On 10/15/16, we interviewed Jaime Camille and Margot Jane, creators of the MM sci fi/fantasy comic Kindred Skies, for our second annual Graphic Novel / Web Comic week. More info about Jaime, Margot and their work at the end.
See it on FB here: https://www.facebook.com
J. Scott Coatsworth Today, we have Jaime and Margot of the comic Kindred Skies. I met these two at YaoiCon, and we’re thrilled to have them here at QSF. :)
J. Scott Coatsworth Welcome, guys!
J. Scott Coatsworth Want to start by telling us a little about each of you?
Margot Jane Hi, hey! Thanks for having us :) We’ve been making stories together for quite a while now. I’m Margot, I do quite a few random things but for Kindred Skies, I co-write and do all of the colors/finishing on our pages.
Jaime Camille Good morning everyone! We’re both born and raised in Cali, and have known eachother since we were teens. We used to write stories online together!
Jaime Camille I currently work in animation, and to get better at drawing, we thought we’d turn one of our to stories into a webcomic. So I do all the rough layout and inking :)
Margot Jane In my non-comic life, I’m a photo editor and studio manager. Way less exciting!
J. Scott Coatsworth That’s great that you do it all yourselves. :)
J. Scott Coatsworth Want to tell us a little about the comic? What’s it about?
Jaime Camille Well, it’s a desert fantasy about a mercenary named Rofaryn and his band of brothers, as they wander the world to try and make a living. Each chapter explores a different town they enter and they adventure they have there.
Margot Jane They’re “mercenaries”…In the sense that they do random work for pay. They’re not so much warriors, though they get up to some feisty shenanigans
Margot Jane It’s really about their little found family, and finding their space in a world
J. Scott Coatsworth Is it set on Earth, or an alternate world?
Margot Jane That doesn’t really have a space for them?
Margot Jane It’s an alternate world
J. Scott Coatsworth The best sci fi/fantasy stories are strong on the human element. :)
Jaime Camille It’s a fantasy world, with magic and sorcery. It’s set in a desert where supposedly a goddess has cursed everyone and there is only 1 woman born for every three men
J. Scott Coatsworth LOL… Ooooh.
Margot Jane That’s what draws me to stories, characters you can enjoy following!
Margot Jane Plot… sure? But characters! (jk, jk, plot is great and all)
Jaime Camille Seconded! An interesting world is only as good as the lens of the character experiencing it
J. Scott Coatsworth So this grew out of some prose fiction you guys had written together?
Jaime Camille Yes! We’ve been writing about Rofaryn and his men for a long time now- short stories, novels, RP’s. But we ended up with SO MANY stories, it was such an episodic format, that it wasn’t working well as novels. It works almost like a tv show, it’s very visual.
Margot Jane Oh, if we had unlimited monies, man.
J. Scott Coatsworth LOL Yes
J. Scott Coatsworth Are any of those available in print/ebook form?
Margot Jane Not at this point; we’re actually starting up posting stories on our site, side stories and the like. Because of the amount of characters even just in the webcomic, we want to try and show new sides of them- and there’s just not time in the day to draw them all!
Margot Jane And we’re both writers, so it seems natural :)
Jaime Camille Also, we’d like to start a Patreon next year, and we’re trying to figure out rewards for that! Some of our longer stories might be available there.
Margot Jane mm rewards
J. Scott Coatsworth Yes, Patreon seems to work particularly well for graphic novels and web comics
Jaime Camille Yeah, people really get attached to visual media. It’s an immediate grab, where as with writing you have to get people to want to read it. I’d been struggling with that for a long time!
J. Scott Coatsworth So that brings me to my next question.
J. Scott Coatsworth Platform. Is your comic online for free? Online in a paid model? In eBook form? in Print?
Margot Jane It’s all online, for free~ We have a tapastic page, as well as our main site (KindredSkies.com). We’ll be doing a print edition next year
Margot Jane We’re looking to start tabling at conventions :)
Margot Jane But the comic will pretty much always be available, even as we look back in horror at our fledgling mistakes
J. Scott Coatsworth LOL… yeah, I do a serial story, and you can’t go back.
J. Scott Coatsworth What kind of mistakes have you made??
Margot Jane oh lord
J. Scott Coatsworth LOL
Margot Jane Well for starters, I recommend not having seven “main” characters in a visual comic
Margot Jane even if they are all your children
J. Scott Coatsworth Yes. I have ten. LOL
Jaime Camille In general, most of our mistakes came down to translating our writing into a visual format
Margot Jane We tend to be very talky! And it shows.
Margot Jane We’re actually rewriting the second half of the first chapter this weekend to make up for some of that at this point.
Jaime Camille We’d written in these elaborate crowd scenes, or things that just didn’t translate into panels very well. We ended up having to re-write things on the fly sometimes. It’s a very…organic process
Angel Martinez Have you found your drawing style changing over time for the characters? (I see that in a lot of long-running web comics)
Jaime Camille Oh my, yes! We’re still really new, this is only our first year. And I’ve already grown so much!
