Spotlight

Has-been Kreature Tamers Struggle to Reclaim Glory! – Battle Kreaturez

Amphurious is just some freelance artist on the internet. He cursed with executive dysfunction and a maniacal urge to create. He keeps pet reptiles and collect toy monsters. He is the creator of Battle Kreaturez.

Synopsis: Battle Kreaturez is the story of a group of professional monster tamers struggling to revive their failing business.

Set in the world of Dimentiara, Battle Kreaturez follows the exploits of the Wyldcard team; a group of professional Kreature Tamers who have hit rock bottom in the Kreature Combat circuit. They used to be considered a promising team with a lot of potential, but they’ve fallen on hard times and are now viewed as a bunch of has-beens. The story follows their trials and tribulations as they struggle to not only reclaim their former status but to rise above it.

Did you go to school for either art or writing? If so, what school?
I haven’t had any formal art or writing education beyond high school art class.

What is the main genre of your comic? What appeals to you about that genre?
I guess Battle Kreaturez would count as equal parts scifi, action, comedy and drama. I basically just threw all the stuff I liked into it so I would have fun doing it!

What was your inspiration for the story?
People tend to write off Battle Kreaturez as a Pokemon ripoff but it was only a partial influence. Some other, perhaps less obvious inspirations for Battle Kreaturez in its current form were Godzilla, Zoids, Animorphs, Jurassic Park and The Legend of Zelda, along with more general inspirations from nature and mythology. Basically the stuff I’m personally interested in or that had a formative influence on me tends to feed directly back into my work.

Do you have any favorite artists or writers who influenced your style?
Some of my favourite artists include Bill Watterson, Michiro Ueyama, Gary Larson, Akira Toriyama, Don Bluth, Ray Harryhausen, Hayao Miyazaki and Bob Eggleton, as well as the various webcomic and freelance artists I follow.

How long does it take you to complete one page?
If I’m well rested, free of distraction and put my mind to it, I can usually finish a comic page in a day or two.

What is your process like for creating comic pages from start to finish? What tools do you use?
Most of my penciling is done traditionally, but the rest of my process is digital. Photoshop used to be my software of choice, but I’ve increasingly grown fond of Clip Studio Paint. I still use both but I hope to wean myself off Photoshop entirely at some point.

Is your comic a finished work? If no, how long do you think you think it’s going to be when it’s complete? Is there a definitive ending or will you just keep going for as long as possible?
Battle Kreaturez is a work in progress! I do have an ending in mind but it’s a long ways off. I honestly thought I’d be a lot further along now than I currently am!

How long did it take you to plan the comic before even beginning to physically create it?
Battle Kreaturez actually spent 16 years in development before I formally launched it in the September of 2015. Before that it went through about seven reboots, culminating in its current incarnation.

What was the biggest hurdle you faced during the course of making of your comic? If you could go back in time to the point where you just started making it and give yourself a pep talk, what would you say?
I would tell myself to start off with more than four pages in reserve and not to keep my backups on a single flash drive! When I first launched my comic I’d intended to spend the entire summer preparing pages in advance but my flash drive was corrupted and I spent a harrowing few weeks trying to extract all my files from it. With only a few pages in reserve I eventually burnt myself out in 2016 and took a several year-long sabbatical.

What is your favorite part about working on your comic?
Coming up with ideas is probably the most fun part of the process. I love designing and developing characters, I love world building. My brain is constantly spewing ideas and it can be exhausting trying to keep up with it physically. Sometimes I wish I could just, like, beam my ideas fully formed into existence.

What is the most difficult part about working on your comic? How do you overcome it?
Colouring, specifically flatting. Thank goodness for Clip Studio’s paint bucket tool. I enjoy shading and highlights a bit more but I wish I were better at it. I feel like I’ve stagnated a bit. Oh, and backgrounds. Particularly drawing buildings, vehicles, and anything else that’s rigid and symmetrical.

Do you have a favorite character to write for? If so, why? Tell us more about them!
My favourite characters are Dennis, Kristy, Ben and the Tassin Twins. Dennis and Kristy have been the primary characters that have existed through most of the comic’s development, so I’m very familiar with them and writing them comes easily to me. I feel they have a very strong character dynamic. Ben is an adorable hard-luck sort of character, and as an author, characters like that are fun to torment. The Tassin Twins are naughty, eccentric and fun to bounce off other characters, especially Ben.

Which character gives you the most difficulty to write for?
Amy was a really difficult character to figure out initially. In an effort to streamline things, I’d actually cobbled her together from several different characters that existed in earlier drafts of the story. I’ve got a much better handle on her now, though. Broadly speaking, I find characters more difficult to write when I haven’t clearly defined their motives or personalities yet; I tend to come up with designs first and figure the rest out later.

Do you have a favorite character to draw?
My aforementioned favourites, plus Amy, Kate and some upcoming spoilery characters I’m eager to introduce. :>

Which character gives you the most difficulty to draw?
One of the advantages to starting out with a character’s design before anything else is that I can weed them out early if they’re no fun to draw. That said, applying Dennis’ tattoos can sometimes be tedious, though saving them as pre-made assets has made my workload smoother.

Where can we find you?
My webcomic can be read at https://www.battlekreaturez.com. If you enjoy my work, feel free to contribute to my Patreon to see exclusive artwork and other goodies! https://www.patreon.com/amphurious.

Have you read Battle Kreaturez yet? Let us know what you think in the comments! Or, hey, go to the creator’s site and show some love 😀

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