The following is an interview with Charles Edwards regarding the recent release of the comic book series, Malice + Magic. In this interview, Fanbase Press Editor-in-Chief Barbra Dillon chats with Edwards about his creative process in bringing the story and characters to life, what he hopes that readers may take away from the story, and more!
Barbra Dillon, Fanbase Press Editor-in-Chief: Congratulations on the release of Malice + Magic! For those who may be unfamiliar, how would you describe the series’ premise, and what inspired you to tell this story?
Charles Edwards: Thank you so much! The best way I can describe Malice + Magic is a chaotic thrill ride filled with monsters and mayhem. It follows Malice, a young girl who unleashed a demonic apocalypse on the world and is now trying to end it all by herself. It’s a very character-driven story that deals with grief, isolation, and the importance of asking for help.
Malice + Magic kind of exploded in my head while working on some ideas for a TTRPG campaign. I wrote it during the first year of the pandemic when going outside was the most dangerous thing you could do, so that translated into the story where this girl is trapped in a city completely overrun by monsters. I guess, in a way, it’s how I got the anxiety of the pandemic out of my head.
BD: What can you tell us about your shared creative process in bringing this story to life, and what have been some of your creative influences?
CE: My creative process feels weird because Malice started on a character sheet, and the more I fleshed her out and filled in her stats, her story just sort of sprang out at me. When I began putting something together, I thought about her ending first; then, I built the story around that outcome.
I would say the most important stories that influenced me are Eastern animation and manga like Chainsaw Man and films from Studio Ghibli and Clamp. But for Malice + Magic specifically, I took a lot of inspiration from one of my favorite animated film, Demon City Shinjuku, by Hideyuki Kikuchi.
BD: At Fanbase Press, our #StoriesMatter initiative endeavors to highlight the impact that stories can have on audiences of various mediums. How do you feel that Malice + Magic’s story may connect with and impact readers?
CE: What I would hope is that other than a fun story, readers find a way to relate to the struggle of Malice and carrying what feels like the weight of the world. Realizing that a strong support system is vital, especially with the current state of living today, mental health and good friends are things that should be prioritized.
BD: How many issues do you have planned for the first story arc of this series?
CE: Malice + Magic is a planned trilogy; the first issue introduces the main cast and the circumstances surrounding Malice’s story. Going forward, the world will expand drastically, and a lot of answers to questions will be revealed. Malice is the girl who destroyed the world, and there will have to be consequences for that.
BD: Are there any upcoming projects on which you are currently working that you would like to share with our readers?
CE: I’m solely focused on Malice + Magic at the moment. I’m working on a physical release for Malice + Magic issue one, and I plan to hold a Kickstarter for the second book later on this year.
BD: Lastly, what is the best way for our readers to find more information about Malice + Magic and your other work?
CE: Malice + Magic is currently available on the Global Comix website under the Story Mode Press publishing page. I’m also on Twitter under the name AtomoSK94 for most questions and updates on any projects I’m working on.