Welcome back to Webcomic Spotlight. Today we are joined by the talented Paige Halsey Warren from Paige One Comics. Paige writes and draws Busty Girl Comics, AHTspace and Sometimes I Sleepwalk. Paige has a fluid amazing line style and writes personal stories, fiction and situations that occur in the daily life of busty people. Read on to get a behind the scenes look at her comic making and creative process.
Paige Halsey Warren: I’ve always been drawn to comics and I scoured the Sunday funnies every week but it wasn’t until middle/high school that I was able to regularly read and share comics (usually manga) with friends.
What is your favorite comic?
PHW: Ooh, that’s a tough question. There’s a number of series I know I’d insta-love if I got the chance to read them but, of the comics I’ve read in their entirety, I’d have to go with Fullmetal Alchemist. Hiromu Arakawa’s expressions, fight scenes, and subtle age progression makes me geek out every time I read FMA.
What would you say is the most influential story arc you’ve read?
PHW: I’m in love with Lumberjanes right now and Allie Brosh’s chapters about depression in her series Hyperbole and a Half have been wicked encouraging but a number of years back I read “The Sandman: The Doll’s House“ chapter “Men of Good Fortune.” In this chapter, Dream and a man in the tavern, Hob Gadling, discuss immortality. As the story goes on, these characters meet again and again in the same location every 100 years. This idea of a constant element being shown again and again while time continues and the world evolves around the constant is a concept I’ve wanted to use for awhile and it’s one I plan to use in the continuation of the AHTspace series.
When did you decide you wanted to make comics?
PHW: It wasn’t really something I decided on so much as something I let continue. Since I was a kid, I’ve drawn to work out a design, vent my frustrations, catalog an interaction or event, etc. Naturally, I got into trouble for it a lot but it’s still my first instinct when something is rattling around in my head too much. After taking a course in comics in college, I realized it was
How long have you been drawing/illustrating?
PHW: One of my earliest memories is drawing so intensely with my right hand that I was getting blisters on my thumb and needed to switch hands to keep going. Professionally, however, I’ve been drawing/illustrating since I completed my degree in Studio Art in 2011.
Did you study illustration or are you self taught?
PHW: I’ve been taking classes in so many different forms of art since I was a kid, illustration included, but my degree wasn’t specifically in illustration so I’ve taught myself a lot as well; especially digital illustration.
Did you get a lot of support from parents and/or Art teachers?
PHW: SO MUCH. I’ve been very lucky. My dad is an engineer and sand/snow sculptor and my mom is a writer so when I started announcing “I’m gonna be an artist,” they started looking into classes and art books for me. I was also very lucky to have very supportive art teachers who understood the careful balance of instruction versus experimentation that allows developing artists to thrive.
What was the first comic you remember working on?
PHW: Well, other than the comics I made to vent how frustrated I was in 7th grade math, I remember making a magical girl comic one winter during a family trip. I’m sure I did other things before then but that was the first time I remember practicing panels and planning out speech bubbles.
PHW: For Busty Girl Comics, I usually describe it as a matter-of-fact look at the perks and problems of having boobs; all body-positive, safe-for-work, and never more revealing than a bikini. For AHTspace, it’s a slice-of-life series about 6 artists sharing a warehouse space together in a small college town in Massachusetts.
What inspired you to create these comics?
PHW: Usually when people ask me in person what inspired BGC, I look down at my own chest. I come from a fairly busty family so it was always something we joked about. When I was annoyed at a busty-related problem one day, I just started sketching to vent my annoyance and a series was born. As for AHTspace, I wanted to explore artistic paths I didn’t end up taking and, since I was moving away from MA, I wanted to work on a series that would keep me connected to the East Coast.
Why did you start putting up your comics online for free?
PHW: I wanted people to see my work and I knew that I didn’t have the connections to get a job in comics the usual ways but I did have a handful of followers on Tumblr. I just kinda started posting and hoped for the best.
What has been the most surprising aspect of running this webcomic?
PHW: The whole process has been pretty mind-boggling. I had no idea what to expect so then when new readers kept pouring in and when more and more sites started talking about my comics, I was pretty blown away. I still forget sometimes how big BGC got and that people on the other side of the world know my work.
Would you ever consider Kickstarter or some type of crowd funding to publish this book in a collection?’
PHW: Oh yes. I’m working the fulfillment for a small Kickstarter for AHTspace right now. The initial funding was an overwhelming success but fulfillment has hit snag after snag; which in the big picture is a success because I’d rather hit snags and work out logistics for this smaller Kickstarter than dive right into the BGC anthology I have planned only to have it bomb terribly.
Congratulations on your successful Kickstarter! What clicked internally that put you in the mind set to make these comics?
