Interview with . . . September Mourning

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Who doesn’t love it when two of their favorite things combine to make something extra special? Two of my favorite things – music and comic books- have come together in one band, September Mourning. Worlds colliding can be an awesome thing.

I’m hoping that they will be coming to a comic book convention near me as soon as possible. In the meantime, Emily Lazar, aka September Mourning, has agreed to do an interview.

 

1. Can you describe your group for those who are new to you?

We are a Dark Alternative Hard Rock Musical Graphic Novel Art Project. In layman’s terms, we combine rock music with storytelling through stage performances as the characters from our own original comic book series as well as other media that is in development.

2. How did the main character become half-human?

September’s soul was marked by Fate (in this case personified) as a soul that was to be collected. Fate sends the reaper Riven after her. He observes her long enough to fall in love with her and becomes the first reaper ever to refuse to do the deed. Instead, he gives a part of his power and his gift of eternal life to her. She is transformed into a human reaper hybrid with no recollection of her past/ human life.

3. What is going on with the comic book project?

We have published 2 books through Top Cow comics. The second one releases with the album on July 29th. We intend to finish this story arc in future issues.

4. Have you performed at comic book conventions?

Yes we have performed at a few… most noteworthy, the Atlantic City Comic Con. We hope to be doing a lot more of these in the near future.

4B. Are the comic fans receptive to the band and your projects?

Yes definitely. They enjoy seeing something in print form come to life before their eyes.

5. What has been your biggest accomplishment?

Making this entire vision come to life so far… through the comics and the music and the costuming and the performance and the story lines… and of course reaching so many of our fans which we call our Children of Fate.

6. Where did the idea for September Mourning come from?

I wanted to create a world… a total immersive platform of entertainment through music and story. The story stemmed from my obsession with death and the afterlife. The story became my way of controlling the things we know nothing about.

7. Have you ever had interactions with internet trolls? If so, how to you deal with them?

Yes all the time. In this day and age it is very easy to sit behind a screen and fire off on something without any fear of real confrontation. My way of dealing with them is to ignore them. The more people talk, negative or positive, the more awareness of your project spreads and grows. Bring on the haters… we have a lot of passionate fans that will counter anything they have to sling at us.

8. You’ve switched record labels several times. Is there a reason for the changes? Are you happy with your current label?

Not really actually …  We had a distro deal for some demos in Europe which we fulfilled very early on in our career as a project. We were signed to Virgin for a minute but now we are signed to Sumerian. The staff at Major labels changes so much… if the person who signs you leaves it can be a real detriment to your growth as an artist. We wanted to find a home that supported the entire vision and had a track record of actual artist development. Sumerian is great like that. A rarity in labels these days.

9. The makeup is amazing. Does September ever go do regular stuff in full makeup?

Like go to the grocery store haha… well she’s a supernatural being that can only be seen by those about to die and Claire because of her rare power. So to answer your question… even if she did do those things you would never know because you can’t see her hehe.

10. You’ve been on tour with Mushroomhead. Did you ever get to see an old school show? Also, how amazing is it to tour a with big names like Otep and Marilyn Manson?

No… My first Mushroomhead show experience was actually on that tour! Incredible visuals and very cool sonics. Marilyn Manson is always inspiring to tour with. I look up to him for what he accomplished in his career, and how true to his art and message he is. I’d have to say my dream tour would be with My Chemical Romance though… if the rumors are true and they get back together. Bring on the Black Parade!

 

http://www.SeptemberMourning.com

http://www.facebook.com/SeptemberMourning

http://youtube.com/TheSeptemberMourning

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A to Z Challenge 2016: Reflection

A-to-Z Reflection [2016]

So it was not a perfect challenge. . . it was a little dyslexic and two letters were forgotten. Sorry X and Z. Maybe I’ll get to you next year.

However, I was mostly pleased with this challenge. There were 24 talented, funny, amazing ladies that agreed to do interviews and actually replied. Soon, I will add them to my interview page.

Hopefully, next year I will have more time for blogging. My time was consumed by being a soccer mom, work and sleep.

