For the full moon of January, through to February, our featured comic will be "What We Remember Most" by Austin Bradley! "What We Remember Most" is described as a slice of life comedy that involves anxiety and quarter life crises.
Can you tell us a bit about your comic “What We Remember Most” and its genres and themes?
What We Remember Most has been a passion project of mine for up to six years. I stated it my sophomore year in high school. It was even rougher than it is now but I loved writing it. I started if from scratch about two years ago after I had time to sit down and rewrite things What We Remember Most is a slice of life Comedy (with some existential horror dropped in). It’s about growing up and reaching the age where you thought everything would happen, and nothing has yet, and how someone deals with it. It’s about bottling up emotions and the importance of reaching out to loved ones for help and to help.
There are quite a lot of varied personalities with your characters, which do you find the easiest to write and which ones are the most difficult? Do any of them share similar traits to you?
I honestly love writing different personalities. I prefer being the DM (Dungeon Master) to being a character because between playing one person and playing 500, I like playing 500. I made sure, when designing my characters, to include one thing I can heavily associate with and one thing I don’t relate to at all, which has made writing all of them a great joy. Sarah is probably the easiest one to write. She has so much of me written into her, writing her anxieties has been a huge piece of catharsis for me, and I also am a control freak that can’t let things go. I liked the idea of someone who had the same flaws as me, but very different strengths, someone who had the traits I wanted more of like her sociability and extreme extroversion. Pepper and Tea are a lots of fun to write as well. Pepper used to be the hardest character to write for in my first draft that finished over four years ago. She was really kinda bland until I pushed her dial up to about 200% and made her about the spaciest person I could make her. I also am obsessed with history, and will talk too long about it. Tea is the one I’m the least like (which has been fun because my readers associate with her the most) but she’s easy to write, especially as a foil to Sarah. I honestly think the only one I’m still figuring out is Leo, who has presented me with a lot of writing questions I’m still examining.
Did other webcomics influence or inspire you to make your own? What were your other inspirations?
Oh definitely! I grew up on webcomics my whole life, and comics before that. I started with sprite comics about megaman and sonic, which I emulated in my middle school years. I moved from those to furry comics and found plenty of cute furry slice of life comics like namir deiter, and this one about high schoolers prepping for prom that I can’t find anymore. (Interviewer Note: The webcomic is called "Good Cheese"!)Soon after starting my first draft of What We Remember Most (which was very different but had the same characters) I found Furry Experience, which is still one of my favorites, and I felt awkward being all “oh, another story about mormon furries, hope no one thinks I’m copying!” (I think I did an alright job avoiding that…I hope…). Sitcoms like friends are also basically my life, and definitely inspired me.
It's obvious that your comic has gone through style changes here and there, would you say that experimenting with the style keeps the comic fresh? What other styles would you like to try in the future?
Haha, yeah, I admit, if I were doing something standardized for publishing I would not be so willing to change everything as much as I do, before changing it again right after. I’ve always viewed WWRM as my little lab to experiment in, artistically speaking. I’m constantly trying to define my style and I’m constantly finding new photoshop brushes to fall in love with that I just have to try out. I think experimenting on the comic makes it more exciting for me to work on it, and I always do it with a hope that it will make the comic overall better. I love to open up my page archives and watch my art shift and morph as time passes, most of the time for the better. Writing a webcomic is kinda like a time capsule in that way (and definitely highlights my indecisiveness). I’m currently working on pushing character silhouettes and simplifying shapes, so I’m sure that will be popping up in my comic in the future, and I’m sure I’ll find some new way to color that I’ll fall in love with for a couple weeks.
What advice would you give others who are wanting to create a webcomic?
I'd say don't take yourself too seriously. This doesn't have to be your magnum opus and it doesn't need to be wildly successful, especially if it's your first webcomic. I think that's what hold so many people back from writing is they feel they have to be successful right out of the gate. I'm currently on my second iteration of What We Remember Most and also I wrote like ten other webcomics growing up (not to mention all the other projects I work on in my down time I haven't gotten to yet). Take it as a chance to learn and experiment, and have fun. If it works, it works, and if it doesn't, you learn why and change things up for the future. Webcomics take a lot of time and effort to keep, so I say make that time and effort enjoyable, because, most likely, it's going to be a hobby you do for you more than anything else
Thank you Austin for providing us with this great interview and we hope everyone enjoys reading it and getting to know more about our comic creators!