Neopian Times Master Index
Interview with thegreenmooseofdoom!
I was so excited to have the chance to interview thegreenmooseofdoom! We had a great discussion and it's here for all to see. Enjoy!
dancepixie100: Hello and welcome thegreenmooseofdoom!! Thanks for being here! Your comics in the Neopian Times has proved that you are a very talented artist. But first things first, how did you find out about Neopets?
thegreenmooseofdoom: Hah, it's actually kind of a funny story...
I used to draw at an oekaki board, an online drawing board, and I kept seeing fanart from this thing called "Neopets". I got really annoyed at all the fanart and how popular the website seemed to be, so I put a "Neopets free and proud" banner on my website.
A while later, I went to the mall and passed by a Limited Too and saw a sign for Neopets plushies. My curiosity getting the better of me, I wandered in and looked at all the plushies. I admitted they were awfully cute, but I still thought the site as a whole looked stupid.
Next, my friend at school's talking about how great Neopets is, and finally convinces me to make an account. Wanting to humor her, I do so, and I find myself rather addicted on the very first day. I created my first pet, a blue Lupe named Starseek, and at lack for a better colloquism, the rest is history.
dancepixie100: Wow that sort of thing happened to me too! A friend of mine told me about the site (even though I thought it would be stupid) and I got hooked. So is there an interesting story of how you got your username? Do you have a weird obsession with moose, by any chance? ;)
thegreenmooseofdoom: Why, yes, yes I do! :D
Actually, I usually go by Growly on most sites, but since that name was taken on Neopets, I decided to try a totally new name. I thought about naming it after one of my characters, and I ended up choosing a name based on my Green Martian Moose characters. The doom part was a Vasquez (the guy who made Zim) influence.
dancepixie100: Oh I see. Yeah, it's hard to get the name you want on Neopets, but yours is quite unique! So what kinds of things do you do when you log onto Neopets?
thegreenmooseofdoom: Well, my daily routine usually consists of reading and answering Neomail, then going to all the freebies like the Shrine, Tombola, etc.
Then, I'll check on my pets and feed them if need be, then I check my shop till, bank interest, and guild board. Fairly routine stuff, really. ^^;;
Once in a while, I'll play a good game of Word Poker or Pyramids, or maybe Sutek's Tomb. I don't do the restocking thing very often... I always end up picking really hard to sell items, if I get anything at all.
dancepixie100: Wow, that quite a routine! So what inspired you to send things to the Neopian Times?
thegreenmooseofdoom: Nothing really specific... I had been reading the Times for a few months and realized- "Hey! I can do that!", so then I started trying to come up with ideas for comics, and thus, Sutek Muffin was born.
It started off as being a really random comic, about nothing in particular, but then it evolved to feature my pets and the wacky sort of misadventures we all have together.
dancepixie100: So I assume thats why its called "Sutek Muffin"? Just a random name for a random comic?
thegreenmooseofdoom: Indeed! I wanted something different and random, so I picked an item from my inventory to name my comic after. Muffins are cool, so I picked that.
dancepixie100: LOL! Thatís great!
How did it feel to be published in the Neopian Times for the very first time?
thegreenmooseofdoom: I remember it quite well. Oh, man, that was one awesome day. :D
I logged into Neopets one day and noticed that I had a LOT of Neomail. It kept coming, and coming, I was pretty freaked out. When I read them, I realized that they were congratulating me on my comic. I nearly leapt out of my seat at that. I rushed to the Neopian Times, and yep! There was my comic looking back at me.
I had to fight to keep from running around the house, squealing with high-pitched glee. I ran and told everyone in the house, though no one really cared but me, heh.
That experience is only paralled by the time I got in the Art Gallery for the first time. ^_^
Man, but that was cool.
dancepixie100: Yep, that sounds similar to the way I felt! How exciting!
Going back to talking about Sutek Muffin, I'm sure everyone wants to know how you come up with ideas for your comics. Any inspirations of influences? Or maybe they are just random ideas that pop into your head? ;)
thegreenmooseofdoom: In the beginning, it was really hard to come up with ideas. I really had to push for a joke, and they weren't the best in the world. However, the more I practiced, the more easily I could come up with creative ideas and jokes, and the easier my layouts and storytelling fell into place.
