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Creator Interview: Inky Moondrop

Tantz_Aerine at 12:00AM, Jan. 27, 2024

Welcome to the first interview of the Creator Interviews! Today, we're asking the awesome Inky Moondrop questions about her, her DD award winning comics, her art, and her creative process.

I'm not using the royal ‘we’ by the way. While some questions come from me, most are from the DD community! Credit is given where it's due, so keep the question pool going in the forum thread!

Thank you everyone for providing questions and Inky Moondrop for volunteering and giving very thoughtful, interesting answers! Without any more ado, let's go on to the interview!

1. Hello Inky Moondrop! Why don’t you start by telling us a bit about yourself and your webcomics?

Hi! Thank you for the opportunity! I’m basically a millenial from Central-Europe, up until recently, my artistic journey was about writing poems and short stories and taking a few photos. By the time I grew up I’ve lost everyone in my family besides a short-tempered father who didn’t know how to make himself emotionally available, so I wrapped myself into the world of daydreams, movies and books. I’m a highly sensitive introvert, I enjoy arthouse films, classic literature and anime. I have a lovely fiancée and two pet tortoises.

My main comic is Blessed Days, it’s about an immature woman becoming a single mom to a partially demon child and doing her best to raise her well, while those around them get increasingly convinced that despite innocent appearances the child will eventually bring the end of the world. The quiet town they live in turns out to be not only an arsenal of dark secrets, but is also sinking into utter mayhem involving murders, immortals, alternate worlds and clashes of superpowered individuals, with mother and child somehow being in the center of everything. I’m publishing the already finished chapters as e-book volumes on the side, which I usually dedicate to the memory of my mother, because I’ve reached the age when she had me and I can see her trials and tribulations that I only could’ve suspect during the years we’ve had together. I was truly honored that the comic managed to win several awards on the DDA last year, including best drama.

The other comic I’m working on (but is currently on hold until I finish making Blessed Days) is Mirage, it’s about ghost train’s and its eccentric conductor’s adventures as they help souls of the deceased unburden and be able to move on from the Shadowlands. Its style is essentially an homage to the world of cinema, especially the silent era, with a touch of Tim Burton. The jury rewarded this with the award that goes to works with the best atypical art.

2. What made you get into webcomics?

I was at home for half a year during COVID-19, practically unemployed and I figured, in order to stay productive, I’d try to write a visual novel. Only it demanded months of my time and I felt like the VN scene is practically dead in regards of fandom interactions. The complete lack of feedback would’ve made me feel like I’ve wasted my time, so I’ve put that project aside, after which (about two years later) I realized I could write a webcomic and publish it page-by-page, so I gave it a try, but ended up working on a different story instead.

3. What are your inspirations when you create? (question by Spooky Kitsune and Dragonsong12)

I take inspiration from too many sources to list, it’s the reason I tend not to watch movies or read books while I’m writing a chapter: they influence me and if I can’t work an idea into an existing project of mine, I feel the need to start a new one. This way I’d never get anything done. My main inspirations for Blessed Days are probably The Guardians of the Galaxy franchise (a bunch of misfit losers saving the world while resolving their personal and family issues), the works of Naoki Urasawa (especially 20th Century Boys with its gripping mysteries and plot twists) and character-centric TV shows with huge casts and lots of personal backgrounds to explore, such as LOST or Battlestar Galactica.

Despite the wacky premise and plot, I wish to portray a deep level of intimacy between my characters and I’m not sure I could do that without getting exposed to Six Feet Under, which, in my opinion is the best thing that ever happened to television entertainment.

4. Tell us a bit about your creative process! How do you go about making your webcomics? (question by Andreas_Helixfinger)

When I work on Blessed Days, I focus on one chapter at a time. The chapters usually deliver a few characters from point A to B in regards of plot and development, so I like to have a very good idea about the beginning and the ending before I get too much into the editing. Anything between A and B comes to me on the way, but there is no set order of scenes to follow while I’m writing, which is why I prefer not to start releasing a chapter before I finished making it – last minute changes happen frequently.

Same with Mirage, only the stories in Mirage are loosely connected and I need to watch a lot of movies to write new ones, because the idea is that they are homages to the works of specific people in cinema. The character names (with the exception of Cutie) are anagrams that should give you a clue about whose art they’re ment to invoke (Rebeka Suttton – Buster Keaton and Roselle Snow – Orson Welles so far).

