Book of Lyaxia: Interview with Aron Pohara

WeTheNerdy’s own comics editor Aron Pohara is taking the plunge into comics writer with his debut project, Book of Lyaxia. Book of Lyaxia will be a big fantasy adventure about the relationship between Gods, politics, and family. Also expect a bunch of action scenes with cool magic. It’s a fantasy book. It has to have those.

Book of Lyaxia will be coming to a Kickstarter near you, but in the meantime, have a read on what to expect.

WeTheNerdy: Let’s start with something a little challenging: What are two or three books you’d compare Book of Lyaxia to?

Aron Pohara: You weren’t kidding when you said a little challenging. What would I compare Book of Lyaxia to? Well it has a lot of different aspects from both literature and mythology and comic books. But if I had to pick of couple: It has some Machiavelli’s Prince in there. Not so much narrative wise as theme wise, if that makes sense.

Obviously this is more of a fantasy based book, so there’s going to be lot more action and intrigue, but I do think it has some similarities to Prince. Other [comparable] works would probably be Homer for obvious reasons, as it deals with Greek Mythology, but also has a lot of themes of family and friendship, which is what I kind of wanted to portray in this book.

WTN: I know you’re an avid reader of comic books, and people visiting wethenerdy.com will see you review a lot of superhero books. You like them. Why jump genres and go with fantasy instead of capes?

AP: Well, the obvious reason is that the market is over-saturated with them, don’t you think? But the real reason is, honestly, I love mythology. I like it because it encompass both history and fantasy in such a way that I see relatable. Besides, aren’t gods the original superheroes!

WTN: I don’t see very many big fantasy stories in comic books these days. Maybe I’m just missing them, but do you think there’s a reason fantasy comics aren’t as talked about as other genres? It seems like the few popular ones are comedies, like Rat Queens or I Hate Fairyland.

AP: I do think there are some very interesting fantasy comic books out there at market, they aren’t as talked about due to the big two not publishing books like that, which falls to Image and other independent labels to put them out. We have books like Eternal Empire or Seven to Eternity from Image, your favorite: Reborn… so they are out there. The problem is that due to superhero movies now are flooding the movie plexes, that’s where the focus is currently. That might change down the line. But my main concern is if [Book of Laxyia] is a fresh take on the genre and characters. That is the most important thing you can have when creating new characters or world, whichever genre it falls under.

WTN: Your book is filled with gods, mostly Greek and Egyptian from what I’ve seen. How are you incorporating their myth, legend, and style into your story?

AP: Incorporating [those elements] in the story really wasn’t an issue. Once I found mythology to be the theme of the book, I simply pressed forward in that direction (hint it wasn’t originally this). The most challenging thing I have found was to give these very iconic and very known characters distinct voices and personalities.  What can I do with them that hasn’t been done a million times before, yet at the same time, keep them interesting while not insulting their own established history. If that makes sense.

WTN: What is it about the old Greek, Egyptian, and Norse pantheons that seem so inviting? Or maybe inspiration is a better word. I don’t imagine Jesus is going to show up in Laxyia somewhere.

AP: Well those three  pantheons are very recognizable. So much so that you do have characters from them being used in even true super hero comics (Thor and Ares, for example). What I find exciting about them is, again, I find the characters both powerful and flawed. There is not one perfect god in those pantheons, and that again is very relatable. Besides, they are gods, meaning the extent of what can be done in the comic book format is insane. As long as it isn’t over-done.

To a question of Jesus and other religions well all I can really tell you I guess you are going to have to read the book to find out!

WTN: I love the artwork you’ve shown, and the coloring. What was it like searching for an artist? How’d it go?

AP: Searching for an artist was a really interesting process. A lot of people now-a-days want to do pin up art and covers, but it is lot harder to find free lance artists willing to do interior art. I honestly fully started the process of searching for an artist in beginning of August, so I can say that I was pretty lucky finding Andy Baquerizo (the artist) as quick as I did and getting to the point I am at now. I was introduced to Andy by another artist (Ale Garza), who originally designed Deimos and his armor.

WTN: Piggybacking on that question, what’s it like working with an artist? How has the collaborative effort changed your story from its original vision to its present form?

AP: Working with him has been great. His style clicked with the story, and when certain revisions had to be done so the narrative flowed more naturally, we workshopped it together. Ale also introduced me to Jesse Heagy, who has done a fantastic job doing coloring these pages and making both Andy’s art and my vision come to life in a way I didn’t think possible. He does some fantastic stuff with shading and adding minute details that really make each page stand out.

Being this is my first foray into comics, I have had nothing but great experiences all around, from people that are making the prints and covers–shout out to Chris Williams and Jason Dale–to just working with such a talented team and some industry legends that are going to be contributing to the book. I can honestly say I learned a lot from the process, namely how extensive it really is.

WTN: What do you think are some of the biggest pitfalls in comics writing today?

AP: Well that’s kind of tough to answer. One person can see the fact that a book is strictly action oriented as a pitfall, while someone could see that as a positive. Same as making a drama comic series with no action.

The biggest pitfall…I suppose it really goes with everything: when content is produced for the sake of content. Content needs to be interesting; it needs to be engaging. And one could say it needs to be original. But what’s original anymore? The most important thing is if you want to do a certain genre or type of book, add your voice, add your experience, and put your spin on it. Don’t be afraid of constant criticism. And most importantly, don’t write because of it. Writing a story that you want to tell is most important. Never adjust the core of the story because of feedback. You can change small things, but the core has to be uniquely yours, otherwise it is going to feel like it is coming off of an assembly line.


If any of this tickles your fancy, you should head over to the Book of Lyaxia Facebook page and give it a like. You can also email bookoflyaxia@gmail.com to join the mailing list for updates and other fun stuff that comes with joining a mailing list.