I come up with ideas at the strangest times, usually as I'm just about to fall asleep. I keep a pad of paper and several pencils on my nightstand for just that purpose. If I don't write down my ideas somewhere, I'll forget them in the morning.
Other times, I'll come up with ideas during car rides, or when I'm watching TV or taking a history test or something. Most of my better ideas just kinda pop into my head unexpectedly. Sometimes it'll be related to something I'm thinking about or something that going on at the same time, but other times, it's just completely random, and I have to backtrack my thoughts to figure out just HOW I came to that idea.
Some of my characters and themes are based on myself and things that happen to me, other times, it's just kinda random and off-the-wall. *shrugs*
dancepixie100: It's always interesting to hear what goes on behind that strange and insane mind of us writers. lol.
Next question... how long does it take to do a comic and what is the process?
thegreenmooseofdoom: It usually takes me a while to do comics... I am a procrastinator, heh.
First off, I'll scribble down the basic idea and a rough thumbnail of the page layout (approx 5 min). Then, I'll sketch it out onto paper lightly in pencil and write in my dialogue and such (approx 20 min). I'll put it away and come back to it later with a fresh perspective so I can pick out any problems and change them if needs be. After I work out any kinks, I ink it with a ballpoint pen(approx 15 min).
After inking, I pull out my colored pencils and color it. This is the longest part, as I'm sort of perfectionist with my coloring. Usually, I'll get bored halfway through and put it away for a few days to a week and work on it sporadically, often times bringing it to school to work on it during lunch and after I finish my work.
All in all, this process can take between a few days to over a month, depending on what other work I have to do in school and the like.
dancepixie100: Wow, I can tell that you put a lot of effort in everything you do, and it deffinitly turns out nicely!
>From seeing some of your past comics, I noticed that your art style has changed a lot. Your recent comics are made with colored pencil while some of the earlier ones were colored with the computer. One time, you even created a comic using black and white technique. So, which style do you like the best? Why has your art style changed so much?
thegreenmooseofdoom: I like to try a lot of new things, and not limit myself to just one method or style.
The earlier comics were colored with the computer because it was easier than colored pencil, but the quality went down as effort went down. After that, I decided to just do uncolored comics, but those were rejected, so I began using colored pencils to color. It takes longer than the digital coloring, but I think I'm much better at real media than digital.
The Halloween Sutek Muffin was all in black and white ink to add to the dramatic sort of horror flick mood.
I've also done a photomanipulated comic, just for a change of pace. It was fun, but its a lot of work, so I'm not sure I'll be doing another like that.
Lately, I've been using the colored pencils with just a touch of Prismacolor marker to places that need it. I'm pretty comfterable with this technique, and I think I'll be keeping it for a while yet.
I like to mix things up a lot though, so I really can't say for sure what you'll see next. :3
dancepixie100: Speaking of what were going to see next, what are your future plans for the strip? Any collabs? New characters?
thegreenmooseofdoom: I dunno, I guess I'm going to take it one strip at a time and see what happens. I may be introducing my Kougra, DarkVoltaire, into the comic once in a while, he's friends with Jhonen, but Starseek can't stand him. That might add some interesting twists.
Other than that, I'm really not sure. It'll go in its own direction in time, I suppose. *shrugs*
dancepixie100: Ah yes Dark Voltaire! How can i forget? I see that you got your first story published " Dark Voltaire and Diderot." Congratulations on that! Any plans for additional short stories? What about series and articles?
thegreenmooseofdoom: Thank you! Yes, I do intend on making more stories. :D As a matter of fact, I've got a very long series in the works... I can't say much about it now, but it's awful exciting to work on, and I can't wait to finish it and share it with everyone.
