seventy2 interviews amanda!
skoolmunkee at 3:33AM, April 9, 2008
posts: 7,058
joined: 1-2-2006
This interview is conducted by seventy2!

Username: amanda
Comic: Salt the Holly
Age: 25
In what part of the world do you live: Austin, Texas
Are you single/boyfriend/girlfriend/married: Blissfully unattached
Day job: Office Manager/Web Monkey

How long have you been drawing?
There have been drawings of mine carbon-dated to around 1984 or so, but I didn't start drawing with any discernable talent until about 2006. That's when I took the leap from stick people to people who actually had bodies with curves and flesh and eyes that weren't dots.

How long were you working on “Salt the Holly” before you threw it to the interweb?
I first started daydreaming these characters in some form or fashion in 2004. They were all stick figures back then and were used in a comic to explain a really complicated rule about sales and incentives for vehicle sales (I worked for a dealership support team at General Motors). It had a camel named Clive in it, too!

Is this your first web comic?
Yes and no… originally, Salt the Holly was called Errantry, and I had a little website for it. Those were dark and troubled times (you know, best of times, worst of times…epochs of incredulity and such), and Errantry was taken offline about two weeks after it was put up. I still have the old strips - it cracks me up what I considered “awesome” art. The characters and plot-line ideas are similar enough to almost consider Salt and Errantry the same comic, though I relied pretty heavily on pop culture/current event gags in Errantry. Not so much in Salt - I'm so out-of-the-loop these days that I'd never be able to pull it off.

What is “Salt the Holly”about?
Hmm, well, it's…um…hmm. I could say it's an epic struggle between good and evil, but that'd be a lie. I guess on a generic level, it's about a group of friends and the misadventures they get into - but that makes it sound BORING. The story has elements of both real life and fantasy, so it's tough for me to nail down a description.

How often do you update? And is it hard to keep that schedule?
The current update schedule is Tuesday and Thursday. Every once in a while, I'll throw a bonus in on Friday, but the bonus comics are rarely story-related. It seems as though it shouldn't be tough to keep that schedule, but so much goes into the panels - I'm constantly drawing at my max ability, so it can be taxing. Does that sound lame? Heh, it kind of is. I'm also extraordinarily lazy (I blame my Libra-ness), so I tend to goof off during the weekends. “I should really draw some Salt…but…I *could* play Final Fantasy!” It all goes downhill from there.

You draw/write with the help of your real life roommate BetaJess. Was this planned from the beginning, or was it something she thought she'd get into after seeing a couple of them?
Heh, actually, I suckered her into helping me. I had drawn a really short update and felt sort of bad…so I ambitiously promised three updates the following week…but they were all going to be action panels - exactly the sort of thing I had no experience drawing. So I asked her to help me get those done, and she stuck with it from there. It's awesome - like having my own personal art teacher “on staff” PLUS I'm peer-pressured into drawing a bit better since she's so talented - I don't want to look horrible by comparison, heh.

Your DD homepage says you're a web monkey. What exactly is that?
The explanation for this is a bit boring, sadly. I maintain my company's website in addition to my admin duties. Most of the updates I do (fix this link, change this copy) are pretty mundane and easy (which is good since I just learned HTML stuff a couple months ago), so I just started calling myself that. It's vaguely appropriate. That, and monkeys are cute. Who doesn't love monkeys?

Do you have long term plans for “Salt the Holly” or is it a stepping stone for bigger aspirations?
Salt has always been “it” for me. I love these characters, and I have heaps of plot lines for them. I would love to see it get a nice, long run - and I'll probably draw it as long as I continue to enjoy what I'm doing. Ultimately, even if it ends up going nowhere, I can use it as proof of what time and elbow grease can do to improve my artistic ability. I've toyed with the idea of another comic with a different feel, but nothing ever really sticks. Until something does…I guess I'll just be a one-comic kind of girl.

You mention that your characters are based off real life people. Who are the ninja based off of?
Personality and looks-wise, Daisy is very similar to BetaJess. Cade isn't actually based on anyone in particular - he's sort of…a patchwork of all sorts of personality traits I find interesting or appealing. Most of the miscellaneous ninja are not based on real people, though Jess thinks Mrs. Rodaker looks like my mom (purely by accident; plus my mom is infinitely cooler than Mrs. R).

What's your biggest influence when it comes to the comic?
It would be next to impossible to pick the biggest influence - I draw inspiration from so many different things - songs, legends, conversations I hear in passing…some of the plot lines in the future will come from dreams I've had (I seem to keep having story/adventure-type dreams instead of the “oh-my-goodness-I'm-naked-and-flying” type). For the characers themselves, I get a lot of their personality traits from friends and coworkers - though it's rare that one character equals one specific person.

What's your biggest influence when it comes to Real life?
Probably my mom. She's witty and smart and artistic and full of enthusiasm about everything. I would love to be like her - plus she's very encouraging about my wanting to draw (she used to be an art teacher and tried to teach me when I was younger - poor Mom - that must have been very frustrating).

What do you see in your future?
I think I'll probably be that little old lady who lives alone, and all the neighborhood kids will think I'm a witch. I'll make them drink sour lemonade and pretend to curse them a la the lady in “The Boy Who Lost His Face.” Or I could be rich and famous. I suppose at this point, it could go either way. Really though, I have no idea - I'm planning to stick with my current job until they kick me out - I'll keep drawing and knitting and playing video games and being doofy for as long as possible. I have no plans to “settle down” - I'd rather go to the park and fly kites or something.

What comics do you enjoy here on DD?
My current favorites are Posted, Stealth, Life as Told by Rutger (who needs to update more often - update, Rutger!), Used Books, The Temple of a Thousand Tears, The Chronicles of Wyrden, Cricket's Creature, Rival Angels, Goosetown and Lunch-Break, and Love You Like Crazy. I have a pretty extensive list of favorites, I'm sorry to not list them all - there's some serious talent on DD!

What comics do you enjoy everywhere but here?
Again, that's a pretty extensive list. For pseudo-brevity's sake, I really love Wapsi Square, Questionable Content, Girl Genius, Scary Go Round, Phoenix Requiem, Dominic Deegan, Girls with Slingshots, and Sinfest.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:41PM
seventy2 at 11:29AM, April 15, 2008
posts: 3,953
joined: 11-15-2007
i'm glad i got to do this interview…cause then i got to add another great comic to my list of favorites…
Running Anew an exercise blog.
I'm gonna love you till the money comes, half of it's gonna be mine someday.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:28PM
trevoramueller at 1:56PM, April 15, 2008
posts: 1,462
joined: 9-17-2007
Yay, Temple was totally on your list of favorites! :P
My Drunk Duck Comics:

Nominated for numerous web awards, see more news at My Website
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:33PM
albone at 8:15AM, April 16, 2008
posts: 413
joined: 10-27-2006
Fantastic interview by questioner and answerer. Very interesting stuff on Salt the Holly, and it turns out that Amanda and I share some favorite webcomics like Temple, Wyrden, QC, GWS and that Rival Angels comic. XD
You are part of the rebel alliance and a traitor!
last edited on July 14, 2011 10:48AM

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