Barbra Dillon, Fanbase Press Editor-in-Chief: Congratulations on the release of your online manga series, Warrior Legend! For those unfamiliar with the story, how would you describe its premise?
Thomas E: Thank you for being able to do this interview with me about my series. It has been a long ride with everything from character development, storytelling, writing dialogue, and drawing for hours and hours. This manga takes place in a fictional universe, in a prehistoric middle-age type era. The city Augo well protected its walls and by their citizens from the outside world. The whole community has huge faith in their leader, The Chief. Once The Chief had an adventurer working for him in secret to provide information and treasures from the outside world. One day the adventurer brings back a baby he found in one of the world strangest places, better known as Phanom Woods and brought back. This causes the problems for him and the child is given to the monks who are the only people left from an earlier time of Augo rule.
The story takes place around three main characters where the main Ozias is baby found outside. As he grows up, there are “magic abilities” better known as Attributes to the monks, which they discover and grows Ozias potential. This skill keeps him in Augo till this day. Now as a soldier he’s protecting the gates from incoming attacks, as well as having selected students that somewhat carries the same skills. He makes a good friend with one student, Enoch. Zakaria, the adventurer once working for The Chief as abandoned long ago for trespassing the agreement they had. Now drifting the world on his own. As for the people of Augo and even outsiders, Augo may seem like a paradise. Soon trouble is coming its way!
The balance that keeps this world growing seems to be somewhat disturbed! As soon as more trouble breaks loose, something strangely unknown seems to wake up from the deep grounds and the heaven above! Are the three know companions up to help the world from changing so drastically?
BD: What (or who) initially inspired you to create this story, and what do you hope that readers will take away from it?
TE: Oh, well, it's started way back since I was a kid loving to draw, being interested in pop culture, and growing up with all this games and movies in '90s. Much closer to this day, I did some heavy writing on storylines with a friend I grew up with sharing the same interest and we wanted to create something awesome.
Later on in reality, life changes somehow. Even so, starting over, based on what we the did I decided to make a manga book series as a side story of the original scripts. In late 2014 the release of Chapter I came out as a webcomic on my www.warriorlegend.net website. And soon after getting into making more Chapters, I discovered that no one is able to see or consume my work and the story that was made that has been taking years to create!
So, in today's society, everything goes by too fast and I know most people prefer to consume content they already know and feel comfortable with, and not like going into new stuff. I promise you it will be worth your while.
BD: How would you describe your creative process in balancing the writing and illustrative duties?
TE: To me, it became quite natural due to the experience you build up in your youth, like some kind of life experience or education. So, by having a well-written story you easily bring your text into images in your head as you write them and also by reading of the script later on you still see the same images- You start by recreating this with your set of drawing skills. I always create sketches and draft for what part of the script should be for each frame on the panel and where to place each dialogue. It happens on occasions that I'm changing out the images due to challenges like, it can be hard to explain the situation over a few panes rather than telling the story by a dialogue or storytelling of what actually happens.
This might seem like a shortcut to some, but it's actually better for the reader to know what's really going on rather than getting confused. As the work goes on my skills grows more into better drawings and storytelling for the Warrior Legend Manga.
BD: What are your future plans for the series?
TE: This year has been hectic, I have been crappy on promoting myself earlier! Now I have been attending some conventions and sold some physical copies for the first time. I’m trying to reach out to communities as well, (tough!).
Since I started releasing in 2014-2017 exclusive to the website. I changed things a bit made it better and had the series Chapter I, II and III releasing earlier this year on Amazon.com, now actually having some sales. I’m trying to put together Chapter IV as well hopefully for late 2018/ early 2019. I hope you are looking forward to what’s going to happen in the story next. Since in Chapter III everything has a dramatic turn of events!
BD: If given the opportunity to expand Warrior Legend into other entertainment mediums, what do you feel would be the best medium for the series?
TE: Wow, that’s a big one. Well, mostly mangas that becomes extremely popular turns into Anime. spatially in the Japanese market. If I had the chance to do anything extra I would like Warrior Legend turned into a video game! Going back to some roots here. We were often doing roleplaying games like D&D, and rather than doing so we managed to make our own stories and characters. in this way we created elements that could easily fit into a gameplay.
BD: Are there any additional projects that you are working on that you are able to share with readers?
TE: Since WL is started out as a hobby of mine it has become more of an extra job to my actual full-time job as a store manager. I think by putting my focus on this to become something big one day is priority number one. Then from there, I know the Warrior Legend Universe has more to offer in the years to come. Be sure to don’t miss out now while the series is young, one day youæll be proud to say you were one of the first to read!
BD: Lastly, what would you like to tell fans who want to learn more about Warrior Legend?
TE: To be honest, I’m just like many other writers/creators out there trying to make my manga a big thing, well not that easy, but you are the only one that can make that happen. After spending hundreds or close to thousand hours on my work over the years I would be happy to see you use one hour reading. I’ll be happy to take you critics and feedbacks to make WL into the manga you wished or hoped it to be!
I’m sure if you as well as I grew up feeding on everything from Final Fantasy to Naruto, I’m sure you’ll love this series. Again, let me know what made you read Warrior Legend or found the interest in it. Reach out if you read all this and I’ll send you a free copy to start off! Go to facebook.com/wariorlegend and contact me on PM.