Astronomers say that Jupiter’s Great Red Spot has only 300 more years before it shrinks into nothing. The dragons at the storm’s eye say otherwise and will do their utmost to show the galaxy what they are made of. In Electricity is Her Element, Kat Crow shapes gorgeously rendered chaos into a unique story of four storm dragons who may be biting off more than they can manage in their quest to summon the elements to restore Chaos to our solar system.
Originally published on Webtoons and Tapastic, Crow looks to bring her psychedelic work to print with additional material through a Kickstarter campaign running this month. The story also features her cat-angel character, KerBop, defender of the solar system. Here, Crow talks to WWAC about her work and plans for the future.
Electricity is Her Element is an experiment in media where you have drawn the entire comic using markers. What kind of markers do you use?
Prismacolor markers and microns. I prefer Prismas with the brush tip for effects.
What have you learned from this experiment?
That I really love doing things traditionally, when it comes to producing comics, and whatever other project I’m working on I’ll hopefully always have a webcomic going on that I can do in markers and other traditional media. I also learned that this really works best if one is drawing small. If one tries to use large Bristol boards and fill them with traditional media, that’s what takes forever and consumes tons of ink doing. If you’re using a very small sketchbook, 8.5×11 or smaller, then it’s containable and one’s markers don’t get used up as fast.
What other artistic media have you used for your work in the past?
I’ve used Prisma products for a long time, and I fell in love with their colored pencils long ago. I think other companies might’ve gotten into this since then, but I remember they were the first pencils I ever used where you could get an outcome that didn’t look like it was done in pencils—solid colors that stand out against a background. I still use those. I also use watercolor and gouache. Watercolor takes a different approach and attitude, I think, to markers, because they’re really great at creating effects you weren’t necessarily expecting.
Each character not only has a distinctive design but also a distinctive voice. How did you determine what fonts you’d use for each character?
I started sketching the fonts for each character the same way I sketched their character designs. I practiced writing each of their names in a different style, making sure each one was distinct from the other ones until I found an iteration for each I like.
Your original character KerBop has existed elsewhere, but you’ve chosen to explore the character from a very different angle here. What is the inspiration for this shift?
I have many ideas for KerBop—really, I want to tell many stories about her. I can see her going up against many different adversaries, on many different planets and moons throughout the solar system. This is one of the only stories I’ve ever thought of her where she only comes in at the end and isn’t the center of attention the whole time. I think the inspiration was just thinking about the fact that the Great Red Spot of Jupiter is in decline and astronomers predict it’ll only last 300 more years or so, and as I jotted down ideas for short stories I came to these creatures who took offense at that. There was a period in which I wasn’t even sure KerBop was going to make an appearance in this story at all, and that perhaps it would just involve these elemental figures; however, it seemed appropriate for KerBop to come in and restore balance this time.
After exploring KerBop through this story, will you return to her previous stories and format?
Yes, basically, I have many more ideas for KerBop stories, in which she plays more of a central role, and in which I explore more of her personality and background, where we expose more of her foibles and flaws. I have an idea for the next chapter or story about KerBop, and I’m going to start releasing it on Tapastic and Line Webtoon, and also on www.KerBop.com soon. It’s called “Filaments,” and it’s about the intergalactic super-voids that exist between galactic superclusters and an adventure KerBop has there.