Interview with Sarah Ellerton, webcomic author
From 2004 to 2007, Sarah Ellerton regaled the Internet with her award-winning tale of high fantasy, Inverloch. After she completed her 750+ page epic, she immediately began working on a Victorian-style supernatural piece entitled The Phoenix Requiem. Her works have gained her a broad fan base, stretching all over the Internet and the world itself. They even became so popular that volumes 1 and 2 of Inverloch were published. This native Australian has captivated the world with her tales for years, providing us with plenty food for thought, and recently, I got the chance to ask Sarah a few questions
Sabrina Fritz: How did you get your start doing webcomics?
Sarah Ellerton: I’d been doing art for a while, but I guess I was beginning to get bored with just doing fanart and images without stories. A friend introduced me to some online comics, and I thought it was a great direction to take my hobby. I hadn’t been much of a comic reader before hand, but I jumped right in anyway!
SF: Have your surroundings in Australia influenced your work at all?
SE: Not intentionally. I find it hard to draw a more english landscape, since in comparison Australia is so brown, has completely different kinds of trees, and has fewer bright and colourful flowers (where I leave, at least).
SF: What facilitated the change from high fantasy to Victorian horror?
SE: Fantasy was a good place to start. It’s popular, easy to write, there’s little to no real research required since you can pull everything from your imagination, and adventure quests practically write themselves. But I wanted to do something different for my next story, something less common, and something that would require me to delve into history a bit. I’ve actually learned a lot about the Victorian era, which has been great.
SF: Are you planning on exploring any other genres in future works?
SE: I will be illustrating a comic set in the 1930s soon, though I’m not the writer, I still get to do some research of fashion and culture of the time. For myself, I would like to write something set in the modern day.
SF: Do you ever feel any specific effects from being one of the most popular and well-known author/artists on the Internet?
SE: I am? Honestly, it doesn’t feel like it. I hardly get any emails…
SF: Do you have a favorite character out of all the ones that you’ve written and drawn over the years?
SE: I think Jonas is my favourite as he’s the most likable, but I don’t know if he’s really the ‘best’ character I’ve written.
SF: A few quick-eyed readers noticed that you had drawn in Varden and Lei’ella, two iconic characters from Inverloch, in a scene in The Phoenix Requiem. There are also numerous references to da’kor, a wolfish species of your own creation, and Acheron, the protagonist of Inverloch. Are there more cameos planned for the future? Are we going to get more stories from the Inverloch world someday?
SE: I think that’s it for cameos. They were just there to keep the Inverloch fans happy while I was still getting properly underway with the story 🙂 I would consider writing another story set in the same world, but I would only do it if there was a good story to tell. I wouldn’t do it just for nostalgia or as fanservice.
SF: A couple years back, you struck a deal with Seven Seas Entertainment to publish Inverloch in its entirety. Now, you’re working with IndyPlanet to achieve that. Do you have any publishing plans for The Phoenix Requiem in the pipeline?
SE: Nothing planned. I would like to approach some more print publishers, but I’ve had no luck so far. Getting it printed myself is an option – I recently looked at quotes for that – but it is an expensive venture. I understand why publishers are so reluctant to print colour!
SF: I know that when you were starting out with Inverloch, your dream was to make the comic into a game. Do you have any plans for any media outside of the comics world, like novels, etc.?
SE: I’m sticking with comics for now – that takes up enough time as it is. That’s where the stories work best, as they aren’t really suited to games, movies or the like.
Sarah’s website, which houses the complete Inverloch saga and the continuing Phoenix Requiem, is hosted at www.seraph-inn.com.
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