Interviews

Round 7! taradaga interviews ozoneocean of Pinky TA!
skoolmunkee at 1:03AM, May 11, 2009
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posts: 7,058
joined: 1-2-2006
This interview is of ozoneocean, whose comics are Pinky T A and others!
(interview conducted by taradaga!)

tara: Firstly, thank you ozoneocean for taking the time to do the interview!! Secondly, I hope your readers will enjoy it.


Question 1

tara: All right, all right, hm, first question.

If this was going to be the only question in the interview, what would you want everyone to know about you?

ozoneocean: HA!
Well, hmm…
What would I like everyone to know about me? Pictures tell a 1000 words so…

This:



and this:




Question 2
tara:Oh ho! Very nice. But luckily for us there will be more than one question. Second question: Pinky TA is a beautiful, colourful, and sexy comic. Thank you for sharing it with the DD community. What can you tell us about your overall experience making the comic?

ozoneocean: Why thank you Tara, that is a really wonderful compliment! :)
My overall experience of making the comic…
Well I'd say: Experimentation.
It's all a very long, slow, drawn out experiment into what I'm capable of art wise. Trying subtle new things and seeing what I can do with my artwork all the time. I experimented with popularity for a while too: Pinky TA rose through the ranks and got buzz all over the net. It was interesting reading reviews and things, but I'm my own worst critic so none of it was ever too helpful, just entertaining and mildly flattering that they'd review the work in the first place.
But the attraction of popularity wanes. I'm just happy to keep producing it, however slowly.
Yes; experimentation. :)


Question 3
tara: Tis the truth!

And that's a great way of looking at things. I love that you can see the experimentation on every page of Pinky TA. Every page seems to tackle new problems in new ways which you talk about in your very detailed comments.

In your comments you often talk about the science behind the many machines - I remember reading one about the very technical details on how Cc's scuba mask might work - and you have very accurate (seems to me) depictions of ships. You obviously put a lot of thought into your comic and I was wondering how much of this stuff did you know before you made Pinky TA, or if you looked a lot of it up for the comic? So kind of a chicken or the egg question.

ozoneocean: Ah, that's interesting! :)
Hmm, well I know a lot of general stuff about a lot of things, but not too much specifically about anything. With the stuff in my comic I would mainly put in there what looked good, so aesthetics were the main force.

But in order to have things like that in the story, they have to work and I have to know them inside and out to know how they'll fit and what they'll do. For the main battleship Buccaneer for example I needed to know the detailed layout of the ship, inside and out. It was based on the British WW1 Queen Elizabeth super dreadnought class, so I was abe to use schematics as well as old photos to work it out:





It's not just a ship, but a location and a layout, so you have to know it to know where someone is walking to and from within it, what direction the light will come from if they stand in a certain place, how they get from here to there, etc. It's quite complicated.

But then I'm addicted to detail, so when I draw something new I'll research it to the nth degree, finding out when it was made, who made it, why it was made, collect hundreds of images of it, videos of it in use, and maybe even get examples of the real thing.

When I first came up with Pinky for a painting series in University I had to go out and buy the exact belt she would have, the boots and even a pair of big baggy army pants. Not so I could play dress-up or even paint from life, but so I could touch and feel this stuff and understand it better! :)

And of course for more imaginative things like Cc's Breather mask, her flare gun attachment on her pistol, Pinky's scout Mecha, her flame rifle etc. I can't just put them in the comic, they have to work too… So I'll spend time thinking about how best to do that, thinking about the science so that they're plausible…

Many people think that Pinky's scout mecha was based on the Star Wars ATST, but I didn't even know what that was called until people claimed that. The truth is that Two legged mecha is an extremely common theme is Sci-Fi war art, especially in Manga. But I still had to work out how the legs would function with their complicated walk, and how that would move the whole machine- how they'd fold up for transport and the submarine mode. And much much more… Fo them I started with the idea of organic looking Two legged mecha (like a Zentradi battle-pod from Macross), then thought about 1920's technology which meant it had to be diesel electric powered. It also had to be armoured fairly crudely, so the futuristic manga look had to be scaled back for more simple angles and heavy armour plating. The weapons had to be simple- just rockets and machine guns. The shape had to be fairly streamlined though for the underwater role. Then there were the challenges of what the inside of the cockpit would look like and what it would be filled with…



Hahahaha, I could go on for days!


