SilenceShhhh! Be quiet. Be very-very quiet. As I need silence to talk to the creator of, 'Silence'. For those of you not in the know, 'Silence' is the name of a comic book created by my mate Devin. You know, Devin Kraft from Roswell, New Mexico, home of alien abductions and people who rock the jock like the love child of a Klingon and a Ewok. Devin, it's now over to you.

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1) What are your own origins, Devin?   I was born in Roswell, New Mexico, and I’ve been drawing comics since I was a little kid. I got more into comics, anime, and manga when I was a teenager, and started writing and drawing my own comics in middle school.

That continued through college, and I was fortunate enough to get into Baylor’s study abroad program so I could attend Hosei University in Japan. I used my time overseas to rummage through every used bookstore I could find so I could expose myself to a large variety of art styles and storytelling.

I worked in film, and then in graphic design for a little bit before deciding to give freelance illustration a shot, four years ago. I use my downtime between projects to work on my creator-owned comics, and that allowed me to create my previous book, Dragon Slayer, which raised over $26k on Kickstarter over the course of three campaigns for the individual issues. 

Silence has been a project I’ve been working on for the last year and a half, and I’m finally able to get it in front of an audience through Kickstarter.

Silence2) What inspired you to create, ‘Silence’?   Silence comes from a variety of places. It started when I was trying to come up with a comic concept that would pass the Bechdel test with flying colors, and kind of evolved from there. Eventually I came up with a “Josie and the Pussycats” verses traditional Greek sirens concept and started trying to find the emotional core of the story. It was sort of an overambitious approach, but I wanted it to have the same heartfelt but obfuscated storytelling that Don Mclean’s American Pie had, with references to well known events in music history yet re-purposed and re-contextualized to create a new story.

That led me to focusing on that feeling of wanting to run away from home, and what would happen if while you were away the unthinkable happened -- if your home was taken away before you had a chance to return. So from that I started building characters based on the different decades: music-folk for the 60s, soul for the 70s, punk for the 80s, and grunge for the 90s, and then I tried to think how those characters would interact with each other.

3) In your own words how would you describe this story?   The pitch is, “A group of girls, aboard a yellow submarine called the 'Heart of Gold', go to rescue the men in their town who have been sung to shipwreck by sirens”, but that’s just kind of the surface of it all. 

It’s sort of a study on making mistakes, and having to rectify them. It’s about using music to hold everything together when everything feels like it’s falling apart. 

4) What song would you say best represents this comic and why?   That’s an excellent question. I’ve been tempted to put together a playlist to sync up to the comic, but if I had to boil down the overall feeling I’d like to convey I’d probably go with either Radiohead’s “Pyramid Song”, or “Hard Time Killing Floor Blues” by Chris Thomas King. Those are the two songs I keep going back to when I get lost. I think they both have this oppressive feeling of loss. 

Pyramid Song has this surreal almost Dante’s Inferno-esque feeling that gives you the sense that the fears you’re facing are so much greater than you can comprehend. Whilst Hard Time Killing Floor Blues makes you feel like there’s a great weight on your shoulders, but if you just keep on going a little further you’ll be able to get it off your back. Someday, maybe, anyway.

Neil Gaiman
5) If you could get a celebrity – either living or dead – to promote your wares, who would you choose, and why would you want to choose this particular person?   This is tough! The artist in me has six or seven people I wish would promote it, and the writer in me has loads more. If I could dedicate the book to people I’ve never met, I’d dedicate it to Terada Katsuya, Fiona Staples, Neil Gaiman, John Darnielle, and Spencer Krug, so any of those people I suppose!

The artists keep me inspired when I hit the wall, Gaiman is a magician with words, and Darnielle and Krug are master songwriters and lyricists. All of those people are meta-human to me, so all of them? 

6) What have you learnt about yourself through this endeavour?   Mainly that doing every job in comic creation is really hard work. This book is the first book I’ve done from stem to stern entirely solo. Coloring slows me down so hard -- I could probably have the book out in a third of the time if I didn’t have to worry about coloring, designing, and promotion. But it’s a fun experiment nonetheless! 

7) During your time in this field, what is the one thing that has kept you in good stead?   The audience. I find during the Kickstarter campaigns they are the one huge thing that keep me going, knowing I have friends, fans, and family that want to know where the story is heading, its always heartening. Artists like Terada Katsuya or Takayuki Takeya always give me new shapes or ideas to aspire to. And of course the music -- I work to music and television shows, so there’d be a solid list of thousands of artists whose music help make this book a whole lot easier.

8) If ‘Silence’ had a motto, what would it be?   “Can rock and roll save your mortal soul?” 

And so on that rocking note, I'd like to thank Devin for telling us about his comic book, Silence, before directing you towards his websitefacebook, and twitter pages. 

SILENCE - THERE'S A COMIC BOOK AT WORK SILENCE - THERE'S A COMIC BOOK AT WORK Reviewed by David Andrews on August 26, 2016 Rating: 5

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