Chaos and Hardships Await! Royal

Crystal Avery is a 25 year old freelance cartoonist from Ontario, Canada. She mostly does comics but has dabbled with animation and 3D modeling from time to time. She is the creator of Royal.

Synopsis: When you live in a world where magic and technology co-exist, things do not seem any better. When Junior Royal and his brother Oliver get accepted into North Academy, they think life will be a breeze but instead, what awaits them is chaos and hardships. Rogue students, challengers, an escaped experiment gone wrong–all these things wait for our duo and the friends they make along the way.

Did you go to school for either art or writing? If so, what school?
Nope. I learned most of what I know from the internet or just by trying it.

What is the main genre of your comic? What appeals to you about that genre?
Urban fantasy–it’s appealing because it is interesting to see a modern society with fantasy elements.

Are there any other genres that apply to your comic?
Comedy, action, drama, romance, and school life if you count it.

What was your inspiration for the story?
I have always liked drawing or making stories, I don’t have a direct inspiration though.

Do you have any favorite artists or writers who influenced your style?
Rumiko Takahashi’s earlier works.

How long does it take you to complete one page?
Depending on the life situation, it could take me 1 to 2 days but since I want to up my game for chapter 5, it might take longer.

What is your process like for creating comic pages from start to finish? What tools do you use?
I use Clip Studio Paint and a Wacom Cintiq. I start by roughly laying out a few pages and then going back and fixing them up, and then I go back and line them, etc.

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?
I plan to go for as long as possible but I do have an ending planned.

How many pages do you have complete at the moment?
200 pages as of August 11th, 2020.

How long did it take you to plan the comic before even beginning to physically create it?
Three or so years but the characters have been kicking around since 2007-2011.

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?
Actually take advice and plan your pages better.

What is your favorite part about working on your comic?
I get to see my characters come to life in a sense.

What is the most difficult part about working on your comic? How do you overcome it?
Motivation. I usually stop and do something else for a bit to unwind before trying to tackle it again.

Do you have a favorite character to write for? If so, why? Tell us more about them!
Most likely, Jr. He is fun to write for because I try to make him more than a bland protagonist. He has highs and he has lows, sometimes he succeeds and sometimes he fails. I really like to throw things in his path and write how he would react to it.

Which character gives you the most difficulty to write for?
Paris Boudreau since, despite her being a supporting character of the cast, I hadn’t had much practice writing her.

Do you have a favorite character to draw?
They are all pretty fun but I may have to go with Jr again.

Which character gives you the most difficulty to draw?
As of right now, Ms. North, Paris and any other female characters in the series since I don’t really practice drawing them as often as the boys.

Where can we find you?
Royal’s page

Anything else you want the people to know about yourself or your comic?
Nope, I think I’ve said it all.

Shout out to ShadowBestie for helping me edit/format these interviews!