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Spotlight Comics

Spotlight – The Errant Apprentice

 

2014-07-04

Comic: The Errant Apprentice

Creator: Kevin Hayman

Genre: Fantasy, Alternate history, Adventure

Synopsis: Terry Lingal is the Errant Apprentice. He travels a modern world where fantasy has returned and he moves ever closer to his destiny.

Link: http://olddyingkitty.com/errant_apprentice

FB link: https://www.facebook.com/everywhencomics

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interview


 

 An Interview with Kevin Hayman


1. When did you first come up with the idea for The Errant Apprentice?

Kevin: Oh jeez. A pretty good while back. Just after high school I think so in ‘95 or so. It was going to be three series in a shared universe that my friends and I were going to do but I was the only one that hung on to the idea of a knight in the modern world. I didn’t actually start working on it till around 2004 or 2005.

 

2. What does your workspace look like? If you can add anything to it, what would it be?

Kevin: Honestly, it’s a 17 year old press board computer desk with my PC and Wacom tablet next to it. I keep a Transformers Masterpiece Prowl on the hutch to watch my back and I keep a silver Tar Valon mark and a bottle of Aleve there as well. A good combination of geeky and practical.

If I could add anything it would be an 11×17 printer/scanner and a mixing board for recording pod casts.

That and a sandwich.

 

3. What’s your favorite time-sucking activity?

Kevin: I’m gonna say my Nintendo 3DS. I got “The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds” and that was all I wanted to do for weeks.

 

4 . Lord of the Rings or Star Wars?

Kevin: That’s tough. I honestly have more attachment to Star Wars, but I’m gonna say Lord of the Rings since I haven’t seen it 4,576 times throughout my life.

 

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!

Kevin: Have you ever had a lucid dream?

Yes. Yes I have and it was amazing.

 

6. If someone knew something about your future would you pick the red pill (the painful truth of reality) or the blue pill (the blissful ignorance of illusion)?Kevin: I’d take the red pill. Everything fuels creativity. Especially pain. Besides, time can be rewritten.

7. What is your favorite character to draw in your comic?

Kevin: It’s a tie, really. It’s either Terry or his mom. I like drawing Terry because he’s got such a range of emotions and he’s got that “serious business” look. I also like coming up with new armor designs for him. Oh God. I’m playing dress up with him.

AHEM!

As for his mom, who’s only recently been turning up, I just really like her big poofy hair.

 

8. I can’t help but be reminded a little bit of Trigun when I look at Terry. Are there any Vash or perhaps Wolfwood influences there?

Kevin: There may be some unconscious influence from Vash there what with the coat and all. Mostly though, Terry’s that hero that I think everyone secretly wants in their stories, even if they like anti-heroes.

 

9. What keeps you going?

Kevin: Spite and angrosity.
No, not really. Part of it is that I HAVE to tell these stories. They come to me and I need to do something with them or it’s a waste. Part of it is being able to touch people emotionally through the work. Mostly, this is what keeps me sane when things start to go south out here in the real world.

 

10. What program do you draw your comic in? Is there another program you’d like to try out or upgrade to?

Kevin: I use Manga Studio 5 EX right now. I’ve tried Photoshop, Illustrator, and PaintTool SAI before that though and so far I’m extremely satisfied with Manga Studio. I can’t think of any other programs out there I’d like to try to be honest. Any suggestions from the readers?

 

11. The Errant Apprentice has been running for over 8 years. How many pages have been produced so far? Do you have any big plans for when your comic reaches the 10 year mark?

Kevin: I’m not sure of the exact number at the moment but it’s somewhere around 590 pages so far. Kota’s World actually reached about 935 or so, so this isn’t the longest thing I’ve done.

The ten year mark? Good question. Probably ask myself how far off the plan I went to hit ten years! Seriously though, there is a strong chance I WILL hit ten years but I have no idea what I’ll do at that point. I suppose I’ll get a low sugar cupcake, put a candle in it, take a photo, and post it on the site on the anniversary date. I’m not very good with this whole “planning ahead” thing.

 

12. What’s next for The Errant Apprentice?

Kevin: We’re actually headed toward the end game with Errant Apprentice right now, but there’s some really fun and amazing stuff still happening before that! Afterward I have a sequel I’d like to do a year or so later. It’ll be a reverse of the Everywhen storyline in that a young girl from the Everywhen will cross over to our world and have adventures. Should be fun! Until then, I’ll probably concentrate on my other series, Mailbox Rocketship which is an adventure/humor series that I’m having far too much fun with for it to be legal.

 

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11 Comments

  1. In response to your second interview question – have you looked into Mustek scanners or Brother all in ones? There’s a couple threads in the forums about these topics that may be useful, if you haven’t already come across them.

    Printers.
    Scanners.

    I love The Errant Apprentice, btw. Your cartooning skills are beyond excellent.

  2. A great interview! You’ve got a very distinctive voice, Kevin.

    I’ve started undertaking your massive archive (I’m only at 242 total pages. So jealous!) and I am liking it so far! I only wish you had an archive page, because I was a little lost on the navigation at first. I like to look and see how many chapters there are in a comic before I undertake it, you see.

    I will make sure to leave some comments for you on your actual site. Cheers!

