Friday, 15 May 2015

An Interview with Sam Roads and Kat Nicholson!

I had the pleasure of chatting to Sam Roads and Kat Nicholson, the creators of the brand new comic Silicon Heart.
  1. First off, tell us a little bit about yourselves and Silicon Heart.

    Sam: I'm Sam, the writer. My background is in game development, including some award-winning The Lord of the Rings products. My first graphic novel, Kristo, told The Count of Monte Cristo, set in Soviet Russia. Silicon Heart is my second.

    Kat: I'm Kat, the artist. I work as a freelance comic-artist/illustrator and have worked on titles such as Transformers, Spiderman, Thunder Cats, Dream Works Tales, Moshi-Monsters, The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack and more. :)

    January is a bullied teenager who finds solace in the embrace of Synthetic Being Rho. Her friends and family are unready to accept this, but when January takes a stand against the prejudice of the law, no-one is prepared for what happens next...

  2. How did the two of you come to work on this project together? Was it an idea that you initially developed together, or was it something one of you thought up and then went out looking for an artist/writer?

    Sam: I generally write stories with some socio-political aspect. Silicon Heart was a direct response to an internet meme, which showed inter-racial marriage protestors from the 1960s, gay marriage protestors from the modern age and a slogan saying “Imagine how stupid you are going to look in 40 years.”

    I wondered what a 2045 society might be prejudiced against, and human/synthetic relationships seemed to fit the bill.

    I was really impressed with one particular piece Kat had uploaded to Facebook and I cold-pitched the story to her. She draws with great expressiveness and even her storyboards jump with emotion and energy.

    Kat: Having worked on kids comics for a good many years I was looking for something a bit more grown up, with more substance to it to sink my teeth into … Sam pitched Silicon Heart at exactly the right time, and I've been loving working on it so far! :D

    Here's the picture that caught Sam's eye if you're interested. 
    It's a very personal piece, which again gave me the impression that Silicon Heart was the right project for me. :)
  3. What have been the most enjoyable and the most challenging aspects of putting this together?

    Sam: The best part has been watching Kat exceed my imagination with her depictions of Jan and Rho. The challenging part has been raising the funds. We put together issue 1 ourselves, but we're going to need backers for a Kickstarter to get issues 2-4 made.

    Kat: For me one of the most challenging parts of the project has been capturing Rho's expressions! He's a very low-emoter, and coming from an animation background I tend to draw BIG emotions, so even when I thought I was toning things down with Rho I was still often giving him too much emotion for Sam's vision. Drawing him is just so much fun though, the two of them (Rho and Jan) together are just so sweet. :)The great bit for me is always getting feedback; both from Sam and from our readers, it's wonderful to hear of people enjoying the world you've helped to create. :)
  4. What have been the benefits of working on a project with another person?

    Sam: One person can play a melody. Harmony requires two.

    Kat: (Sam's yet to hear me sing) ;) Seriously though, Sam's right - I could never have written a story like Silicon Heart, but I'm glad to be able to contribute to the project with my art. :)
  5. What are your future plans for Silicon Heart? Would you like to see it become a long-running project or is it more of a standalone piece?

    Sam: The first goal is to get the whole story made. If that happens, I'll look into whether the art-house indie publishers are interested, both in the UK and in the US. A goal beyond that might be to seek an adaptation to radio or TV.

    Silicon Heart is a complete story, but we know of at least one of the secondary characters whose story might be worth telling. Several of our fans have expressed an interest in hearing more about the world of Silicon Heart!
  6. It's so important to help out independent projects in the arts. Tell us how we can help Silicon Heart!

    Sam: Please check out our kickstarter. :)

    Kat: And if you like it, please tell your friends about it! The more people see the project the more chance we have of being able to complete it :)
Thanks very much to Sam and Kat, who are both lovely and have both worked so hard on Silicon Heart. It can be so difficult for artists to create what they love - especially in a society that believes artists should work for free - so if Silicon Heart interests you and you're in the mood to support an independent project, head on over to their kickstarter!

Find out more about Sam and Kat here and here!