No regrets.

P.S.  I honestly do not know what I’m going to do next with the blog. Suggestions welcome.

 

Gabrielle Bueno: A to Z Challenge

Gabrielle Bueno was a last minute addition to the female comic book artist lineup. Thank goodness that she agreed to do the interview!
She loves Harley Quinn and sweet tea. Check out some of her Harley Quinn art work and original comic book, Die Erste Liebe. She is completely and totally awesome!
What are you working on now?
I’ve just wrapped up a short six page comic called “Le Petit Monstre,” for my portfolio and now I’m living free and getting back onto my neglected webcomic entitled “Die Erste Liebe.” I’m awful fond of titles in other languages.
Who has influenced you the most as an artist?
A big influence on my art have been my peers mostly. Valerie Bastille is a good friend of mine whose dreamy artwork is a big inspiration. She influenced a lot of my painting while my favorite comic artist Sean Murphy influenced a lot of my inking. Those two come to mind more than others, although I’ve been influenced by so many things in my short life.
Who is your favorite female superhero/villain/comic book character
Harley Quinn hands down. A little nervous about her big screen debut in Suicide Squad but man would I love to draw her series. She’s such a fun character that really spoke to me even as a child watching the Batman Animated Series.
Do you think people expect a certain type of art from you since you are female?
I would hope not and if so that’s pretty silly. I draw what I like, whether it be something ultra kawaii and adorable or something visceral, sexual and horrifying. If anyone put me in a box based on gender they’d be missing out on some weird stuff.
How often do you go to comic book conventions? Do you enjoy conventions?
I love tabling at cons, not so much being on the other side with all the people haha. I recently returned from Emerald City Comic Con and had a blast! It’s really fun to meet other artists you know from online or even artists that you admire with all your heart. To actually have that short moment of face to face contact can make an impact on a gal. I know I was a little starstruck with some people.
Are you an introvert or extrovert?
I’m an extroverted introvert thanks to years of retail 😀 I don’t mind talking to people and I can, but boy do I love me some alone time yessiree.
Where do you find your inspiration?
Everywhere I can. Primarily through the comics/art section of bookstores, but even in my day to day life I try to take something that I can put in my work, whether it be a piece of fashion I spotted online or a classic car that almost tried to run me over crossing the street. Everything can be inspiration.
What do you do if you have writer’s block?
 
Typically draw until the writers block goes away haha. Honestly, my bouts of writing inspiration come and go. I try to jot things down when I can but I try to balance writing and art. Usually I won’t suffer a block from either side unless I’m killin’ myself over a page and then I’ll get frustrated. At that point reading a comic or playing a game chills me out.
Have you had any interesting or awkward experiences since you’ve been an artist/writer?
Not really! Everyone’s been very nice to me and so far respects what I’m doing and my work. Boys can get a little weird with me (unless I’m just not good at recognizing flirting) but otherwise it’s been pretty laid back.
Beverage of choice?
Green tea latte or original down south sweet tea. MMMMM. ❤
When was the last time that you dressed up for Halloween?
Just this past year and I was Harley Quinn~!
What do you want people to know about you?
That the reality is I’m a space witch from a galaxy far far away here to demand all your comics are belong to us or some other internet meme popular from with the kids these days. Seriously.
What was the first thing that you were proud of drawing/writing?
I was extremely happy/proud of finishing the first act of my webcomic Die Erste Liebe. I had been writing that story since I was a child so to see at least a piece of it finished and shared online for all to read was a surreal moment in my life. Yes it’s not published work, but that story is my baby, and it’s finally being made. There’s nothing more satisfying than seeing all your hard work finished.

Keezy Young: A to Z Challenge

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The letter Y is brought to you by the sublime Ms. Keezy Young. She can be found on Twitter and Tumblr. I highly recommend seeking her art work wherever you can.

What was the first thing that you were proud of drawing/writing?

I’m sure my mom can tell you a bunch of other things I was proud of, but the first one that comes to mind is when I drew a giant bee with a stinger and sharp teeth and gave it to her for her birthday.