5. Which character of yours is your favourite from your webcomics? (question by Amelius)

Just one? Oh, man… I have lots of favorites for different reasons. Dylan Sinclair is definitely in the top three, because I always wanted to portray one of the sociopathic, master manipulator type as an overall good person, plus I wrote a lot of my personal trauma-processing into him.

But Robin Sinclair is my main protagonist for a reason: I convey much of my feelings and ambitions about parenthood and several of my personal beliefs in general through her. Not to mention I recently changed my legal name, because I didn’t like the one I’ve had and Robin was among the handful of options available that appealed to me, so we could say I didn’t name my character after myself - it was the other way around.

6. How do you go about designing your characters? (question by Spooky Kitsune)

I try to make their appearances distinctive enough for readers not to get confused by them. But I work with VRoid Studio and I either modify templates or buy ones (such as hair or clothing). This application is mainly used for VTubing purposes, but my vtuber career would be rather short, so I’ve put it to a different use. The main story of BD is arching through 8-10 years in the lives of these characters, while „the bigger picture” encompasses hundreds of years. I try to keep things fresh by changing the characters’ look from time to time, if they wear the same clothes for several chapters for example, it’s for either sentimental reasons, or to help the readers identify those that played a minor role so far. Grace and to some extent Dylan are with us from a very early age and they grow up in front of our eyes. As their personality changes, so is the way they express themselves in regards of appearance and such.

7. When you first start thinking of a story, is your first idea the beginning? The ending? Or perhaps a premise or a character? (question by Marcorossi)

My concepts change a lot along the way. If you want consistency it probably comes from my characters, they are the anchors of the story so to speak. Many of these are children because they generally have a most unique perspective on life, so even when I write stories with lots of adult elements or specifically for adults, they always grow out of a drive to revisit a childlike sense of wonder and reconnect with it.

8. Go on, give us a “How it started - How it’s going”: show us some of your early/beginner art, and some of your current art along with your thoughts about your artistic journey!

These are among my first attempts to draw artworks, from a few years ago. I’ve spent about 12-16 hours on each, while relying on visual aids, so while they probably aren’t terrible, I wouldn’t be very productive drawing my own comics without years of more practice (perhaps something for later on).

Since BD is my first webcomic, I had to experiment with the filtering a lot to get it right and had to learn on the go. By the fifth chapter I managed to improve to the current level, which gives the characters a lot more depth and detail.

9. Do you have a dedicated area where you create your art?

That would be my computer corner at home. It’s better if I just describe it to you, the wall is decorated with led lights and memorabilia, mostly old photos of friends and small crochet animals my fiancée makes. She makes tons of these as cute gifts. My mousepads are usually either anime-themed or way too kinky for anyone to see.

10. What are the tools of your trade? Tell us what you use to make your art. (question by John Celestri)

I mainly use four software to create my comics, these are: Unity, VRoid Studio, GIMP and Krita. I use the first two to set up scenes and take snapshots of my characters within those scenes, while I use GIMP for filtering purposes, minor corrections and Krita for arranging them into panels and final touches. I can assume there are better software out there, but for now, I can make it work with these.

11. If you could make any of your comics into a movie, which one would be your first pick, and who would you want to play your main characters? (money is no object) (question by Paul Eberhardt}

I would go with Blessed Days, although it would probably work better as a series. But as for who should play Robin… that’s a tough one. It’s hard for me to imagine some hotshot Hollywood actress in that role, at her core, she’s very immature and quirky, this shows especially in the beginning, so I would probably have someone play her whose passion is already doing comedy but can handle more dramatic roles as well. Someone like Lauren Lopez from Team StarKid (if Team StarKid ever wants to do a stage production of BD, they are more, than welcome to). Mirage could be more suited to become an animated movie with the right story in the center and if Brittney Karbowski would voice Rebeka, I’d be satisfied with it, she’s probably the only celebrity I’m a legit fan of.

12. What is your most favorite page from all of your webcomics, and why is it your favorite? (fine, your top three!) (question by Amelius)

Hm… Those would be…
- The Cover page of Smoke and Mirrors, because I still can’t believe I’ve found a way to feature the entire main cast of the chapter on a single image without it turning out to be the same posey-cringey group shot of almost every superhero movie poster.

- This next one is from Mirage, because I managed to capture some real olde thriller-noir vibe with it.

