Interview Contributed by Angela Blount
Greetings, YABC! Today we are pleased to welcome webcomic author and artist, Kaitlyn Narvaza (a.k.a. Intantmiso). Her debut YA graphic novel, Where Tangents Meet, has been viewed over 9 million times since it released in April of 2015. Kaitlyn’s latest project, Siren’s Lament, is a YA urban fantasy romance with a distinct manga feel. The comic is delivered in a continuous scrolling format, and each installment comes complete with an original piano-based soundtrack. Kaitlyn was kind enough to answer a few questions about her FREE online comic.
Link to Siren’s Lament: http://www.webtoons.com/en/
Angela Blount: What gave you the idea for Siren’s Lament?
Kaitlyn Narvaza: When making new ideas for a story, I usually start by thinking of things that I really enjoy and love. I’ve always lived close to the ocean, so I thought it would be fun to make a story with a similar setting that reminded me of home. My sisters and I have also always been fascinated by fairy tales and the classic story of “The Little Mermaid,” so I was inspired to write a fantasy with a twist.
AB: Your first graphic novel, Where Tangents Meet, finished out at 40 chapters. Do you currently have any projections for how many comic episodes it will take to bring Siren’s Lament to completion?
KN: I’m definitely aiming to make Siren’s Lament much longer than my previous comic. Since I’m building my own fantasy setting in this story, I feel like this series will be much more flexible to work with. I’m very excited to test my limits with Siren’s Lament and see how much of this fantasy world I can bring to life.
AB: How many hours would you estimate it takes you to storyboard and complete the artwork for each individual episode/chapter?
KN: I haven’t quite timed myself since I am also a full time student, so I’m constantly shifting back and forth working on the comic and schoolwork. However, I would say that one episode takes roughly three to four days to produce. If I had to make an estimate, I’d say that I spend about 48 hours or more on an episode in a full week.
AB: What would you say have been your strongest influences; both in a graphic art and literary sense?
KN: My strongest influences in graphic art have always been Eastern-styled comics (Japanese manga) and Disney animations. I was fortunate enough to have grown up being exposed to both equally, so I really feel that they are two of my greatest inspirations. My literary influence comes from the genres of books that I enjoy. I grew up reading lots of fantasy series, including Harry Potter and the Chronicles of Narnia. In more recent years, I’ve found myself inspired by young adult romance books. For instance, I’ve really enjoyed reading some of John Green’s works.
AB: Siren’s Lament features beautiful and mood-setting background music by @KennyComics. How is it you came to be connected with him and his work?
KN: Along with being a music composer, Kenny is also a fellow comic creator. We actually started collaborating in my first series, Where Tangents Meet, when he let me listen to some of the songs he composed. He surprised me one day by presenting me with a song for a specific episode of WTM and I was absolutely thrilled! We continued to work together since then and even into the next series, Siren’s Lament. I feel that I enjoy drawing just as much as he genuinely enjoys composing music, so the harmony of both of our works really fit.
AB: It is incredibly generous of you to offer your work up for free to readers through LINE Webtoon. Do you have any plans for making your comic available in hardcopy format at any point in the future?
KN: Rather than “generous,” I would consider myself very “fortunate” to have the opportunity to share my works to anyone and everyone for free! Growing up as a comic-loving kid, I remember being limited to hardcopy comics since digital comics weren’t a thing back then. I think it would be a cool bonus to make hardcopies of Siren’s Lament, but as of right now, I’m content with publishing the series digitally.
AB: What can readers—who also happen to become fans—possibly do to help support you and your unique mode of storytelling?
KN: Readers and fans can provide support by simply reading Siren’s Lament on the LINE Webtoon site! Liking, subscribing, commenting, and sharing the comic on social media also helps support all LINE Webtoon creators.
Kaitlyn’s newly debuted series, Siren’s Lament follows Lyra, a young florist who, following heartbreak, meets a mythical sea creature known as a siren who offers to take all her troubles away by transforming her into a siren. She accepts, but something goes wrong and they are instead transformed into creatures neither fully human nor siren who can live on both land and sea. Working together, they must each adapt to their new lives as both a human and a siren, while also trying to undo the dark forces behind the curse.
Kaitlyn Narvaza was born in San Diego, California. She started her personal hobby of comic making at the age of 4, but never aspired to be anything more than a hobbyist. , while studying at San Diego State University, she started her first published work Where Tangents Meet. Where Tangents Meet has been read over 9 million times. The creation of the digital comic rekindled her passions and inspired her to pursue comic making. She is currently attending school while simultaneously creating Siren’s Lament with the goal of following her dreams and creating more stories to share.