Tonight I had the honor of sitting down with Ming from Fantasy Story. This was probably the longest distance interview I’ve taken since Ming hails all the way from Malaysia! If you haven’t yet, check out his comic! Not only is the art fantastic, the story will pull you in!
<@jhorsley3> Tell me who you are and where you are from.
<artmaker> I’m Ming.
<artmaker> And that’s a big question =)
<@jhorsley3> hah, is it?
<artmaker> I’m From the Island City of Penang, Malaysia
<@jhorsley3> sounds exotic
<artmaker> It is pretty much, we have a wonderful mix of cultures..
<artmaker> it’s hot
<@jhorsley3> I’ve bought some bootleg anime from Malaysia in the past, ha
<artmaker> and the food is excellent!
<artmaker> you’ve been here?
<@jhorsley3> I’m sure it is, I love the food from that part of the world
<@jhorsley3> nope, not yet.
<@jhorsley3> bought it through the wonderful invention of the nternets
<artmaker> I try to stay away from bootleg as much as possible…
<artmaker> you know ‘Karma’ and all =)
<@jhorsley3> yeah, I do too now
<@jhorsley3> I only bought a few, shipping was pricey from there to here!
<artmaker> but it’s everywhere here!
<@jhorsley3> anyway, before I get myself in trouble for admitting to buying bootleg anime…
<@jhorsley3> let’s get on to the next question!
<@jhorsley3> Tell me why you started Fantasy Story and when.
<artmaker> I started Fantasy Story late last year.. October I think.
<artmaker> The main reason was to practice my comic making..
<artmaker> you see I have a pretty epic story to tell (not fantasy story)…
<@jhorsley3> so you use it as a practice ground?
<artmaker> but i felt i didn’t have the chops for it..
<@jhorsley3> well you art is amazing
<artmaker> Thank you…
<@jhorsley3> the angles, the emotion in the inkwork, it’s great
<artmaker> but there’s so much more to a comic than art…
<artmaker> as i’m quickly learning =)
<@jhorsley3> yes, this is true
<artmaker> I do make art for a living, but comics, it’s something else…
<@jhorsley3> even a beautiful comic can leave a bad taste in your mouth if the writing and flow isn’t there
<artmaker> my comic sometimes leaves a bad taste in my mouth..
<@jhorsley3> there’s somethign to be said aout sequential art as being a whole different type of artwork
<@jhorsley3> why does it do that?
<artmaker> because I think it’s absolutly great until i stick my head up and look around at all the great stuff out there, and people who’ve been doing it for so long..
<artmaker> then i see the bitter reality.. i’ve a LONG way to go=)
<@jhorsley3> the artist is always its own worst critic
<artmaker> hopefully=) LOL
<@jhorsley3> it’s better to try and make the best comic you can and improve then to continually compare to others and get discouraged
<artmaker> thanks, that’s what i’ve been hearing.
<artmaker> The other reason I started..
<artmaker> Fantasy Story
<artmaker> was just to start.
<@jhorsley3> I hear that.
<@jhorsley3> I started y2cl for the same reason, to just START something.
<artmaker> I didn’t want it to be one of those things that I wished I did.
<@jhorsley3> which brings me to my next question
<@jhorsley3> What keeps you going?
<artmaker> I believe that’s really the way to go
<artmaker> At the moment what keeps me going is a story that’s coming to life and wants to be told.
<artmaker> And a great community of webcomicers doing what they believe in..yourself included =)
<@jhorsley3> So your drive to tell a story keeps you going of reader input?
<artmaker> sorry I don’t get the question..
<@jhorsley3> It was more of a statement then a question
<@jhorsley3> just saying you keep yourself going on Fantasy Story because of the desire to tell the story
<artmaker> Yes that’s what it is now.
<artmaker> I’ve actually fallen behind schedule posting…
<@jhorsley3> and thank you for including me in the great community of webcomicers!
<artmaker> but i’ve written many strips..