- And another one is from Blessed Days that’s not yet published (I will let people know in the notes section of the page when it does). I’ve not only managed to find a stunning location as a backdrop for the scene, but it features one of (if not) the saddest character deaths of the series. Through several panels, the face of the character shows a whole variety of emotions, so we understand the gravity of the situation without a single word spoken. It truly is my „Not Pennys Boat” moment, I always wanted one.

13. What keeps you going when creating comics? What is your passion?

My passion would be telling stories. And BD, in a lot of ways is a very personal story of mine, people who read it and understand its characters, its underlying patterns probably know me better than some of my closest friends. But to answer your question: I’ve always been an escapist and creating comics allows me to spend most of my time in a fictional world where the only limits are of my own.

I'll soon have to think about how to keep this passion going besides working on Mirage, since the upcoming 8th will be the last Chapter of BD and the comic should conclude before the end of this year, after which I'll mostly just share updates as extra content from time to time.

14. What are the themes you explore in your webcomics?

Mostly family, childhood, parenthood and the tools people need in order to better themselves. Everything else is just icing on the cake.

15. Has your work ever surprised you? Thematically or artistically? Show and tell! (feel free to show us the relevant artwork and/or pages) (question by Bravo1102)

It does surprise me quite often. My grandmother died in cancer and I wanted to portray what it’s like for someone like Robin to try and keep it together as her life is slowly falling apart; in the beginning I didn’t exactly plan for James Sinclair (BD) to survive. But I realized that fiction is not just the way to process traumas, but it can also be a way to strive for better endings.

16. Star Wars or Spaceballs?

Spaceballs. Even as a kid I thought: who would want to work for the Empire? They take themselves way too seriously. May the Schwartz be with you!

17. Do you have a soundtrack that goes with your webcomics?

I listen to lots of different types of songs while writing to set the mood for my chapters, so it’s a long list of a mixed bag, but overall, BD’s soundtrack would definitely feature some songs for key moments:

Chapter 1 ending – Kodaline – Saving Grace + The Dreadnoughts – Roll Northumbria,
Chapter 2 ending – The Chieftains & Sinéad O’Connor - The Foggy Dew + The Monkees – Daydream Believer
Chapter 3 ending – Hidden Citizens – Moonlight Sonata
Chapter 4 ending – Sigur Rós - Varúð + AC/DC - Thunderstruck
Chapter 5 villainess theme - 2WEI – Toxic
Chapter 6 ending – Antony and the Johnsons - Bird Gerhl
And the now running Chapter 7 overall theme: Suede – Still Life
Some of them are referenced in the comic for the purpose of evoking its mood.

For Mirage… The Mo - Nostalgia Locomotive and a lot of one can find between swingy-jazzy oldies and creepy carnival music.

18. Tell us one thing that annoys you in your routine and one thing that you love.

I’m terribly disorganized, While I work I store hundreds of half-processed images in dozens of folders and having to look for a specific one to find can sometimes take up to half an hour.

I love drafting the plot in excel (planning which part should take up how many pages), find the order for the scenes and see where are some gaps left to fill. It’s a very rewarding experience to see it all come together before the actual comic would reflect it.

19. Show us your sexiest character! (question by Amelius) What makes them sexy?

Oh, that’s for you to tell me. A few examples to pick from! :D

20. Do you ever draw the line at something in your art? Are there things you just won’t draw or write or show? (question by Bravo1102)

I do draw the line, but it’s more of a question of practicality rather than morality, I don’t portray hardcore smut because I’m not that interested in it, I don’t depict Muhammad, because I don’t have a death wish and I don’t depict abused / suffering pets, because I promised a friend that I wouldn’t. I still walk a fine line with some of my jokes and decisions, but even though my aim is not to offend anyone, I want to stay true to my vision.

To quote Frankie: „Dry humping is not incest!” (Gallagher, not Sinatra). I like it when people can keep fiction and reality separate and express things in the first that would be problematic in the second one, but I try to use a tad bit of common sense to keep things palatable while mataining that my characters represent themselves, not groups they could be associated with.

And this is the end of the interview! Thank you so much for these awesome answers Inky! It was a joy to read them!

If you have comments for me and how to improve the Creator Interviews, please PQ me! And read Inky Moondrop's awesome comics!

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Spooky Kitsune at 4:36PM, Jan. 28, 2024

Nice! I always loved reading interviews and getting to learn about the creators more!

JohnCelestri at 8:54AM, Jan. 28, 2024

I enjoyed reading the interview. I've always been fascinated to find out the inner motivations creators have for producing their works!

