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Comichaus Meets: JWC

Today we meet creator, writer & artist, JWC!

/media/blog/library/jwc.jpgPlease introduce yourself and your team (if you have one).

Hi! I’m JWC, indie comics creator from Phoenix, Arizona. 

I started making comics in 2013 after creating a work for my university’s comics magazine. Recently, I’ve been working on Lost Time, which is a (mostly) slice-of-life anthology series about the few choices available between the past and future. 

I enjoy exploring different approaches to storytelling, and I often try to experiment with my art style to better serve the tone or setting of the narrative. Like a lot of indie comics creators, I’m making comics in my spare time. It’s sometimes frustrating how slowly I have to work, but in the end it all feels worth it.  

I hope using initials as my name doesn’t seem too odd. I decided not to publish using my real name because there’s a prolific author with a name very similar to mine, and every pen name I could think of came off as either pretentious or pointless.

What are some of the comics that inspired you to start creating your own? Any creators in particular?

When I first started making comics, I read Neil Gaiman’sSandmanseries, which really set the bar for me in terms of comics as literature. 

Growing up, I mostly read manga. CLAMP is still my favorite creative team, and as a teenager I had a bookshelf filled with nothing but their graphic novels. I’m still sad that X/1999is never going to be officially concluded. I think that experience of waiting and disappointment has led me to avoid wanting to make long-form stories in comics. I don’t want to risk starting something and not being able to finish it. 

Currently, I don’t have much room for physical comics and graphic novels in my apartment, so I prioritize art books. I find that they are better fodder for creativity than most narrative works. 

However, I think the two graphic novels I have that I love the most are Orange and Remember by Benjamin Zhang Bin. They are beautiful, painful, personal, and universal. I am so happy that I live in a world where those works exist.  

How much of your own personality goes into your character(s)?

This is a hard question, because I tend to write my characters’ flaws first. When I first conceive of someone, they’re mostly id (in the Freudian sense): all base emotions, goals, and fears. As a result, they come off as very selfish and unlikeable in interactions, and I find them quite unsympathetic.  For me, writing is actually a process of trying to make them more humane, adding layers of self-control, empathy, care, and consideration for others. 

I try to get to a point where I could say to them “I’m sorry I had such disdain for you. It wasn’t your fault.” I think characters have to be at a point where they feel real to you as the author before they can feel real to anyone else. 

Where did you draw your inspiration from?

When I first started this project, the idea was to create a series of stories where each issue was loosely inspired by one of the rooms in Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Masque of the Red Death” and one of Erik Erikson’s stages of psychosocial development. Obviously, since there are seven of one and eight of the other, this was a questionable venture from the start.

Also, there’s this one book that I never got the chance to read. I don’t remember the title, author, or any character names, just the vague description on the back cover which focused mainly on the fear of a gathering storm. I’ve always wondered what actually happened in that book, and since I can’t find it, I keep trying to recreate what it might have been.

What struggles have you faced with the creation of, and producing, the final release?

For me, curation is the hardest part of constructing the story. I create expansive interconnected backstories for my characters, and then I have to pick out one narrative thread to focus on. 

For this series, I made the decision to complete the art on all of the issues before publishing any of them. Right now that’s a huge relief for me, because I don’t have to worry about making sure the next issue will be ready on time. However, I think that decision caused me a lot of stress during the production because I was working with no external feedback. It’s actually caused me to have a bit of burnout, and I haven’t drawn anything in the past few weeks. 

What do fans need to know going into their first issue of your comic?

I don’t think there’s anything that people need to know (at least, there’s not much I can say without going into spoilers). Issue 1 is a non-linear narrative, so that might be jarring for the first few pages, but I promise it evens out. That being said, you may have to read it more than once to pick up on everything that is happening. 

Memory and loss play a big part in this first issue, so just know that, if I am successful in my goals, you may be fairly sad by the end. But that’s the price of caring.

What have you got coming up in the future? Are you working on more issues?

Yes, there will be a total of 7 issues of Lost Time. The series is an anthology, so each issue is a self-contained story. 

Each issue is the result of me trying to tackle specific goals in terms of art or writing. For example, issue 1 is about non-linear storytelling and anxiety. Issue 3 experiments with panel composition and is my first time writing fantasy. Issue 7 focuses on an unreliable narrator and algorithmically generated line-art. 

 As of right now, the first 4 issues have been released on ComixCentral, and issue 2 will be published soon on the Comichaus app and Comixology.


You can read JWC's title over on the Comichaus App now, or or find out more over on the Comichaus Marketplace by clicking on the cover images below.

G-Man

The Citric Arc 2015 #0
Lost Time 2019 Vol.1 #1

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