Penny Palabras Are we real? Are we well and truly real? Or are we nothing more than a figment of somebody else's imagination, who's neither here, there, or anywhere? Furthermore, and this point is to be believed, does any of what we do now, here, then, really matter within the scheme of things? Or should we just shut our own trap, and read this interview I did with my great mate, James, whilst contemplating about the meaning of meaning.

Penny Palabras on Amazon

1) What are your own origins, James? Plus what path did you take in life prior to getting to where you are today?   I've been actively working on a downtempo music project called 'Brokenkites', since 2006.

'Brokenkites' came together because I was writing music for a work of new media fiction / meta website called 'Origami Shadows', where parts of a story were hidden over several different websites in images, invisible text, and site code. I added music to enrich the story with a soundtrack and enjoyed the process so much that it became it's own thing.

Working on 'Brokenkites' has kept me stationed at a temporal research base in Antarctica, and my records before that time have been purged from the continuity.

Penny Palabras
2) What inspired you to create, ‘Penny Palabras’?   I wrote a series of short chapters about Penny and wanted to see them come to life in a format that I'd never explored before. I also wanted to focus on and do a character study of what it was like to be standing between two places in life, whilst adding in some creepy and supernatural elements / metaphors. 

It really is fascinating to explore an idea of what it would be like for a person to see their own future, to have their fate right in front of them, and to see what it would be like to accept or resist that (or if a person even could). I thought it would be really cool to make this into something visual, not just words on a page.

3) In your own words how would you describe this story?   Penny's torn between being a kid and being an adult and she has wisdom of things that even the adults of her world don't have. The people closest to her are endangered by her interactions with this supernatural being called the Straw Man -- and others -- so she struggles with her responsibilities to protect them, even if it means that she hurts them by being distant or pushing them away.

Penny meets some eccentric characters along the way while learning more about the world she lives in, and she's eventually forced into making some difficult decisions that don't really mean a happy ending for her.

4) What piece of music would you say best represents this project?   Faye is an artist that's putting together an EP of songs based off of the story. The EP will have a song for each episode -- six in total -- and we'll probably release the entire thing as part of an eventual kickstarter for the first volume. Here's the first song / video that she's published!

5) If you could get a celebrity – either living or dead – to promote your graphic novel, who would you choose, and why would you want to choose this particular person?   That's a tough question, because there are a lot of talented celebrities with a lot of presence and influence. Todd McFarlane would be nice, since he's got ties to Image comics, haha! Plus it would also be really cool to have an endorsement from Neil Gaiman or Stephen King too.

Neil Gaiman or Stephen King
6) How did you meet up with your great artist, Patrick K Beavers? Plus what did he do differently compared to what you originally envisioned?   I connected with Patrick through reddit.com. He made a post looking for new projects and I sent him some ideas after checking out his impressive portfolio. We had some conversations about Penny, and he encouraged me to write the original stories out as scripts and panels. He made some preliminary character sketches that were just what I was looking for and we went from there.

Patrick has been awesome to work with, making suggestions for the art where necessary -- like if I write a strange panel, he'll capture the idea of what I'm going for in a better way visually than I may have written it. He's doing all the heavy lifting with the art, you know, and I'm lucky to have him on board this project!

7) What have you learnt about yourselves through this endeavour? And were their any unforeseen obstacles you had to contend with along the way?   I'm learning to be more patient. I want to release all of the issues at once and get everything out there into the world! I'm very excited about the story and Patrick's art and the final product. It's tough work sometimes to try to get reviews and feedback on the comic. We're doing this independently, so sometimes it's like a second (awesome) job.

Penny Palambras
I love it, but it's scary to think that people might not even notice it after all the work and time we've put into it. Patrick's really developed the style of the comic a lot over the course of the six issues. The characters have become more nuanced, so I'd say he's becoming more skilled at his artwork over the past year.

8) If ‘PP’ had a motto, what would it be?   Everything's connected, infinitely.

Wow! That's some pretty heavy stuff, James! Wouldn't you agree, dear readers? If so, when you've got the time please check out the Penny Palambras website and facebook page. Trust me. This book is well and truly out of this blooming world.

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