InkyMoondrop at 8:19AM, Jan. 28, 2024

You'd definitely honor be by reading it. So anyone else here really. If not for else, to understand context for this year's DDA portion in case the comic would manage get nominated again and you'd turn out to be a judge. While the 1st chapter is pretty light-hearted and "willy-nilly" compared to the others, to a degree it's all connected.

plymayer at 6:38AM, Jan. 28, 2024

Fascinating. Learned a lot from the interview. Now, I'm trying to figure out how to jump in and read Blessed Days with out being to scared of the page count. Don't want to miss anything and yet 901 pages is a bit daunting.

Tantz_Aerine at 1:09AM, Jan. 28, 2024

@Amelius, oh my bad! I completely misunderstood the question then! It's the first time I heard of the term hahaha! I need to be instructed in Tumblr Sexyman particulars, I've no idea what it is. (and no it's not hostile at all!)

InkyMoondrop at 12:29AM, Jan. 28, 2024

Oh. I'm not exactly sure who'd be my "Tumblr Sexyman", I haven't familiarized myself with Tumblr's trends for the past years. And I often don't know which characters are popular among my readers, (will probably have to poll that at some point) but I suppose it could be Ethan Parker (the tall guy next to Robin). He was the first male narrator in the series, who also happened to be literally Johann Georg Faust: a good-hearted, but melancholic scientist with a real shit streak and I suppose I unintentionally made some of my readers ship him and Robin... So he was quite popular with them I guess and the turn things took was not what they expected. :D

Amelius at 10:21PM, Jan. 27, 2024

(Also hope that didn't sound like a hostile gripe I think it's funny because that's so not a "me" question to ask haha!) Also @InkyMoondrop I feel that "disorganized folders" in my soul, same problem!!

Amelius at 2:44PM, Jan. 27, 2024

Great start to the interviews and a fascinating look into Inky's creative process! I was especially interested in hearing about the graphics programs used so this was quite informative (haha but that's absolutely not my question, I asked who is the "Tumblr Sexyman™" that's very different from asking who is sexy! It's kind of a joke question, because "Tumblr Sexyman" isn't something actually conventionally attractive)

InkyMoondrop at 12:30PM, Jan. 27, 2024

Jason, that's Lauren Lopez. :D But thanks, I think she looks nice too. Thank you everyone, I did not expect so many positive responses. I'm so glad it did not disappoint and that team effort brought this thing back to life, I'll try to come up with a question or two for the pool, I can't wait to read interviews from others and eventually perhaps even from our generous host/interviewer: Tantz herself!

Jason Moon at 12:18PM, Jan. 27, 2024

This was a joy to read what a cool interview! Wow, Inky you are incredibly beautiful! I love that shirt

J_Scarbrough at 11:52AM, Jan. 27, 2024

I understand completely about the lack of feedback, that is a really common issue for small-time creators and artists like us, who aren't often seen because we're overshadowed by the crowds of whatever is popular with the zeitgeist and/or algorithms at any given time, and yes, it's frustrating not knowing whether or not people are even seeing or enjoying your work . . . but, I always remind myself that the main reason I create is for my own pleasure and satisfaction. But this was a great interview to read, very eye-opening about the creations of BLESSED DAYS and MIRAGE. I also have to say, Inky, I very much admire how you have managed to power through so much hardship and tragedy in your life by channeling your feelings and experiences into amazing stories and works of art like this; art truly is the very definition of creative outlet. Respect.

Casscade at 11:40AM, Jan. 27, 2024

Ah man, I love reading stuff like this! Always inspiring to read through! Great interview! ^^ The Smoke and Mirrors cover is awesome btw!

Andreas_Helixfinger at 10:00AM, Jan. 27, 2024

I tip my hat and applaud👏👏👏 This was a great interview:)

PaulEberhardt at 8:00AM, Jan. 27, 2024

Great interview! Someone on the forum anticipated this would be much more interesting and fun and inspiring than any standard run-of-the-mill interviews you see on TV or elsewhere on the web. It is!

Ironscarf at 7:07AM, Jan. 27, 2024

That was an entertaining and enlightening read for a Saturday morning. Great job Inky and well done question crew.

HawkandFloAdventures at 6:08AM, Jan. 27, 2024

this was a fun interview nicely done! ^^

dpat57 at 2:59AM, Jan. 27, 2024

Hey that was interesting!

marcorossi at 2:00AM, Jan. 27, 2024

Nice interview! So Blessed Days is almost the first work by Inky.

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