Group 12 - ministrybase interviews Kroatz of No Heroes!
skoolmunkee at 4:17PM, April 25, 2010
posts: 7,058
joined: 1-2-2006
This interview is of Kroatz, whose comics are: No Heroes and others!
(interview conducted by ministrybase!)

Today I had the pleasure of interviewing Kroatz, creator of No Heroes and one of the most original talents I’ve seen recently.

1. Your work has a fine art feel that is unique among more mainstream comics. What is your background, artistically?

Well thank you!
I don't really have an artistical background, my art education started and finished in primary school.

I had a teacher that always encouraged me to do exactly what the rest of the children did, color between the lines and use a pencil when coloring. We didn't learn any techniques and we were taught to use as little imagination as possible, I never liked that.

Writing was encouraged all the way through high school though, I had several teachers interested in some stories I wrote. Later I had several shrinks interested in some of the better stories I wrote. The ideas I had were all short stories, not good enough by themselves but after I finished High school I spent the entire summer writing them all together, making sure they all fit.

A couple years later I started a Multimedia Design study, using programs like photoshop and Flash. I learned a bit of photography guidelines, composition and complemetary colors, all that boring stuff. Mostly as practice for school I started drawing out the stories I wrote, resulting in No Heroes.

2. What have been your main influences in terms of your work?

I have a lot of things influencing the stories I write, mostly big pretentious works of ‘Art’ like the Lord of the Rings and Dante's Divine comedy. I try to put in little references to books I read into the story, Gabriël for example is the angel bringing Mohammed to the heavens in the Qur'an. In my story Gabriël brings a lot of people to heaven, he just doesn't bring them back. Another example is the tower Gabriël starts his journey in, A dark tower, influenced by the Dark Tower books by Stephen King.
My art isn't influenced by anything. At least, not as far as I know… I have some big heroes, mostly artists from the Renaissance, like Michelangelo and Da Vinci. I know it sounds corny and fake but I have a real interest in most art from that time period.

3. I’m looking at your comic right now – the colors are gloriously bright – reminiscent of the early Technicolor movies. Do you think you could tell No Heroes as effectively in black and white?

You are looking right now? You don't even know what time it is while I'm answering your questions and you're looking at it? Wow, that's magic!
I do believe No Heroes would look good in Black and white, I just think the color is a nice touch. I am currently working on a side story, all in black and white, using different techniques makes the creation of each page more interesting to me.
Using lineart is probably not going to work though, I can do it but I'm never really happy about the work, it always look cheap when I make it…

4. No Heroes makes use of violence as a narrative tool, although in my mind it’s appropriate. What sort of feedback did you receive on that?

Not many people I know, know I make a webcomic, most don't even know I can draw. The people here on the Duck have always given positive feedback, sometimes even demanding more violence!
I have only ever gotten one piece of negative feedback on the amount of violence in my comic. The person pointed out to me that the comic should keep having a story, not just mindless bashing of people and dogs alike, I decided to use that and started asking people to help out, make the No Heroes world richer.
Even though I haven't been sent any complete works I just know that it will not only make the comic more interesting to read but also more understandable.
But I'm drifting off the subject, what feedback did I receive on the amount of violence in my comic? Only positive feedback. Next question!

5. If your comic made into a movie, who would you want to direct?

I'm not sure, I'd like to say Tim Burton, mostly because I like the way he manages to make every piece of dialogue have a dangerous undertone. But that would be too predictable, everyone would like Tim have a go at their work.
So I'm gonna have to say… Park Chan-wook. The director of Old Boy, my favorite movie and the other great movie ‘I’m a Cyborg, But That's OK'. Also the music would be done by Jo Yeong-wook, the guy that composed the music in Old Boy.
If you have no idea who they are, look them up, they're brilliant.

6. Do you feel the non-linear nature of your story telling can confuse some readers?

If people don't understand my story yet it is most likely due to the fact that nothing really interesting has happened yet, my main character Gabriël has killed two people and bashed in a couple of dog heads. Very near in the story my character will have a big explanation scene, he'll tell exactly where he's from, what he's done and then he'll kill someone again. After that everything should be more understandable and less non-linear.

7. You mention in your comments that you’ve had the idea for No Heroes for a while. Was web comics your first choice as a medium or did you originally envision No Heroes in a different medium?

I have been reading comics since I was three. I've been reading webcomics since I was seven and I've had the urge to create my own comic since I first read spider-man.
Comics have been my first choice of Medium, yes. they're not all I'm working on right now though, while all the lovely people of the internets are reading my webcomic I'm also making a No Heroes cartoon movie and writing a No Heroes book. When combined these three should tell the whole story.

8. You’re obviously very committed to your story. Have you got a conclusion in mind or are you developing it stage by stage?

When I started deciding which elements should be put into No Heroes I started with the beginning, a man going from a bad place that tries to find a good place. Then I immediately wrote the ending, since I find having a set ending is easier to write.
The ending I have in mind is inspired by Arthurian legend. I'm not planning to expose too much of it yet, but expect some backstabbery.
The rest of the story, everything in the middle, is mostly conjured up at the time I'm drawing the actual pages.

9. Your art has a rich, plush texture that is draws the reader in. Take us through creating a page for No Heroes.

Every page I make starts with a written description of what's happening on the page, I put the information in three categories:
- Surroundings, what nature, buildings, weather and time of day.
- Actions, what the characters on the page are doing.
- Text, what the characters are saying, what the characters are thinking and what kind of sound effects are on the page.

After that I decide how many frames I'll use for the page,I'm a fan of big frames, lots of open space, so usually I end up with two or three frames.
When these steps are finished I start sketching out the positions of characters, though not too many have appeared in the comic yet, and buildings, objects and the direction of the sun/moon/lamp light.
After the sketches I just draw the silhouettes, and color these. I add details, shadows and other lighting effects.
When the objects are done I draw the backgrounds and weather conditions. I put up a couple of speech bubbles, and then I'm done! After every finished page I drink a couple of beers and then I'm fresh to write another page!

10. So far, the story has been captivating and I admit, I find myself intrigued. What else can we expect from No Heroes in the next couple of months?
You can expect some other artist's views on No Heroes, several artists have offered their help and I've gotten fanart and pages that'll be posted in the near future.
The main storyline will have a big explanatory scene, revealing Gabriëls background. New characters will be introduced, a new permanent character will be introduced and one new character will DIE! Muhahahahaaaah! Ehem…
People can expect the story to become clearer too, more understandable, mostly because there will be actual dialogues from now on.

Thank you so much for your time. All the best and I look forward to seeing more of No Heroes.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:43PM
alwinbot at 5:28PM, April 26, 2010
posts: 884
joined: 1-12-2010
Jeez, why don't you feature NO HEROES already? It's already surpassed standards by leaps and bounds.
Read this comic. It is the greatest journal comic ever written and drawn. Trust me.
last edited on July 14, 2011 10:50AM
Kroatz at 2:06PM, April 29, 2010
posts: 2,417
joined: 8-18-2008
Jeez, why don't you feature NO HEROES already? It's already surpassed standards by leaps and bounds.

My thoughts exactly. ;P
The feeling you get, right before you poop.
That's the best feeling in the world.

- Albert Einstein
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:23PM
I Am The 1337 Master at 2:31PM, April 30, 2010
posts: 3,785
joined: 1-16-2009
Because you're on hiatus…

Hiatus comics can't get featured. Can't probably not the right word.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:54PM

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