|© Heather R. Holden|
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.