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Q&A's with Norfolk's creator, Æ Firestone.

We will asked Æ Firestone about his manga-influenced web comic , Norfolk.

-Why did you create Norfolk?

So, over the years, media from the West has been deteriorating with identity politics and globalist propaganda from degenerate SJW lunatics (especially from California, New York, and Portland, OR). I was so fed up with the non-since and propaganda, I've been watching Japanese media more. 

But their has been a resistance of independent content creators that has been creating their own media, distancing away from the mainstream. So, this motivate me to make my own content and Norfolk was one of them. 

I love mecha and kaiju movies, TV shows and games from Japan. They're always fun and entertaining since I was a child, especially Godzilla and Transformers. This is were I got the inspiration from.

-Why does it take place in Norfolk, Virginia?

Most Japanese mecha movies and shows take place in Japan, showing their patriotism, proudness of their culture and it's their home. I wanted to do the same with Norfolk, by taking place in the Commonwealth of Virginia, my home that I know and love, I wanted to show my Virginian and Southern cultural roots in the comic, instead of the generic general Americanism we see in mainstream. Not all of us "Americans" are all the same, each U.S. state and territory has their own culture and customs, and I wanted to show my Virginian culture to make my story unique and accurate. It's normal for authors/creators to have there work take place were they live, e.g. Stephen King's novels mostly take place in Maine, his home state, Veronica Roth's Divergent takes place in Chicago, her home, Bryan Lee O'Malley's Scott Pilgrim series take place in Ontario, were he is from, and MANY British authors mostly set their novels in England, especially in the London area. Stan Lee/Steve Ditko's comics are known for mostly taking place in New York because that's were Marvel HQ is.

Californian cities, New York City and Chicago (no offense) are the most overrated places and very cliche. I choose Norfolk City, because I used to live there years ago and I thought it would be the perfect place for the Mecha/Kaiju genre. 

In Virginia, most Virginians don't like the American government, especially what they have been doing for the past decades and always getting involved in our affairs. So I wanted my comic to take place in a dystopian future were the government has been more controlling and authoritarian. Like a world police, which is still relevant. 

This is an Mecha/Kaiju comic from a Virginian perspective.

-What was your inspirations and influences in your comic?

Well, obviously Mecha/Kaiju movies, TV shows, and games like Godzilla, Neon Genesis Evangelion, Patlabor, Transformers, Panzor World Galient, Robotics;Notes, Dai-Guard, Pacific Rim, and Pokemon Some video games like Super Robot Wars, Zone of the Enders, Doom and Halo and some American movies like Terminator and Robocop.

(I've heard a little bit of Gundam, but never watch it or have been interested in it.)

But I didn't want to take all of these styles and put them all in a melting pot. Oh. no no. I want to be original and unique. I look at these titles, study them, and learn/figure out why they are good. 

I also take inspiration from my childhood life as a boy. If you can't find an original idea for a story, take your real-life memories for inspiration.

-What kind of mecha robots are in your comic, real or super robot?

That's a good question, I would classify them as "real" robot, because they don't have any fancy super powers and whatnot. They're machines that can break and be repaired and comply to the logic of real world physics.

These robots are sentient like Transformers and The Iron Giant, I choose not to have pilots because we have already seen that and if I added piloted robots, then it wouldn't add nothing to the table. We don't often see sentient mechas ever. 

-Why are the mechas called "Machinmas'?

Funny, that you asked. When I watched Episode 6 of Neon Genesis Evangelion, there's a plan called "Operation Yashinma", when I first heard it, I mistakenly thought "Operation Machinma" as in machine. I thought it was a cool fictional name, it sounded Japanese-esque, so gave my robots that cool name.

-What kind of kaiju are in your comic?

Well, the first one in Issue #1, obviously takes inspiration from Godzilla (and Palkia, don't judge me) and that was done on purpose to show the familiar trope. But after Issue #1, each Kaiju becomes different and unique in a unorthodox way, distancing from the familiar cliché kaiju tropes.

-Why are the kaijus are "Fathoms"?

It was named after the classic Warner Bros. monster movie that inspired Godzilla, The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms. A fathom = 6 feet or 1.8288 metres, is a unit of length in the old imperial and the U.S. customary systems, used especially for measuring the depth of water. I thought it would be cool to name my kaiju that, and reference both the film and the original meaning of the word as most of the kaiju from the comics and other media in general comes from the ocean.

-Why is it in Black and White?

Easier and quick to make. I didn't want the B&W to be crap and boring, so I took inspiration and influence from Japanese manga and American indie B&W comics. I would've done color, but it is very time consuming and it takes more HOURS to finish at least one page. Most of the pages are hand drawn, but all screen tones and some minor tweaks are done digitally. I oppose drawing digitally, it feels to artificial and I wanted my B&W illustrations to feel natural, so I took Yoshiyuki Sadamoto's art for inspiration. 

-Will the comics have a physical release?

For individual issues, no. But once my comic series is complete on Issue #10, all issues will be in one physical omnibus book. Believe me, no one isn't going to buy $5 for 16-24 pages. It's best to release your comics on the web and then release them in one big book. That's my highest recommendation. 

-What's the demographics of your comic?

This comic is made for dudes ages 12 and up. Most girls wouldn't like it anyway.

-Do you think we'll see Western comics coming back?

Not a chance, with all of the politics, awful art/story and $5 high price for 24 pages of each issue. No, just no, it's niche and a hard market. If Westerners want to make traditional comics, it's best to release each issue or chapter on the web similar to how manga releases each chapter in monthly manga magazines. Then after your story is completed, you can finally release your comic in trade paperback, omnibus, etc for a decent price. This is what some indie comic creators are doing and this is what I plan to do with Norfolk.

-Would you ever want to adapt your comic to different media?

I would never let Hollywood touch my baby, they would butcher it. I would rather have a small indie studio to do that (with me as the owner of course, overseeing the project like a hawk). I'd rather have animated mini-series than live-action, either CGI or traditional 2D on celluloid film (not digital).

-Would you let fans make fan-games or fan-made adaptations?

Sure, as long as they don't make any money and it's free. Then it's cool, I'm not one of those corporate jerks. I rather have an indie developer making one, either a Doom-like First person shooter mod or a Super Robot Wars-like Turn-based strategy game.

I also wouldn't mind if they adapt it into a motion comic.

-Is your body ready?

Hell yeah my body is ready!

-Where can I read your comics?

You can read them for free @ 

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