This interview is of Genejoke, whose comics are: Malefic, Malefic Tales, and others!
(interview conducted by Evil Hare!)
1. Tell us about Genejoke.. how'd you pick the username, as well as about yourself in general.
Genejoke comes from the X-men, an insult towards mutants saying they are a joke of genetics. Suffice to say I am a marvel comics fan, the x-men in particular. Or was, I still read the x-men but have found that since becoming a webcomicker and discovering many a great comic online.
As for me, I am a hairy and overweight geek from the south of england who has tried all manner of things in life but never really found a calling.
I have drawn all my life and once had some idea about making a career of it. Sadly life went in other directions. After not doing anything beyond doodles for over a decade I decided to try my hand at webcomics. As many others have also found it isn't as easy as just sketching in a notepad.
2. How did the idea behind Malefic come about, and what would you say to potential readers about it?
Once I decided to make a comic I needed a story, despite having many stories in my head none seemed suitable as a starting point. Well I tried but writing them always proved too big a challenge.
After several failed attempts I decided I would go with something disposeable. At the time I was part way through playing the likes of Darksiders and Dante's inferno on the 360 and while sat at my computer trying to come up with ideas my son was watching 2012.
The first idea was a post apocalyptic demon infested world with a manga inspired look. It soon developed as I played with the idea, where to start the story, how do I draw the reader into the setting. The answer was in 2012 (the film), I watch films like that and most apocalyptic films and always wonder what happens next. So I started with the beginning. Pretty soon it became less disposable and I really embraced the idea. I started with no script just some characters and a rough plot and started drawing.
As for why people should read it…
This is where I suck, I hate trying to sell my own work.
Read it because it's epic or something. or maybe read it out of pity.
More seriously though, the aim for Malefic is very big and we have barely scraped the surface as yet. It is the birth of a new age a painful birth. It has action, humour (occasionally) and drama.
It may not be the prettiest comic ever but I hope to take people for a ride.
3. I've noticed quite a few shifts in art style in the different comics. What do you have to say about these changes of style?
Much of it is deliberate, some is just a case of trying things to see what works. Although I have always drawn I have never been to good with colouring, and prior to starting Malefic I had done very little inking. Well I did it once for a part of my art GCSE.
With Malefic the original idea was that I would adopt a different style for each persons flashback as they recalled the previous days events. To be honest I think that was a mistake, but I do like to experiment, which is part of the reasons Malefic Tales was born.
Cubicle is very much me just doing what I do but leans to sketchiness.
The Hero Factor on the other hand is a deliberate attempt at a more cartoony style to fit with the other artists work.
Of course then we have the recent shift to 3D work.
4. Now, with regard to the ongoing stories of Malefic, will further light be shed upon just what's going on with the demons, or will it mostly center around the drama that happens between people when survival consumes their daily lives? Is there a dark conspiracy afoot?
Yes and yes. More will certainly be learned about the demons, is there some conspiracy… I'm not going to answer that. There are loads of different types of demon, much as there are hundreds of thousands of different types of life on earth. gradually more and more will become recognisable breeds(for lack of a better word). The human side, yeah that was largely the main driving force that got me excited about it once I embraced the idea. At the time I thought “no one ever shows how humanity survives and adapts long term, I want to do that.” Of course a few months back I heard about an upcoming Tv series produced by one of my favourite directors, Frank Darabont. Of course that show was the walking dead, fantastic series based on a fantastic comic. I picked up the first trade paperback before the show aired and quickly ploughed through the entire run and now get it monthly. What really sold me on it was Robert Kirkmans forward in the first TPB. He said exactly what I had been thinking as I developed ideas for Malefic.
5. I found the Dan (the fat guy) entertaining. Will there be more such characters entering the fray? Also, is Greg ever going to, um…. meet someone special (trying to keep it clean).
Greg has someome, sort of, He and Vanessa have the beginning of something. Dan seems to be the most popular character, I think it comes down to likeability, some of the others are a bit abrasive. There are a lot of characters entering the fray at the moment, my one concern is that it will be confusing so I'm working on a cast page for the site with pictures naturally. It has an ensemble cast and no one set main character, even though it does focus on certain people here and there. Many of the cast may never seem to be fleshed out some are simply red shirts, although we try not to signpost it too much. It is hard to go through this without giving stuff away but needless to say there will be a body count and NO-ONE is safe.