<@jhorsley3> just behind on the art?
<artmaker> it really is a great community..the internet is wonderful for comics
<artmaker> well I’m behind on posting strips.
<@jhorsley3> why are you behind?
<artmaker> But I’ll restart, and stay on track.. by posting tonight.
<@jhorsley3> I’ve got behind many times in my first 3 years of y2cl
<artmaker> that’s comforting to know.
<@jhorsley3> good! I’ve read what you have up and I like it, a lot
<artmaker> I’m behind because of bad planing, and designing the new site.. and fear.
<@jhorsley3> the planning and designing I understand
<@jhorsley3> but why fear?
<@jhorsley3> fear of making a bad comic?
<artmaker> fear that i have no idea of what i’m doing..
<@jhorsley3> I know we make completely different types of comics, but I’ve felt that many times
<artmaker> it’s strange really because it’s like the complete opposite of, just starting..
<@jhorsley3> basically I’ve found you need to just do it, even if you make a bad comic, it’s better to get that bad comic out and out of the way to move on then to sit and do nothing
<artmaker> Identifying the fear helps me get over it though.
<@jhorsley3> that’s good, cause I would hate for Fantasy Story to stop
<artmaker> I have to agree with you=) We got to be brave enough to make ‘bad’ comics…
<@jhorsley3> yeah, just read y2cl! I make the bad comics and post them anyway!
<artmaker> Thank You =) *blush*
<artmaker> I can’t stop…
<artmaker> for such a young comic the response and support has really been overwhelming
<artmaker> There’s something there, and i’ll need to excavate it no matter the pain.
<@jhorsley3> thats good, your comic is good and deserves the attention it is getting
<@jhorsley3> on to my next question
<@jhorsley3> How would you feel if you found someone claiming Fantasy Story as their own on their site?
<artmaker> I saw this question on your other interviews=)
<artmaker> I would laugh.
<@jhorsley3> lol, why would you laugh?
<artmaker> although i think it would be easily solved be cause Fantasy Story has been witnesed from day 1
<artmaker> But lets say that wasn’t so…
<artmaker> I would feel robbed.
<artmaker> And would try to take steps to claim it back and proof the fraud =)
<artmaker> having said that…
<@jhorsley3> Luckily for use web-comic people once you publish it to the web with your name on it it’s considered pulished and copywritted=n to you
<artmaker> I hold on to ‘Fantasy Story‘ as an intellectual property rather loosely…
<artmaker> due to the ammount of reader drivenness involved in the project.
<artmaker> (that’s not an easy question to answer though;p)
<@jhorsley3> hopefully you never have to deal with that
<@jhorsley3> (that’s why I ask it!)
<@jhorsley3> What sort of things would you include in a printed collection to get readers to buy since they can still read it for free on your website?
<artmaker> I might redraw certain strips or sequences
<artmaker> I would also include (and these are in the works) paper toys.
<@jhorsley3> like little toys you can fold together?
<@jhorsley3> to make a little paper action figure?
<artmaker> each episode would have a different character…
<artmaker> and you could buy more and make an army =)
<artmaker> maybe some rules for a game using the papertoys..
<@jhorsley3> that would be pretty cool!
<@jhorsley3> and a unique extra for the book
<@jhorsley3> note to self, make paper toys for the new y2cl collection
<artmaker> I’ve got a classmate form collage to design them..
<artmaker> =) go for it!
<artmaker> papertoy making is a whole artform in itself though~
<@jhorsley3> it’s good to have friends who help out
<@jhorsley3> I’ve seen them online and they look pretty cool
<artmaker> friends and community =)
<artmaker> yeah they look cool, and they fit nicely into a commic;p
<@jhorsley3> this is true!
<@jhorsley3> this moves very nicely into my next question, lol
<@jhorsley3> If you could make one interesting merch item out of Fantasy Story (cost is not a factor) what would it be?
<artmaker> smooth way for leading into questions..