    • Thank you! The biggest problem I’ve had is that the host for EA is using an out dated version of both wordpress and comicpress and I have no control over it. I attempted to make an archive page once and it got rid of all the actual comic pages! It took a couple of days to sort out. At some point when I have more time I’ll add a sidebar widget thing with links to the covers at least. Thanks for reminding me!

      Also, thanks for the comments so far!

  3. At first I thought it was going to be painful going through all the archives (since you have so many), but I quickly became hooked on your comic. I always try and come up with something constructive, so at the beginning, I saw some possible improvements you could make in your artwork. However, by the time I got to the latest page, you had improved WAAAY beyond any suggestions I could make.

    As for the story, the fact that I could not stop myself from reading on should be a clue into how hooking it is. I never saw any obvious flaws, and in fact, quite the opposite, I just kind of subconsciously realized at the end that your pacing had become better.

    I love your treatment of magic and religion, and the struggle Terry faces with his desire to be good and a hero.

    I guess if there was any negative feedback at all, it would be like what was said above … an archive page would be nice. I think a cast page might be nice too, a couple of times I got lost on which bearded knight was which =).

    I’m hooked on your comic now and have added it to my reads on comic rocket, A+!

    • Thank you so much for the compliments and I’m glad you’re enjoying it. I have a cast page if you hover over “about” in the menu, but I need to update it with some of the other characters.
      Once again, thank you so much for the compliments and thank you for reading!

  4. Wow you kept working one one thing for 10 years! That’s amazing! Good job, keep it up! :)

  5. Wow, this one’s late! Sorry.

    The website’s okay, though the URL really confuses me. You might consider changing it in the future, especially given the outstandingly long-running nature of this comic. Also, this is a nitpick, but maybe consider a feature where clicking on the page leads to the next page. It’s not a requirement, but it does make for easier reading during an archive binge session. Consider updating your cast page, too. It’s a tad behind.

    As much as I want to like the idea of magic and fantasy in a southern USA setting, I must admit the story really started to engage me the most when Terry left to the magical world instead. However, after some consideration, I think I’ve figured out why that is. First, this is the part of the story where we start to see Terry be something other than the (ahem) archetype of a paladin, and second, this is where you start to really take chances and make unexpected choices in the story. Before that, there had been no lack of drama and adventure, per se, but each episode was familiar territory. Ultimately, it was more interesting watching Terry go on an emotional journey and discover truths he didn’t want to know. Given the improvements in the writing department since, I think it’s safe to say that you could fully own the strangeness of a magical southern USA setting and keep the narrative unique. It’ll be interesting to see all those elements come together and so far, it’s promising.

    I’m not as drawn in by the art. Some aspects, such as the lighting, colors, and line weight, improve quite a lot over time, but this comic has a few problems I’d like to focus on in particular. First, the panel composition is sometimes a bit unclear. It’s sometimes hard to tell how the action flows and some transitions are too abrupt. Second, the character’s faces look drastically different in profile than they do from the front. While this part of the design has improved a little, it still looks weird seeing their faces, which look sort of snout-like from the side, change shape entirely when they face the camera. Third, the art style for the bakgrounds is really inconsistent. Sometimes it matches the style of the characters, sometimes it looks almost like a 3d rendering, and other times it looks like a photo-manipulation. This stood out to me most in Legends, with the water especially. It’s distracting and though the writing itself was pretty good in that chapter, I was always sidetracked by the water not fitting the rest of the art.

    So, characters. I like Terry and although I feel like her sudden attraction and abrupt fallout with him seemed rushed, I’ve grown to like Delores. I really liked Al and I was pretty sad when we had to say goodbye to the poor guy (and then really happy later when we see the scooter). Elton…has kind of been ignored. It would be nice to see a little more of him and give him some breathing room. The rest of the cast ranges from very likeable and memorable (coughGreenmancough) to kind of easily forgotten, but I get the sense every player in this story has an important role, so even when a character I’m not interested in takes the spotlight, I keep reading simply because the plot has my interest.

    Overall, given how long this comic is, I was expecting to take a long time to read this, but the further into the story (past For Fear of Little Men, especially), the more I didn’t want to put it down. That’s a sign of a good story if there ever was any, so no matter what negative feedback I may have, if you managed to engross me that completely, you can be very certain you’ve done a lot right.

    • I can’t thank you enough for the review!

      I know exactly where you’re coming from with the side/front faces critique and it’s something I’m working on with a lot of the characters. Backgrounds. . . yeah. You got me. I’ve only recently started trying to stay consistent with styles. I agree on the water in hindsight. Part of it has been experimentation. Part of it was time constraint. Not a good explanation, but there it is. I’m working on it. :)

      I also really appreciate your thoughts on the writing. I thought the Everywhen storyline was some of my best work, but I lost readers by the HUNDREDS when that began. I’m only now starting to recover from it. I think part of it was the strange setting, but mostly (and this has been confirmed to me time and again) it was the loss of Delores from the story that did it. I had several people angry that she was gone from the story and I’m just now starting to see people come back now that she is. Weird, I know.

      I’m glad you like the characters. There’s actually much more involving Elton and the side story characters (and others) coming up in the next two issues. I’m playing a pretty long game with the series and some of these folks don’t factor in until this late. Even Rachel the Deep One has a part to play.

      Again, thank you so much for the review and thank you for reading. I’m glad you’ve enjoyed it so much.

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