Question 4
tara: Wow! That's cool. Reading that I feel kind of lazy! Ha ha. I especially enjoy that you would have to buy everything you would be painting. With all that you think about, with all you into the comic, how much time does it take you to finish a single page? What is your working process like?

ozoneocean: How much time to finish a single page varies. If I'm doing it straight out, dedicated, then I can get a page out in from 5 to 3 days on average. It helps that the previous page informs the next one (as you'd expect), not just in story, but in the colour palette, the lighting effects, the character appearances, any machines or objects that carry over, and the landscapes and backgrounds! That's very important because with the way I work on pages I forget most of the detailed and general stuff like that as I go and have to look at the last page for reference constantly!
So that means when I change settings- with different lighting, palette, scenery etc it takes me longer to set up because I have to work all those out from scratch. :(

OK, the image bellow explains that aspect. In it I've had to use previous images of the scout mecha to work out the colour palette and the specific arrangements of the patterns covering them.



For my general process, I do a bunch of rough thumbnail sketches on a single document that I think best represent the action or story I want to show (all work is 100% digital in Photoshop). Then I'll rearrange them, resize etc to come up with the right alignment, then I work out the panel structure. After that I make a white layer over the top that fades out the art bellow, lock it, and make a new layer. I'll draw over the top of the first art there, refining it down. I'll repeat that process till I'm happy, flipping the work and working on it in reverse to see where I've made bad errors. After that I make a new document with the work, only keeping the final image in it, setting that to “multiply” and colouring the layers bellow it, plus one effects layer on top. I start with the background layer, add a details layer and lastly I do the figures- lighting a colour of the figures is heavily controlled by the backgrounds so it's important to do them last.
Over the top of that and the line art I add effects like lighting blurs for explosions or sun glare.

Bellow is an abridged version of the process. The final colour art here wasn't the result I wanted, but I had this saved in the separate stages so I'm using it to show :)





Question 5
tara: 5-3 days? That's amazing. And the pages turn out looking so amazing. Maybe I should start spending that long on my comic pages, ha ha.

I was curious as to what kind of influences you have, if any. What, over the years, has influenced your art and story-telling? Or specifically, what other art or books etc. have influenced Pinky TA's art and story-telling?

ozoneocean: Oh I spend even longer on pages recently… Mainly because life gets in the way and I can't work straight through.

Oh I have no influences. It's all internal. I create from nothing at all, like a God! :)

…No, well, I have my influences of course, like most people. And that changes as I go. I made the character and started the story in about 1997 I think, while doing my BA in art, a painting major.
Back then I was interested in the concept of narrative in painting, because story telling as a type of communication in my work had always been important to me. At the time I was just getting into anime, I really loved Shirrow Masumuni. Nothing I saw in anime was as cool as his stuff… I loved Ghost In the Shell, Appleseed, and Dominion Tank Police. I even got my hands on some of his manga. I was getting into the internet then too and had seen more of his work and that of others online. I was quite taken with this fascination in a lot of anime and manga with tough, sexy female protagonists and how they were used as a contrast with the dire situations they were placed in.
I was also watching quite a lot of Aeon Flux, The MAXX, and reading a lot of Druuna in some Heavy metal comics a friend had lent me.

This is what came out and it was the start of Pinky TA:



Pinky owes her buttocks to Druuna, and her sexy costume to Major Kusanagi, Aeon Flux, and Julie from The Maxx. ;)
(I wonder if I should include pics of those for you? ^_^)

As things have gone on I've been influenced by other things I've read and seen. Every good book I read tells me how better to write a story, every good film I see tells me how to pace better, ever good commercial action film or anime tells me how to make exciting, emotional, sexy scenes. I take in all the good stuff I see like a black hole! Just like my research material, except that stuff is all sitting in my brain, waiting to be used :)



Question 6
tara: I loved Ghost in the Shell as well! Very cool. And I love those paintings you did - you seem to be telling the Pinky TA story using many different mediums. I've also seen your Pinky TA mini-movies. Would you maybe one day like to do a longer movie about Pinky TA?

ozoneocean: Oh those lol! I should really condense them into one and trim off all the fat- just to get it nice and tight and simple. People get bored by the long bits where there's just music and an animation loop…

Naw, there's no way I'd want to do a long Pinky TA movie or animation. Not by myself anyway. If it was a team thing, or a comercial thing (I can dream), then I'd be completely for it! I'd love to see a live action Pinky TA thing (wouldn't we all love live action adaptions of our work?). If I ever go to a big con I'll pay a couple of models to dress as my characters and tout for me, that'll be the next best thing! :)
But as to movies… Ooo, I better get off of that subject or I'll be stuck in dreamer mode. ^_^
Suffice to say I think it'd be easy to make a cool Pinky TA movie. I'm sure I could write an exciting treatment for it. It wouldn't be a clever movie, but it'd be fun.