Jaime Camille I’m starting to notice how to make things work better, and drawing each character comes much more naturally
Jaime Camille It’s a little frustrating actually, to look back at earlier pages and see how…rough they are, but I know that’s a good thing too
J. Scott Coatsworth I noticed that with the Simpsons LOL
Jaime Camille Oh yeah, almost all cartoons go through a growing period!
Angel Martinez It’s actually something I like to watch as a web comic reader – I mean, I know it probably makes you guys cringe, but I love that growth process. :)
J. Scott Coatsworth Yes. :)
Jaime Camille That makes me so happy to hear! :D
J. Scott Coatsworth How do you keep track of all your characters and story arcs?
Margot Jane Planning! Mindmelting amounts of planning
Margot Jane This first chapter is more focused on Rofaryn and Cin as the mains, since we didn’t want to overwhelm people?
J. Scott Coatsworth excel? character sheets? scrivener?
Margot Jane ….notecards
Margot Jane one thousand of them
Jaime Camille hahaha old school flash cards
Margot Jane and post-its!
Margot Jane love me some sticky notes
Jaime Camille and our scripts are just done in drive, so we can talk to each other when we’re apart
Margot Jane Oh yes! Google drive is king
Margot Jane Seriously, the most useful thing for writing in a team.
Jaime Camille Pssht, we ain’t getting paid for promotion
Angel Martinez omg – I love you guys. Drive is great for collaboration.
Margot Jane but i love it ;_;
Margot Jane Angel Martinez lol, really though, it is!
J. Scott Coatsworth Drive makes me crazy. LOL
Jaime Camille Really? In what way?
Margot Jane what?! no
J. Scott Coatsworth formatting. It’s… weird.
Angel Martinez Scott’s been having to deal with it with several cooks in the kitchen ;)
Jaime Camille Oooh yeah, that does make sense. It can get chaotic fast. And I’ve never had to properly format things in it, it’s just scripts for our own use
Margot Jane Ohh, that makes sense. Half the time we live together, so we’re already talking about everything in person, then just writing it out in Drive.
J. Scott Coatsworth How did you meet? How did the whole collaboration begin?
Margot Jane Oh man… so here’s the picture: 12 yo me alone on a playground. 13yo Jaime comes up. “…Do you like Sailor Moon?”
“Yeah, but I like Gundam Wing more.”
Margot Jane bam. friendship.
Margot Jane With a heavy dose of AIM messenger.
J. Scott Coatsworth LOL… that’s awesome. :)
J. Scott Coatsworth I wish I had found friends back in the eighties who liked Robotech…
Jaime Camille Hahaha oh gosh. We met when we were like 12. Talking about Gundam Wing and Sailor Moon in the park.
J. Scott Coatsworth Do you ever fight about the direction of the story?
Jaime Camille Hahaha yes, but not as often as you’d think. We already know where we overlap in interests, so we just make sure the overlap is in there
Margot Jane Re: collaboration; we’ve had these characters for quite a while (actually, these are ‘technically’ side characters… or they were, once upon a time).
Jaime Camille And as for the characters, each of us has final ‘say’ when it comes to what one will do or say. Like Margot is in ‘charge’ of Rofaryn, while I write for Cin
Margot Jane The group is fairly much divided down the middle as far as “whose” they are, but for the comic we’ve pretty much both written all of them, just finessed them over time.
Jaime Camille And when we do argue, we know how to listen to eachother’s side. I can’t really think of a BIG argument we’ve had
Margot Jane It helps that I have great puppy eyes
Jaime Camille …She does win alot.
J. Scott Coatsworth LOL… yeah, puppy eyes are the best. I use mine all the time. My hubby is wise to them now, tho. :P
Margot Jane J. Scott Coatsworth Lol! pair them with baking, it makes it even harder to resist ;)
Margot Jane “Are you sure? don’t you want a cookie”
J. Scott Coatsworth Yes please. :)
Margot Jane See? bingo!
Jaime Camille Sparkles and everything.
J. Scott Coatsworth You guys have such great energy together. I saw that at YaoiCon.
Jaime Camille Aw, thanks!
J. Scott Coatsworth What flavors of the LGBTIQA/queer/QUILTBAG rainbow aoppear in the comic?
Angel Martinez (And how often do you update?)
Margot Jane Shorter one first! We update every two weeks (which sounds like a lot… but every page is fully colored and agonized over, so that’s a bonus right?)
Jaime Camille We’re planning on moving up to a page a week once I stop doing freelance after work
Margot Jane The main characters cover a wide range, actually. And in the story itself, bisexuality is pretty much the norm
Jaime Camille We also have Ace and Gay
Margot Jane Our ace baby H’rannith, who hasn’t had much screentime yet (again: seven characters, mistake- er- challenge)- he’ll have more emphasis in chapter two.
J. Scott Coatsworth I love that you include bisexuality and asexuality. So often those are neglected or badly done.
Jaime Camille I am DemiAce myself, and so that’s very important to me!
