Woodlands: Exclusive interview with Sam Bowen & Ari Pluchinsky
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Woodlands: Exclusive interview with Sam Bowen & Ari Pluchinsky

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Uncover the root of Woodlands dark magic with its two fantastic creators :

We are pleased to welcome Sam and Ari !

Hi both ! 

– Where do you come from ? 
Lancaster, PA
– How old are you ? 
Both 23
– Influences ? 
Comics like Elfquest, anime/manga, animated films… adventure stories in general!
– Art school or not ? 
Both of us graduated with a BFA in illustration from Pennsylvania College of Art & Design. We valued our time there most of all for the connections we made. Our professors were knowledgable artists in the field to assist and promote us, and we met our mentor and now good friend Jeff McComsey (creator of the Fubar comics). A plus is also having those years available for us to play, experiment, and fail with little consequence as we discovered our process and style.
– Favorite digital art software ? 
Adobe Photoshop

– Your working method ? 
We write the script together. Ari will start with rough thumbnails and pencils, then Sam will ink it digitally. Afterwards, Ari adds the dialogue and paints the characters and Sam paints the backgrounds! We switch off on who illustrates the covers and supplemental artwork.

– What your webcomic is about, in a symbolic way, the hidden sense ? 
Woodlands, like many of our stories, is a kind of coming of age tale. We are still very early in the story, so without giving too much away Edwyn and Renny’s journey reflects self growth and acceptance. Learning that what you can do and what you have accomplished matters regardless of uncontrollable circumstances.
– Tell us more about your main character, the hero ! 
Edwyn and Renny were both raised together in a small secluded woodland village called Arbora. Edwyn is a skilled magic user taking after his grandfather Cashel, a well known alchemist. Edwyn feels like he’s living in his grandfather’s shadow and because of this he puts a lot of pressure on himself to be perfect. He’s a good boy and often takes it into his own hands to do the right thing, but his perfectionist attitude tends to trip him up. In contrast to Edwyn, Renny is extremely independent and is way more laid back. Renny deals with a sleeping disorder that causes him to be awake for weeks at a time, so he joined the village night watch to put his time to good use. Edwyn and Renny’s approach to life can be summed up as book smart vs street smart. They balance each other’s shortcomings well. And hey, opposites attract.

– How do you see your future ? 
Woodlands has a planned end, but even so it will take some time to get there. We plan for 3 volumes in total but we also have plans to expand the world and throw in supplemental stories.

– Your next goal ? 
We’re in the process of preparing to launch a Kickstarter for a limited run printing of the first chapter, as well as exclusive page-by-page commentary and extra goodies!
– Advices for beginners ? 
Train. Get strong. Punch through a whole planet… or you could just read absolutely anything you can get your grubby hands on. Don’t restrict yourself to what you think people want to see. Write the things you want to read. At the end of the day your own fulfillment will mean more than catering to a specific audience. Your audience will find you. And remember, there is no substitution for dedication and practice!

– Your technical secret trick ? 
Starting off with a very small and well rendered thumbnail. I’m talking 1×2 inches. Then scan that thumbnail and print out a blue line version to pencil over. Saves you from getting lost in the weeds and gives you a better understanding of your composition.

– Woodlands social links and website ?

Website: woodlandscomic.com

Webtoons: webtoons.com/woodlands

Patreon: patreon.com/woodlandscomic

Twitter: twitter.com/woodlandscomic

Tumblr: woodlandscomic.tumblr.com/

Thanks to Sam & Ariana for their enthusiasm !