  IT'S OLD BATMAN
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:42PM
skoolmunkee at 1:04AM, May 11, 2009
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posts: 7,058
joined: 1-2-2006
Question 7
tara: Oooh!! Very cool. How about print? Are you going to put Pinky TA into print? Have you dabbled in that any? Mini-comics, or the like? Will Pinky TA be published one day? It seems to me that the format of Pinky TA changes often, by which I mean, page sizes seem to differ - would that make it difficult to put it into print? Or do you maybe have a big glossy book planned?

ozoneocean: Hahahahaha! No, no, no, and no.
It's not on the radar. :)
All the pages are made at a reasonable print size and quality, and kept in all their original hi-res formats (PS and ai files), but that's really more so I can re-use the art for other things.

There have been moves towards printing or publishing Pinky TA in some form in the past: A Wowio thing organised with Platinum comics back when Wowio was still new and shiny, another thing with them to have it on mobile phones… But for various reasons that never took off. There were also the people that wanted to translate it to Japanese and do a printed version for that market, but I couldn't be bothered going through and doing all the editing work on it to get the page formatting right AND editing it so the story was a bit tighter… T_T

It was just WAY too daunting!
So now I don't really have any plans at all. :)
If I can devote more time to my comic work agin though, then maybe that'd be a fun idea, but I never really wanted to get stuff published just to have a hard copy, you know? I love stuff that others have done that way, I mean I have copies of Gods of Arrkelan by Chuck and Steve Rowles, U.N.A Frontiers by Monique MacNoughtan, and The Path by James Riot, and those are all magnificent! But for me I'm happy with the web. That allows a lot of experimentation with art styles, page formats, and other things you might try (like animations), that just don't work in printed form.
For example, there's this super big page I did, I just call it “right, down, left” because that's the way you view it, here's the small version (click for the bigger one):



The idea is that it uses the properties of the browser to enhance the action: first you see the mecha, then scroll right and follow the path of the rocket towards the explosion. then scroll down, reading the text, seeing what happens, then scroll left to see the whole of the panorama and see what Pinky is seeing.
I did that page because it was sort of a climax at that point in the story and because I'd seen that sort of idea used in this fantastic comic called “Wander Jive” (sadly no longer on the net that I can see), where there was a page with a character waiting on a train station, and because of the clever directed scrolling it made you see a train rushing past the waiting figure, it was very clever. :)

Yes, so no publishing plans, unless I get serious again with my work. ;)



Question 7:
tara: Yeah, I remember reading that page in your comic and being totally blown away, very clever!!

One thing I find interesting about your main character, Pinky, is that despite the fact that she is experienced in warfare she seems very sensitive to death. (Whereas Cc is, in contrast, willing to put people's lives at risk for the good of country.) I was wondering why Pinky would choose this career at all if she didn't know how to emotionally handle such trying situations? Was it a choice for her at all?

ozoneocean: Oh Pinky can handle herself, she's just not indifferent to death and the morality of her actions, like many other characters in in action stories usually are. That was quite deliberite, she looks cool, death is her business and the machines of war are sexy, as they usually are in these stories, but death isn't meaningless here and actions make a difference to people.

One thing that inspired that was me being a bit fed up with Hollywood action films and things on TV where the deaths of people don't matter as long as they're “the bad guys”, I was really annoyed at the indifference to death in those shows- Usually what happens is that the hero meets up with some woman, they kill a lot of “bad guys”, her former boyfriend and her family gets killed and 10 minutes late she ends up falling in love with and having sex with the “hero”. In my comic the “bad guys” are the ones who are indifferent to the deaths of others and the destruction they cause, no matter whose side they're on.