J. Scott Coatsworth Can you share any of the art with us?
Jaime Camille We drew this for our 1-year celebration! http://i1.wp.com/kindredsuncomic.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/drunks_tapastic.jpg?w=940
J. Scott Coatsworth awwww….
Jaime Camille Also, this one is sent to tapastic subscribers as thanks: http://i1.wp.com/kindredsuncomic.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/thanks.jpg?w=1280
Angel Martinez I’m having trouble deciphering who’s with who – or is that kinda the point? That there aren’t any cut and dry couples in the group?
Margot Jane a-all of them oh my (OT7? OT7)
Jaime Camille Yup, no cut and dry! We like team dynamics (See again: Sailor Moon and Gundam Wing)
Margot Jane And speaking of art, we’re also running a small 1-year anniversary charms giveaway! Charms are art right? :3 We’d love for anyone to join in! http://bit.ly/2dnUhk7
Margot Jane Don’t mind me promo-ing a little, it seemed appropriate :)
Jaime Camille There are complicated dynamics there- right now at this point in the comic no one is dating- but there are exes, and people who’ve slept together, and people who might do so in the future
Margot Jane They’re pretty organic/fluid in their dynamic
Margot Jane And I’ve found what I really like is the weird UST between characters, and lead-up- once you have them dating/paired off “officially”, you kind of lose that fun a bit…Not that it’ll never happen in Kindred Skies, but still.
Margot Jane They become that married friend you never see anymore…
Jaime Camille Dude, Rofaryn and Khehaic are a ‘little’ married.
Margot Jane 100% but at least they’ve got an open relationship ;)
J. Scott Coatsworth LOL… anyone “a little” mpregnant?
J. Scott Coatsworth ;)
Margot Jane J. Scott Coatsworth hahaha! Not our alley, but oh man that kid would have seven dads
J. Scott Coatsworth Margot Jane lol
Jaime Camille Also, writing romance just isn’t our thing. We prefer the adventure part.
Margot Jane For you, maybe ;p
Jaime Camille I was just always a part of these discussions online, where they say so much of LGBT stories are about the romance. The ‘gay’ is the main story. And we didn’t want that
Angel Martinez Hey – all about story first :) And I think it’s great that you’ve chosen to go with more open, fluid relationships.
Margot Jane We wanted a story that we’d want to read! That includes a lot of fun relationships/character dynamics, as well as some adventuring :)
J. Scott Coatsworth Where can we find the comic?
Jaime Camille http://www.kindredskies.com! :)
Jaime Camille and for Tapastic users: https://tapastic.com/series/KindredSun
J. Scott Coatsworth Awesome. Thanks so much, Jaime and Margot, for joining us.
J. Scott Coatsworth It’s been a great, fun and lively chat. :)
Jaime Camille Thanks for having us! I was really nervous! haha >_< But you guys have been great <3
J. Scott Coatsworth If anyone else has questions for these two, just leave them here. :) If you guys don’t mind checking back?
Jaime Camille Yup, that’s cool, we’ll be home working on some outlining stuff for the next chapter!
Margot Jane Jaime Camille Outlining, my best friend
Margot Jane Thanks for having us! We really appreciate it, and this has been really easy and fun, so thanks for that :)
J. Scott Coatsworth We try. ;)
Margot Jane We’ll definitely check back in! After getting some more shut-eye possibly, haha.
J. Scott Coatsworth LOL… xoxo
Margot Jane <3!
Jaime Camille Pssht, I’m awake
Margot Jane or Jaime will carry on the discussion by herself
Jaime Camille Margot Jane Answer on both laptops, pretending to be you.
Margot Jane well that’s an upgrade at least :D
Marina Justyaoi Shared on Just Yaoi
Jaime Camille Oh my, thank you! <3
Wendy Rathbone Love this. The characters are so lovingly drawn. Just read the story online. Will subscribe now!
Jaime Camille Thank you! That’s so sweet of you to say :D
Margot Jane Thank you! we’re happy that you enjoyed it, and welcome! <3
Wendy Rathbone I just subscribed. It was super easy. I want to subscribe to more stuff like this.
Jaime Camille Thanks for subscribing! And we can try and rec some other webcomics for you, Are you looking for stuff in the same genre of fantasy-adventure, or BL or….? We know lots of people in webcomics, we can try and point you in the right direction :D
Jaime Camille and Margot Jane – Kindred Skies
KINDRED SKIES is about a group of dumb boys doing dumb things (but for money!)
Set in a desert wasteland where being a mercenary is often just a good honest living, Rofaryn and his men struggle to make their way in a world of goddesses and sorcerers, drugrunners and warlords.
Episodic format; each chapter is a new adventure!
Co-creator, writer, site runner/mangler, colorist- sure, Margot does stuff. crazy lame. Works in the majestic hollywood dream machine. Cosplay yes. Writing? Sure! Also does photography. loves photography. would eat photography if it came in flavors other than developer.
Co-creator and artist. Jaime spends way too many hours working behind a desk…But she works in animation, so she can’t complain too much.
Jaime graduated recently with a BFA in 3D modeling (because making a living as an illustration major is a scary prospect! As CG generalist, though, her interest in drawing stuck around. So when she’s home, she draws this silly thing instead. Hugs, chocolate chip cookies, and talking about books are pretty much her friendship cheat code.