Barbra Dillon, Fanbase Press Editor-in-Chief: Congratulations on the release of your comic book, YKX - The Adventures of Yorn Kayrah Xemovrah! For those who may be unfamiliar, how would you describe the series’ premise, and what inspired you to tell this story?
Roland Pilcz: Thank you! Basically, it’s a feel-good adventure story, dealing with ancient artifacts, car chases, exotic places, laughs, and intrigue. Creating comics, my basic idea is very simple: I want a comic book that I’d buy and read myself. As an Indiana Jones freak myself, I’ve always felt the old-school adventure topic is rarely done right. I wanted a series that might fill this void.
I created our main man to be more in the miserable phase of being a hero than on the top of his game. I love writing a character who could be forming under the readers’ eyes. Yorn Kayrah Xemovrah – or simply Kay – is enthusiastic, but struggling, he knows what he’s wanting, but reality usually offers different paths.
BD: How would you describe your creative process in balancing the writing and illustrative duties of the series, and what have been some of your creative influences?
RP: I see myself being more of an author than an artist. As a kid in the eighties, I wanted to materialize my silly ideas, and to be honest, I feel myself lucky I wasn’t distracted by today’s devices and all. I believe, making comics could be very essential for children. It’s a natural way of expressing emotions, memories and ideas, and all one needs is a paper and a pencil. I’m glad I was one of these kids, and I might still be. Though all my processes are happening on a pretty much distracting device, the child is still there somewhere; not separating the writing and drawing phases too much, like back then; it wasn’t about drawing beautiful art, but to give away those whacky stories in my head.
Of course, a healthy amount of media reached my mind and blew it! We had few comics back then, and no more than one chance a year to see Star Wars (& co) in a German TV channel. The day after, our brains were on fire, filled with monsters and spaceships and adventurers, so we took a piece of paper and sharpened a pencil…
BD: As the series has been available in Hungary, what can you tell us about your experience in having it translated to English for its exclusive release on ComiXology?
RP: It was definitely not easy! Thankfully, I’ve got a lot of good friends with whom we were working hard to make the English version as good as possible. Okay, my friends were the ones who worked on it, and I was the one behind them with my Indiana Jones whip, so it was a rewarding experience. I want to say a special thanks for my good friend Péter Lepahin who made the base of the translation, and who is now ready with the second part, too. Without serious injury.
BD: At Fanbase Press this year, our #StoriesMatter initiative endeavors to highlight the impact that stories can have on audiences of various mediums. How do you feel that YKX’s story will connect with and impact readers, and why do you feel that this story was important for you to bring to life?
RP: I think people love lighthearted escapism, especially these days. Somehow, it seems the “darker the better” attitude is still alive in the entertainment industry, and I’m not saying I mind something dark, but the balance is very important. It’s like using a hot spice while cooking. (I can’t help but citing the “classics” again. Think about Temple of Doom or Empire Strikes Back. Those were the darkest in their series, but still managed to be a fun bit of entertainment without any wrist-cutting purposes). Anyway, I believe quality entertaining is underrated. I’m absolutely not against a deeper meaning if it’s coming from the heart, but forcing pretentious politics, pseudo philosophy and all those trendy P-s seem to be spoiling the fun most of the time.
BD: Are there any upcoming projects on which you are currently working that you would like to share with our readers?
RP: While I’m working on the next chapters of YKX (also want the further issues to be available in English). I started working on my point & click adventure game with my brother. We’ve been planning this for a decade (or two!) I’m very enthusiastic about the project that's going to be a mild fantasy tale in classic 2D, but with today’s standards. It’s a tremendous amount of work, but gladly we are making a good team with my brother, as he’s talented with programming and logical skills, while I’m responsible for most of the creative part. So, prepare… I hope it’ll see the light of day in a decade (or less!).
BD: Lastly, what is the best way for our readers to find more information about YKX - The Adventures of Yorn Kayrah Xemovrah and your other work?
RP: Right now on the official YKX Facebook page… in glorious Hungarian. But I’m promising the content to be more understandable for English readers from now on. I’m not a fan of Instagram, Twitter, and co, but I plan to represent the comic in some of the most popular social media platforms as well soon.