order to sneak the comics in the house (parents're a little hairy with checking out what I read)
YOU HAVE NO IDEA HOW PSYCHED WE ARE FOR YOU BEING PSYCHED ANON! We’re super glad you’re interested, and happy to say that the comic will definitely be available online as a webcomic! We still haven’t decided on format/scheduling but it’ll definitely be for free with various other little things you can buy if you want to, much like our respective other projects. Thanks for asking!
Hi there! I was wondering between Paint Tool Sai and Photoshop which one do you prefer to do coloring?
Hello! I actually only use Photoshop for my art these days, apart from anything I rely hugely on being able to change colours over and over and over until I get them right, which SAI doesn’t really handle that well IIRC…..
Unless you mean IRL then no (buy my stuff so I can go to America yeeee thanks)
But yes! We’ve been working together on an upcoming webcomic project for the last 5 months (??) or so that we’re both UNBELIEVABLY excited about!! It’s called Mahou Shounen Breakfast Club and it’s about voice actors and trash adults and is super meta and basically I love it so much and I hope y’all do too!
So Toril and I thought that the OTP prompts and memes we’d been finding were kind of boring and repetitive, so we decided to take matters into our own hands and make our own. As you can see we are mutual enablers.
Please feel free to use this for whomever your One True Pairing is! We would love to see the results~
1. Your OTP gets called down as audience members on Whose Line Is It Anyway - how do they react?
2. Person 1’s hair gets caught in their partner’s pants zipper. What happens next?
3. Person 1 as a postal worker and person 2 as someone on their route.
4. One ultimately inconsequential thing that your OTP constantly butt heads over- what is it?
5. Your OTP trying to complete The Oregon Trail (the game)
6. Your OTP trying to complete The Oregon Trail (the actual trail)
7. What are the most played songs on their respective iTunes libraries?
8. Your OTP end up on opposite sides in front of Judge Judy - what’s the case?
9. Which of them is better at phone sex?
10. They break up. Why? What are their separate lives like? Do they get back together?
11. Person 1 has to prepare at the last-minute for unexpected guests brought over by Person 2. What do they do? Is this fun or terrible?
12. Who would have a harder time winning the other over– in a dating sim?
13. Your OTP with swapped personalities.
14. Who wakes up first in the morning? Who stays up later?
15. It’s the first snow of the year: does your OTP do anything to celebrate?
16. Person 1 finally makes a spare apartment/house key for Person 2 (if they’re not living together yet). How does Person 2 react?
17. Your OTP is trying to put together a desk from IKEA. Are instructions used? How does this work out for them/the desk?
18. Your OTP playing MarioKart.
19. Your OTP move into the countryside and renovate an abandoned house.
20. Person 1 discovers all person 2’s LiveJournal entries from when they were a teenager.
21. Your OTP with an age gap (or if they already have one, no age gap)
22. A first impression Person 1 had of Person 2 that they never, ever reveal.
23. What radio station do they turn to on car trips?
24. Person A MASSIVELY SPOILS person B’s favourite long-running television show. What are the repercussions of this decision?
25. Does your OTP have any running jokes/gags? What are they, and how did they start?
26. Your OTP as Pokemon trainers.
27. Person 1 accidentally lets the favourite house plant of person 2 die (or something equally small but traumatic). Do they confess their crimes immediately, or try to sitcom it out?
28. What are their star signs? Are they astrologically compatible?
29. Your OTP with annoying dinner guests who have waaaay overstayed their welcome.
30. Your OTP decide to try writing “fanfic” of themselves. How does this work out?
31. If your OTP had met earlier or later in life, would they have still liked each other enough to get together?
hi wow I'm so unworthy to be talking to you but here goes: ok you're such a huge inspiration to me thank you so much. your princess princess comic really gave me courage to be myself and your artwork is fabulous and it has really inspired me. just thank you so much, I love you and you're so wonderful <3
This is a really sweet message, thank you!! However you should never feel unworthy to talk to anyone!! In my experience, almost all artists are either secretly or unsecretly huge dorks, and even if they are genuinely Joe Cool they are still incredible dorks about people being happy about their work!
