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WOLFMEN, WEBCOMICS, AND THE WONDERFUL WORLD OF K.LYNN SMITH (AN INTERVIEW)

Comic Book Yeti: Welcome to the Yeti Cave! My name is Al, I'm the Webcomics and Manga Editor here at Comic Book Yeti and today I am joined by one of my favorite people on the planet, the wonderful K Lynn Smith (@KLynnTweets)!


K. Lynn Smith: Hello, hello! Happy to be here!

CBY: You recently wrapped up a Kickstarter campaign to help fund the print edition of the first volume of your webcomic, The House of Lowther. What was it like trying to translate a scrolling webcomic into print format? That couldn't have been easy!


KLS: I won’t lie to you: very easy. I had actually formatted the comic in a print setup first and then translated into a scrolling comic. I knew my end goal was always print, so doing the formatting in that direction just made sense. I do, however, get envious of some of the other webcomics. They do such amazing and creative things with the scroll.


CBY: I do remember when the first few chapters were Patreon exclusives and formatted in a more traditional single-page style! So, what made you decide to take the plunge and hop over to the world of webcomics?


KLS: I actually started in webcomics. Of course not the scrolling kind, but when ye ol’ Smackjeeves.com was still around, I posted my first series, Plume on there. And it went great! The ability to read comments on each page was fantastic, and honestly, those reactions started to shape the story too.


So, when I started The House of Lowther, I thought it’d be great to return to my roots. With its wide cast of characters, it has an ability to go in so many directions, so I thought a little bit of "audience participation" would be fun. While the scrolling aspect felt like relearning everything (which isn’t entirely a bad thing), I’m really enjoying the WEBTOON experience— there’s such a massive readership on there, and they’ve been overall fantastic. The comments are positive and thought-provoking. I’m loving it.

CBY: I had no idea Plume got its start as a webcomic! I always find a return to your roots, especially after such a long period away, to be an interesting experience since it's both nostalgic and eye-opening to see how far you've come. Another notable change from previous titles like Plume is that The House of Lowther is an almost entirely black-and-white series. After doing so many colorful titles, what spurred on the decision to go monochrome – aside from the extra eeriness it provides?


KLS: I was aiming for a film noir vibe, with a dash of Schindler’s List and Wizard of Oz. Of course, the story lent itself to being more creepy and mysterious, but playing with just tones (with a rare splash of color) really appealed to me. It’s been a fun challenge. And when I do use color, the moment can really stand out.


CBY: It definitely adds that aesthetic to it, especially with the cast of cryptids. It harkens back to the glory days of the Universal Monster movies. Speaking of Mothman - I mean, the monsters - your previous titles have dealt with a lot of supernatural elements like demons and ghosts, so it's no surprise that the transition to cryptids felt so natural. That being said, drawing a handsome guy with horns is a bit different than a wolfman or Bigfoot. How did you prepare yourself for this monstrous cast (no pun intended) of characters?


KLS: I grew up watching Don Bluth films; All Dogs Go to Heaven, The Secret of NIMH, An American Tail were all on repeat in my house. That’s when I fell in love with drawing, pausing my favorite animated film and sketching its characters, over and over again. Creating the world of Lowther feels incredibly nostalgic, like I’m living out my childhood dream of working on a Don Bluth film. And with cryptids, it feels almost selfish— I get to draw whatever the heck I want!


CBY: Then, I have to ask, did you have a favorite cryptid before you started Lowther? Or were you new to the wider world of cryptozoology before you started this series? I feel like as the Comic Book Yeti I'd be horribly remiss if I didn't ask that question!


KLS: I’m a whore for the macabre, the mysterious and the unknown, so I eat up anything cryptids. And though I’m not sold on their actual existence, I do know there are still huge parts of our earth yet to be explored. So, hell, maybe Bigfoot does exist and he has a beautiful log cabin somewhere out in the Rockies.


That all said, I don’t really have a favorite, though the Fresno Nightcrawler has always intrigued me. I need to find the right scene to have that cute little pair of pants striding by in the background.


CBY: I love those wandering pants so much! So, you've officially done ghosts, demons, and now cryptids, what's next for the spooky world of K Lynn Smith? What's the BIG thing you want to put into a comic someday?


KLS: Mm, good question. For a long time, I’ve had a time-traveling pirate story rolling around— I’ve written a lot on it, but time travel is such a huge undertaking, I’ve put it aside more times than I can count. Maybe one day it’ll see the light of day, just don’t know when.


Not exactly a comic project, but I am currently writing my first series PLUME into novel form, which has been a blast so far. Expanding the story and the characters into what I had originally imagined has been extremely rewarding. I hope that one sees the light of day, just a matter of getting it done between projects.


CBY: I hope we get to see both of those someday! I'm always ready for the next crazy adventure you have in the works, especially if it involves time traveling pirates! For now, though, I can't wait for more House of Lowther to drop! Since this is a webcomic, are you planning on diving into the trend of making it hundreds of episodes long or are we hitting a turning point now that vol. 1 has officially gone through the first steps of a print treatment?


KLS: No, Lowther will not hit the triple digits; I don’t think I have the patience for that! Though, the ending might leave room for spinoffs or side stories once the main story is finished. And we are definitely hitting a turning point in the story soon— things are about to get dark(er). Mwahaha...


CBY: We love an ominous and vague cliffhanger here at CBY and, honestly, I can't wait to see what comes next for our favorite band of cryptids! K. Lynn, thank you so much for hanging out and chatting about your weird and wonderful webcomic! Where can people find you?


KLS: Absolutely! You can find me at klynnsmith.net, where all my socials are linked, as well as both The House of Lowther and Plume.

CBY: Make sure you check out all of K. Lynn Smith's works and make sure you head to WEBTOON to book your stay at The House of Lowther!

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