Nine Twilights : Meet the dream team !
12 mins read

Nine Twilights : Meet the dream team !

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A comic is imagined, drawn, and then it exists. The strangest thing about it is that this world has its own life, so much so that sometimes we end up forgetting by reading the comic that people created it.

Nine Twilights is that kind of story came to life magically, thanks to the great inspiration of its creators Anne Mortensen-Agnew the author, Andrea Rosales the artist, and?Chris Hansbrough the editor.

Hello Anne, Andrea, welcome on Art Of Webcomics !
– Where do you come from ??
Anne: I live in Los Angeles, California!

Andrea:?I was born in Santa Monica, California and grew up in Portland, Oregon
– How old are you ? ( tell it or not !)?

Andrea:?Late 20’s
– Influences ??
Anne:?Naoko Takeuchi is my oldest and deepest influence, which you can see in the story.

Andrea:?Rumiko Takahashi, Darwin Cooke, Naoko Takeuchi, CLAMP, Stuart Immonen, Mike Allred, Mary Blair, Paulina Ganucheau, Brittney Lee, Victoria Ying, Hayao Miyazaki, Alphonse Mucha, Jack Kirby, Hiromu Arakawa
– Art school or not ??
Anne:?No, liberal arts college for life.

Andrea:?I went to a liberal arts college, Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. There I graduated with honors majoring in graphic design and animation. I’m pretty happy with the education I got?there’s a lot more I wish I could have learned technically but I’m very grateful for what I did get from the curriculum and my own independent studies. I originally came to LMU passionate about illustration and wanting nothing more than to make comics. There wasn’t an illustration class or program there but I was always fascinated by graphic design and I knew I wanted to work in animation, and they had those departments.

My academic approach was largely to fuse the knowledge I gained from the disciplines to inform my method of creating comics.

Graphic design showed me how to catch and direct a person’s eye and animation taught me how to be a clear visual storyteller with expressive characters and how to compose captivating shots. At LMU I gained incredible friendships with a tight-knit group of artists and creatives I am still very close with and it has made me a better artist as we all take time to help each other out.
– Favorite digital art software ??
Anne:?I mostly use photoshop to put MCU actors’ heads on Sailor Scouts’ bodies.

Andrea:?For drawing comics and illustration, hands down Manga Studio EX 5 has been the best for me. I used to be purely drawing with Photoshop but I just felt that I could never get my lines to be steady enough or smooth enough. I feel like my hand just floats gracefully with Manga Studio.

Manga Studio also has a fantastic color blender that lends itself really well to digital painting and I love that it’s designed to keep your pages formatted and organized within the same file.

For anything graphic design and lettering, I rely heavily on Adobe Illustrator and most of the time it’s a mix of using Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop together.
– Your working method ??

Anne:?Pen & paper, baby!

Andrea:?This comic is very much a team effort. Anne and Chris hash out story beats, Anne writes, Chris reviews it, if they get stuck on something they work together on it, Anne does rewrites and edits, Chris looks over it again, they both say it’s good and then Anne sends a script over to me.

When I get the script, I hop right into doing thumbnails and page layouts in my sketchbook and I take the time to fully pose out characters and make their expressions clear.

Upon completing all the thumbnails, I edit photos I take of em’, send those to Anne and Chris and they go over it and Anne lets me know what works and doesn’t work. There have also been a couple of times where I’ve proposed alternatives for panel layouts, character expressions & poses that Anne has agreed with. Once the layouts and thumbs are given the clear, I’m basically greenlit to do pencils (which also gets sent to Anne and Chris), and once those are approved I go inks, shading/coloring and then to lettering. I’m constantly checking in during this entire procedure to make sure we’re all on board with everything I draw. Most of the time the corrections/edits I have to do are pretty small as we’re so used to working well with each other by now that Anne and Chris get where I’m coming from and tend to like a lot of my visual choices. This process is the same for when I also do graphic design work for our promotional materials (as I am also a graphic designer) and as I make merchandise for our trade show/comic-con appearances. Just a lot of check-ins and revisions if needed.

It helps a lot that Anne, Chris and I share a lot of the same visual reference points so we can all say ” hey remember that one scene from that one episode of Sailor Moon?” or ” Remember that one panel in that one issue of Ewing’s Avengers comic?”.

