Group 11 - Strain42 interviews xerjester of Nine Shot Sonata!
skoolmunkee at 1:29PM, Dec. 14, 2009
posts: 7,058
joined: 1-2-2006
This interview is of xerjester , whose comic is: Nine Shot Sonata!
(interview conducted by Strain42!)

-I'll start it simple. You are?…

My name is Xero Reynolds. I'm a professional geek with creative ADD. Writing, Music, Photography, Voice-acting, Illustration, Graphic design, etc. Who needs sleep? Professionally, I'm a former voice-actor for ADV, published writer, artist and composer for various releases, and I enjoy gummibears. What? I like em. So sue me.

-In your profile you said You Do Arts. What got you into drawing?

Formulated dexterity , crayons, and our house's poor walls (much to the chagrin of my mom. after that, and once she got me to draw on paper rather than on stucco, I tried to absorb everything I could about art. I still do to this day, with a debatable amount of success. Love ya, mom.

-Nine Shot Sonata from what I've seen so far is an amazing blend of religious tones and hardcore action. Where did the inspiration for it come from?

9SS started out as a one-shot comic idea I had when I was doing another comic called Swordwaltzer. I've always been a very big enthusiast for religion, history, archaeology and anthropology. So I played around with some ideas and came up with the concept of Heaven having to ask an agent of Hell for help in some cosmic matter or another. Cue to a couple of years later when Swordwaltzer had to be shelved, but I still had this idea. So, I decided to flesh it out and see if anyone liked it. I certainly hope they do.

-Mal is a character that I still haven't quite been able to grasp, is he crazy or brilliant? Or perhaps both?…

I'd day sly. I'm told that Mal reminds people of Deadpool. I'm honored- but there's a couple of big differences. Mal will never break the fourth wall. Mal is absolutely, hopelessly sane. His one-liners and non-sequiturs really are a front of his, or just a reaction to the situation since he feels humor is the best method for dealing with trauma. He'll go out of his way to confuse an opponent and shake them off their A-game.

-Your art style is very impressive, I assume you use a tablet, how long on average would you say it takes you to draw a comic?

Thanks! I use a tablet to color, but the linework is done the old-fashioned way. I use pencils and BlueLine Pro comic board. After that, I scan it in and color it up in Photoshop. On average, a page of 9SS takes between 12-18 hours depending on the complexity of the page.

-How far ahead into Nine Shot Sonata have you planned out? Do you already know how your characters will evolve in a few years or so or do you play it by ear?

I've got it pretty planned out, if not written out. I write up scripts by “issue”, so I'll do a treatment that's 32 pages long or so, that I'll edit as needs be, or if I think up better gags/action that will still fit into the groundwork I've laid.

-Do you have any plans or ideas for other comic series or are you gonna stick with Nine Shot Sonata for now?

I have a lot. I'd love to return to Swordwaltzer, but for now it's going to be a novel. Aside from that, it totally depends on support/luck/employment. As it stands, I'm a freelance illustrator. That's how i pay the bills. If ever 9SS can pay the bills, it would give me the opportunity not only to devote a full-time schedule to it, but also to take time for the other ideas I have crammed into my skull.

-Why does Mal hate priests? (Sorry, had to ask. If it's a secret you don't have to explain)

Heh - not a problem. He really doesn't. It'll come up later int he comic, but Mal has no issue with faith or men of the cloth. In this particular case, as you can see, the priest really isn't a priest at all. What's going on? Well Urien explains a bit of it, and you'll see what's what in the conclusion of chapter 1.

-Also, he works in a Flower Shop? Where did the idea for that come from? It seemed to work well for his character both as an unexpected surprise after what we've seen him do, as well as a good setup for funeral services.

The idea came from some musing I had. Of all descriptions of Hell, what is the one thing a Demon might know of that exists on Earth, but that would never ever ever truly be able to exist in the Pit? The answer? Flowers. I may be projecting a little onto Mal here, too, since I genuinely love to grow things. I'm a sucker for plants. What can I say? The idea of a wise-cracking, sharp-shooting, metal-head demon working in a flower shop makes me smile.

-A lot of comics seem to end with a character saying a line that almost seems like a non-sequitur, but is always hilarious yet thought provoking for the comic, where do you come up with those? (examples include like the Earl Gray line)

The Earl Grey line in particular was just something that I've had in mind for years. I have always considered Lucifer and God to simply be beings with opposing views concerning humans. God is love, so there's no reason for God not to invite “The Adversary” to tea. As for the rest, I came up with a standing rule governing the comic: since only one page can (currently) come out a week, I wanted to make absolutely sure that each page ended with some kind of punchline when it did not feature a splash page or action set piece. It makes writing a continuous storyline a bit trickier compared to your average gag-a-day, but I want people to have something to chuckle at and remember during the week while they wait for the next installment.

-Are there any particular series or books or anything that helped you form the idea of Nine Shot Sonata?

I've been inspired by Mike Mignola's background work and research on his Hellboy series, as well as the works of Neil Gaiman on Sandman. Paradise Lost, Dante's Inferno, Dr. Faustus, War on the Saints, The Lesser Key of Solomon - hell even the Dresden Files. I pull inspiration/information from everywhere I can find it.

-Finally, I just gotta ask…when can we see more?

Hopefully soon. I have to take a small break for Christmas, but I dearly hope to turn out new pages starting in January. I'm sorry for the wait, but, 9SS doesn't earn it's keep yet, and I have to draw what pays, first. Support is appreciated, but failing that I'll settle for patience.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:43PM
I Am The 1337 Master at 3:31PM, Dec. 14, 2009
posts: 3,785
joined: 1-16-2009
I still gotta get into reading 9SS but I do think DEADPOOL RULES. Good interview. :)
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:53PM
Futon at 11:11AM, Jan. 5, 2010
posts: 71
joined: 6-30-2009
I'm a big fan of 9SS. If you're happening to read this, I was wondering though, how do you like Top Cow
/Image-Comics, Xero?

I see quite some influence from them in your drawing style, or do my eyes just deceive me?

#56 in Comic Book/Story #73 Overall
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:32PM

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