AF: How much longer do you expect the Wunan High Saga to last? How many issues?
KB: Um, it'll last 26 issues. If anybody has been paying attention, we've been doing them in alphabetical order. So all the titles are, you know. The first one is called "Aloha" and the second is, like, "Burn Up" or something, I dunno. And, you know, they kept being in alphabetical order. I just did...'R.' So yeah, we've got however many left. Eight? Nine? Eight or nine issues left. Basically, it's supposed to run until about February of next year. And that'll be the last issue. Everybody's panicking that "It's dead!" No, we've still got a while to go here guys. Just hold on.
AF: I personally love your character, Lokki.
KB: Oh god!
AF: It's just her costume.
KB: Yeah, Lokki is a lot of fun. Lokki is tons of fun. And if we're doing a spin-off--which most likely we are--Lokki will be a big part of that, because everybody loves Lokki. You can't not love Lokki. Even if you don't like cute girls, she's still got that mischievous, naughty side at the same time. So it's, like, [*cute voice*] "I'm cute and lovable, and I love little puppies. And oh, but I'll make you, uh, trip on a banana peel...AND I'LL THINK IT'S FUNNY!"
And, you know, she's just, like...you, you can't not like Lokki. She's so cute. She's got a cute little costume. She's like the perfect Cosplay character is what she is.
KB: She's, like, "Hurry up and get me in outfit one or outfit two and here's my season three outfit." And, like, yeah, she's totally a Cosplay character. She's influenced a lot by Cosplay, because whenever I'm drawing her little outfits, I'm like, "This would be such a cute little costume. This would be so cute." I can just picture somebody making it. I actually have people wanting to Cosplay as Lokki contacting me about it like, "Is it okay?" Yes, of course it's okay! Like, [*mean voice*] "Nooo, you can't wear it. It's mine!" Well, of course. You know, I...I love it. Send me pictures! I want to see what you do with it, because it's so cool. It's like this 2-D thing, and somebody wants to make it three. I wanna see! I wanna *squeal*. Then I get all fangirl about it..."Ya! Ya! I wanna see!" Sorry.
AF: Has anybody made any plush dolls or anything for you? Any Weinee Babies?
KB: Oh god, somebody...ah, it's so sad. Somebody made me a Weinee Baby--a Weinee Baby of Lokki. It's, like, Lokki's Weinee Baby and it was so perfect. She made the little yarn hair and the little wings and the little cape. And it was this adorable little Lokki doll. And then the wonderful people at the airport security stole her.
KB: From my luggage. When I went to Katsucon earlier this year, I remember packing her very delicately and wrapping her up into paper towels and a little bag. And she was all by herself in her own little compartment so she wouldn't get crushed, because I wanted to take her to Katsucon to show her off. And when I arrived in Baltimore, I started unpacking my bags and I noticed one of those little slips from TSA saying, "We've randomly inspected your bag." And I'm like, "Oh no." And I started unpacking it...and she wasn't in there. She was totally gone.
KB: So, they stole my doll. They didn't steal anything else. I would have been better off they had stole my digital camera, because I couldn't replace this. This was a one of a kind doll. It was made for me. So yeah, I had a plushy. And...and hopefully she has a new...loving home.
AF: With someone who bought it off eBay.
KB: Yeah, she probably did wind up on eBay. I should go do a search for that. "One of a kind Lokki doll. Handled by Katie Bair...probably while she was in her panties!" Oh yeah, that'll raise the value right there. "Yes, I handled this while I was in my underwear." Not on my underwear, mind you, but anyway.
AF: You could always put up a bunch of wanted web sites and stuff for it. You could put up your own dot com for it.
KB: Oh god, I know.
AF: Find Lokki or something.
KB: "Find Lokki" and have this giant reward on her and put little posters of her head. Oh, and put her on a milk carton. It was just so sad. I contacted the girl who made it for me and she was like, "Oh, don't worry. I'll make you another one." Okay, um, it's not quite the same. It's not the first one. It's a duplicate. But she really liked me and it was the first small doll she had made and she was, like, a professional doll maker. Her profession had been making Muppets, like, real Muppets for the Henson's. And that was, like, sooo nice of her.
AF: Aside from Lokki, are there any other characters that you particularly like to write or draw?
KB: Um, it depends. Easily Guru is my favorite to draw, because he's just so easy to draw.
KB: He's so easy to draw and he's... I mean, he's this nerdy guy. He's, like, totally the underdog and he's got this weird little following of all the geeks, because although he's obviously the geek and he doesn't get the spotlight or all that, he's, like, the coolest. He's the intelligent guy, and he talks like a...like a jackass, like Michael does. And he's just, I dunno, he's way cool. He was this great guy and he's really easy to draw. He's just a couple of big spikes, so I don't really have to worry about all this texturing and stuff like that.
