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Posted by DocM (profile) on 15 June 2005 at 7:06pm
Exterminatus Now creators Garry Webber, Stuart Edney, Martin Faulkner and Alan Graham have left their comic for a few hours to answer this quad interview...

1. Did you find it difficult to come up with the concepts of the characters?

Alan:
Well, all the characters actually predate the idea to make a comic. We just sort of threw them haphazardly into a situation together.
Virus has been hanging around since, I dunno, 2000? As an 'avatar' character. I guess that would've given time for his character to develop, but until the comic began really he never went much further than 'Me'. Now he's kinda 'Me, but more stupid'. He was always pretentiously wordy (because I can be), and he always had an affection for nightmarish creatures that he deemed 'cute'.

Garry:
Lothar wasn't especially difficult to come up with, as I just took about 1000 cool characters and put a little tit of each in there. There's some Wolverine, Boba / Jango Fett, Master Chief, the list goes on. Designing his look was probably the hardest part, but again essentially easy as his silhouette is essentially the same as Knuckles from the sonic games. Though I have other animal / species in mind if we ever need to change him.
In fact Lothar himself has gone through a couple of changes anyway, if you look through the comic archives you can see about...3 or 4 little design changes to him. Alan Slovian of The Rogues Gallery gave me an award for most character design changes in a year, the bastard.

Stuart:
Erm, not really. Eastwood has been kicking around in one form or another since 2001. It's arguable that his concept has been around since 2000.

Martin:
Not exceptionally. True, they were all formed long before the comic idea came about, but even then I don't believe any of them took very long to initially concept. They've all grown since then, though.


2. How long did it take you to draw the characters for the first time?

Alan:
I'd drawn Virus many times, and Eastwood and Lothar a couple times before the comic began. Lothar's hat caused problems (hell, it still does), and that damn cat and his damn hair were annoying for some time.

Garry:
The only drawing I have ever done for the characters is on the comic for August 8th 2004, it took me about 5 minutes. It shows, doesn't it?

Martin:
Pre-comic: Quite some time. But at that point, I could barely draw at all.
By the time I was drawing for EN, I could manage, but I'm still not practiced enough that they don't give me some trouble regularly.


3. Coffee?

Alan:
Milk, two sugars. Thanks.

Garry:
No, hate the stuff.

Stuart:
Die, please. Yes, Eastwood likes coffee. It's one facet of his personality. He's also a smug bastard and a wannabe ladies man. How come no one picks up on that? No. They always pick up on the coffee. Thus, a character that may actually have depth is relegated to "The One Who Likes Teh Coffee OMG!!!11". I hope you're happy.

Martin:
Yes. Coffee.


4. How long (roughly) does it take for you to create a new comic?

Alan:
Too damn long. It can take upwards of ten hours. It's ridiculous, it really is. It should not take that long.

Garry:
Script writing can vary, sometimes I can just type out a script in under a minute if the whole idea plops into my head. Sometime I can go weeks without writing a single thing. Sometimes I'll spend hours just writing a short storyline out. It all varies really, but the work I do is nothing compared to the work Alan and Martin put in.

Martin:
Anywhere between 6 and 12 hours, depending on how distracted I get, and how good an idea I have of what I want the result to look like. There's got to be a good way to cut that down, I just haven't thought of it yet.


5. Do you feel glad making the comic or do you regret losing some free time?

Alan:
Nah, despite the excessive time it takes, it's great. It's not like I have a social life or anything to eat up free time. Being essentially 'forced' into drawing something regularly is good, otherwise I'd just screw around and get nothing done ever.

Garry:
Considering how little work I actually have to do for the comic, no not really.

Martin:
I don't regret the loss of time, really. I just wish I could be more consistently constructive.


6. Did any of you go to Art School to increase your artistic skills?

Alan:
Nah. Just high school art class (which, lets be honest, didn't teach a whole hell of a lot).

Garry:
I have all the drawing skills of a blind dyslexic puppy. I don't think Art Schools can improve your talent if you have none.

Martin:
Nope. Best I got was high-school art (which I dropped pretty quickly). Matter of fact, I didn't learn to draw until long after that. None of the drawing classes I've had at Uni since have really helped any, either.


7. Do you feel that executing a joke or one-liner is difficult to do just in time for the comic's update?

Garry:
Not really, I think the latest we have agreed on a comic script is the day before it's supposed to go up. But at least once I had to come up with a comic right on the spot the day before it was due. Can't remember which one that was.


8. Do you feel honoured knowing that readers read Exterminatus Now daily?

Alan:
We don't update daily, so if they're coming back daily, then they have too much free time, and are just putting unnecessary traffic on Keenspace's servers. Seriously, yes, it's awesome. It's great that we do this thing, and people like this thing... that we do. Our stats are modest compared to the big webcomics, but it's still a -stupid- number of people that flock to see the comic I've just drawn. It's insane. Probably best not to think about it too much, lest I go mad.

Garry:
I'd feel more honoured if they gave me free money. In all honesty we do EN because we enjoy doing it. If other people like it, thats fine, if they don't thats fine too. Although recently we have become more concerned with pleasing the fans than we used to. But I am thankful that we are entertaining people. It's insane that people actually LIKE our work. I just write a little joke about a character having a sexual fetish for chickens and people lap it up! It's great!
Also, people check the site every day? We only update twice a week. What is wrong with you people? Have some patience, go read a book or something!

Stuart:
Not especially. I find most fans are either incredibly creepy, really annoying, or a combination of the two. There are a good number, though, that are rational, sane people who I can hold a conversation.


Well... the Exterminatus Now Crew consisting of Garry Webber, Stuart Edney, Martin Faulkner and Alan Graham are leaving us now. I would like to thank the four for giving us some spare time for this quad interview.

Why, oh why, didn't I take the BLUE pill?


 
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