I suppose that's the secret theme to Pinky TA- it draws people in with the cliche pulpy sexiness of war, but the character's attitudes aren't what you'd expect.
Cc is the other side of Pinky. She's meant to be more what you'd expect. She's a good patriot, her mind is very focused. She knows what's right and what's wrong -to her way of thinking- and her ends justify her means.
A while ago Hollywood movies were all about demonising people who saw grey areas and making heroes out of simpletons who believed in a simple black and white code of right and wrong. In Pinky TA it's different, because one persons' right is not always the same as another's.


Question 8:
tara: That's very true, there are plenty of action movies out there that have mindless head-explosions. Do you think that the comic would work just as well if the main characters, Pinky and Cc were men? Do you think that would work if you tried? Would you want to draw a sexy gentleman with pink hair in chaps?

ozoneocean: No, definitely not. lol!
No way would the comic work as well with guy characters instead of female ones :)
For one thing, I wouldn't enjoy drawing the characters as much!
Nonononono no sexy men in chaps with pink hair. Hehe!

The vibe I went with when I started it was from that anime/manga archetype of this lovely looking, small female figure contrasted against these big machines of war. Using female characters makes the contrast much more effective, makes the war and violence aspect a bit more jarring, makes it stand out better. With male characters that just doesn't work as well.

The genesis of the Pinky “idea” was stuff like this:



It also sucks people in more: visually both men AND women are conditioned to find the female form more interesting, more visually arresting initially. It's just how or culture is.

Besides, it wouldn't have the same effect with “sexy” male characters- the way Pinky and Cc do “sexy”. That'd be a totally different story. That doesn't mean I can't have sexy male characters in it, just just have to be more conventionally sexy. Ace Kincaid for example- I'm working to make him the more “manly” dashing hero type. If he gets his shirt off he'll have a big broad muscular chest (pinky deserves her own eye-candy), just so he more completely fits that cliche. Plus it's fun to try for a change like that.

But no, I'm not one for drawing bishe male versions of my feme characters. I'm just not wired that way lol!
…I suppose I could draw Pinky or Cc dressed up pretending to be men…? :)

Question 9:
tara: Heh heh heh! That's great. I love that they can be feminine and still kick some serious butt AND have a flawed and interesting personalities. Although, yes, I'd like to see some naked man action, as well. Bring on the shirt ripping!!

I was wondering, seeing as we're talking about characters here, do you have a favourite character of yours? Not necessarily Pinky or Cc, although I'd love to hear your thoughts on which one of those two are your favourite, but any random, background character you loved? Want to draw again? Any character that surprised you in some way? Say, you drew them as a bg character, and then liked them so much that they got more involved in the story?

ozoneocean: Out of Pinky and Cc I definitely prefer Pinky. She can be more complicated emotionally, unsure about her feelings. She can be mean and bitchy, compassionate, silly, embarrassing, selfish, and lazy. Cc is just determined. She has a plan and will stick to it. She's ruthless and nothing else. She doesn't care about anything outside of what she wants to do.

With outside characters that've surprised me, that's a good question! Well first there was “the Admiral”.



He was just going to be someone for captain Rasovich to talk to… But he sort of grew on me. I thought he'd make a great nasty villain on the side of the “good” guys. I could make him all old and evil looking… But I can't see myself using him much now.

Another was “The Secretary”



She has a fight with Cc. I really liked the way she looked in her dress. :)
Plus, I loved the idea of her as a fighting assassin or bodyguard. It was a real shame her part was so small. I definitely want to bring her back at some stage.

But my biggest fave has to be “Stinky Betty”



She's from Part 6, part of Pinky's tank crew in that prequel episode. She just started out as a charter in the short story that I based that episode on. Her only real role in there was to annoy Pinky by her existence, not through any fault of her own, rather just because Pinky was being a mean bitch.
But when I went to draw part 6 and turn that story into a comic she really started to grow on me and grow as a character. There was a lot of possibility there- She stood up to Pinky, she had her own personality. I'n my head she was second in command of the tank crew and I could picture her taking charge of things if Pinky lost it, bopping her on the head if she got too far out of line. She was really fun to draw and seemed to have a life of her own, she had a nice expressive face. Plus, she's a great big tall fleshy lady and that's a good change from the smaller, slimmer female characters I usually draw. She's one of those “big” ladies who are taller and stronger than most people, unlike how females are “supposed” to be.:)
Often people point to a bigger women character and say “that's more realistic”, but that's bullshit, all shapes are “realistic”, it's just that some are less common than others. So Betty was never meant to represent that kind of realism. She's just different from Pinky and another character type to explore.

