We’re rolling out a series of interviews with Comicadia creators and we’re starting off with the immensely talented creator of MoonSlayer, Monica NGalvan.
If you have not read MoonSlayer (and why haven’t you?), it’s a charming fantasy adventure involving curses, magic, and a quest to kill the moon.
As for the official synopsis:
After running away from home, Syrma has spent her entire life hiding in the forest, under a hard workout. So when she discovers that she is the victim of a curse that will end her life in a short time, she intends to change her fate. She has two options: surrender and die, or rebel and take over. For her there is only one possible solution: defeat the goddess who sentenced her along with all her family. And time is running out.
But she won’t be alone. Along with the dragon Menkar, her bodyguard, an also cursed sidhe witch and a banished treacherous god, she will seek the way to survive and change her fate.
If that sounds like your kind of comic then you definitely should learn more about Monica.
Do you consider yourself more of an artist or a writer?
Absolutely both! Since I was a kid I’ve been an “integral” author. I write and illustrate my own stuff since I was 8. True that my art was crap until 15 years ago, but I was decided to improve it and to be able to do my own covers. It’s true that the language barrier has been an obstacle in my writer’s path since now my public can’t read the majority of my novels and work related to the vast universe that my comics share.
What was your biggest influence in the development of your art style? What about writing?
For both first has been the mythology that I devoured when I was a child, always accompanied by images of Classic Art, Renaissance and Baroque masters, the Pre-Raphaelites, the Golden Age, Art Nouveau, etc. Also the fantasy books I read in Middle-School, with their illustrators that also illuminated my favorite RPGs. For comics, the French BDs and the Japanese and European Manga had been an important reference too!
Are you familiar with tropes? Do you try to use them in your work?
Since I have an “extensive” mythological background and also had read a lot of books and comics, I have grown with them, and I use them too. They’re easy ways to connect with people since ancient times, like premade stories, traits, and paths, and it’s fun when you subvert these tropes into something different. In my comic MoonSlayer –which story is influenced by gods like the Greek epics–, I summarized these tropes as tarot cards in the “cast” –aka “Dramatis Personae”– section.
What is the toughest part of working on MoonSlayer?
I’ve been working on MoonSlayer for more than 10 years. And that’s a lot.
Sometimes I was so tired and sad that I wanted to leave the story unfinished. I had no job, I had to be studying like all day to get one, I was about to die 2 times. And that affected to the comic page rate a LOT –and also the views and engaging, that I lost completely–. I had to go on hiatus like 5 whole years in total. So I think the toughest part is having time and energy to continue?
Story-wise, the toughest part was developing Menkar’s feelings and his interactions with Syrma until chapter 7.
Where are we at in the story currently? How planned do you intend to be?
We’re quite advanced, near the end of Chapter 7. We finished the 3rd arc (The Golden City) and started the arc of the Fairy Realm (last arc of the second volume, resolving Henna’s plot too), which is the arc prior Syrma arrives to the Land of the Gods, (the last arc and volume). MoonSlayer will be a closed story with 3 volumes in total.
If you could do one spinoff project in the world of MoonSlayer what would it be?
This is funny because MoonSlayer is a spinoff of my main fantasy novels, settled in the same world. It’s a story that happens between two of them after the gods reappeared, and before the world goes nuts again due to the consequences of what happens here. Some of the characters, same as the gods, appear in my other novels too. Iris, the Golden Queen, for example, has her own story, same as the queen of the dragons Venux Bellatrix, that was a secondary character in my other novels, Puck, –that appeared in all of them–, Eikasia (the inspiration of Syrma’s funny dress) and many more characters mentioned.
Anyway, if I could do a spinoff of MoonSlayer, it would have Syrma’s dad and Menkar as protagonists. Maybe I will do a short story about them.
What would be your one tip for someone who was just starting their webcomic?
When I started making comics I left a lot of stories unfinished, because my art evolved so quickly most of the time and I wanted to go back and reboot. And with MoonSlayer was no different! But I learned how to know when something was “finished” and move on. My golden tip for you will be this: Start with short stories. This way you’ll learn a lot of the craft and also improve in storytelling. If your main fear is the language, try with silent stories. They’re a great exercise too!
Do you have an absolute favorite moment from the comic that you’d care to share?
My absolute favorite moment is when they’re preparing the formula to cross the portal to Arunor and everything goes WRONG. The potion doesn’t work, the characters panic, Puck enters the scene and then a horde of monsters clash into the room and they have to flee.
Honorable mentions to the first pages of every chapter (and the epilogues), always my favorites because I play there with the style, composition, ¡or the use of color!