Interview About Series 2
By Seraphina Hawthorne
It’s been 2 years since the last chapter of Fixer was released. The first arch of the story finished on a note of new change for the famous band-to-be. With the second story arc picking up on Chapter 14, I decided to sit down and have a short interview with the creator of Fixer, writer Roger Shackelford.
1. Being that it’s been so long between chapters, how excited/nervous are you for Chapter 14?
Roger – This is kind of do or die time. I feel a lot of pressure right now because, with this arc, we need to make the best possible story we can so that Fixer can become self sustainable. During the first arc, I literally put out thousands and thousands of dollars to make Fixer happen. We got a loyal fanbase who really stuck out with us, but making a sustainable future for the comic was an afterthought. Not this time. We will be doing a few things differently. The biggest one fans will notice is our new release schedule. Instead of releasing 1 chapter all at once at the beginning of ever month, we will now release several pages a week. However, the fans who have been with us since the beginning have been waiting a long time for chapter 14. So, on January 4th, we will be releasing the entire chapter! We have really listened to fan feedback over the years and will strive to make the best Fixer experience possible. I feel like we have something really incredible to offer… We just need to catch fire.
2. The style between Danny and Erin is quite different, what gave you the faith in Erin to continue this dramatic story?
Roger – I was actually concerned because her most notable work before this was a comedic parody of the music business called L33T Street Boys. I became friends with the creator of that project when his band opened for one of ours at Tekkoshocon 2010. He put the comic on hiatus some time ago, but always showed support for Fixer. When Danny departed, he actually suggested we go with Erin, his former artist. I was hesitant and actually didn’t approach her initially, because the style from LSB was not something I would have associated with Fixer. It was until later that he suggested her again that I reached out to her and gave her a chance. Boy am I glad I did! Her initial sketches were fantastic and very different from the art in LSB. When Matt confirmed to me that she was professional, punctual, and easy to work with, she was a no-brainer.
3. Erin’s facial expressions with the characters are priceless, is there a particular character you think she draws well?
Roger – Conner. She draws him in a way where he is so easy to recognize based on how he looked before, but is still able to deliver that insecurity and apathy that surrounds the character, just through how he is presented on page. That is extremely difficult to pull off.
4. The story picks up with Dakota having some conflicts between new and current characters before he journeys out into the real world, care to give a sneak peek on that teenaged angst?
Roger – Dakota made a difficult decision at the end of the first arc to commit himself to Fixer and abandon his original plans to go to Berkley. Not everyone agrees with him, and were upset to see him give up a seemingly stable future for something that is an EXTREMELY high risk. On the the very first page of the new arc, readers will experience the beginning of the repercussions of his choice.
5. Chapter 14 sets the mood for several things. This chapter focuses mainly on Dakota, will it be this way throughout the second arc?
Roger – In the first story arc, Dakota was more of a vehicle for the story. While there were hints dropped about his personality and true identity, he mainly introduced us to the other 3 main characters and brought us back to the world of late 90’s America. The second arc is his story. Not only will you really get to know him here, but you will see his merits as a leader truly be tested, as well as witness true weight to decisions he has made, and will make, in both his professional and personal lives… And he doesn’t always make the right ones.
6. Of course, what is a chapter without Damien getting in a little trouble? Without spoiling it for the audience, will you tell us a little about that?
Roger – All I will say is… He has never gotten into this much trouble in his entire life.
7. Dakota mentions picking up Mamoru from the airport, will he be appearing in Chapter 15?
Roger - Yup. He shows up at the very beginning. As is the running theme in this arc, Mamoru will also be dealing with the consequence of his choices. In the last arc, he had a lot of behind the scenes problems with his family and girlfriend, Mitsumi. He decided to join Fixer as a means of finding direction in his life, but in the process, potentially created several new problems for himself. He is looked at as the old sage of the band; the guiding light if you will. However, here, you will see that in the grand scheme of things, he is still young, and may have made a few mistakes of his own.
8. While we’ll be learning about Dakota and Damien’s current fates in Chapter 14, what is Naomi up to these days?
Roger – Naomi is actually still going ahead with her college career at a Philadelphia area university called West Chester. Since her school is pretty much between their home town and Philly, she decided to try to juggle both school and the band. In this arc, you’re going to see a little bit more of an expansion of her character as she is going to be facing obstacles the rest of the band doesn’t really have to face. And saying maybe, just MAYBE, you will see a little bit more of her with Damien one on one.
9. I’ve noticed Melody is in this upcoming chapter quite a bit, does she play a significant role for Fixer like she does Dakota?
Roger – Melody is much more in the spotlight in this arc. In the first arc, the audience saw that the relationship between her and Dakota was strained, but we never really showed why. The dynamic of Dakota and Melody’s relationship is at the very cornerstone of this arc, as it is what has the deepest impact on Dakota’s professional and personal life. Her character is also further explored and you finally get the history of her relationship with Dakota, and the depths of her love for him.
10. One final question. 2015 is here, will we be seeing Fixer on the convention road this year? How can we, as fans, help make that happen?
Roger – As of right now, we want to focus on getting the ball rolling with Fixer. Make sure the pages come out consistently, create more of a community around the comic, and focus on giving fans the merch they requested (a full trade paperback of the first arc, Nekota plushie). But, if Tainted Reality brings a band to an event, or we perform at a rave, Fixer will be there! Also, we always have a Fixer display at our monthly club event K-Stomp in Baltimore!