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DF Interview: Linda Sejic’s web comic comes to the printed page in Blood Stain V1
By Byron Brewer
A creepy mad scientist and a talented slacker team up to accomplish… something impressive and potentially terrifying, in Blood Stain V (volume) 1, Top Cow’s print collection of Linda Sejic’s webcomic, due out in March.
The comic is set on the Mediterranean coast, and it’s in the same world as Sunstone, a comic by Linda’s husband Stjepan Sejic about a BDSM relationship between two women.
Intrigued? So were we, so your DF staff sat down with the creator to get the skinny.
Dynamic Forces: Linda, for the uninitiated please explain to us what Blood Stain was and how it is coming in March to Top Cow as a series of graphic novels.
Linda Sejic: Blood Stain started back in 2012 as a web comic hosted originally on deviantart. It grew rather popular and since fans wanted a physical copy of it, we are here now.
DF: What can you tell us about the storyline?
Linda Sejic: The storyline is about a young woman called Elliot dealing with real life struggles of finding and keeping a job, but also about finding her own place in the real world and in the society, told in a rather humorous way. On the other side, it is also about misconceptions we have about others and how easy we are to judge people based on their appearance.
DF: And who is Elliot Torres, as a character, in your writer’s perception?
Linda Sejic: Elliot is a young woman fresh out of college looking for a job. A series of failures and situations in her family life made her very insecure. Despite that, she is determined in her attempts to help her family at all costs (Even if it takes to move to another city to work for a "mad scientist.") and in a way prove herself to her sister, who she very much looks up to. She also has a very vivid imagination, which makes her a fun character to follow around.
DF: Who is Dr. Vlad Stein (and how deliciously evil is that name; part Dracula, part Frankenstein, lol)?
Linda Sejic: I cannot reveal too much about Vlad other than that he is a scientist, for spoiler reasons. But I can safely say that he is not all that he appears to be on the surface – heh heh -- and he was actually named when my husband and I were bouncing ideas. Vlad is always seemingly covered in blood and the name rhymed with blood and we were crazy about making puns, which is also how the title came to be what it is now.
Since through the story I will dismantle misconceptions about Vlad's character, the Blood Stain title seemed perfect for the book, because indeed it is a book that shouldn’t be judged by its cover in more ways than one. (wink)
DF: What was the inspiration for Blood Stain?
Linda Sejic: It was a picture my husband drew for me to cheer me up when I was at a low point in my life. I liked the picture so much that it inspired me to explore more about these characters.
DF: Is it hard for you to blend humor and horror?
Linda Sejic: I've never really thought about it, it just came together naturally. This story started as a horror/drama, but through Elly's way of thinking it turned all of the horror elements into humor.
DF: Since, like Jim Starlin in days of old, you ARE the creative team, tell us how you go about “creating” – the process.
Linda Sejic: I start the writing by drawing the characters. Sketched out expressions tell me much more about what they feel than what I am capable of describing as a writer. They just speak to me much better.
I plan out the goal for each comic strip, and I sketch the characters and write the dialogs above their heads. When the strip is done in sketch form, I give it out to my husband and two of my best friends for a read. In this stage I lettered and placed all the speech bubbles in their place to spare them from trying to decipher my scribbly handwriting. Their feedback in this stage is very important to me because a fresh pair of eyes will always be able to spot inconsistencies or a bad flow in the storytelling that I might have overlooked.
After I received the feedback I draw the line-art and place flat colors on the characters. After that is done, I work on the backgrounds. Then comes the shading, and overall finishing touches, and the strip is complete and ready for sending.
This is one such example of my workflow: http://sigeel.deviantart.com/art/i-am-in-a-sharing-mood-today-XD-527042453
The finished product: http://sigeel.deviantart.com/art/70-514029959
DF: Linda, are there any projects current or near-future you are working on that you’d like to mention?
Linda Sejic: For the time being, I will be working on Blood Stain, but there is also one other secret project I will be working on in the near future with a writer Matt Hawkins, which will be another really fun slice of life story and I am very much looking forward to it.
Dynamic Forces would like to thank Linda Sejic for taking time out of his busy schedule to answer our questions. Blood Stain V1 hits stores March 16th!
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