This interview is of Strain42 , whose comics are: Persona 3 FTW , Raidou Kuzunoha the 19th and others!
(interview conducted by xerjester !)
Well, first things first. Tell us a bit about yourself!
-My name is J.C. Scott, I'm 20 years old, graduated from Yokota High School in Japan in 2007. I've been reading and drawing comics since I was a little kid, currently I reside in Georgia where I work in a store called Comic World and I'll be attending college at ASU this spring.
Persona 3 FTW clocks in at almost 400 pages (as of this interview). Are you shooting for those kinds of numbers with Persona 4 FTW and Raidou Kuzunoha the 19th?
-As of right now, including stuff that isn't updated yet, Persona 3 is at 420 pages, I imagine it'll reach at least 500 by the end. Persona 4TW will probably have a similar amount and with Raidou, I honestly hope so. The FTW series runs on a time limit but Raidou I hope to keep going for many years
What can you tell new readers about Raidou Kuzunoha the 19th?
-Basically put, it's a bit of a crazy sitcom like story about a young high schooler who becomes a devil summoner, naturally he doesn't want that so hilarity ensues from there. I'm not very good at advertising stuff like this, but the story is a mix of both serious moments and humor.
Your work with MS Paint is pretty widely known at this point with your comics, but have you ever considered other mediums or programs?
-Honestly, I draw with MS Paint because it's my best option right now. I do have Photoshop, but no tablet or scanner. And attempting to draw in PS the same way I do in Paint actually looks worse if you can believe that. I hope that by the end of Chapter 5, Raidou will be done with a tablet and evolve out of the MS Paint format, but the Persona comics will always be done with Paint to keep the same cartoonish feel.
Tell us about the process of cranking a page out. How long does it take you, on average?
-Some comics come easier than others. Usually I just sit down, turn on some music and start sketching. Sometimes I'll sort of think out the dialogue and then start drawing and sometimes I just draw the first panel and work from there. A Persona comic usually takes anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour depending on what I'm drawing. Raidou comics usually take at least 45, especially if it's something like a fight scene.
How did you come up with the interplay between Gouto and Johei? Do you base any of the characteristics off of friends/family ?
-Gouto is only character in the comic who was actually from the games, and I always had the feeling that after doing this for however many hundreds of years he's probably very tired. I try to have a good balance of opposites attract but Gouto just isn't afraid to be cruel to get Johei to do what he needs to. (Fun note: A lot of my friends have said that many of Gouto's lines sound like me so...maybe I'm evil)
You can tell that you're going for a sitcom setup with Raidou Kuzunoha the 19th. have you ever considered going off into other genre-takes or parodies?
-When creating the series I wanted a good mix of comedy, story and action. So the first two chapters were just dealing with humorous subjects, demons ruining dates and stuff, but right now the comic is getting into it's first major story, where it'll be more fighting than just comedy.
I happen to be a fan of the Persona series (as you are, obviously). What other games are you into? Can we ever expect other games or characters to make an appearance in your work?
-Occasionally I toss in a cameo from another game because it's fun. Raidou had a Persona 1 reference and the FTW series always does a comic to celebrate the release of a new MegaTen game (as will Persona 4TW) Cameos are fun, and I don't mind doing them when I get an idea for one.
On the anime tip, since Persona runs that gamut, are there any anime titles in particular that you're a fan of?
-Believe it or not I'm actually not a fan of a lot of anime. I love Case Closed (i'm a big mystery buff) and I also liked the series Cromartie High School. My favorite anime ever though is Reborn! It was actually a big inspiration for the Raidou series in general.
Since I'm not completely up on the background- is the Devil Summoning gig truly run out of the DMV, or was that just something you decided to run with?
-In the games you play as Raidou Kuzunoha the 14th in 1920's Japan. In that game that Yatagarasu is run out of a tiny abandoned temple in the middle of nowhere. I just tried to think "ok, 100 years later, what is the exact opposite of that?" Of course after doing my research I discovered Japan doesn't use the DMV, which is why I had an entire comic devoted to admitting the mistake
About how long have you been on the Duck? What attracted you to DD?
-I first heard about DD from a comic series I used to love called Detective Fork. That was when I first visited DD, and I've been here for about 2 and a half years now.
Obligatory question time! What other webcomics, both on the Duck and not, do you enjoy reading?
-Least I Could Do, Misery Loves Sherman, PvP, Misfile (which is another big inspiration for the Raidou comics) GG Guys, Chloroville, Sore Thumbs, honestly, I could go on, but I won't
Any words of wisdom for other aspiring writers/artists?
-Just do what you can. If you've got an idea, go for it. When I first had the idea for P3FTW, I drew the first comic on paper, scanned it into photoshop, fixed it up, made it pretty. By the time I was done, it took me 3 hours, and it wasn't even a complicated strip. For the series that updates every day, often multiple times, that wasn't gonna work. So I said "what if I just drew it in Paint?" and look where it's gotten now. So don't be afraid to make your comics anyway you can, but always try to improve yourself as an artist.
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