 

What are you working on now?

A bunch of stuff! I’m busy with Yellow Hearts, my webcomic about three childhood friends-turned-criminals who made a deal with a demon when they were kids. It doesn’t have a release date yet, but I’ve started storyboarding, so it shouldn’t be long now! I also have two pitches in the works, one to the Beyond Anthology with Cassandra Khaw, and another with Steve Horton called Sorcerous Ways. I also have a couple of zines coming out with my illustration work in them.

Who has influenced you the most as an artist?

I’m constantly inspired by the other artists I know from Twitter and Tumblr and in person. I love and idolize a lot of masters like Alphonse Mucha or John Singer Sargent, and more contemporary comic artists like Hiromu Arakawa or Fiona Staples, but there’s something amazing about watching my friends and peers work hard and put out so much gorgeous art and writing every day.

Who is your favorite female superhero/villain/comic book character

I’m really fond of Major General Armstrong from Fullmetal Alchemist. She isn’t a superhero, but she has left an imprint on a lot of my own characters.

How often do you go to comic book conventions? Do you enjoy conventions?

I go to local ones like Emerald City ComicCon and more general geek conventions like GeekGirlCon. I do enjoy them, though I think there’s still work to be done with making those spaces more inclusive and welcoming. There are a lot of great things that come out of conventions, and community is super important! But I am also hyper-aware that I may be interacting with people who don’t think I have a right to a place in the comics industry because I’m a queer woman who writes and draws stories about queer characters, and that sexual harassment at conventions is still a huge problem among fans and industry pros. I would love to get to a point where convention-going is exhausting just for the fun reasons and not the scary ones.

Are you an introvert or extrovert?

I’d say I’m a very friendly introvert! I LOVE talking with people, but I definitely need my alone time.

Where do you find your inspiration?

The short answer would be ‘wherever I can.’ I find that some of my best inspiration for drawing comes from enjoying other people’s art, and for writing I love discussing stories and characters with my friends and roommates. But honestly, inspiration can come from anywhere.

What do you do if you have writer’s block?

Usually I’ll hit my head against the wall for a little bit before I sit down to play video games. I’m trying to get better at acknowledging when I need a break.

Have you had any interesting or awkward experiences since you’ve been an artist/writer?

Directly related to my art…? I guess I would say that my characters have been pretty instrumental in coming to terms with various aspects of myself, and self-realizations are always interesting and kind of awkward.

Beverage of choice?

Black coffee

When was the last time that you dressed up for Halloween?

Last year! I wore a Spyro kigurumi. It was very comfortable.

What do you want people to know about you?

I want people to know that the number one reason I draw and write comics is to add something wonderful and exciting to the world, something that makes people happy. I know that I won’t always be able to make everyone happy, and there will be missteps, but it’s important to me that I keep learning and growing and contributing to the overall happiness of the people around me.

 

Keezy’s SketchBlog

Keezy Young on Twitter

Whitney Weber: A to Z Challenge

Honestly, I can’t remember where I found Whitney Weber’s work. I’m so glad that I did! She’s a tinker at heart and a Ravenclaw. I can totally see us having sparkling cider and tinkering on our newest project. It would be lovely.

If you have a chance, visit her website and support her tinkering.

What was the first thing that you were proud of drawing?

Hard for me to remember the very first, I was much more proud of my work when I was little and drawing all the time. The first thing I was proud of when I started my digital work was a piece for my Intro to digital art class, it was a scene from what is now the basis for my YA graphic novel with a few of my main characters that I have since redrawn.

What are you working on now?

I am currently working on my graphic novel, a very slow process, and also a collection of Fae pieces that I sell at conventions and gallery shows.

Who has influenced you the most as an artist?

Eyvind Earle and Brian Froud are the most inspirational for me. I remember being a kid and looking through every Faerie book of Brian’s in the library and being completely captivated. Eyvind’s work is most known from Sleeping Beauty and it will always stand out to me with its rich colors and his overly detailed yet somehow still simplistic look. I try my best to include as much meaningful detail and whimsy into all my work as these two talented artists.