I have also been tossing ideas around in my head for some short stories about more of my Neopets. I'm thinking about doing Genki or Nibbles first, since they're in danger of becoming two dimensional characters if I don't show their other character aspects soon. *grins*
I'm not sure about articles, however. I'm not good at explaining things, and pretty much every topic's been covered so far. Maybe if I come across a good idea, I'll write an article on it, but until then, no, I have no plans.
dancepixie100: That's great! I'm sure everyone here would love to read more stories from you! I also agree with you on the article thing, pretty much every topic has already been written about, but with stories your imagination can take you anywhere.
Here's an interesting question... A lot of authors and artists of the NT have been discussing the new restrictions that are being enforced... you know, the NT no-no's. Some would argue that they are keeping the site safe, while others claim that the rules are unnecissary. How do you feel about this issue?
thegreenmooseofdoom: Oh geez... *laughs*
Well, I agree with SOME of them, like no violence, dating, etc., but some of them, such as the recent "No oddly coloured pets" rule, I think is rather... for lack of a better term, insane.
I mean, in nature, no two creatures are alike, so why should Neopets be carbon copies of each other? Just as long as we don't make up a new paintbrush or make a hybrid, I think different colored pets should in fact, be allowed.
Actually, Dark Voltaire was one of these pets. He was supposed to have dark green stripes, as opposed to the normal blue stripes. I was notified this wasn't allowed, so on the custom picture for my story, Voltaire has the normal old blue stripes. I'm really hoping Feli or someone will find a loophole out of the new rule because if I have to change my characters just because of a silly rule... I'm not sure I WANT my stuff to be on Neopets anymore. But we'll see what happens, I'm not deciding on anything quite yet.
Anyways, and about the technology rules... while I understand WHY they're there, I think they are still very hard to work around, given the technological status we are at on Earth. It's hard for some of us to imagine a time before TVs, cars, and radios, and many people with half written/finished stories had to totally ditch their good ideas because of said rule.
Another thing about the new rules that aggrivates me is the sheer hypocrisy of most of them.
We aren't allowed to have airplanes, yet the biplane fighter game was recently released.
We aren't allowed to have cars, while Nigel the Chia drives around comfterably in his red Lexus.
We aren't allowed to have unusually coloured pets, and yet there are literally hundreds of Neopedia and Neocard characters that blatantly break this rule.
We aren't allowed to have computers in the Times, and yet they often show up in the Art Gallery pictures.If Neopets is going to enforce a rule, I do think they should regulate their own material as well as fan-made materials. No one is going to take them seriously if they keep letting things conveniently slip under the radar.
I say, either enforce it fully and completely or do away with it altogether. I myself do hope they opt for the second option, but I don't have much hope, sadly... Hate to say, but the Times has been going on a downwards slope for some time now. Perhaps even the whole site itself.
I'm sorry, that was awfully negative, wasn't it? o_o
dancepixie100: Yes, well said! I completely understand your viewpoint. Sometimes enough is enough already. Well I hope this doesn't meen that you will be giving the NT up anytime soon. I bet there is a lot of people (myself included) who would really miss all the fun comics and stories. I meen, it's an awesome feeling to know that there are people out there who care about the stuff we do and enjoy reading what we work so hard on. Getting fanmail is an important aspect of being a published author. Do you enjoy getting mail, or do you ever consider it to be annoying?
thegreenmooseofdoom: Don't worry, so far, I don't intend on leaving the NT... it's too much fun to give up!
As for Neomail, I LOVE it! Well, except for beggar/scammer mail, of course, heh.
I try to answer every piece of mail I get, and I get a lot of replies like "Wow, I can't believe you actually Neomailed back!" which leads me to believe that a lot of 'famous' Neopians don't answer their mail.
I find that kinda sad... I mean, they took the time out of their day to send you a message saying how much they enjoy your work, the least you can do is take two minutes to answer them back and thank them for your thoughtful comments.
It is hard to find a good way to reply to them all... I really don't know what to say except 'thanks', but I try and add something in there, be it a friendly comment on their pets, a "how are you", or even just a "I really really appreciate it! ^_^".
I keep every piece of fanmail I get in a special folder... I think it almost has 200 messages. The only thing I regret is that I didn't keep the very first of the mail I got, it would have been interesting to see again.