Having that shared visual mental reference library is awesome and makes this process go a lot easier.
– What your webcomic is about, in a symbolic way, the hidden sense ??
Anne:?Death and rebirth

Andrea:?Nine Twilights is a comic about becoming better, about changing from your past and having the courage to make the right choices given a second chance at them. This becomes clearer as the story unfolds more and you see how each of the magical girls’ circumstances are different in their current lives than in their past lives. This will have direct impact on how they will choose to proceed in their new lives and how those decisions will affect them and those around them. It’s very much a unique coming of age story in that they not only have to navigate their own lives, but also have to confront and address complex situations left behind from their previous ones.
– Tell us more about your main character, the hero !?

Anne:?Wanda Dusekova is a surly gal who does NOT want to have to save the universe, but someone’s gotta do it!

Andrea:?Wanda Dusekova is a young Romani woman from the Czech Republic who isn’t necessarily the most trusting and upbeat person. She has a bit of a hardened shell because she and her family have experienced a lot of discrimination being Roma. She’s kind with a strong sense of justice, and she naturally just wants to do the right thing. Wanda starts this story feeling pressured by her mother to be successful, excelling in a school where she doesn’t fit the socio-economic norm and she doesn’t feel like she can easily just be herself. Encountering Baldur forces her to confront the fact that she’s not only unhappy with her life, but she feels trapped by it.

– How do you see your future ??

Andrea:?I think/hope it will be bright. I see it as a challenge because there are a lot of big things I would like to accomplish. That being said I’m excited to do all of these projects!
– Your next goal ??
Anne:?Published in a print anthology; staff writer on television

Andrea:?My next goal in addition to getting this comic printed into a book is to have the other comics I currently have in development be included in comic anthologies. In addition, I plan to create a series of children’s books and an animated series.
– Advices for beginners ??
Anne:?Put your head down and get to work. Your work will speak for itself.

Andrea:?Don’t get discouraged if your art career takes some time to get off the ground. That’s normal. Keep honing and adding to your creative skill set and don’t be afraid to seek out guidance from your peers. Your friends are one of the best professional networks you’ll have as you all grow together, work together and encourage each other. Also, the artist community on the whole is a very supportive and friendly group that I’ve found to be eager to help artists break out and become successful to boost the success of the medium of comics as a whole. In addition to practicing and?seeking out guidance, I want to add that “networking” is really just about making friends. A lot of creatives feel overwhelmed at the concept of “networking” as it has a connotation of just using people to get you places. That isn’t real “networking”? and it feels weird because it is so superficial.

You shouldn’t try and force a professional relationship thinking “what can I get out of this person?”.

That’s dishonest and people see right through that and you’ll just end up lonely. The best thing you can do it just get out there and be friendly and have people come to enjoy your presence for you just being a nice person. Grow a social circle of creatives who encourage and support you and have it grow organically through real friendship.

The two biggest things a mentor of mine told me as I was just starting out was that the most important thing is to be good at what you do and be a good person to work with (as in just be a kind, hard-working and honest person).

That’s it! Nothing more to it than that. Also, be sure to get some good rest and exercise. Don’t kill yourself for your art. I know it’s hard, but for goodness sake, you’re not going to make art you’re proud of if you’re a zombie. Take stretch breaks and eat nutritiously.
– Your technical secret trick ??
Anne:?Start with pen and paper. No distractions that way!

Andrea:?I don’t know that I have a technical secret trick per se I guess if I were to have one it’s about being able to tell if a composition reads clearly. Basically, just get up and look at your composition from across the room. If you can read the flow of action on a small scale from far way, you’re got a solid layout. If what you’re working on looks muddled or in anyway unclear, don’t be afraid to revisit it and try something different.
– Favorite quote ??
Anne:?“A thing isn’t beautiful because it lasts.”

Andrea:??I never paint dreams or nightmares. I paint my own reality.? ? Frida Kahlo
– Your social links and website ??
Anne: Twitter: @annesplains
Andrea:?IG/Twitter: @andrealrosales


Many Thanks to the Nine Twilights dream team: Anne, Andrea and Chris !