Spotlight

Monsters Unite to Save the Universe from Ancient Evil! Monster Band

Evelynn Sinclaire is a self-taught artist hailing from the far-off, foreign land of Tampa, FL, though presently she makes her hermitage in the mystical and unknown land of Salinas, Puerto Rico. As a mercenary of old, she used to take on odd jobs, such as commercial cleaning and retail, but now, in her golden age of 24, she is an artisan by trade, making her living via commissions, and receiving a small monthly stipend from her guild, known as Patreon Dot Com. She is the creator of Monster Band.

Click on this image to see some sweet, sweet animation!

Synopsis: Monster Band is a pretty straightforward story that takes the long, scenic route to be told. The large, overarching story of Monster Band is about a sexy demon from Earth named Chad, an equally sexy demon from outer space named Kat, and a tiny off-brand vampire lady named Vera leading a team of artisans of different talents and different strokes to fight evils unknown, and free Earth from the mystical forces that shackle the potential of all monster people living on Earth.

In doing so, they unknowingly release an ancient, slumbering evil that aims to destroy the universe! The heroes of this story must warp both space and time to subdue the evil and save not just mankind and monsterkind, but the entire universe as well.

Did you go to school for either art or writing? If so, what school?
I am self taught! Been teaching myself how to draw since I picked up a how to draw manga book at the young prime age of nine, and I’ve been teaching myself how to animate since sometime in the middle of 2016.

What is the main genre of your comic? What appeals to you about that genre?
If I had to nail one primary genre to it, I’d call Monster Band a mystery. I love a good mystery, because they’re real brain thinkers that stay on my mind for days, weeks, AGES, and have me actively looking forward to the next installment of a story.

Are there any other genres that apply to your comic?
Oh, for sure. Romance is another genre that’ll take center stage in the story, as I narrate and expand upon the relationship between Chad and Vera. There’s of course also action, since there’s plenty more action scenes that I want to pack into this comic aside from the few I’ve already put in, as well as drama.

What was your inspiration for the story?
I took inspiration for Monster Band from various sources, namely: Scott Pilgrim for its band themes and metropolitan setting; Mother 3 for the way it handles its hero’s journey and its odd characters; Homestuck for its massive expansion from a story about a boy in his house to a multi-universe spanning epic of massive proportions, all while still keeping its crass humor; Persona 5 for its stylish UI and its themes of rebellion, as well as a couple of other webcomics, such as Various Everythings by McSiggy for its nice blend of mundane life with fantasy; Parallax by Fightbeast for its art; Sakana by MyNameIsMad for its simple but great presentation; and presently I’m getting a lotta inspiration juice from Kill Six Billion Demons by Abbadon for how complex and intrinsic its designs can get.

Do you have any favorite artists or writers who influenced your style?
Fightbeast for sure was the first to spurn something in me, but I also try to take inspiration from various other artists with bold, dynamic styles, such as KrookedGlasses on Twitter and ScribblezStarz (also on Twitter), but I also like art that, to me, looks like it was carefully constructed with lots of moving parts, namely the art of Harpeaux… on Twitter! Wow, I spend a lot of time on Twitter!

How long does it take you to complete one page?
Depends on what’s going on in the page really. Still pages can take anywhere between two to eight hours, whereas animated can also take between two to eight hours, if there’s minimal animation taking place, it can take a week… or a month!

More animation! Clicky!

What is your process like for creating comic pages from start to finish? What tools do you use?
Usually, I start by thumbnailing a bunch, bunch, bunch of pages. I actually have a huge, huge stock of thumbnails that I drew up back in 2017 to work through, like 500 something pages or some other big wack-a-doo number like that, and they all have some load of text that present me has to fix for past me.

I load up a few thumbnails in Clip Studio Paint, where I refine the sketches into something more presentable, and that takes me like a day or a day and a half; if there’s animation involved, that MIGHT take a couple days more work, depending on how involved I have to get with the animation: Something like jittering one character around for two frames takes no time at all. Whereas, something like animating eight characters flying through some imaginary space, interacting with each other in funny ways, spinning around and merging with each other into one singularity before blasting off into a different imaginary space… can take a bit more time to do! Especially when you’re not professionally trained! Like me!

Is your comic a finished work? If not, how long do 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?
My comic is most definitely not a finished work, no. And frankly, there’s going to be a LOT of time before it ever truly finishes… ages, maybe even decades. I do have an ending planned for it, though who knows when I’ll get there. The comic’s setting itself takes place in 2040, so maybe by the time I’m finished with it, it’ll be 2040 in real life, haha!

How long did it take you to plan the comic before even beginning to physically create it?
I started creating the characters and planning the story way back in 2011 before I ever put pen to paper in 2016, before tossing out the initial run and starting over in 2017.

What was the biggest hurdle you faced during the course of making 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’d say the biggest hurdle I face is one I have to jump every day that I work on this: fear. I was afraid that all my efforts would be in vain, that nobody would be witness to all my hard work, and that I’d be essentially yelling into an empty void by working on and publishing this comic. And I guess that’s kind of what we all do every day that we put our work out on social media platforms.

I guess I’d tell myself that it’s okay if it feels like you’re yelling out to a mostly empty field. Because if you yell hard enough, eventually two or five people will hear you, and they’ll want to join you on your part of this big empty field we call the internet.

What is your favorite part about working on your comic?
Oh, the end product for sure. Making it is a rocky process, but then I end up with something that whips total ass.

What is the most difficult part about working on your comic? How do you overcome it?
I’d like to say animating, since I’ve little experience in that wheelhouse, but honestly once I know what I want, everything just churns out like smooth butter. The actual, ACTUAL hardest part of working on my comic is envisioning exactly what I want. Despite having years of thumbnails to work with, I almost never actually know what I want my final product to look like starting out, and that kind of uncertainty makes it very easy for me to get lost and distracted in the process.

Do you have a favorite character to write for? If so, why? Tell us more about them!
Katalina DÈMonica is someone I wrote to be ultra cool and ultra mysterious. She has a lot going on, and I’m always excited to have her come on screen and say some bewildering nonsense that perplexes everyone. I like having her be a serious, but puzzling weirdo in one panel, but then also have her clash against her outside appearance and be a mischievous rapscallion in another panel.

Which character gives you the most difficulty to write for?
Of the main cast, I’d say Omar is the hardest to write for, since he is a sports jock, and I do not know the sports.

Do you have a favorite character to draw?
Chie Watanabe is my big gay crush, and I love working on every panel she’s on. Her animations are particularly slow, and take longer to do than anyone else’s, because I hate to see her leave, but boy do I love to watch her go; particularly in Long Road Ahead – Page 8, where she finishes a whole cigarette in a single drag and then lights a new one with a spark created from striking her nails together while flicking off the old cigarette, which also bursts into a small flame in the next panel.

Which character gives you the most difficulty to draw?
Probably the main character, Chad Jones. I can never seem to get his bangs right!

Where can we find you?
You can find me on http://twitter.com/mechabutchzilla, where I primarily post illustrations and the occasional sketch or doodle, but it’s also my main hub for everything that I do. My comic, Monster Band, can be found on http://tapas.io/series/the-monsters, or on Tumblr at http://monsterband.tumblr.com.

Anything else you want the people to know about yourself or your comic?
I like to draw strong women, so please look forward to that.

Have you read Monster Band yet? Let us know what you think in the comments?
Also, shout out to ShadowBestie who helped me edit this interview <3