But, um, fun to draw...fun to draw is definitely Lokki. It's 'cause of the crazy costumes, so I can just go nuts with her. I just put extra swirlies and things that don't really belong there, but it doesn't really matter because she's magical. She can do that. Like, "I can have dreadlocks today," and *ding*. I can change her hairdo.
So yeah, it's very easy. You can get crazy creative with Lokki, and she doesn't have to look exactly the same every single time, because it would be kind of weird if Yumei was bald one day, but you know that probably wouldn't work because people would ask questions. But if Lokki wanted to be bald--I can't possibly see why--she could be.
Um, those are my favorites to, like, draw. To write for, there's really not one favorite, because all the characters, a lot of times, just write themselves. I'll have some big idea about what they're gonna do when I sit down, but I've gotten to the point where I don't even write scripts anymore. I just start on the first page and I just start drawing and, basically, the issue will draw itself. Well, I have to make it come out of my hand, but, um, I suppose that'd be great if it just drew itself, wouldn't it? I could just, like, sit back and drink my cocoa. "Wow, this is great. Keep going." And the little pencil goes flying by.
No. No, I have to draw it, but, uh, the characters are really telling their own story by this point. They're doing a lot of things I didn't expect them to do at the beginning. That's good. That means that they're changing. They're evolving. They're not just stuck in a plot, and doing things the way they're supposed to. They're all...they're all equally good to write, because they're all easy to write for. They all come out very naturally that way. A lot of things like they're mannerisms are based off of people I know personally. So, you know, I can put little personal touches in there every once in a while, but pretty much their personalities have created themselves as far as what they do, what they say and how they act.
AF: I know you said it pretty much writes itself, but do you have any idea where it's going?
KB: Oh, I know exactly what the end is. I know exactly what is happening at the end, but between there and now...I have a rough outline. I have a rough idea. Basically, twelve issues ago, Robby and I sat down and we decided what, basically, was going to happen in each issue. We had a couple that said, "Fill in the blank here", because we didn't really know. Those are, like, the between arc issues. The one little "Katie-needs-to-take-a-break-so-we're-gonna-have-to-do-something-a-little-weird-for-a-while." And then we go back to, like, a serious arc, arc, arc, arc, then a little break, arc, arc, arc, break, arc, arc, arc. But I do know what happens at the end, because the spin-off that we are working on right now has a lot do with what happens at the end of Ninja High School. And that's all going to be based on the Aesir Corp group that we've, you know, slightly started to touch upon and we've given just enough so you go, "What's going on over there?" "Ha ha! We're not gonna tell you right now! Buy the next book."
Um, yeah. So we'll be slightly setting-up that. The spin-off is going to be based around Aesir Corp and the Celestial Nations, and basically all that. And that's going to be this very, very...not sarcastic...what's the word I'm looking for? It's going to very tongue-in-cheek. It'll look at both the corporate world and religious world at the same time, and you know, how they're combined into the whole Celestial Nations. The corporations are, basically, the gods that we all know and love, but [it's about] what's really going on up there. It's like, "Oh, the holy church and we'll send you more money if you can fund us." And you know, it's just crazy stuff going on. Like we're gonna have an association between the Catholic Church and Microsoft. Basically one is saying that there is one true God and they're trying to make a monopoly, kind of like Microsoft. So you know, all the Celestial Nations are, like, suing them for this anti-trust laws kind of thing.
So it'll all work out. It's gonna be...it's gonna be really fun. I can't wait to do this. It's gonna be totally different from Ninja High School, but it's gonna have a lot of the same humor. It's not gonna be an action book, but it's gonna have the same humor and the same weird little plot twists and things going on in the background all the time. So I think it'll be a really fun book. It'll be really great. It's not gonna be the Ninja High School thing. It's not gonna be teenage drama; oh angsty, "Ee oh my life's so hard." But it'll definitely be a fun book. So I'm all excited to do it. I'm all *ahhh*!
AF: I know I'll be picking it up. Do you know what it's titled?
KB: Uh, we're probably just going to be calling it Aesir Corp.
AF: Ah, okay. So tell us, what exactly does Robby Bevard do?
KB: Everybody always asks what does Robby do? What does he assist? Um, Robby...
Okay, towards the beginning of the series, Robby was going to be the writer and I was gonna be the artist. He wrote the first issue, but after he [finished] and started writing the second issue, I was realizing that I might need to start doing the dialogue, because he didn't really have experience talking like a sixteen year old girl. Which, you know...which is understandable, since he is a man and all that. But, um, I actually deal with a lot of teenagers because I tutor them and so I'm very familiar with what teenagers sound like. And obviously since I go to a lot of cons, I talk to a lot of teenagers.
