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AICN COMICS Q&@: Russ Sheath talks with Aspen Comics’ Siya Oum about her new comic LOLA XOXO!

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Q’s by Russ Sheath!

@’s by LOLA XOXO’s Siya Oum!!!

Russ Sheath here! Aspen Comics are great at discovering new talent and if, like me, you are an Aspen fan then you are likely to be following one of their rising stars, artist Siya Oum.

An Aspen regular and fan favorite, Siya has contributed covers and art to some of Aspen's most recognisable books including CHARISMAGIC and FATHOM. With an artistic style that is distinctly Aspen yet uniquely her own, This week sees the launch of LOLA XOXO, Siya's first, full comics project. I spoke with Siya Oum about LOLA XOXO, working at Aspen and her plans for comics domination.

RUSS SHEATH (RS): Siya, tell us about LOLA XOXO, where the idea came from and the background to the story itself?

SIYA OUM (SO): I love the post-apocalyptic genre in books, video games, and movies. I have also been curious as to how a pretty girl would make it in that type of environment. It's interesting enough in today's world to see how someone is judged solely based on looks. I generally don't take things at face value, Lola is the exploration of that.

RS: Tell us a little about the cast of characters?

SO: I call them the motley crews. They had to survive a huge change from the world as we know it. What you will see and read is mankind at it's most basic, when left in devastation.

RS: Was it important to have a female protagonist when embarking on the creation of the story that became LOLA XOXO?

SO: I doodled Lola a few years ago, and as I did, I'd make up little stories for her. I actually had a previous concept I was developing with David Wohl, that had two brothers. It's important that a character's story is compelling enough to tell.

RS: You are a regular at Aspen, but this is your first creator owned series, right? How has working at Aspen influenced the development of the project?

SO: They are very honest folks. I don't remember a time when they weren't blunt with me about my development as an artist/creator. Having worked with Aspen for so long much of their characters and the art itself has always been a huge influence on me. Every time I write or draw something I always think first, what would one of the guys critique be if I did something a certain way.

RS: Did you draw upon any particular influences for the book whether for the story, or creatively / artistically?

SO: I love video games! I love the post-apocalyptic genre. I drew from Mad Max and Fallout 3. The genre itself lends to a lot of creativity both with the look and feel, as well as story. What would we do if we were put in those situations? How would we defend and ourselves while trying to maintain a sense of normalcy.

RS: Tell us about your creative process, are you working digitally? Is that beneficial when writing and pencilling your own work?

SO: I am laying out the pages, penciling, inking, and coloring in traditional mediums. I scan it into Photoshop to do some tweaking if the colors seem off from the original pages.

There's definitely a huge benefit to writing and drawing your own material. It's much easier to change something up that needs to be changed right away, whether it's dialogue, adding a panel, etc. I get a lot of great input from my colleagues on art and writing so I can incorporate everything on the fly.

RS: How long is the series?

SO: I planned it for 18 issues, but really, I'd like it to be ongoing.

RS: Aspen is well known for its stable of fantastic cover artists, will we be seeing any variants from yourself or any other Aspen artists?

SO: You most definitely will! I admire many artists and have already gotten a couple of covers done. It will mostly be collaborative in terms of line-art and colors.

RS: Siya, thanks for talking to AICN.

LOLA XOXO #1 is out this week from Aspen Comics.

Follow Siya on Twitter @siyaoum and check out her website here!

Follow Russ Sheath's blog Russwords here and @russellsheath on Twitter.

Editing, compiling, imaging, coding, logos & cat-wrangling by Ambush Bug
Proofs, co-edits & common sense provided by Sleazy G

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