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Fanbase Press Interviews Hayden Fryer on the Upcoming Kickstarter Campaign Launch for the Graphic Novel, ‘A Yuletide Flame’

The following is an interview with Hayden Fryer regarding the upcoming Kickstarter campaign launch for the graphic novel, A Yuletide Flame. In this interview, Fanbase Press Editor-in-Chief Barbra Dillon chats with Fryer about the incredible backer rewards which will be available to supporters, why Kickstarter has been so valuable to comic book creators, and more!

Barbra Dillon, Fanbase Press Editor-in-Chief: For those who may be unfamiliar, what can you tell us about the premise of this story?

Hayden Fryer: It’s a festive season set comic book in the old English tradition of Ghost Stories told on the night before Christmas, with a sweet twist! 

“In this heart-warming supernatural tale set on the night before Christmas, an archaic candle is lit and the dinner table lovingly set for the return of the most dearly departed.”

The comic will be roughly 40 pages and published by Siberian Productions. It’s written and illustrated by myself, featuring original song lyrics by Tinman Johnson (The Yellow Stripes), and a series of pin-ups from some of Australia’s finest illustrators and comic artists.

BD: How would you describe your creative process in bringing these characters and story to life on the page, given that you are balancing the writing and illustrative duties?

HF: That’s always a tricky thing to distill, but it’s sort of a process of constant evolution for the characters and the story as a whole. I’m primarily a writer and illustrator, so for me the two duties are very much interwoven with each other in a never-ending dance.

I tend to build out stories from a series of visual beats, finding the characters along the way as they move from A to B. And these early script passes tend to be more like a written storyboards of rough beat movements, filled with the key elements/moments. These are then converted to panel breakdowns in the thumbnail stage on a scene by scene basis, working mostly on visual feeling and pace. With the final art getting a more definitive pass of dialogue at the end to bring the work together as a whole.

So, kind of like pottery from a lump of Marvel Method clay, in that the written outline is the early lump and it’s in the drawing stages of the spinning wheel that the more definitive “writing” occurs in the visual molding.

A Yuletide Flame Previews

BD: Crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter have provided a wonderful opportunity for creators of all mediums to reach new audiences. What encouraged you to utilize Kickstarter, and how do you feel that it has helped independent creators?

HF: I’m often impressed with Kickstarter’s constant growth and facilitation of support to the various indie scenes. And I love how there’s a wonderful ecosystem of creators and readers who gravitate towards the platform. Which in itself has helped to create new and exciting opportunities to present our creative works directly to the readers.

I’ve traditionally self-published, and, being based in Australia, I’m often very limited in how many opportunities are available to reach readers in the international markets. So, having a platform where I can not only offer the book directly, but also add in other options like original art, etc. – well, it seems like a no-brainer!

BD: Are there any particular backer rewards that you would like to highlight within the campaign?

HF: One of the unique opportunities I’ve been able to include in this one is a few select pieces of original Ink and Wash art. Which while they have appeared often in my Instagram feed over the last few years, are rarely available for collectors physically. And also having this wonderful opportunity to cross-promote the fantastic music of the Yellow Stripes who have (to my absolute delight) contributed some amazing supporting lyrics within the book.

BD: Are there any other upcoming projects on which you are working that you are able to share with our readers?

HF: I’ll have a brand new comic book series debuting early next year from the upcoming international publisher, IPI Comics, called BRISTLEMOUTH: A COVE HORROR.

It will be a 4-part limited series that gleefully draws on my love of horror (eerie, pulpy, and elevated) and follows a group of work colleagues as they venture out on a weekend escape for fun and relaxation, only to find themselves confronted with internal and external demons that threaten to devour them all.

BD: Lastly, what would you like to tell fans who want to learn more about A Yuletide Flame?

HF: I’m bit of a Grinch generally, but . . . A Yuletide Flame is a very unique and hauntingly sweet Christmas tale, with just a hint of horror along the edges. It draws on the old traditions of the Christmas season, both colloquial Ghost Stories and classics from authors like MR James, Charles Dickens, etc. With it all wrapped up in a little bow from my admiration of Raymond Briggs’ wonderful works.

Barbra Dillon, Fanbase Press Editor-in-Chief




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