So I started taking over the dialogue with number two and then after that, I think the last issue he wrote was number three, which was the wrestling issue. After that, I just, like, I started writing it, because I...I write so fast that it was basically like, "what's going on next issue?" "Oh, I already wrote it. Already wrote a script." He's like, "What?" "Well, I was doing it on the ride home."
AF: [*Double checks to see if tape recorder is still working*]
KB: I know I'm running out of tape. I'm sorry.
AF: It's cool. We're only half way though.
KB: Oh goodie. (laughing)
AF: Well, actually two-fourths.
KB: Two-fourths? Two-fourths? That is half way, dear. I'm not that slow.
AF: Uh...two-fifths. There we go. (laughing)
KB: Okay, a lot of times when I write, I'll be driving to the post office or something, and it kills time, and I'll think of a script for the next issue. Of course, I don't write it down into script form, because that's just going to waste my time, but I'll think of it. And so, I'd all ready gotten, like, four or five issues ahead of him. So basically at this point Robby is my liaison for AP. He's the person I always contact whenever I have any questions or any...any new issues to put out.
He's also the person who physically puts the book together when I send him the pages. He used to letter it, but he's been so busy working on other things that he is effectively, um...he's the post-editor is what he is. So he puts everything together. He puts on, you know, the covers, and he makes sure all that stuff's put together, but he's not actually writing it anymore. He is trying...he's trying like the devil to be able to write the last three issues or at least give me an outline for them, because he's like, "Okay, I'm gonna work on the last story arc. I'm gonna work on it." He's got things he wants to do with Yoji so bad, because Yoji is like his pet character. It is. It's his pet character, so he's like, "Oh, we have to have that one!" And I'm, "You are so living vicariously through Yoji. You so are. You, like, just want Yoji and Yumei to get together, because you have a crush on Yumei." It's all I say to him. (laughing)
But he wants to be able to do the last story, and hopefully he'll get a chance to do it, because I feel really bad, because, you know, he was going to be the writer and basically, I've just taken over.
So, um, I still want him to have some input on it and he'll tell me stuff. He's a good one to go to because he knows what has happened throughout the whole Ninja High School history. So I can go back and [ask about] what happened in the past so I can try and link it up to the future a little bit so it's a little consistent, 'cause otherwise the fanboys will be all, [*chastising voice*] "You know what happened in issue four does not match up with what happened in issue 104!"
"No, I didn't know that!"
KB: And they will do that! They will do that. What is the word...continuity?
KB: Yes, he's my continuity man on that. And of course, a lot of times we find there isn't much continuity in the old series, and I kinda have to make something up.
AF: Especially that Time Warp crossover with Gold Digger.
KB: Oh yes, that thing messed everything up! That messed everything up.
So, but he's my continuity man. He's...he's my man at AP. Since I live in California and AP's in Texas, I have no idea what's going on down there. So Robby's my man on the inside.
What else is he doing? Oh yeah, also when it says "art assist", a lot of times, if I don't have time to do it, I'll just draw the characters and color them in, and Robby will drop in a background and paint it. So most of the time when there is a computer-generated background dropped in, it's probably Robby, because, yeah, for a while he was coloring and he was toning. And then I took over on that too, because they've got him running all over the place down at AP. He doesn't get paid to work on this book. He doesn't get paid to work on Ninja High School.
KB: He gets a salary check since he works down at AP, and so they've got him doing all that other stuff down their too. This is basically a side thing for him. So, you know, he wants to help me and I'm appreciative that he wants to help, but at the same time, I don't want to stretch him too thin. Because I already know he's like, "I haven't slept in four days." "Well, maybe you shouldn't be lettering then, because we're gonna get really weird words in there. Like, 'I like to eat pudding.' Like, that's all she says for, like, four pages. 'I like to eat pudding.' Well, that's great, Yumei. Why don't you go have some?"
So, yeah, I needed to take over that series, because I knew he was being stretched way beyond his means. I could see him typing at four o'clock in the morning and it's like one big sentence with no spaces in it. Like, his thumb's missing the space bar and he doesn't even know, because he's just so sleepy. "I'll just do it, Robby. I'll take it."
AF: Like some of those word balloons that have this long text that's just crammed into it.
KB: Yeah, exactly. Exactly! *Balahbalahlalala* It's like one big word. "I'mreallysleepy-andI'mgonnagotobed-andIhaven'tgottobedinfourdays-andIhaven'thadanythingtoeat-andmytoeshurt-Idon'tknowwhymytoeshurt-ImeanIputonnewshows." See what I mean? (laughing) So I'm, like, "Yeah, you get some sleep and...and take off your shoes, and okay, I'll do this. Okay. Bye bye." Yeah, I had to do some stuff. I basically am doing everything as far as the issue goes, except for the occasional background. But yeah, hopefully Robby will get to have some input on the last issues, because he's really been out of it.