Behind the scenes of “Trapped Flame”
Very rarely have I ever found comic books that have it all: interesting style, story, the feel of the universe in which it is set and other things. The pleasant exception is ” Trapped Flame” and today I’m glad to meet the talented creator of this comic, that goes by the handle “Red Bast”.
- Can you remember the first ever comic book that you read and what drove you to create your own?
I barely read any comic books with exception of amateur ones made by my artist friends. The main driver and the inspiration for doing this was music. I think it’s safe to say that music is the co-creator of all my work. Every situation in the comic or on every page was inspired by a certain song.
- Which heroes were created from the scratch and which have a basis in real people?
All heroes of the story are fictional characters. At the same time, however, many have certain traits of character that were borrowed from real people, including the creator herself. :)
- How much time did you spend creating the first chapter and how much did you spend to do the rest?
The first chapter was created during a huge emotional uplift and a desire to tell the story and it was drawn the fastest of all – within half a year or less. However, I had to completely re-draw it after next few chapters because as my drawing skills improved, it looked weaker than the rest.
Every chapter that followed took varied amount to finish, depending on the time I can spare for it and a lot of other external factors. On average I spent from half a year to two years per chapter.
- What were the hardest challenges you’ve encountered during the creation of this comic book? Inspiration? Story? Art?
The hardest challenge is to draw as the story hastily unfolds in your head. When you’ve seen and lived the final chapter but you still need to make the first pages of first chapters. Also, some things I had to draw for the first time, which caused me some discomfort, however, it turned out to be more of net positive in the long run.
- What are the 5 foreign comic books would you consider as your favourite and would recommend to others?
I’m not very knowledgeable in terms of comic books, as I prefer books proper to them. The only comic book I have ever bought was X-Force: Sex & Violence, – a short story about Wolverine and Domino, which has some exceptionally expressive art. I actually bought it purely for this aspect but I also like the characters themselves and how they look relatively well together. :)
- Tell me when (year) did you cosplayed characters from your comic book?
I actually did that twice, this link is from 2013, the first time when I cosplayed Geist wandering through the hardware graveyard. I did it the second time in autumn of 2016. Then I put much more effort into cosplaying Geist and also invited an actual Verakt. :)
- How did you choose the style for your comic book?
The style was chosen according to my personal preference and convenience of implementation. I prefer black and white to colour and that it was it is prevalent with exceptions necessitated by certain situations. It also represents the mood of the universe it’s set in, again, with certain parts where the comic panels become bright and colour changes to emphasise the atmosphere in which certain situation is happening.
- Why have you chosen this genre?
I consider relations between a man and woman as one of the most beautiful and interesting parts of our life. However, I rarely encountered well-made stories with a matching art component about that. I wanted to fix that. :)
I wanted to show emotion, passion, push it to the edge and wrap in an adventure story and not just do some erotic one-off content. Every dish can benefit from spices and that is why I present my story this way, sometimes somewhat hardcore. Obviously, my personal preferences also come into play, since I like rock music, post-apocalyptic genre, bikes and masculine men. :)
As a result, the characters in the comic book are self-assured, brash, very pronounced and complicated. These people are interesting to watch.
- How did you come up or choose the names Geist and Verakt?
Name Geist is a part of her full name, which is Fuchsgeist, German for “fox spirit”, which explains the nature of the character. More detailed explanation will be provided in the story.
As for Verakt, it’s a long story.
His full name is Viktor Raynor, which is a sort of irony and a joke with a few meanings. Name Viktor meaning “a winner” and Raynor meaning “a brave warrior”. His alias Verakt could be interpreted in two ways: first – a slightly changed German word “verrückt”, which means “crazy” or “mad” and also it’s an abbreviation of German words “Verteidigung akt“, which translate to “act of defence”.
- Do you think the interest in comic books will disappear in the next decade?
I don’t think so. Comic book films only fueled more interest to graphical novels in general and comic books in particular.
- When you posted your first comic, were you afraid to receive a negative review?
I’m doing art for such a long time that I really do not care about negative feedback. The first comic book? It was a long time ago that I barely remember what fears I’ve had back then.
In any case, there will always be people who’ll enjoy what you’re doing and people, who will criticize everything you do. You shouldn’t try to appease everyone, it’s impossible. You should strive to do what you like and fans will find you on their own. Sometimes even more than two. :)
- Erotic content and violence are heavily represented in the comic book. If you were not to use them, which story would you tell and in what genre in your next new comic?My main objective was to make a beautiful erotica about a strong man and a strong woman. Usage of violence, in this case only shows the hardships one has to endure to survive in this world and is not used gratuitously. If those things are to be removed, then only adventures will remain.
And why not? Considering the ability of the main heroine to move between worlds, next story could possibly be about impossible adventures in some fantasy world that she ends up in. Something more thoughtful, on the edge between a dream and reality. If, of course, she’ll be able to get out of what she’s gotten herself into.
FireHead Vladimir Vazhinskiy