While attending this year’s Comic-Con International I was able to sit down with Siya Oum and Peter Steigerwald. You know them best for their wonderful works over at Aspen Comics.
UTF: So Lola XOXO. has been getting really good reviews so far and I wanted to get your thoughts on the series so far?
Siya Oum: Well, first off, it’s really exciting. I’m so glad it’s been well received and I couldn’t ask for anything more. I get to create and write. Aspen [Comics] gave me an opportunity and they let me run with it. I want to push it as far as I can for the fans and for the people that support me.
UTF: Are there any teasers for the upcoming spin-off Wasteland Madam?
Siya Oum: It’s going to be in same universe as Lola XOXO. The time frame might be a little bit before the first volume and it’ll be in post-apocalyptic Chicago. It’s going to be before volume two and that’s probably all I am going to say for now.
UTF: I want to talk about The ZooHunters. Can you fill in some information about that new title?
Peter Steigerwald: It’s about guys who catch animals and aliens for zoos.
If you want a lion you have to go out into the Serengeti and get one. Take that idea and put it on a cosmic scale. It’s also about a father and a son. The father is Abros and he’s the one you call when you want to get the strange and unfamiliar ones. As a trapper he spends the time finding out how to capture the animal and bring it back to whatever planet is ordering it. What it takes to keep it alive and what environment it needs. Does it breathe nitrogen? Does it eat silicon patties?
His job kept him away from his family for long periods at a time. So he’s become a little bit estranged with his son. Now they’re forced into a situation where he’s teaching him how to do his job. How to be a ZooHunter. And now they’re traveling the universe learning how to stay one step a head of the more unscrupulous elements that exist in every career. There are other ZooHunters out there. Not all of them are good.
UTF: Are there any additional projects that you’re working on for Aspen?
Peter Steigerwald: I’m always working on covers just like Siya. In fact she’s doing a cover for The ZooHunters #2. There’s always tons and tons of work that’s coming out from me for Aspen. It’s my company. Whatever we need to do, I’m doing it.
UTF: That sounds great.
Alright, back to you Siya. In the last issue of Lola XOXO there were some monstrous elements that came into play. Anything you want to say on that?
Siya Oum: Well it’s more than meets that eye, but not quite what everybody thinks it is. In the next issue it gets revealed right away. So I know, on purpose, that everybody is just like, “What is that? Is that a zombie?” I’m sorry to say that they’re not but that’s as far as I’ll go with that.
UTF: One final question. We have lots of fanboys and fangirls that frequent our site, they read the comics and they just want to be a part of the industry. Do you have any advice or words of wisdom for them ?
Peter Steigerwald : My advice would be: buy ZooHunters. It’s an excellent way to get into the industry. You’ll get tons and tons of jobs just by buying this book. So buy three, four copies.
Seriously though keep working on improvement. Keep showing your stuff because the industry is small and you just have to find the right editor. Communicate and listen to what professionals have to say. If they tell you to work on something then you work on that.
Siya Oum: Yeah. To extend on what he was saying, reviews were the one thing that for me, as a creator, I was not sure how I was going to handle. Take what others say, consider it and think about if there’s something that you can work on. You don’t have to please everybody as long as what you’re trying to do and the story that you’re trying to tell is true to what it is. Just don’t take it personally.
Peter Steigerwald: Even in the absence of contact with editors and professionals, it’s all about ruthlessly trying to better what you did the last time. Realizing that if you have a hard time drawing something that’s a weakness and you need to work on it.
Siya Oum: Don’t avoid it.
Peter Steigerwald: If you can’t draw feet, you can’t draw cars and you can’t draw dinosaurs then that means work on lots of different types of objects and creatures. Even if you hate it, it’s going to come up in some way. My book may not have cars in it because it takes place in space but it’s going to have some sort of vehicles and you take inspiration from what you know, which in that case would be cars.
Artists have to have the widest range of objects to draw because you never know what’s going to come up in a story. It’s hard to break in, especially as a writer but try to improve your stories every time. You have to just keep trying to get better and better and better. That way whenever you’re ready to show your stuff you’re going to be at your best.
Siya Oum: Writing is one of those things where a lot of people that want to do it don’t do it enough. An artist is going to draw in their sketch book, a writer should write short stories constantly to get better at it.
UTF: That’s great advice.
Siya Oum: Be sure to checkout SiyaAnimation.com.
Peter Steigerwald: You can find us in all those places.
I want to take the time to thank Ms. Siya Oum and Mr. Peter Steigerwald for chatting with me. It was a great pleasure to talk about the outstanding Lola XOXO and the sure to be spectacular ZooHunters.
So what did you think of the interview my fellow fanboys and fangirls?
Sound off with your thoughts and opinions in the comments section below.