Robyn Seale — featured creator
We recently caught up with local creator Robyn Seale. She’s been pumping out lots of comic pages this last year, with her best known work being the horror themed webcomic The Watcher of Yaathagggu. Her main site is dubbed Noodly Appendage, but you can also find her on twitter, facebook, and tumblr. Don’t forget that she also does art commissions!
What are you working on now comics-wise?
I’m working on a number of things! For the last year, I worked continuously on my webcomic, the Watcher of Yaathagggu, and a 3-issue one-shot for Broken Icon’s Nightmare Unknown series. I also was published in Innsmouth Press Future Lovecraft anthology as well as Steven Stone’s UK anthology, Urban Legends. Currently, I’m working of making my webcomic printable, Broken Icon and freelancing.
How’s your comic output been the last year? What’s helped or hindered your output?
My comic output last year is between 2-5 pages a week. There have been a number of changes that keeps my productivity in flux. A brief recap of things that have happened within the last 12 mo – moved, changed jobs, worked 2 jobs, quit the full time job to pursue illustration full-time. My productivity bottle-necked with the second job, but came back strong. I’m resting comfortably at about 4 pages per week plus one side illustration. I’m still adjusting to the routine of setting my own schedule; after a few years of working 80-100 hours a week, it’s exceptionally strange to have free time. I may pick up the pace, but I’m focusing on quality over quantity.
Read any good comics, webcomics, or graphic novels lately?
Oh I’m always picking up fantastic reads! I love Erin Mehlos’ Next Town Over and Rose Loughran’s Red Moon Rising, both of which have some steampunk elements. Mehlos’ NTO is a great western and Loughran’s has a more industrial feel. Both have some fantastic art.
How about other media anything good you like lately? (video, music, books, etc.)
Ooh, there’s been a lot of fantastic things that are new in other media. I whole-heartedly recommend people to read Kate Bornstein’s “A Queer and Pleasant Danger,” which is a memoir of her amazing life growing up as a jewish boy and ending up as an ex-scientologist trans*person spokesperson. It’s a refreshing and honest view in terms of most memoirs, and she was maybe the nicest person I’ve met in person. She also has an interesting and practical ideas of how to live with a sense of wonderment and acceptance in a culture that has a zero-sum-game mindset.
I’ve also taken the time to sit down and play Mass Effect 3. The whole series is solid, and I know there’s a bit of controversy over the ending. Being a realist, I’m pretty sure I’m going to make the universe die or something. But I love science fiction – it serves as a useful mirror for current cultural values and issues facing them today. Too often, though, science fiction is a heavy-handed morality sledgehammer to challenge our ideas of why we measure things. I like how Bioware takes issues out of black-and-white confines and puts it firmly in the fuzzy gray areas of reality.
Your webcomic, The Watcher of Yaathagggu, seems like it would have a built in fan-base for H.P. Lovecraft fans. What do you think are the advantages or disadvantages of having a built in fan-base for a comic?
Having a built in fan base for Lovecraft fans has a lot of advantages and disadvantages. For the advantage, it’s a little bit easier to explain the world without going into too much detail. I can incorporate a lot of the Lovecraft Mythos without a lot of explanation – the city’s cats, Ulthar, Nyarlathotep and Shub-Niggurath, for example. Anyone that’s familiar with his works will know exactly what I’m drawing on. Anyone reading Lovecraft also has a high tolerance for pulp, which works to my advantage in some ways. Lovecraft was also pretty open-source for his day – he borrowed other writer’s ideas and loaned his out. A number of creators write within the Lovecraft mythos and build upon it.
The main disadvantage, however, is everyone who has read Lovecraft and doesn’t like his work for a number of reasons. I stayed away from incorporating Cthulhu because it seemed too cheap a ploy for an audience, but I think most of the Lovecraft fans only really know about Cthulhu – he’s the main pop-culture icon. It’s a hard sell to people who never found Lovecraft accessible or people who only care about Cthulhu. It’s also hard to write an ongoing saga within Lovecraft. His main characters often end up going insane or killing themselves, so I have to invent ways to keep the main characters alive and sane while still keeping up the tone of horror. Having a Lovecraft-familiar audience also makes them more savvy. I have to work harder to keep things unpredictable.
Posted in: Featured creators