Who is your favorite female superhero/villain/comic book character?

Rogue has always been one of my favorites as well as Mystique.

Do you think people expect a certain type of art from you since you are female? For example, do people expect something cute and are surprised that you specialize in zombies or vampires?

Actually I’ve been pleasantly surprised with the lack of stereotyped expectations I’ve received. Every time I’ve been asked onto a job it’s always been for the overall look of my work and less about the subject matter. I’m really happy about that, I love to draw faeries and goblins in my free time but I’ve been incredibly lucky to have art directors and bosses that can trust me with drawing all kinds of subject matter like run down yachts and laser blasting toasters.   

How often do you go to comic book conventions? Do you enjoy conventions?

I attend and try to exhibit at as many as possible throughout the year. I’ve loved attending cons since my first stint with Wondercon in 2010 when it was still in San Francisco. It’s wonderful to know that these conventions can introduce you to a great deal of new artists and work you’ve never seen.

Are you an introvert or extrovert?

Very much an extrovert.

Where do you find your inspiration?

A lot of my inspiration comes from what I remember reading as a kid (fairytales and mythos) but I do find a lot of my inspiration from other artists or spending time exploring outdoors. I really enjoy hiking and I find a lot of wonderful things for my mental reference bank while doing so.

What do you do if you have writer’s block?

I’m not the greatest about writer’s and artistic block. To try and help myself out of a funk I usually take a break for even a few days and do something that is less artistic and requires me to just be present like hiking, going to the park, or just hanging out with friends. Sometimes what can help is watching tutorials or finding a bunch of new artists work to skim through online. When I do that I usually get really excited to create again.

Have you had any interesting or awkward experiences since you’ve been an artist/writer?

Probably the most embarrassing moments have just been witnessing other people’s poor etiquette when approaching other artists, it has definitely made me more conscious of how I approach people working at conventions or shows. I’ve seen people shove portfolios in artists’ faces to ask for a review and have also had people ask if they can give me a Starbucks gift card instead of payment for my work.

Beverage of choice?

Martinelli’s sparkling cider…or Champagne. I love bubbly drinks haha

When was the last time that you dressed up for Halloween?

I dress up every year! This past year I dressed up as a Tinker fairy for Mickey’s Halloween party in Disneyland. I like to sew; Halloween is a wonderful creative outlet for me that provides a great break from drawing.

What do you want people to know about you?

I am working on my graphic novel, hopefully I can get the first part of that out in the next few months. I am also a Ravenclaw 😉

 

 

Tinker Illustration

Vanesa Del Ray: A to Z Challenge

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Vanesa Del Ray is the featured artist for today. Seriously. If I were the fainting type, I would have fainted when she replied. Instead, there were feelings of immense joy. You can all have feelings of joy when you check out her art work. Some of it is a little risque but I like that sort of thing. Can you blame me for wanting to buy everything that she has drawn? However, I would need a bigger house with more walls. Or an art gallery. I need an art gallery.

Enjoy the following interview with Ms. Del Ray.

1.    What was the first thing that you were proud of drawing?
I think I remember drawing Belle, from The Beauty and the Beast, and being really happy with it because I had gotten her dress right.
2.    What are you working on now?

I’ll have a project coming up with Image Comics and a couple more things with Marvel, but I can’t talk about them yet! My apologies!
3.    Who has influenced you the most as an artist?

My grandmother has been a great influence from day one. She was my first art teacher.
4.    Who is your favorite female superhero/villain/comic book character?
Cat Woman was the first I ever knew about. She’s still my favorite to this day. But it wasn’t through comics that I found out about her, it was through the Tim Burton movie Batman Returns from 1992. I lived in Cuba at the time and we didn’t have access to comics form the US or any where for that matter!
5.    Do you think people expect a certain type of art from you since you are female?

Some people still get surprised, yes. I don’t think they expect anything from me, I just do the work. But I’ve had people say to me that i have a masculine style or that I look nothing like what I draw.
6.    How often do you go to comic book conventions? Do you enjoy conventions?

