Roxy Almblade (Glass River) has a new online manga. NeverFall debuted recently on Taptastic and we’ve caught up with the artist and writer for a quick interview!
Tell us a little about yourself, past projects and artistic style?
I usually tell people three things, I’m a Christian, an artist, and a dreamer. Haha. I’ve worked on multiple webcomics before. One of them, The Glass River, got published by P2 Manga LLC a couple years back. My style has changed since then. Mostly because I’ve grown as an artist. Better anatomy, foreshortening, perspective. (Sorry, art nerd terms there).
What drew you (no pun intended) to the manga style of artwork?
I love puns! Umm… It started in middle school, I guess. Adult Swim was in full swing at the time. I started doing fancomics copying those styles up until highschool when I mixed and matched and made up my own style. I remember thinking the cartoon style of anime was easier to do than the realistic style of American comics. My art teacher wasn’t too thrilled though.
I know you can’t give too much away yet as the story has just begun, but where did the idea for the story of NeverFall come from? Who are the main characters?
It came from a single practice painting I did with the boy you meet in Chapter 1. I thought, “this guy is interesting. Who is he?” and it exploded from there. I also got inspiration from a mix cd my sister gave me. I never found out the names of the songs, but I made some up. For example, “Morning Dirge” was what I called Track 1. Each song expanded the story, in order. You could say I wrote a movie in my head by listening to a soundtrack. The girl, Nichole, was made up later. The first time I drew her and the boy in manga format was for a college art project for Cartooning Methods class back in 2010. (I know, it’s been a while, right?). Even though I made Crow up first, she became the main character through demands in plot lines. Oh yeah, Crow was my code name for the boy. That bugger was annoying to name. I do have a proper name for him now though, thanks to a friend. Sorry, no spoilers!
I love the title “NeverFall“, I’m going to assume that it has something to do with the mysterious boy following Nicole around?
Pretty much. Crow (I’ll continue to use his code name until his name is revealed in the comic) does parkour. The whole running on rooftops and leaping off of buildings like Batman and such. One rule of parkour is to not fall and die. In the story, the two characters find themselves in a place called the Endless City. In that city, if you fall, you really do die. The manga title sounds pretty, but it’s actually a warning. hehe
I noticed on the front cover of NeverFall Nicole has her hand on a white wolf or dog. In your previous manga, The Glass River, animals also played an important role in the story, such as the Flourelk and the black wolf. Is that a bit of Hayao Miyazaki perhaps creeping in?
Oh yes. I will not deny my fandom of Studio Ghibli. But I also love animals. I grew up with always at least one animal in the house, like a cat or a dog. Pets are amazing and their love is something you never forget. The white dog on the cover is a husky named Jack. He’s important to the story, so keep an eye out for him. I would say he plays a bigger role than the animals in The Glass River, for sure.
How many installments are there going to be to Neverfall and when can we expect the next chapter?
Let’s see. There are 15 tracks on the mix cd. So at least 15 chapters. I’m not exactly sure how long each chapter will be, but I would expect at least 2 manga volumes worth of story. (260-ish pages). Taptastic is a bit strange as far as chapters are concerned, seeing as “episodes” are really mini-uploads within a chapter. I plan on drawing new pages every week, so check back often. Even if a new episode hasn’t been uploaded, the current episode will be updated. The next chapter will be called Whiplash, after Track number 2.
When I get enough pages together, definitely. I’ll find a way to get it printed. Kickstarter, Kindle Publishing, or through a printer directly, I’m not sure which route I’ll take, but I’ll keep my options open. I’ll probably sell them at Artist Alleys whenever I get to that point.
Where can we find NeverFall online?
You can find NeverFall on Tapastic.com. It will always be updated there first, since I have the most readers there. You can also find it on Smackjeeves.com and my personal deviantart page. Here’s some links.
Why did you choose Tapastic as the venue to publish your manga?
I heard good things about it, especially after Manga Magazine shut down. Mostly it was Armand Villavert Jr., aka: ARMAND COFFEE GOD on Tapastic. He’s responsible for my doomed fate. Darn you and your coffee references, fellow barista. We shall never be free. Curses…
Where can we find you online?
Same sites I listed before. I also have a cosplay page on facebook. But please, go read my manga first!
RoxyRoo Cosplay Official Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RoxyRooCosplay/
Is there anything else you’d like to tell people just finding out about NeverFall?
I know NeverFall is just getting started, with only 16 pages to show, but this story has been in the works for years. It’s a story full of suspense and crazy action. If the art doesn’t draw you in (ha, I stole your pun), then the story and characters will for sure.
Thank you for your time!
You’re welcome. Thank you for this unexpected opportunity. Happy reading!