6. Do you think you'll stick with the 3D style? It looks cool.
Certainly for(what I consider) book one, which will be where the first story arc ends. That is where the initial invasion happens and we come to a conclusion of sorts. All of which happens over a fairly short period of time, this is like the action disaster movie part where most films end. For Malefic it is just the prologue. I have only started with the 3D art recently but I like the results, it isn't anywhere near as quick and easy as many assume though, it's just time consuming in different places.
7. Will there be more of The Hero Factor?
Definitely. In fact is is just picking up again at the moment, two updates this week. Once it begins in earnest it will come quite quickly. The biggest challenge is writing comedy, amusing ideas are just a part of it. And I haven't really done comedy for years.
8. What direction do you see HF's comedy going in?
That's a tough question, it parodies the whole superhero genre and reality television. I don't know how well it will make people laugh out loud, but if I can raise a wry smile every so often then I feel I've succeeded. Within comedy there will be some drama and serious issues, although that won't really come in until later. I also hope to have a lot of guest appearances and artists a little further in. In fact I have an idea for Jake the evil hare if you're interested.
9. Malefic looks like it has a good deal of spinoff potential. Are there any plans to derive future series from the main storyline?
Well there is malefic tales which serves to expand the story and gives me a good platform for experimentation and collaboration. One of which is a poem written by Mehighlow who is behind Weave, I have the poem it is just a matter of putting the visuals to it. I have done a number of roughs for it but so far I'm not happy with the results. They look nice enough but don't quite hit the mark just yet. Further to that is Underbelly, which was going to be part of Malefic tales but the idea spiralled, it also acted as a practice run for the 3D art. Will there be others? maybe. The aim with underbelly (once it spiralled) is to have a story centred on a single character rather than a rotating ensemble cast. That and a chance for me to do some more writing as I have largely handed the writing duties on Malefic to Jabberwockyjones. The plotting aspect is very much a joint effort but the scripting is mostly his work now.
10. The shifts in art style we mentioned before make me curious. Someone once said that every comic artist has 200 bad pages in him(or her), and I'd have to agree. Do you think you've gotten all of your out? What do you find most challenging in graphic storytelling, and what would you say has changed about you as an artist and storyteller since Malefic started?
A lot has changed, when I started malefic I scarcely knew what I was doing. I actually started it as a practice comic as I knew I couldn't do justice to some other projects that are still a long way from fruition.
The 200 page thing? I haven't gotten them all out yet no, I'm sure there are more to come.
I do like to experiment and try different techniques sometimes it pays off… sometimes not.
What is most challenging? Probably consistency and waiting to put things out. I tend to rush stuff far too much.
11. I'm definitely interested in fresh ideas re: JTEH., so hit me up o that score for sure. Now, where do you see your efforts going once Malefic is done, or do you think Malefic will be around for years to come? It seems like it could sustain some long shorelines without losing its artistic integrity.
Heh, I'm not sure I even have any artistic integrity. That said Malefic does have legs, I have a lot of broad ideas and some very specific personal stories in mind. I think I mentioned earlier that I barely scratched the surface of Malefic. The flip side is that it will be some time before I'm done with it, hence why I have other projects going and more in the works.
12. If you had 15 seconds to say something to the webcomics community, what would you say?
I would try and squeeze in a very quick sermon on why anarchy is the way of the future.
Or maybe just keep doing what you're doing and enjoy expressing yourselves.
13. Is there anything else you want to tell everybody?
Sign up for the interview project, it's fun.
Evil Hare interviews Genejoke of Malefic, Malefic Tales, Cubicle and others!
skoolmunkee at 10:46AM, Dec. 21, 2010
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:44PM
I Am The 1337 Master at 3:09PM, Dec. 22, 2010
Ooh. Genejoke interview.
I obviously knew nothing about him until now.
Other than the English part.
I obviously knew nothing about him until now.
Other than the English part.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:55PM
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