I’ve been going to conventions for about 3 years now. I go to 3 or 4 conventions a year right now. I enjoy conventions a lot in part because I get to hang out with other folks from the industry and I get to meet new fans, and old ones too!
  7.    Are you an introvert or extrovert? 

Definitely an introvert.
8.    Where do you find your inspiration?
I like to read, and watch movies a lot. I enjoy stories being told, it doesn’t matter what kind. It could be a horror story or true crime or even a biography or history. It’s all stories.
9.    What do you do if you have writer’s block?
I take a break and go for a walk or go for a swim. I could watch a movie or read a book. I have to get away from what I’m doing and come back with a fresh mind.
10.    Have you had any interesting or awkward experiences since you’ve been an 
artist/writer?
Well, every time I interact with another human is either interesting or awkward or both at the same time.
11.    Beverage of choice? 

Water
12.    When was the last time that you dressed up for Halloween? 

Last year. I was a vampire-nun. Not very original!
13.    What do you want people to know about you?

My work.

Vanesa Del Ray

Alina Urusov: A to Z Challenge

 

Alina Urusov has done art and colors for comic books such as X-Force and Young Avengers Presents and X-Force #11. She has also done the cover art for  NYX: No Way Home and other Marvel Comics’ publications.

I’m still in shock that she agreed to do this interview. Enjoy!

What was the first thing that you were proud of drawing?
Some early things include Jesus, naked women, horses and princesses, and this one awful painting in art class at age 5 that must have looked like a tortured soul’s divulgence into insanity..
What are you working on now?
I will soon start work on a personal contribution to a comics anthology, but I have been taken a hiatus to travel and raise my toddler lately..


Who has influenced you the most as an artist?
Everything has, but probably the art books my mom had when I was a child, because I became so familiar with art that I could easily see myself carving masterpieces too, haha


Who is your favorite female superhero/villain/comic book character?
honestly I dont follow comics and I never attach myself to characters, I just enjoy pieces of fiction as a whole, for the atmosphere they create and to escape my own headspace.
Do you think people expect a certain type of art from you since you are female?
I hope by now I have sufficiently proven myself, so that’s probably not the case and I enjoy the darker things just as much as the cute things, actually when the two are combined it creates an indispensible balance..


How often do you go to comic book conventions? Do you enjoy conventions?
I dont go anymore.. I used to when I was producing more.. they are work for me.. another way of selling my product, and doing sketches for 3 days straight can get tough. I enjoy the cosplays immensly though..


Are you an introvert or extrovert?
Introvert mostly, but its important for me to have one on one connections with others. I dont do well in groups as much.. unless we are all busy being useful.
Where do you find your inspiration?
In visual things of an articulate design.. I have a lot of wondefully designed nicknacks.
What do you do if you have writer’s block?
well I havent tried being a writer but inspiration and meditation or just Doing Something Else should solve that problem.


Have you had any interesting or awkward experiences since you’ve been an artist/writer?
Yes and yes, I actually have a great memory for awkward moments in my life, but listing them here would just cause a daylong journey into a bad frame of mind.. in a nutshell I will simply say, deadlines and perfectionism don’t mix, for those who are looking to be a writer or artist, mkay..
Beverage of choice?
green smoothy.. I am into health and taking care of the temple that is my bod these day ya dig.
When was the last time that you dressed up for Halloween?

Haha what is this Halloween, I have deadlines and a baby to dress down to.. but seriously, I just wore raver gear and hooped at a rave last time – something everyone should do.. every day..
What do you want people to know about you?

I am no longer an artist.I am a citizen of mother earth and I am committed to dedicating my life to taking good care of her and myself by doing creative things when i please and staying healthy and happy dammit! People, make sure you are doing what feels right and feels right the morning after as well.. it is high time end the suffering we create for ourselves so we can have no regrets later.. the end.

 

Alina Urusov

 

ALL ARTWORK © 2010 ALINA URUSOV
ALL CHARACTERS © TO THEIR RESPECTIVE OWNERS.