I used to be very intimidated talking to artists I admired, but now through Twitter in particular I’ve learned to just be gushy and lame and all it’s ever done is turned some of my favourite artists into very good friends! And if people are rude or unkind, screw em!! Being an artist doesn’t entitle you to a shitty attitude.
where do you get things printed and is it super expensive?? I got a few things printed on tiny cheap matte photo paper at a photo place and it looks nice but the "fujifilm" logo is all over the back and idk if that's tacky??
Hello! I’m actually super new to making prints of my work, so I can only offer what I know so far! The best thing seems to be just doing some legwork and talking to local places to find out who can offer you the best deal. I know my friends in the states use places like Staples and Office Depot, and in my case the best option actually turned out to be a small independent printing place.
The cost per print should work out to be fairly reasonable if you’re printing at standard letter/tabloid or A4/A3 sizes. With any printing, the more you do at once the more you will save though, and I get a good price point with 30-50 print batches. My printer is really cool and even lets me mix and match prints for one single order with the discounted rate, so definitely make calls to see if you can find someone willing to be extra chill! (I’m so bad with phones but it’s worth it trust me haha)
I think photo paper might not be the best solution, as you say it has a logo and I think it’s unnecessarily expensive for the size? Lots of places to specialist poster printing, so as long as you work at the A4/A3 size at 300dpi/CMYK you should be able to just dump your files on them and get sweet prints very easily!
Hello! Thank you for making such amazing art and comics. You inspire me! I was wondering if you were taking comissions. Ive fallen in love with your style and love all of your comics so much! I'd love your art as a tattoo!
Ahhh thanks so much!! I wish I could open commissions because I really enjoy drawing people’s characters, but unfortunately I just don’t have the time at the moment. If I do in future I’ll definitely make a post about it!
I usually hate when people reblog their own posts but I love your artwork so much I don't even care
ahhh I’m glad to hear that! To be honest, one of the things I really dislike about Tumblr is that you can’t really follow someone’s feed properly? Like unless you go through your entire dash you just have to hope you happen see your friends’ posts or that people will see yours. So I think there’s absolutely no shame in reblogging your own stuff, especially for artists! I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t want people to see what I make.
I understand people can get sick of it though, so I’ll try to tag things ‘kt reblogs’ so you can avoid it if you want to. However I’m a bit of a space cadet so I may also forget haha.
Will the prints you're selling at SMASH be available for online sale?
I’m thinking so! I’ll probably have leftovers to sell manually, and I’m also hoping to set up an INPRINT account if I can? I have a Society6 but I want to see if there’s somewhere better, which is why I haven’t put any recent pieces up yet. But yes definitely online at some point!! I’ll make a big post when they are!
do you ever plan on doing an continuation or longer version of princess princess?
Probably not! I definitely thought about it and I do have other stories/characters I COULD do, but I also like that it’s fairly self contained? There’s something satisfying about it, and honestly as much as I love princesses (and I LOVE PRINCESSES) I’m also ready to work on something a little different!
It’s something I’ve given a lot of consideration, because it’s by far the most popular thing I’ve ever done. But at the same time that’s not a good reason to continue something, and you just gotta follow your heart! So I can’t see it happening in the near future unless someone wants to give me money for it hahahaha
You're going to be at SMASH???? I'm even more keen for it now!! Do you have a full or half table?
I’m sharing a table with the lovely and ultra talented Choo!! I’m so excited for it, I’ll have a few prints to choose from as well as printed copies of Princess Princess! I’d love to meet everyone, so please stop by and say hi!
is it ok if i use some of your drawings as a reference? it's just i really love your style and the way you pose your characters and whatnot!! i won't trace or upload anything
ah hey! yeah that’s no problem, but please be aware you’ll be copying a lot of my mistakes and errors! haha I used to reference other artists heavily when I was younger, and while I picked up some stuff I still really like, I also picked up some bad habits/shortcuts that held me back in the long run. it also didn’t make me very happy or satisfied with my art! so while you’re welcome to do so, it’s just something to keep in mind