Crona J. in 50 Questions or Less

Today, in the second installment of In 50 Questions or Less, we’re asking Crona J., creator of Whispers of the Past, some questions. Be sure to check out the comic after reading the survey.

1. Who are you?
Crona J.

2. Where are you from?
Chicago, USA

3. Introvert or extrovert?

4. What’s your sign? (Interpret this however you wish. Any system or a literal sign.)

5. Is the above sign accurate or not? How so?
Yeah, pretty much. I’m stubborn, ambitious, and reliable.

6. Pets. Do you have or would you like any?
I have two cats, but I also love dogs.

7. What are you currently working on?
I work on the fantasy webcomic, Whispers of the Past, about an amnesiac and a young woman who helps him find and face his past demons.

Whispers of the Past Sample

8. What do you call your work and why? (Comic, webcomic, webtoon, graphic novel, etc.)
All of the above? Comic is a broad term which encompasses most sequential art. As a comic I post online, it is also a webcomic. Considering I post it on some sites in scrolling format, it is a webtoon, but I also consider it a graphic novel, if I were to ever print it.

9. You have three to five words to convince me to read your work. What are they? (Bonus points if you can do it in fewer.)
High fantasy about being human

10 . Are you working with anyone else on the above project? If so, who?
No, unless you count my flatters, p1p3s and damehelsing (who has her own comic called Hel’s Ferrywoman).

11. What comics or other projects have you worked on in the past?
This is technically my first comic project, but I have been writing novels for over a decade. Most of them have gone to the wayside so I can focus on my comic.

12. Do you have any formal art or writing education?
I attended two and a half years at a community college for multimedia arts.

13. What do you feel you still need to learn?
So much… If I were to simplify it into what I specifically need to work on now, I would say composition, foreshortening, and backgrounds.

14. What have you done to educate yourself about art, writing, comics, or life?
I watched a lot of YouTube art tutorials when I first started, analyzed my work to figure out what needed fixing, found a few beta readers to improve my dialogue, and simply lived to learn more about life.

15. What is a quote that resonates with you?
“Steal like an artist.” – Austin Kleon

16. What genres do you most enjoy when consuming entertainment?
Fantasy, Sci-fi, historical, romance, drama. Honestly, you can through almost anything my way if it’s good.

17. What genre/s does your current work fall into?
Whispers of the Past’s main genre is fantasy, but I would say it is also largely drama and romance.

18. Why did you choose that genre for your project?
Honestly, I didn’t choose the genres until I started to create the work. I knew it would be fantasy because of magic and taking place in a world that doesn’t exist, but drama and romance were only picked because of the way the story formed in my head. This story focuses a lot on family, so I knew it had to be a drama. And since there are two leads who end up romantically connected, it is also a romance.

19. What creators, comic or otherwise, do you draw inspiration from?
Christopher Paolini, John Singer Sargent, Tsugumi Ohba, Takeshi Obata, and so many more…

20. What is your favorite comic?
Probably ‘Saga’ by Brian K Vaughan and Fiona Staples

21. Have you tried to adapt some aspect of your favorite comic into your own work?
Yes and no? I really just created my work from my heart, and then later, I really fell in love with Saga and realized why I loved it was because it in some weird way reminded me of my own work.

22. What tools do you use when making your comic?
For the drawing process, I sketch my roughs on the iPad pro in Procreate, then I refine the sketches and finish the page in Clip Studio Paint on my PC.

For writing, I use mostly Google drive to write outlines and scripts, but I also did some planning in sketchbooks, and created my conlang both in physical notes and on the computer.

23. Can you walk us through your creative process?
I started by drawing the first scene in the comic back in 2014, and then I started designing characters.

24. Do you listen to music at any point in your creative process? What kind and why?
It depends on the scene. Usually I listen to soundtracks.

25. What is the best beverage and/or snack while working on your comic?
Chai Tea.

26. What is your favorite part of your comic?
So far, I really like the flashbacks. I think I’ve done a particularly good job revealing just enough but not too much.

27. What do you feel your strengths are as an artist?
I am dedicated and patient, so every page looks very polished. I also particularly like the way I color things.

28. What do you think your strengths as a writer are?
I think I’m pretty good at dialogue. It used to be the thing I struggled with, but now, I think it’s my strength.

29. What do you want people to get from your work?
All I want is for people to be entertained and to feel like they learned something. Whatever that may be, I don’t know.

30. How do you decompress when you need a break?
I like to play video games or cuddle with my cats, maybe watch some foreign TV.

31. How do you define success for yourself? What is your goal?
I feel like this goal post is always shifting. For me, I have micro-goals along the way, things like gaining readers, printing volumes, or making x amount of money. My biggest goal is probably to reach as many people as I can and hopefully change them somewhat.

32. What is your favorite dynamic between two or more characters in your story? Describe it briefly.
So far, my favorite dynamic is Izrekiel and Marei, but further down the line, it will likely be different characters.

33. Why does the above dynamic appeal to you?
They are both so adorable and naive in completely different ways. Izrekiel is lost, and Marei is a child, so the two of them are probably just as confused as the other.

34. Who do you think your audience is in no more than ten words?
Young adults who like to feel.

35. What is the most important thing you’ve learned? (Comics related or otherwise.)
You gotta be your own cheerleader, coach, biggest fan, and star player. Otherwise, working on your project will be difficult.

36. You can hire anyone in the world to create an original soundtrack for your project. Who do you pick and why?
I already have a working version of a soundtrack for my comic, created by some amazing gentlemen from New Zealand. But if I had the ability, I would love to have Joe Hisaishi compose the score.

37. Early bird or night owl. Why?
Night owl, because my brain doesn’t start working until the evening.

38. What is your favorite tabletop/board game?
Does DnD count? [Yes. Absolutely! – 👁an]

39. What is your favorite video game?
Detroit: Become Human, hands down.

40. Do you have any hobbies that have worked their way into your comic?
Learning useless medical information? Or maybe my love of music and singing?

41. If you were going to recommend one comic aside from your own for us to read, what would it be and why?
Heart of Keol by Keii4ii. It’s a comic focused on emotional growth set in a fantasy world.

42. Where can we find your work?
Whispers of the Past

43. Do you have a Patreon, Ko-fi, or any other page you would like to point people to?