Comic name: EverydayAbnormal
Creator name(s): Zomburai!
Genre: Urban fantasy (with some overlaps into action and horror)
Synopsis: You’ve been lied to. Under the surface of the world under your feet and in front of your eyes are things of magic and wonder and impossibility. Monsters and aliens and gods are real. The world is so much stranger than anyone’s let you believe. Standing between the dangers of the real world and the mundane one are the Agency of the Unnatural, an army of the strange, the unique, and the powerful that fight to keep civilians safe from dangers they can’t imagine… but no one can encounter the impossible without consequences.
EverydayAbnormal follows the terrifying and violent Nick Malphas, duplicitous investigator Lilith Kane, serene magus Uche Uzochi, modern-day samurai Murakami Asuka, lifelong soldier Russell Killian, sorcerous healer Rhine Liebowitz, and a few of the countless civilians who have seen the unexplainable and had their lives changed forever.
FB link: www.facebook.com/EverydayAbnormal
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An Interview with Zomburai
1. When did you first come up with the idea for your Everyday Abnormal?
Zomburai: I’ve had ideas that would end up a part of EvAb for years, and I think the first seeds of it were planted when I read Marvels by Alex Ross and Kurt Busiek. I’m really, really fascinated by the idea that encountering the superhuman or the paranormal or just things that don’t belong has an effect on you, and is something that changes your character. The versions of the story that nobody ever saw were the versions that never really had that as a theme, and I’ve really grown to love seeing a character’s worldview change in these deep, profound ways as entertaining as seeing a brain monster.
2. What does your workspace look like (feel free to attach a photo if you’d like)? If you can add anything to it, what would it be?
Zomburai: The workspace is a disaster and will not be seen by my fellow Underdogs. But I like it that way. I’ll tell you the thing it really needs though: an actual, meant-for-work desk.
3. What’s your favorite time-sucking activity?
Zomburai: Dungeons & Dragons. When I don’t have a campaign going, reading comics. In winter, Seahawks football. I used to be a pretty dedicated video gamer, but I ended up having to make a choice whether the comic could survive regular week-long binges getting through the latest game, and I decided it could not, so I’m very picky about what games I get into now.
4 . Lord of the Rings or Star Wars?
Zomburai: Why would you make me choose? That’s like a Sophie’s choice of geekery.
If I had to choose one, it would be Lord of the Rings. There’s a lot of delectable moral ambiguity that I love in LotR, where you’ve got people doing horrifically evil or stupid things for noble reasons and evil people show the possibility of redemption. It doesn’t really get credit for being a challenging work, but it is.
5. If you were writing a clever interview question for the next spotlight, what would it be? Feel free to answer this question for yourself if you’d like!
Zomburai: “What’s your spirit animal? Mine’s Rocket Raccoon.”
6. Who is your biggest inspiration as an author? Who is your biggest inspiration as an artist?
Zomburai: As a writer, Christopher Priest (of Black Panther and The Crew). As an artist, Alex Maleev (of Daredevil and Scarlet).
7. Is there any recurring part of your comic you regret including because it’s a pain to draw?
Zomburai: I feel like you’re trying to get me to say Uche’s jacket, because everybody thinks Uche’s jacket would be horrible to draw all the time! But no, I don’t actually regret Uche’s jacket. It’s such a great design and it makes Uche look unique while still looking plausible. Actually, I more regret making the Corridor the way I did. A cityscape that goes on to infinity in all directions is a great idea that I’m still in love with, but every time I have to draw an establishing shot of it it ends up being a pain in my … life.
8. Tell us something about one of your characters that nobody else know.
Zomburai: Rhine’s been established as the “healing spell” guy. This is only a fraction of his power. It’s only a taste of what he can actually do. The actual theme of his abilities is something much more striking and he’s going to prove to be capable of some of the most amazing feats in the story as time goes on. Not bad for the kid that got removed as the point-of-view character for the series.
9. Has there ever been a book/movie/tv show/other comic/etc that you saw and thought, “I wish I had written that?” Tell us about it!
Zomburai: Avatar: The Last Airbender for quality reasons. It has everything that I like in series and does it better than almost anything else, and is truly all-ages in the best sense of the word. Scott Pilgrim (the comic specifically) for personal reasons. I identify with that comic so much. So damn much.
10. If you could incorporate one character from another comic (be it printed or web), who would that be? Would they have difficulty adjusting to the universe of your comic?
Zomburai: I’ve always wished I could do something with Judas Traveller, who was a villain in some terrible, terrible Spider-Man comics in the early-to-late 90s. The character was conceived as a reality-warper who was obsessed with mentally pulling people apart in order to figure out “the nature of Evil.” I think he’d actually fit better in EverydayAbnormal than he did in the Spider-Man comics!
Also, I really wish I’d come up with the character of Pepper from Monster Soup before its author TheGhost did, but then, I’m a sucker for characters so impulsive they get themselves into trouble. And werewolves.
11. Is the use of grayscale in your comic stylistic or a time-saving strategy?
Zomburai: It started out as a time-saver, because damn I am not as fast an artist as I want to be, but I’ve tried to work to B&W’s strengths and very carefully add color to make it work stylistically. I think it’s in a pretty good place right now, though I’ve never completely taken the idea of going to full color off the table.
12. What’s next for Everyday Abnormal?
Zomburai: Oh, man, crazy stuff.
So the last couple of chapters have focused on small-town drama (“Drowning in the Wake”), whimsical fantasy (“Acting Out”) and romantic comedy (“Personal Spaces”). “Personal Spaces” is almost done, and then there’s going to be the usual between-chapter break, and then we begin Chapter 8: “Long Way Down.” That’s a crime story that goes back to the horror of the first couple of chapters and has some crazy, overt magic that’s been missing. It digs into Nick Malphas’s past, and it is not pleasant. It’s going to change how readers see Nick from here on in and really impact the relationship between him and Lilith. The hiatus is going to see me get a new project up and running and keep trying to make the Patreon bonuses even better.
I’m going to be so busy over the next couple of months, but it’s going to be awesome.