Debunking myths on genetics and DNA

Monday, March 9, 2015

Comic writer and artist Heather Holden talks about her webcomic Echo Effect and other upcoming projects

© Heather R. Holden
Today I have a special guest on the blog, a story teller that uses both words and images to tell her stories: Heather R. Holden, a comic writer and artist whose passion for Greek mythology inspired her current project Echo Effect, a sweet, modern remake of the Echo and Narcissus myth. Heather works on commission, too, and has some amazing wallpapers for just $1, so check out her website!

Welcome to CHIMERAS, Heather!

EEG: First off, I'd like you to tell us a bit about your background and, in particular, how and when you started doing webcomics: was it a deliberate choice or did you just try it out for fun and fell in love with it?

HRH: I’ve wanted to create comics my whole life, but ended up quitting as a teen, since I no longer felt good at art. Novel-writing became my main creative outlet then. Despite this, I was inspired to make fan comics for the CW show Reaper back in 2008, which helped get me back into the swing of drawing. I kept up with this webcomic till 2012. That was the same year I quit novel-writing—it just didn’t gel with me as a storyteller—and started developing Echo Effect, which I premiered in 2013.

EEG: Tell us more about Echo Effect. What was the inspiration?

HRH: Echo Effect stars Nicholas, a narcissistic pretty boy, and Coco, an antisocial stutterer. It was inspired by the Narcissus and Echo myth. I wanted to create a modern-day story out of it, but couldn’t have it be a contemporary retelling, since—in all my projects—Greek mythology is real. I decided to make it a sequel of sorts instead. Once I figured out the main characters and how they’re connected to Narcissus and Echo, everything fell into place.

EEG: What other projects are you currently working on?

HRH: I have countless projects I like to toy with, which range from horror to fantasy. I’ve been focused on one featuring vampires lately, but am not sure yet if this will become my main project after Echo Effect.

EEG: Are you planning on releasing Echo Effect on Amazon at some point?

HRH: Yes! Not sure if it’ll end up on Amazon, but I am working on a print collection for volume one right now, which will include strips #1-135, plus bonus content not seen online. (This series will have three volumes total. Volume two is currently being posted on my website.)

EEG: Who are your favorite writers and artists?

HRH: Lynne Ewing has always been my favorite writer. I love how she portrays women, friendship, and mythology in a modern-day world.

As for artists, there are so many I adore, including—but not limited to—Holly Golightly, Gisèle Lagacé, Starline Hodge, Matsuri Hino, Fernando Ruiz, Dan Parent, Samm Schwartz, and Stephen Gammell. If I ever need artistic inspiration, I just turn to their works.

EEG: Do you have a routine when you start a new webstrip? What is your creative process?

HRH: I like to plot a webcomic in its entirety before I ever work on a single strip. (Yes, this means I’ve known how Echo Effect will end since 2012.) This keeps me from writing myself into a corner, and I’m able to sprinkle in foreshadowing years in advance, too.

Once I can work on the actual strips, I’ll draw/ink them by hand, but color/letter them in Photoshop. I tend to let them “rest” a couple days after completing one, since it helps me spot mistakes in need of tweaking. Finished strips are then posted on my website…which I can never look at directly ever again, to prevent my inner perfectionist from wanting to make more tweaks!

EEG: Interesting, I do the same with words, can't keep looking at them once published. :-) Thanks so much for chatting with us today, Heather, and best of luck with Echo Effect and your future projects. I saw some forthcoming characters on your blog and already love them. :-)

You can read Heather's Echo Effect on her website, and follow Heather's latest webstrips on her blog, Twitter and Facebook.



23 comments:

  1. I love Heather's comic Echo Effect! That's cool that it'll be in print too. Amazon has a way to get comics into ebooks too with their creation tools.

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    1. Thanks, Cherie! I still have a lot to learn when it comes to ebooks. Will have to remember to check out Amazon! I plan to do the print version through Lulu, since I already have experience with them, but I'm not sure how it is to make ebooks with them yet, so it's nice to have options!

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  2. I think it's smart to plan out the entire storyline. Heather, sounds like you found the perfect blend between art and writing.

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    1. Thanks, Alex! My webcomic would probably be a huge mess right now if I didn't plan it all out beforehand, haha...

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  3. Thanks so much for having me on your blog today! It was fun doing the interview! :)

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    1. You are an inspiration Heather! And how fun to learn about your working process, too. :-)

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  4. Great interview! I didn't know that you did work for a CW show - that's so cool! And I love your comics. Keep on writing and drawing, Heather!

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    1. Oh, it wasn't official work. It was basically fanfiction in webcomic form! The CW has no idea I even exist, LOL.

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  5. Awesome interview! I'm a fan of Echo Effect and enjoyed learning more behind the scenes info. I think planning the story ahead is a wise idea!

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    1. Thanks, Shelley! I have a lot of fun planning ahead, but it can be hard to keep certain plot twists a secret for years, LOL.

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  6. Fascinating interview. I loved learning more about Heather and her process. Do you ever think you might write a novel and publish it? You have incredible storytelling talent along with your artistic skills.

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    1. I actually have several novels completed. (YA books ranging from fantasy to horror.) I used to want to publish those, and even have the rejection letters to prove it, LOL. Over time, though, I realized novel-writing doesn't gel with me, so I quit back in 2012. I love being able to forgo words and tell things visually instead. I even plan to convert my old novels into webcomics!

      So...don't expect any novels from me. After three years away from novel-writing, my skills have likely rusted over in that regard, anyway. Haha.

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  7. I second what Christine and everyone else said :-)

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  8. I really enjoyed learning more about Heather and her technique. Also, you can see the novelist in her comics, and decision to plot in advance. A nice blend of two talents. Also like how she keeps her 'inner perfectionist' from tweaking things. Good advice for all of us :) Nice interview, Heather!

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    1. Thanks! My inner perfectionist would probably tweak things forever and ever, if it weren't for my self-imposed deadlines, LOL.

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  9. Heather is such a talented artist and I love Echo Effect! Exciting to know it will be in print in the future, that will be one to buy for sure.
    Great interview and it's nice to meet you, E.E. :)

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    1. Thanks so much, Julie! I have a tendency to procrastinate from the print collection a lot, especially since my old strips make me cringe, but I'm still hoping to release it eventually!

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  10. Great job, Heather! And cool interview. :)

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    1. Thanks so much for checking it out, Debra! :)

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  11. It sounds like a lot of work, but the results are fabulous. :-)

    Anna from Shout with Emaginette

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    1. Definitely lots of work. If only I knew how to draw faster! XD

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  12. Great interview! It was nice to learn a little more about you and your writing process. It would be great if your comics would be on Amazon. I think you'd sell a lot if they were.

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    1. LOL, I doubt I'd be able to sell much of the print copies, but thanks! :)

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