The only downside about Neomail, like I mentioned briefly before, is the beggar/scammer mails you get. Some silly newbie had the audacity to ask me for my password. I said no and reported him. He replied back, adding a 'please' to his request. Very amusing how stupid some people are. *chuckles*
I often have to answer the same questions over and over again, so I decided to make an FAQ on Nibbles_the_Cow's page. I linked it from my userpage, yet I still from time to time will get a question that's already answered quite clearly in my FAQ. So yes, getting Neomail does get a little taxing at times, but really overall, the pros greatly outweight the cons.
I am afraid that by some of my 'rules', people are discouraged from Neomailing me, which was really not my intent at all. I love and appreciate all the Neomail I get, and just because I have a FAQ doesn't mean they should be afraid to Neomail. I'm a nice person! Really! <:D
dancepixie100: Oh I agree! If someone took time out of the day to read your story or comic, then say how much you appreciate that by saying thanks! But those begger or scammer mails can be pretty annoying!
Earlier you mentined that you have been published in the art gallery. Have you been published anywhere else on the site?
thegreenmooseofdoom: Besides the NT, nope. I have entered the Poetry Contest once, when I was but a n00b... it was rather lame, a poem by my Gruslen, Growlithe consisting of "Ugga ug ugga"s. Needless to say, it didn't get in. *snorts*
I also enter the storytelling contest once in a blue moon, but haven't got in. It's not one of my main priorities, so I don't sweat it. *shrugs*
Actually, I've entered pretty much every site activity like that, but I've only gotten in the gallery and the times. My strengths (and interests!) lie in art mainly, so I stick with that.
dancepixie100: How about outside of Neopets? Won any contests or anything else published on the internet that we should know about?
thegreenmooseofdoom: I've won a few art-related awards... let's see... I was a finalist in the Reflections contest for my school in 6th grade and got the Kid's Choice ribbon, I also was a finalist in 8th and 11th grade (this year ^_^).
I have also won the Dragon*Con 2002 Quick Sketch contest in the Juvenile division for best character... let's see... I can't think of anything else, but I think there's at least one more thing. I've also placed in a few random art contests here on NTWF.
Not really that much, but hopefully enough to catch a college admission person's eye.
dancepixie100: Do you have some advice for all the aspiring writers and artists trying to het in the NT?
thegreenmooseofdoom: Sure. If you don't get in the Neopian Times the first time, it's not the end of the world. The Times is not a judge of how good a person you are, nor should it be used as a status symbol or be used as a source for an easy trophy.
If you REALLY want something and are willing to WORK for it, then you can achieve anything, even if it seems impossible, even if you get rejected a thousand times over. This doesn't just apply to the NT, it's a plain fact of life.
You don't become an expert swimmer the first time you wade into the water, nor do you become a pro athelete the first time you pick up a football. You cannot expect to be an expert writer the first time you pick up a pencil. It takes work, like everything in the world that's worth it.
If you find yourself reluctant to take the time it takes to learn and get better, then seriously sit yourself down and question yourself. Do you really want to do this? If so, why? Is it for the fame, the glory, the fanmails, the trophy? None of these are very compelling reasons. You should never do something just because other people will notice/respect you for it. Do it because it's what YOU love to do.
Yes, it IS fun to be in the Times, but most of my pleasure comes from the doing and the making and the brainstorming. I love the feeling right after I finish a comic... I'm so proud of what I've thought up and translated to paper, and how far I've come since I first began drawing, and all the improvement I've done to lead up to this one comic, made with my two hands. There's nothing like it.
dancepixie100: Good answer! Hopefully your advice will help a lot of writers out there!
That is all the questions I have, but is there anything else you'd like to say?
thegreenmooseofdoom: *swells chest dramatically* NEVER GIVE UP! NEVER SURRENDER!
And when in doubt, pinkie out!
Ehh, I don't have anything useful to say, sorry. ^^;;
dancepixie100: LOL! What do you meen, you have nothing useful to say? This entire interview will be useful and deffinitly interesting to read for many people. ;)
Well thank you so much thegreenmooseofdoom for allowing me to interview you! It has been such a joy talking to you!
thegreenmooseofdoom: Thank you too! ^_^ This has been a lot of fun!
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