Interview With Shawn Daley- Creator of TerraQuill

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Posted February 6, 2015 by Alexander Handziuk in Comic Books

We The Nerdy Writer Alex Handziuk had the pleasure of sitting down with comic creator Shawn Daley to discuss TerraQuill, a collection of short stories available to back on Kickstarter until March 6th.

WTN- So Shawn right off the bat, what is TerraQuill and how did you come up with the whole concept?

S.D- TerraQuill is a series of short story comics that can be read in any order. Each story takes place on the continent of TerraQuill, which is a mashup of our reality and more fantastical worlds. Stories don’t directly tie into each other, but they work together to craft the mythology and history of TerraQuill.

TerraQuill started off as two short stories. The first was an answer to “what if the grim reaper was a ten year old boy?” and the second was purely an exercise in storytelling through comics. The stories didn’t quite fit into our world, so they needed a world of their own.

WTN- What caused you to go to Kickstarter to launch your book and what are your thoughts on its crowdfunding service?

S.D- Kickstarter launched in Canada only recently, and it was fairly anticipated due to its successful funding rate for projects. We didn’t have much like it in Canada, and we still don’t. The thing with Kickstarter is that they want you to blow the roof off of your goals. The better your project does, the better they do with their 8% cut of the fees. They’ll promote your project themselves if they see you pulling your weight. It’s a real win-win relationship and, thus far, I’d absolutely recommend them.

WTN-Terra Quill got 100% funded in 25 hours, firstly congratulations, and secondly going into the campaign did you expect this much support?

S.D- Thanks! I’m absolutely overwhelmed with the support, and I did not expect to raise funds so quickly. TerraQuill is seeing a paperback release only because there was a demand for it, and it’s heartwarming to see the outpour of encouragement. It’s very motivating.

WTN- Do you have a favourite character(s) and favourite story from this first collection?

S.D- From an artists perspective, Rootle (the cactus monster in Sapped) is most fun to draw. I’m not partial to one story or character over the other, but there are a handful I plan on revisiting down the road. Some of them still have important parts to play in the mythology of TerraQuill.

WTN- Do you have any plans to continue exploring the world of TerraQuill, perhaps in the form of another collection or something along those lines?

S.D- There’s a long format TerraQuill story in the works at the moment, and I’ll begin drawing it this summer. It’s called The Bridgebuilder’s Creed, and it centers around TerraQuill’s last Bridgebuilder who sets out searching for work in a post-war TerraQuill. There’s actually a bit more history on The Bridgebuilder’s Creed tucked away in the pages of TerraQuill Collected.

WTN- As a rising comic creator do you have any idols in the industry, past or present?

S.D- The works of Hugo Pratt and Moebius are some of my favourite. Akira Toriyama and Ken Sugimori brought me into Japanese art / storytelling young age, and Ashley Wood’s work in the Metal Gear Solid manuals were always highly influential. Almost every creator in the comic business today has influenced me in some way or another. Especially those releasing creator owned work.

WTN- Thank you so much for this interview! Is there anything that you’d like to say to your fans before we sign off?

S.D- If you’re interested in writing comics for a living, learn how to draw. Buy books, ask questions, and study.  It will help you understand the medium from the other side of the coin, and it will give you a leg up when it comes to working with artists on your stories. You’ll be able to speak their language and communicate more efficiently. If you’re looking for a great way to begin teaching yourself, why not start with a few short stories?

You can find Shawn Daley on the web at http://shawndaley.ca or on twitter @ShawnDaley. Go fund his Kickstarter campaign at https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/shawndaley/terraquill-collected?ref=category_location


About the Author

Alexander Handziuk

Alex is a comic aficionado who loves Aquaman, Overwatch, the musical Hamilton and medium length strolls on beaches. Check him out on the Comics Dash Podcast, on twitter at @axehandziuk and in real life patrolling the borders of Canada.