PHW: It was always just something my mom, my sister, and I joked about. It actually wasn’t until I started getting messages from people that I realized how unusual it was to joke about breasts so nonchalantly and how isolated so many busty folks feel.
How do you talk to people about this comic?
PHW: My go-to pitch at shows is “Busty Girl Comics is a webcomic about the perks and problems of having boobs. It’s all safe for work, body-positive, and never more revealing than a bikini.” It’s a great way for busty folks to vent their frustrations and a great way for non-busty folks to see what being busty is like.
What feedback do you get from your audience?
PHW: Overwhelmingly positive. I’ve gotten a fair amount of hate mail (sometimes creepers but most often other busty folks who want me to “prove” myself or want me to hate on body types) but these messages were few and far between. By and large, I got messages from all over the world from folks who felt alone in their bustiness or were glad to have insight into their busty loved ones’ experiences.
PHW: I’m currently working digitally from start to finish but I’m hoping to switch to a style that blends traditional and digital more in the future. There’s something really satisfying about inking on bristol board or pulling a watercolor brush across the page that a Cintiq just can’t match (as much as I love my Cintiq.)
What are your preferred tools of the trade?
PHW: My Cintiq is my sidekick right now but I go right to colored pencils and watercolors whenever I sketch traditionally. For inking, I really enjoy nibs but you can’t beat Microns for detail and tidiness.
How much time does it take to go from a script to a completed strip/page?
PHW: For BGC, 20-60 minutes. For AHTspace, about 10 hours. It really depends on where my head is at going into a new page but having a template page with a consistent, frequently updated palette has really cut down on how long AHTspace takes for me.
Did you set up your own website or pay some one to design it for you?
PHW: BGC I did myself but for AHTspace, I bribed a friend of mine to do the coding by offering her a cameo character. Okay not really but she was looking for a side project to code for fun so I designed the layout and she made it happen. She did get a cameo character out of the collaboration though. (Lilah, the Dooley’s Donuts girl)
Follow up: How do you maintain your website?
PHW: Infrequently. I’ve actually been meaning to add a character page with bios for awhile now but the Kickstarter and now fulfillment takes precedent. I do post updates and answer questions on PaigeOneComics.com far more frequently though.
Do you have any advice for people who want to run a webcomic?
PHW: If you’ve got an idea, dive on in. If you’re thinking of doing a long format comic but are getting stuck in writing, make a short format comic in the meantime to get the juices flowing. Here’s a easy-to-read and easy-to-post template to get you started. You could wait around for the right time to make comics or you could get started now, work a bit for fun every night, and have a pretty decent start to a series in a month.
I did want to point out that, while I adore making webcomics, it is a very uphill climb to make a living out of it (for most artists, not just me). Unfortunately, this means having to put ongoing series on the back-burner sometimes so I can work on paying gigs (I can’t find the damn pause button for bills). It’s frustrating, especially since I love my characters and can’t wait to share their stories, but it’s the depressing truth. Luckily, though, I’m at that turning point in my career where the majority of my paid work is still art-related and making comics full-time is within view.
PHW: I’m so far behind in everything I read but it’s a long list so bear with me: Kay and P, Lady Skylark, Sinfest, Questionable Content, Blindsprings, Cucumber Quest, MFK, Girls with Slingshots, Balderdash, Nimona, Beefpaper, Plume, TJ and Amal, and Ava’s Demon.
AC: Do you have an all time favorite creator? Be it music, comics or movies.
PHW: Oh goodness, Satoshi Kon is the first person that comes to mind. Just. ALL his work. Wow.
What’s next for you?
PHW: I have two bigger clients at the moment I’ll be doing promotional work for starting soon but I’ll still be continuing AHTspace. Once fulfillment is completed for the Kickstarter, part of which includes a side chapter featuring Aunt Meg in 1999, I’ll be ramping up my Patreon. I’m also developing a handful of pitches for animated shorts with my writing partner, Sierra Roby (@sierraroby).
How can readers best support you and your work?
PHW: All my comics and links to all my social networky stuff can be found at PaigeOneComics.com. I also have a Storenvy where the first issue of AHTspace can be purchased and I did have a soft open for my Patreon where more tiers will be available soon. I’m also very happy to announce that AHTspace is now available in House of Secrets, a fantastic comic shop in Burbank, CA!
Paige thank you so much for talking to us and congratulations on your success and we wish you the best of luck in your career.
If you would like to support Paige her Patreon page is up or feel free to purchase from her Storenvy site. I personally love this one page below from AHTspace. Any help in spreading the word on Paige’s work is very welcome. Thank you for joining us on Webcomic Spotlight. We’ll see you here next week!