Barbra Dillon, Fanbase Press Editor-in-Chief: Congratulations on the upcoming release of your eSports comic book series, DPS Only! For those who may be unfamiliar, what can you tell us about the premise of the series, and what was the inspiration behind the project?
Vel: Thanks! DPS Only! is about the sister of a top eSports player who wants to follow in her brother’s footsteps to play competitively, but she hides her identity in fear of disapproval and ridicule. When the opportunity to play in a nationwide competition arises, she disguises herself and takes on her stage name, "Aegis." The inspiration comes from my own passion for eSports, sports anime, and gaming in general. So, I kind of Frankenstein'd it all together for DPS Only!
BD: How would you describe your creative process in balancing the writing and illustrative duties for bringing the series to life
Vel: I follow a schedule to make sure I don't fall behind. Hayden at the Tapas team helped work one out that gave me ample time to complete writing, storyboarding, and illustrating 2 episodes per month, while also having enough time to take breaks. I also have helpers at Tapas to help me with coloring, flatting, and lettering! (Shoutouts to Dojo, Selena, and Claire!)
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 Vic’s story will connect with and impact readers, and why do you feel that this story was important for you to bring to life?
Vel: I feel like readers with experiences in gaming (particularly female gamers) will relate a lot to Vicky's struggles in the story. It's pretty common knowledge nowadays in the gaming community that female players haven't always been treated fairly in the eSports scene, it's just a matter of whether or not the people in the community acknowledge it. I'm hoping the story can at least have people sympathize with these struggles, or at least know that they are not alone if they do face these obstacles. Making the gaming community a kinder place is very important to me, and I think while we've done that slowly over the past few years, we've still got a long way to go.
BD: What makes Tapas the perfect home for your series?
Vel: Tapas has always been a platform with stories that contain marginalized voices. Because it began as a place for independent creators to just post their stories freely, I think it's become a place where you can find all sorts of stories that you don't typically find in mainstream media. DPS Only! is meant to be an inclusive story, and given that gamers tend to browse the web, I think posting on Tapas was the right answer rather than just going to a traditional publisher.
BD: How many issues are planned for the series, and how often should readers visit Tapas for new installments of DPS Only!?
Vel: There are 30 episodes planned for DPS Only!, and it'll update three times a month on the 7th, 17th, and 27th!
BD: Are there any other upcoming projects on which you are currently working that you would like to share with our readers?
Vel: I'm currently working on Countdown to Countdown, a webcomic that's been my personal escapism since 2015. It's about a boy with the power to bring any piece of artwork to life who finds out his mother is a war criminal. Very different from DPS Only! If you're interested in reading, you can find it on ctccomic.com!
BD: Lastly, what is the best way for our readers to find more information about DPS Only! and your other work?
Vel: I'm most active on my Twitter and Instagram! I constantly update and bombard people with my Sims 4 builds when I'm not posting art. I also post reminders whenever any of my comics updates (that includes DPS Only!)