Spotlight

LECTRO – An Escaped Socially Awkward Science Experiment Gone Awry

Jeremy 7 is a casual webcomic creator from South Carolina. Ever since he discovered webcomics, his wanted to create his own. Part of it was that he never really had a chance to get into physical comics. Some of his other hobbies include LEGO, video games, and planning for Halloween. He is the creator of LECTRO!

Synopsis: After escaping from a secret lab, the socially inept LECTRO Unit No. 7084 is found by Venus Mercury, who lets him crash at her place. After being dubbed Toby Lectro, he finds out that Venus is also a vigilante superhero. With the secret out, Venus gets the idea to use crimefighting as a way to teach Toby about life in Outer City. Together, they’ll keep the streets of Outer City safe, with help from fellow supers Neypalm Veyper and Glo-Stick.

Did you go to school for either art or writing? If so, what school?
I did not, I did take some high school art classes, but that’s about it.

What is the main genre of your comic? What appeals to you about that genre?
I’d say LECTRO currently leans deeper into the Comedy side of Action-Comedy. As a child, I had attention problems, and could barely focus on serious shows, such as Justice League. I could, however, pay attention to America’s Funniest Home Videos, The Powerpuff Girls, and Super-Friends. I also have a desire to try and make people laugh.

What was your inspiration for the story?
That’s a long rabbit hole to go down. I’ll try to break it down into relevant pieces.
Toby was inspired by a dream I had, where a technopath fought the Powerpuff Girls. This character underwent a bit of evolution, going from a smug criminal to a generally clueless but affable hero. His civilian best friend became a crime-fighter named Venus Mercury, who then gained a few powers.

As for the story itself, when you have OCs for a few years, you start planning. I admit that I don’t quite have an ultimate “end goal”, probably because I grew up on 90’s and early 2000’s cartoons, made for syndication, where the ultimate goal was to save the world or town or whatever. So I’m mostly running on the question, “How does a socially awkward superhero take to living in a big city?”

Do you have any favorite artists or writers who influenced your style?
My art style is definitely inspired by 90’s cartoon network shows, such as Dexter’s Lab and The Powerpuff Girls. (That’s three times I’ve mentioned that show in this interview.) So I guess Genndy Tartakovsky and Craig McCracken are my biggest influences, art-wise.

How long does it take you to complete one page?
I’m lazy. But when I decide to draw a page, I complete the lineart in minutes. When I’m ready, I then put the drawing on a computer and mess with it in GIMP, which usually also takes minutes.

What is your process like for creating comic pages from start to finish? What tools do you use?
After a bit of planning, I write out a chapter script in Word Online, that I then go through and improve a bit. I then use a sketchbook and pencil (and several erasers, a ruler, and a glass-free picture frame for the page border) to draw the pages. Usually, once I have a chapter of pages drawn, I use a printer to scan the drawings, so that I can work on them in GIMP. After applying Threshold, I color the pages in, fixing any gaps in the lineart while I do so. Then I put the dialogue onto the page, in a separate layer, and put it in speech bubbles. Finally, I scale the image down to a manageable size.

That said, I’m not… too consistent with this. The first two chapters and most of their filler was done completely by hand, aside from scanning and scaling – the only completed chapters so far with the new method are a little side-story about a villain, and a Christmas chapter. I also tend to write filler comics on a whim, without the script.

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?
LECTRO is probably going to run for a while, unless something happens to me. Like, I’ll probably still be working on it in a decade. And I’m not quite at the point where I need to wrap things up, so for now I’m just writing the story as it comes to me.

How long did it take you to plan the comic before even beginning to physically create it?
Let’s see… I think the comic idea came to me early 2013? It was back in High School, anyways. I came up with stories for it, constantly shifting ideas, past graduation, until early 2018, when I took a script that I wrote, and put it to paper.

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?
After I started to upload Chapter 1, I figured I could wait and start working on, and uploading, Chapter 2, with a weeklong interval.
Yeah, big mistake.

I wound up burning myself out with an unsatisfying backlog, not helped by a loss in the family, and, besides filler, wound up with a long period of being unproductive.

As for the pep talk…
-GIMP isn’t that hard!
-Work on your handwriting!
-Watch your good hand, you’ll develop tendinitis.
-Your artstyle may not look too good, but you’re gonna improve!

What is your favorite part about working on your comic?
I actually quite like filler, it’s an excuse for silly little jokes that a larger chapter wouldn’t allow.

What is the most difficult part about working on your comic? How do you overcome it?
Dialogue. I’m not good with natural conversation. For the first few chapters, I had my sister read it and bring up points to improve, but after making an ass of myself about her not doing anything, I apologized and absolved her of the duty. So now I check dialogue myself.

Do you have a favorite character to write for? If so, why? Tell us more about them!
Toby, being the main character, is the easiest character to write, but Treefrog is a LOT of fun because of her irreverent attitude! The daughter of a newspaper editor, Jessie Eldar commits crimes for a sense of purpose in life. But because she does everything on a whim, she fluctuates between competent criminal, a load to bear, or even a heroine herself.

Which character gives you the most difficulty to write for?
So far… Venus. She’s supposed to be very moral, but in Chapter 1, she dumped Treefrog in a trashcan. So now I realize I have to keep my heroes from being massive jerks.

Do you have a favorite character to draw?
Toby Lectro himself, if only because of his hair spikes.

Which character gives you the most difficulty to draw?
Glo-Stick! I like her character design but there’s so many details! Rotten nose, eyebrows, her hairstyle, the grey stripes on her jacket, her symbols… but again, she has a sweet character design so it’s worth it when I get it right.

Where can we find you?
LECTRO can be found at this link: http://lectro.thecomicseries.com/

My ComicFury profile is: https://comicfury.com/profile.php?username=Jeremy7

I have a Twitter but I barely do anything. https://twitter.com/J3r3mySeven

There’s also a DeviantArt. https://www.deviantart.com/j3r3my7

Finally, for a story set in the same world as LECTRO, but much darker and decidedly NOT for younger audiences, check out Pine Hill Creature Feature! http://pinehillcreaturefeature.thecomicseries.com/

Anything else you want the people to know about yourself or your comic?
Nah, I’m good, thank you, though!

Have you read LECTRO 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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