Earlier this month we brought you an interview with Donnie Goth creator Ricardo Porven. In the article was a video trailer for the latest Donnie adventure The End? Well, the first part of this new story arc recently went up on the site and Ricardo kindly agreed to answer a few more questions for GeeksUnleashed.Me.
Donnie wakes from a nightmare looking for Oliver but he is nowhere to be found. In fact, nobody is anywhere to be found. Could this be it? Could this be the end times that had been predicted since Mayan times? This is the description of The End?, taken from the web site.
I really enjoyed this first part of the story. Ricardo’s scripting and dialogue, and Joe Oliver’s beautiful art (with colours by Ricardo), really works well in conveying a sense of ‘aloneness’. The final panel is full of weird imagery and crazy visuals and it got me hooked on this story. I want to know what happens next. Now.
I wanted to get an insight into the new story and the idea behind it. And here’s what I found out from Ricardo:
Geeks Unleashed: How long have you been planning to tell the story that will unfold in this arc?
Ricardo Porven: I wrote the story last December. It was originally scheduled to unfold at the beginning of the year, but getting prepared for our debut at Megacon in Orlando and scheduling issues pushed it back. It’s a fairly big story in comparison to what has been done before and I am glad to have Joe Oliver on board to do the pencils and inks, because I’m not sure I could have done it all alone. It would have been quite a big task indeed.
GU: This will be the longest story you have told in terms of parts. Does your writing process change when telling a story over several episodes? Do you have the 4 parts mapped out in advance?
Donnie started out as quick little funny strips, but over time I felt there was much more to explore and since “All Hallows Eve” the stories have been growing longer and more involved. In fact, you could say this arc is just a chapter in a much longer story that we hinted at in “X-massacre” involving Oliver’s death, the sudden appearance of Kyle, the evolution of Donnie’s powers and the mysterious mention of Donnie’s father. While it’s not all planned out in detail I do have a loose road-map of where we’re going. To a certain extent the stories kind of take their own direction as I write them, but I eventually wrangle them into where we want to go. Next month is the beginning of a parallel arc featuring Oliver in the underworld. It’s called Salamandhalla and that chapter is also 4 parts. This year I am making a concerted effort to produce more content and both stories will be updating each month. Eventually in future stories the 2 arcs will come together, but I think it might take us a year or so to get there. As far as the difference in process, the longer stories allow me to take my time developing the characters and their relationships with one another, the shorter ones are really all about the punch line. So in that sense they differ, and they differ in the fact that the shorter ones need an ending for each strip, in the longer stories, we may not see a real ending some time.
GU: The End is drawn by Joe Oliver. Is this the first collaboration between you two? How did you two meet?
RP: The End is the first collaboration between Joe and I. Joe Oliver is one of a few artists I searched out and contracted to help me with the strip. His work is awesome and he brings a different perspective to the strip that I love.
Luis Diaz was really helping me out last year with the strips, but he’s a very busy and popular artist and we both knew that he wouldn’t be able to continue to work on the strips forever. In fact, we both thought the idea of guest artists on the strip would be very cool for the fans and had a few lined up before we went on hiatus. During the hiatus as I began to plan the next season, getting help became a big priority and so I took out an ad on elance.com and freelancer.com to find partners to work with. I liked Joe’s work from the beginning and offered him the job.
I also found James Lacroix, who is working with me on the Salamandhalla storyline. His style is different and edgy and I’m like an excited fan waiting to see what he sends me next.
GU: Without giving too much away, can you tell us anything about your future plans for Donnie and his fellow characters?
RP: Story wise, we will see Donnie and Oliver each going through their respective story arcs; they have a lot of changes to go through apart before I bring them back together and when they do come back together, their adventures will have changed them a bit and that will change the dynamic between them to some extent. I’d love to say more, but beyond the story arcs currently underway, I still have to work it all out. But I can guarantee it will be entertaining and worth the wait.
Something else that’s pretty cool, is I am working on a series of animated YouTube shorts featuring Donnie in his room taking the role of a vlogger. We are currently in pre-production building all the elements and will likely go into production towards the end of the year. I’ve been casting for the voice of Donnie and there are some promising actors for the role. The videos will run the gamut from silly entries to segments that somehow loosely tie-in to the current story arc. It’s exciting and the main reason I contracted help on the art for the strips.
Beyond that, there’s much I want to do. It’s just that silly restraint called time that I have to figure out first.
GU: Thanks for your time Ricardo.
Once you’ve read part 1 of The End? You can check out the awesome trailer for the next story Salamandhalla below: