An Interview with Kittyhawk
We love the cover you did for us. What inspired the work and tell us about its unique style.
Thank you! I’m happy you like it. I was inspired by the Von Braun/Disney cartoons of the 1950s. I love the flat-style of the Space Age, and I thought it would be perfect for the first issue of a SciFi magazine. I hope I was able to capture that.
When did you realize that you had an interest in being an artist?
Since the beginning, I think. Many of my earliest memories are of drawing.
You have a very popular manga webcomic, what influenced you to focus on this style of art?
I lived in Japan when I was a little girl, so I think the Japanese style seeped into my bones. I do have some American influences such as Tex Avery and Chuck Jones. I also dig Kevin Maguire’s art in Justice League International. That man can do facial expressions like none other. I guess my style is a combo of American and Japanese styles, with the Japanese being more dominant.
How and when did you decide to start SGVY?
It was the summer of 2002, and my first webcomic, the Jar, had just ended. I decided that I wanted to do a magical girl series with a boy as the magical girl. After thinking about it for a while, I decided I wanted to do a magical girl series with a transgendered hero who was also a valkyrie. The rest is history.
Sounds like a lot of fun. So how did this idea become SGVY?
Sparkling Generation Valkyrie Yuuki or SGVY is the story of a magical girl fanboy who is transformed into the Valkyrie by a magical DVD sent by the messenger god Hermod on behalf of the Norse Gods who need a champion to fight the evil forces of the fire giant Surt. Mostly it’s about Sexy Fun.
I understand that you decided to be exclusively online. We are doing the same thing with RSF. What led you to make that decision?
When I started SGVY, I thought about doing print eventually, but then I looked at the prices for print. They were too much for me, and it got me thinking: why do print? And it was then that I decided that I would find a way to go completely digital. The comic is and will always be free online. I have sold SGVY as a collection with the Jar on Comic CD and USB comic archive, which were a hit.
Now I admit the price for print has gone down since I last thought about it, but once again, why do print? The Internet reaches so many more people, and more and more people have mobile devices. Why not embrace this new world where a person can publish from their home to computers, tablets, and phones for practically nothing? Why kill trees just for the feel, the smell, and the tangibility for so much more money?
There is no reason except for nostalgia. Don’t get me wrong; that smell of a freshly unwrapped SNES cartridge is like nothing else. However, they aren’t manufactured anymore, and they shouldn’t be. I like my Wii just fine.
You have developed quite a following. What do you do now beyond the website alone to keep in touch with your fans?
I use Facebook, Twitter, my blog, the site’s RSS feed, Montrose Academy Forums, and IM to connect with my readers. I think I am well connected. ^_^
So what appearances do you have scheduled in the near future?
I will be at Otakon 2010 this July 30~August 1 in Baltimore, Anime Weekend Atlanta this September 17-19, and Tsubasacon this October 1-3 in Huntington, WV. I will be a judge for the Make-a-Manga Tournament at Otakon, and I will have an Artists’ Alley table at all of the cons. I hope to see you there!
We’re pleased to have you involved in Redstone Science Fiction and look forward to seeing more art from you in the future.
Thank you so much for letting me work with you! I look forward to doing more art for Redstone in the future. Thank you for interviewing me! ^_^