Good people of All-Comic, today I have the pleasure of presenting an interview with Meredith McClaren. A student of the famed Savannah College of Art and Design, Meredith is a rising star. Meredith toils away at several projects in the works with major publishers all the while working on her own webcomic HINGES.
HINGES is one of the most beautiful comics I’ve seen online and has quickly become one of my favorites. I first saw this comic while visiting one of Wizard World’s conventions held in Austin Texas. I wasn’t at all familiar with Meredith or HINGES but my friends and I could not stay away from her table once we saw her beautiful, sparse and delicate line work. We all bought a copy of volume one, a few sketch cards and ogled her cover work for Adventure Time and Regular Show.
AC: When did you decide you wanted to make comics?
MM: Shortly after.
AC: How long have you been Illustrating?
MM: Forever and a day.
AC: Did you study illustration or are you self taught?
AC: Did you get a lot of support from parents when you let them know you wanted to work in comics?
MM: Very much so. My parents are also creatively inclined so there was no resistance to the idea from them.
AC: For those not familiar with your webcomic, how would you summarize Hinges?
MM: It’s a fantasy webcomic about a doll named Orio and her impish companion: Bauble. They’ve both found themselves in a city called Cobble and they’re not quite sure how they fit in there.
AC: What has been the most surprising aspect of running this webcomic?
MM: The support it’s garnered. They people who like HINGES are lovely.
AC: You ran and successfully completed a Kickstarter for Hinges. Why did you decide to use kickstarter?
MM: I’d reached the point where the next logical step for HINGES was to print it but I didn’t have the means to do it myself. I’ve known a few other folks who have run successful KICKSTARTERS and they helped me get the ball rolling.
AC: How excited were you to reach and pass 100% funding?
But I was equal parts exhausted.
There was a long stint in the middle where I was basically just kicking and screaming trying to get things moving along on it.
AC: Is the book available for purchase for those that missed the kickstarter?
MM: Yes. They can find it my web store.
AC: How do you get this drawn out? Physically or digitally?
MM: The pages are drawn and inked physically and colored digitally.
AC: What are your preferred tools of the trade?
MM: Red pencil and technical pens.
AC:How much time does it take to go from a script to a completed strip?
I’m not sure where to start on what the timeline for HINGES looks like.
But the gist of it is:
I script a chapter at a time.
It takes about one or two days and is generally not very detailed. It consists mainly of what action needs to take place on what page. What ideas need to be conveyed. Actual dialogue isn’t decided on until a page is nearly done.
Penciling a page takes about two hours. Inking a third. Coloring and lettering takes another three to four. Generally.
I get two pages done a week.
AC: What is the biggest portion of time devoted to: writing, layouts, illustrating or coloring?
AC: You’re line work is fine and reads/looks very fluid. Your characters look so diverse from each other. How important is character design to you?
MM: It’s important to me that the characters are distinct from one another. And I’m glad they read that way, but I feel like I want to keep doing better in that regard.
AC: Is there any character design that gave you trouble?
MM: Hannity’s hair. Always.
AC: Did you set up your own website or pay some one to design it for you?
MM: I’m really very lazy in this regard. I just found a free blogging site and tweaked the template until it read like a webcomic.
AC: What’s next for you?
MM: Indeed. CAUTIONARY FABLES AND FAIRY TALES: AFRICA EDITION is wrapped up and should be off to the printers soon. I’m still working on HOPELESS SAVAGES for ONI PRESS (it’s still on, people.) And I have a new book coming from DARK HORSE that’s in the early stages.
AC: How can readers best support you and your work?
MM: Buy the book.
Stop by at cons.
Let me know that you like the work.
AC: The best of luck with your upcoming work and thank you for your time Meredith.
Meredith can be found on twitter as @IniquitousFish, she blogs frequently over on tumblr and please join me in reading Hinges as it continues to grow into and engrossing tale. Please feel free to show Meredith all the support you can and if you are so inclined feel free to peruse her shop.