Spotlight

Of Conquests and Consequences (and cultural shock)

Joolita & Munen are a duo of committed plotters from Central Europe. In a sense, the comic is their accidental brainchild conceived during one faithful tea-induced sleepless night. They work on the story and the dialogues together, but divide the other tasks. Munen is the tech-savvy part of the team – she manages the comic website and adds speech bubbles to pages, while Joolita is the moody artist who draws everything (and whines a lot about perspective). They are the creators of Of Conquests and Consequences.

Synopsis: “Of Conquests and Consequences” is a coming of age story taking place in a non-traditional fantasy world, where two major cultural centres – a northern patriarchal Empire and a southern matriarchal Huzsa – are engulfed by political conflicts, both internal, and external. In this reality lives five teens by the names of Ragu, Fuzs, Aio, Ulmarei and Ruiso, who come from different parts of the world. It’s their coming of age story which spans over ten years.

They’re faced with hardships of self-discovery and cultural shock on both a large and small scale (Like Ruiso, who is Imperial forcefully taken away from his home, and Fuzs, who was born in different Huzsan clan than the rest). Additionally, they get involved in the political scene as children of rulers or powerful political players.

Did you go to school for either art or writing? If so, what school?
Not specifically, Joolita took a few art classes during her exchange year in uni.

What is the main genre of your comic? What appeals to you about that genre?
Coming-of-age <– it allows us to explore the changes within the characters, it’s fun to read and fun to write and we feel there aren’t that many comics that focus on this; and non-magical fantasy <– it allows us to create our own world building without worrying too much about historical period limitations.

Are there any other genres that apply to your comic?
Court intrigue and sporadically comedy.

What was your inspiration for the story?
Bad reverse-harem mangas and ginseng tea (drink with caution).

Do you have any favorite artists or writers who influenced your style?
Munen: I’m very inspired by Andrzej Sapkowski in terms of how I structure my writing, not so much the themes. That’s why the comic has this structure of very clearly defined scenes.

Joolita: The style of the comic has evolved considerably throughout the years and was influenced by different things, but if i had to pick one source of inspiration it would be Kazuya Minekura’s artbooks. I learnt a lot about shading from these. Plus, they promote a certain type of body-type aesthetic that sort of… stayed with me and is discernible in some characters 🙂

How long does it take you to complete one page?
10h on average, but it depends on the number of panels

What is your process like for creating comic pages from start to finish? What tools do you use?
First we make an outline a chapter and then we write the dialogues for particular scenes. Based on the dialogue Joolita plans each page. Then she draws it in stages which she describes as: “I start with stick-figure thumbnails, then move on to do a ‘dirty pencil sketch’ in a4 format, which i then transfer to marker paper using a light pad. I then ink this ‘clean’ sketch and colour it with markers. My cat often tries to sabotage me throughout the process by lying on the light pad or on my desk :)”. Next the page is scanned, Munen places the panels on the page and adds the dialogue digitally, her dog is too lazy to intervene at this stage.

Tools: mechanical pencil / fineliners / promarkers and graph’it markers plus HUION L4S A4 light pad

Is your comic a finished work? If not, 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?
We have one volume completed, one ongoing and we’re planning 3 more, so 5 in total. And there is a definite ending.

How many pages do you have complete at the moment?
350+

How long did it take you to plan the comic before even beginning to physically create it?
About 1 year.

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?
Time restrictions, we’re both freelancers and we don’t have that much free time. Insecurities stemming from lack of professional education. As to the pep talk: Don’t worry, someone will read this and even leave a comment.

What is your favorite part about working on your comic?
The plotting, we like to come up with the storylines and character arcs. And the comments we get on the finished pages.

What is the most difficult part about working on your comic? How do you overcome it?
The most difficult part is the actual drawing, especially when it involves architecture and/or animals. Joolita just whines to Munen while she draws.

Do you have a favorite character to write for? If so, why? Tell us more about them!
We have personal favourites but they don’t overlap so we’ll pretend we’re good parents who don’t play favourites with our children.

Which character gives you the most difficulty to write for?
The hardest are the characters that need to come off as consistently smart.

Do you have a favorite character to draw?
Not really. But I do have my favourite elements of their anatomy. I love drawing Fuzs’ hair (so fluffy), Ragu’s puppy eyes, Ruiso’s silly nose, Igbem’s grey temples… I could go on…

Which character gives you the most difficulty to draw?
Zenwu, because he always must look perfect.

Where can we find you?
http://ocac.spiderforest.com/
Twitter & Instagram: @raguscorner

Anything else you want the people to know about yourself or your comic?
Our website also features a section on worldbuilding, because we enjoy creating that, so if you ever feel lost while reading you can check it out, but we think it’s not necessary to understand what’s going on.