Webcomic series : Next Town Over
Creator : Erin Mehlos
As humble and kind as she is talented,
Erin Mehlos is one of the more gifted webcomic creator today.
Next Town Over is a masterpiece.
– Where do you come from ?
I’m from Wisconsin, US (practically Canada!), and I live there currently.
– Influences ?
Next Town Over takes a ton of pages from classic Western films, but more generally I’ve been hugely influenced by illustrators and concept artists for games and film, maybe even moreso than comic artists. If there’s any one single artist who’s influenced me more than any other it’s animator Hayao Miyazaki, even if my genre & style wouldn’t really suggest it. I think you can see it a little bit in the frequency with which I use padding and establishing shots in the comic. Another huge influence and inspiration I gotta throw in is my friend Jon Cairns.
– Art school or not ?
No art school per se. I originally started going to school for computer science, switched to visual communication, and then dropped out. I did do a lot of writing in and out of school, but I was really a late bloomer as far as finding and getting into comics.
– Your working method ?
Next Town Over was basically written years ago, and apart from minor tweaks I don’t do a ton of rewriting on it. I thumbnail whole books ahead of time if I can before I ever start on final pages. Even though I color and letter everything digitally, I still pencil traditionally and scan.
– What your webcomic is about, in a symbolic way, the hidden sense ?
Ha. I suppose it’s about how selfishness and resentment in a relationship can fester into something really pretty bad.
– How do you see your future ?
I hope to just continue growing my audience and comicking abilities slowly and steadily; the comic has really taken a backseat to my family (since I started NTO I’ve become a mom). But I have a ton of new projects up my sleeve, and when my kid goes to school full time I am sooo ready to take on more of them!
– Your next goal ?
I’ve been really (painfully) slowly drawing a second comic in the Next Town Over universe called Cutter & Ironwood that right now is an exclusive for Patreon Patrons; I really want to get it on a regular schedule and eventually take it public. I’m also working (also painfully slowly) on a game project with a friend of mine. I’d really like that to see the light of day. I’d also like to do another volume of Poor Wayfaring Strangers real soon — the first was a frontier fantasy anthology project I did with some comics friends. Man, there’s so much I want to do, honestly.
The time to do the project in your head is now, even if you don’t feel you’re up to it yet. Trust me: in 5+ years when you’ve massively leveled up your skillset you will mentally be on to something else anyway.
– Your technical secret trick ?
Oh my. Are there these? Will someone tell me one? Please?
Thanks to Erin Mehlos !
The comic: http://nexttownover.net
The comic on Tapas: https://tapas.io/series/nexttownover