Here's a group portrait of the tank crew so you can see how tall she is in comparison to Pinky:



Question 10:
tara: I love how a story and its characters can sometimes get away with you! I remembered how you talked so much about “The Secretary” and even made a video of her - she seems a very cool character, maybe she'll have a comic of her own one day? Ever think of spin offs? There is obviously a very involved world here, you can go just about anywhere with it. Or if you were to do a new comic would it be about something entirely different? And if so, what?

ozoneocean: Spin-offs? Well there was “Pink Skin”:
http://www.drunkduck.com/Pink_Skin/index.php
That's a silly attempt at comedy. It was about Pinky and Cc being actors in Pinky TA, with another character Jirel who came from a porn comic I was paid to make, as well as a Drunk Duck dogeball tournament that we had on the forums a few years ago. Heh, I just ran out of steam though, one comic is enough for me to manage. :)

For future comics I want to do more on Pinky's line. I have a rough idea for a story about grand-daughter… Pinky will eventually have children. I'm thinking that her daughter will be a famous sniper during a later war- of course the part of the world where Pinky TA is set so where Russia and the Ukraine are in our world, In Pinky's world it's sort of the same except the centre of power is Crimea, and not Moscow or Kiev. and so the country is called the Crimean Empire. Not that that's important but it gives me a base to set things on.
i.e. so Pinky's daughter would be based on the famous Soviet female snipers of WW2.

The story about Pinky's granddaughter would follow from that; she'd be a sniper/vigilante, living in her mum's shadow (and grandmother's). Her story would take place during the early 90's when that part of the world would be undergoing similar stuff to what happened to the Soviet Union at that time: the break up. There'd be corrupt drunken politicians, Russian mafia, evil greedy oligarchs stealing their nation's wealth, all that sort of thing. General anarchy. And Pinky's granddaughter would be in there somewhere. Doing something stupid that she thinks is right and then getting is big, big trouble. ^__^
I hope I get around to that story sometime!

Pinky's mother Kitty shows up in this current story too. I don't really feel like doing any separate stories about her though, just like I wouldn't do a separate story about Pinky's daughter, just the granddaughter. A story about Pinky AND her daughter together would be good though.

Aaaaand, the only other idea I have sort of planned, sort of written, is for another prequel chapter some time that will tell about how Pinky got her ear plates as well as informing on the bigger storyline the way Part 6 did. You'll notice that in part 6 Pinky's ears are ordinary…


Question 11:
tara: AH DANG. I think my computer ate my reply. Did you get it?

ozoneocean: No….
Last thing was a question about spinoffs. Was your reply an answer to that?


Question 12:
tara: Oh well. I think we should wrap this up as we've taken a while with this, and you've given us some really good, in depth answers. Thank you so much for taking the time to answer my silly questions!! One last one: It's the last question of the interview. What would you like to say to your fans out there?

ozoneocean: This:
That I'm glad that I still have some ^_^
To everyone who reads or has ever read Pinky TA, thank you very much! You are all wonderful people, I love you a lot and you're clearly better looking and smarter most other people!
One more thing of course:
Thank you for doing the interview Tara. You had great questions and you were very patient with me

Thanks again ozoneocean! And thank you all for reading.
  IT'S OLD BATMAN
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:42PM
ozoneocean at 4:51AM, May 11, 2009
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Wow! That's the first time I've been able to read the whole thing ^_^
Tara did a good interview.
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:34PM
taradaga at 5:03AM, May 11, 2009
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Oh it is a HUGE interview, wow! I hope people read it! And thanks again, ozoneocean! I had a lot of fun.
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:07PM
houseofmuses at 8:11AM, May 18, 2009
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What an incredible interview! So much cool stuff, such a wide scope for this series! It's a shame you haven't time to get it all to print, I think you've got a winner here.
Good show!
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:50PM
darkwaterfrey at 8:59AM, May 18, 2009
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A very well done interview. Most interesting.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:08PM
Gillespie at 4:55PM, May 19, 2009
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Oh my gosh! An interview w/ pictures! Niiice. Good interview!
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:36PM
Graz73 at 10:27AM, June 16, 2009
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joined: 8-22-2008
Great interview. I should have realized that Heavy Metal was an influence, and all of those references you use really pay off!
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:38PM

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