<artmaker> If I could make a cool merchandise of Fantasy story, it would have to be a tabletop game using both cards and minatures.
<@jhorsley3> yeah, I’m good at that.
<@jhorsley3> you know, I could see that for Fantasy Story
<@jhorsley3> I can also see it being a lot of fun
<artmaker> also toys that come with comics
<artmaker> but what i’d really like to do is spin offs..
<artmaker> e.g Fantasy Story: Goblins
<@jhorsley3> spin offs are always fun
<artmaker> Fantasy Story: Dwarves
<artmaker> comic spin offs that is..
<artmaker> Get other writers and artist onboard..
<artmaker> yeah, i’m a madman
<@jhorsley3> no, your a franchise man
<@jhorsley3> greating a brand out of an idea
<@jhorsley3> getting others to create inside your universe
<@jhorsley3> it’s brilliant!
<@jhorsley3> I call writing at least one story! 🙂
<artmaker> I suppose every type of comic will have it’s own departure points…
<artmaker> this is how I designed Fantasy Story=)
<artmaker> I’ll take you on on that call…
<@jhorsley3> go for it!
<@jhorsley3> despite what y2cl is, I can write a serious story, and have. and had it published!
<artmaker> cool, what was it about>
<@jhorsley3> I wrote an elf war story once and a few short stories about teenagers and life
<@jhorsley3> yup, it was fun.
<artmaker> where was it published?
<@jhorsley3> In an New York magazine called ‘Legends’
<@jhorsley3> I did some cover art for them as well
<@jhorsley3> but this isn’t an interview of me! lol
<artmaker> Whoa! cool!
<artmaker> Well hopefully we’ll get a chance to turn the tables soon 😉
<@jhorsley3> anytime you want, I’m more then happy to give an interview!
<@jhorsley3> but back to your interview!
<@jhorsley3> here’s a tough one
<@jhorsley3> What is the ultimate message you are trying to convey with Fantasy Story?
<artmaker> i thought we did the tough one ;p
<artmaker> If I answer that won’t I spoil the story?
<@jhorsley3> good point
<@jhorsley3> well, I suppose I can re-word it
<artmaker> I believe every authour has only 1 story to tell.
<artmaker> Mine is about a boy growing up.
<@jhorsley3> nice, I didn’t have to re-word it!
<artmaker> Learning form choices
<artmaker> I believe we are spiritual creatures.
<@jhorsley3> as do I
<artmaker> I hope to be able to share my beliefs without being preachy
<artmaker> I think that Clearics and Paladins are great characters to use to convey that message=)
<@jhorsley3> that they are!
<@jhorsley3> used that way in many stories to do so
<@jhorsley3> Sum up in one sentence why people should click the link to Fantasy Story.
<artmaker> Easy, Because they get to move the characters and influence the story by their comments..
<@jhorsley3> very nice
<artmaker> (although that is not obviously clear on the new website yet, i’m working on it promise)
<@jhorsley3> I’m sure it will all come together!
<@jhorsley3> Last question.
<artmaker> Thank you kindly, you’ve done some nice work on your website too recently =)
<@jhorsley3> Tell everyone who reads this what the URL of your comic is, so they can find it.
<@jhorsley3> why thank you!
<artmaker> The comic can now be found, for your convenience at www.fantasystorycomic.com
<@jhorsley3> nice and easy!
<@jhorsley3> Well Ming, thank you for the interview. I’ve enjoyed talking with you and learning more about Fantasy Story
<@jhorsley3> and getting interviewed back in my own interview with you! That was fun!
<artmaker> Thank you, it’s been nice talking to you in more than 140 characters;) (we met on twitter)
<artmaker> Thank you for having me…
I want to give a big thank you for Ming baring his artistic soul a little to answer by questions. I know some of them are tough, but he handled them well. As you can tell from the interview there is a lot instore for Fantasy Story so you should get in on the story and characters while they are still relatively young!