Oi! You! Do you like funny, fresh takes on timeless tales, creative storytelling and beautiful artwork? If so, read on to find out more about writer and artist Daniel De Sosa‘s fantastic new comic series, Oi! Tales of Bardic Fury…
A Place to Hang Your Cape: To start us off, can you tell us a bit more about Oi! Tales of Bardic Fury?
Daniel De Sosa: Oi! is a comic about a kid named Bryan, freshly graduated from Bardic college, who gets sent on a one year work placement to a town called Oi that’s never heard music before. It’s set in Ireland in the Iron age when bards were like rock stars and druids were like hippy cult leaders. This first volume tells of the formation of ancient Ireland’s greatest band.
AP2HYC: What made you choose to focus on Irish folklore, where has your inspiration come from?
Daniel: I love Irish mythology, and think it is pretty under represented compared to other mythologies like Norse or Greek for example, but it is equally interesting and I think more people should know about it. Epic fantasy stories like Game of Thrones and Lord of the Rings are highly influenced by the old epic Irish poems, so it is a solid foundation. Based on these myths and poems I’ve read, ancient Ireland seemed like a truly gender neutral society, one of the few that has ever existed in this world and I thought it would be a cool place to set my story. On top of that, illuminated illustration has always been one of my biggest artistic influences growing up, and I love Father Ted, and have read Shane MacGowan‘s autobiography about 7 times. I guess I’m kind of like an otaku, only I fanboy over Irish culture instead of Japanese.
This comic is also influenced a lot by Love and Rockets, both the Locas stories and the Palomar ones. I want to tell a slice of life drama story in an epic fantasy setting.
Mainly though I just want to tell a story that shows how cool bards are. They are always getting made fun of in fantasy literature and by RPG players and it’s wrong. The world needs to know that bards are awesome.
AP2HYC: Riso-printing is something that some readers may not be familiar with. Can you tell us a bit more about this type of printing and your decision to use it?
Daniel: Riso printing gives an effect halfway between old offset printing and screen printing. The machine looks like an old photocopier, and is very temperamental but produces a very unique tactile feel and look. I’m also printing the comic entirely in woad coloured ink, similar to the colour that Celts used to paint themselves with. I want each page of my comic to look and feel like a vintage gig poster, which is why I decided to go with riso.
AP2HYC: Can you tell us about your working process when creating a comic?
Daniel: I start out each chapter with a roughed out plot, knowing what needs to happen in the beginning, middle and end, but as I am drawing, I often add in little moments or bits of dialogue that I didn’t originally plan. I draw my pages using brush and ink to try to give the pages an organic feel and then shade and letter them digitally. I try to make the pages feel spontaneous and energetic, without being overproduced, which ironically takes a bit of time to achieve.
AP2HYC: Do you feel that Kickstarter is truly the future for independent artists and writers? How has your experience with it been?
Daniel: I think crowdfunding is brilliant for independent artists and writers. If gives artists a great chance to have full control of telling their story exactly how they want to tell it without any editor telling them they can’t do something. It also gives fans a great way to connect directly with creators.
AP2HYC: What’s the next step for Oi! and where would you ultimately like to take it – not considering monetary restraints?
Daniel: I want to focus first off on getting the first volume finished, and after that the next two which I have planned, and get the story told. Volume 1 is about the forming of the band, Volume 2 is the band going on tour and Volume 3
In a magical dream land, I have a lot of places I’d like to take Oi!. I’d love to see Oi! animated as a cartoon series. I also think a pokemon style RPG where you go around the ancient world collecting different musicians to add to your band and perform gigs and go to battle of the bands could be pretty cool and the combat system would be kind of like guitar hero where you can counter the enemy band by playing different rhythms and tempos. And of course a trading card game!
I have lots of ideas, but I’m also realistic. The most important thing to me right now is getting the comics done.