Spotlight

Heirs of the Veil – An Urban Fantastical Fantasy

Phineas and Jasper Klier are a power couple and creators of an LGBTQ+ urban fantasy comic called Heirs of the Veil. Jasper Klier is a media designer by day and a comic author by night. When he is not working on Heirs of the Veil, he works on his own comic, the gay comedy Flatsharing and occasionally makes videos for Youtube. Phineas Klier is a German freelance illustrator, who mainly works in comics.

Jasper and Phineas are happily married and own a cat named Pumpkin.

Synopsis: The inexperienced witch Victoria Seel arrives in the town Port Arbores after receiving a mysterious letter from her mother, who has vanished under peculiar circumstances a year prior. After a run-in with a wind-spirit, the secret protector of the town called the Strayer might be able to help her, but the search for clues turns out to be more difficult than first expected. Soon Victoria has to face a threat directly linked to her mother’s disappearance.

Did you go to school for either art or writing? If so, what school?
We are both self-taught artists and writers, however Phineas was able to attend life drawing and a few creative writing classes, for example screenwriting, at his current university.

What is the process like for creating comic pages between writer and artist? Is there any collaborative effort or is it strictly working from a script?
Our workflow is pretty fluid. Both of us work on the script and we frequently discuss the progress there, so we don’t run into big writing blocks. Thumbnails and page layouts are mostly sketched out by Jasper, but Phineas will frequently change some things in editorial when translating the thumbnails to the actual page. Sometimes Phineas takes over thumbnail duties (chapter 3 was almost entirely thumbed by Phin).

Sketching, inking, backgrounds, lighting and shading are done by Phineas, Jasper is doing character flat-colors. Until recently Jasper was also doing lettering, but it had proven more easy to just let Phin letter right before sketching the page.

When the page is done, Jasper prepares it for web and print!

Are there any advantages to working on a comic as part of a creative couple? What about disadvantages?
I feel there is less of a burn-out-effect while working on the single pages, since we switch them around so much. It also helps to have somebody to always discuss plot points with or get feedback at any stage of the progress.

I guess the downside would be that our ideas don’t match 100% all of the time so we have to talk about them a bit more thoroughly than if we were both working at our own.

Do you have any favorite artists who influenced your style?
For Phineas it’s definitely Barbera Canepa and Alessandro Barbucci and for Jasper it would be Jamie Hewlett.

How long does it take to finish a comic page?
It depends. For early pages it took up to 20 or more hours to finish a page, by now we streamlined the process a bit, so every step takes only 1 to 5 hours depending on how detailed the page is, making it overall 6 to 15 hours depending on the complexity.

What is your process like for creating comic pages from script to finish? What tools do you use?
We’re using Google Documents for script-writing and notes, a notebook and pencil for layouts and Clip Studio Paint to draw the actual pages.

The process starts with writing the script and drawing thumbnails/layouts accordingly. A lot of the time this will lead to major edits in the script throughout.

Since we are working on a webcomic and update 1 to 2 times a week we start with drawing the actual pages relatively soon, so script and thumbnails are not finished when we start a new chapter.

In most cases we manage to catch up with the script pretty soon after. For chapter 1 and 2 we stayed very close to the script and didn’t edit much while working on the actual pages, while chapter 3 and 4 underwent some very heavy edits of both script and thumbnails to make the flow better and keep the story moving.

I guess we’re relatively chaotic in that approach but it keeps things interesting.

How long did it take you to plan the comic before even beginning to physically create it?
The time between planning Heirs of the Veil and actually starting to draw pages was relatively short. We have been adapting it from an older work, that was in development for some years, but the overall time was just a few months. Planning started in July 2016, from July to September we did character designs, some background work, environments and concepts and then started working on pages in September to launch in October.

I don’t think that’s the norm however, another project Phineas is working on, Void Music, has been in development since 2016 and just 2020 he started working on actual comic pages.

Approximately how long will Heirs of the Veil be when it’s complete? Is there a definitive ending or will it just keep going as long as you have more ideas?
Right now we are planning 4 to 5 books with 120 comic-pages each. Depending on how the story will pan out there might be more or less books.

We are already planning a sequel comic to take place a few years after the events of Heirs of the Veil, with a more slice-of-life structure, where we want to highlight some of the things that didn’t make it into the main story.

What was the biggest hurdle you faced during the course of making Heirs of the Veil? 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?
The biggest hurdle was (and still is) that Phineas has a hard time noticing when he’s going overboard with all the details and sometimes he needs to be reminded that the actual page will not show all of this online or in print.

I would actually go back in time to tell ourselves that we should get a good grip on speech bubble layout and lettering before starting the comic.

What was your favorite part about working on Heirs of the Veil?
Phin’s favorite part was and still is working on backgrounds. It’s such a joy to breath life into a world through its environments. He takes a lot of time to think about how a certain place should look, what details it has and what makes it feel like a place that is actually inhibited my people.

Jasper’s favorite part is that he gets to tell the stories he wants to tell without someone giving him any limitations. He is happy that he can tell stories about people who are like him.

What was your LEAST favorite part about working on Heirs of the Veil?
Phin’s least favorite part is sketching the pages, since he is very set on making them look as polished as possible for no reason.

Jasper’s least favorite part is coming up with filler to connect certain points in the story or to think about how a character goes from point A to point B.

Do you have a favorite character to write for? If so, why? Tell us more about them!
Phin’s favorite character to write is Cortez, because he can relate to many of his struggles and works through some of his own hang-ups by writing Cort. He’s someone who has troubles showing his emotions, is kind of touch-aversed (while craving physical closeness) and is desperately trying to prove his worth and that’s just very relatable to Phin.

Jasper’s favorites are Eleven and Victoria, because he loves their dynamic and they’re just the kinds of characters he likes to write most. Both of them are rather extroverted, Victoria being a bit naive and Eleven being more sly. They have some darker, hidden parts to their personalities and Jasper is excited to explore these more!

Do you have a LEAST favorite character to write for? If so, why? Tell us about them!
There are not characters that Phin and Jasper don’t like to write, but some are harder than others. Eleven is a very complex character and Phin has some troubles to completely grasp her personality at times. For Jasper he has troubles writing the doll, since he struggles with villainous characters and there is a specific pattern to her dialogue that he can’t get into at times.

Do you have a favorite character to draw?
Phin’s favorite character to draw is Cort. He has a very distinct look and is easy to work with for that reason.

Do you have a LEAST favorite character to draw?
Phin likes drawing all of the characters, but Victoria is sometimes a little hard on him, since she has less distinctive features than other characters and he struggles to keep her on model every once in a while.

Where can we find you?
The comic can be found at http://heirsoftheveil.fervorcraft.de and https://tapas.io/series/Heirs-of-the-Veil while our twitter handles are https://twitter.com/phineas_klier and https://twitter.com/SpitefulPumpkin

Anything else you want the people to know about yourself or your comic?
We love working on this comic and we hope people can feel our enjoyment while reading it!

Have you read Heirs of the Veil 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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