Here at Women Write About Comics we love nothing more than getting to chat with incredible women who’re making wonderful comics. Ida Neverdahl is a comics creator from Norway and she’s currently Kickstarting her book, Jelly Vampire, with Emet Comics. Neverdahl dropped out of med school to draw comics full time–and when she’s not making them she’s a super cool submission wrestler! We know, she’s pretty much the coolest person on Earth.
Neverdahl is also an avid Furby collector whose favorite food is french fries. How do we know? Well, we were lucky enough to sit down and chat with her about making comics, fighting people for fun, and the joy of sprell!
For Neverdahl making realistic stories has never been a huge drive. She wants to explore the absurd and fantastical.
“My comics are always a bit weird, because I’m too lazy to draw comics about regular things. It doesn’t motivate me enough to draw a person sitting on a sofa or just walking down the street. My characters have to be chopping some weirdo creature to bits in an epic battle situation, or walk around inside a giant unicorn and look at magical unicorn gut, or else I won’t draw them,” Nevrdahl told us.
Making comics came naturally to Ida. “I always liked to draw and tell stories. I made my first comics at my grandmother’s house. I drew all the pages, then dictated to my grandmother what to write in the speech bubbles. My first comic was called The Easter Chicken’s Christmas, and told the story of a family of Easter chickens preparing for Christmas. For some reason, the Easter chicken dad is a bit troubled throughout the story, but it’s never explained why. In the end, they manage to throw a nice Christmas party for the whole family,” Neverdahl said, expanding on her formative years.
Neverdahl’s process is an unconventional one, one that the artist herself describes as random. “Usually my inspiration comes from some kind of theme. And these themes are just whatever I’m interested in and want to draw at the moment. I was really into jellyfish for a while because they have such weird and useless anatomy. They’re just a slimy lump of cells with almost no actual organs or body technology at all. Still, they’ve been chilling in the oceans for like 400 million years, and are thriving still, while many other marine animals are struggling. Because of this, I made a comic about Lulu befriending a gang of jellyfish. But then some kids start a jellyfish ‘war’ and throw the jellyfish around, killing them all. It has a happy ending though, with the jellyfish coming back as ghosts. Being a jellyfish and a ghost jellyfish is kinda the same thing. Either way, you’re just floating around,” Neverdahl enthused.
Fun and enjoyment are a large part of Neverdahl’s creative drive, and one of the things she enjoys the most about comics is the storyboarding stage. “The process of coming up with the idea and making storyboards is definitely the most fun part. I’m very lazy, and my favourite part of the comic making process is to just think up funny ideas. I like drawing too, but that’s more of a hassle and takes a lot of time,” Neverdahl laughed. A running theme through Ida’s work is Sprell, an ancient Viking philosophy. “It’s kind of like the Zen philosophy in Buddhism. But instead of being a philosophy of chill and peaceful mind, it’s all about fun and goofs. Vikings had rowdy lives, with a lot of hardships and long boat trips across coarse seas. So keeping the spirits up though goofing around was a central part of Viking life,” Neverdahl explained.
As for influences, Neverdahl’s are eclectic and include some of our favourite creators! “Oyasumi Punpun, by Inio Asano, the Wet Moon series by Sophie Campbell, Dorohedoro by Q. Hayashida, the Sandman series by Neil Gaiman, and everything by Junji Ito are just some of my favs!” Neverdahl gushed. When it comes to her own work the thing Ida enjoys the most is its potential for the unexpected. “My favourite thing about my comic is that it’s completely limitless. I have set very few rules for myself, if any. The only part that is consistent is that Lulu appears in most of the comics, and unicorns often show up as well. Other than that, the comics can take place in any setting, and feature any creature real or imagined.”
If you’re digging Neverdahl’s work and the philosophy of Sprell, there is a whole lot of rad stuff to look out for! “I have a comic book coming out soon in Norway, which is a diary comic about when I was in LA for a couple of months earlier this year. It’s called How Can LA Break My Heart. I also have an animated music video that I’m working on for a Norwegian band, which will soon be done. The music video and song is called Nancy Drew, and features a pink, feisty girl who goes on Tinder to find bad guys to fight. I also have my birthday coming up very soon, and one of my favourite bands is gonna perform in my living room. I have comics to thank for this, because I made a comic about them in a Norwegian newspaper, and a little while later they contacted me and asked if they could play a couple of songs at my birthday party. It’s a thing that I felt could be a Jelly Vampire story, but it actually happened in real life because of the power of comics!”
Support Ida Neverdahl and the Jelly Vampire kickstarter here!