Until It Ends, an Interview with Shiraky and Daniel

We conclude this sunny Vancouver week, with the latest interview for the Life Finds A Way anthology! With us, is Shiraky and Daniel, sharing some background information about their story “Until It Ends”.

This post is a part of a series of articles about Cloudscape’s Life Finds A Way anthology. Visit the landing page for more information on the project.

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What’s your name?

S: Shiraky.

D: Daniel.

What’s your artistic background?

S: Many things I learned by myself, I always drove my parents crazy by scrawling the walls on the house with crayons, pencils or any other thing in reach.

After that a ton of drawing notebooks were filled, some of which I hold dearly to this day.

The only course I took was digital painting, in 2014, with master Nicolas Mendes, who was responsible for a great evolution in my style. With him, I learned notions of light and shadow, colors, and other great lessons that I will forever carry with affection.

D: Mostly just practice and collaborations online, since I’m still a beginner. Almost every time I spot someone saying they need a script for something, I volunteer. From anthologies to people wanting some material to practice one page or two.

Most of the time, this ends in rejection. But when thing go well, it is rewarding. We collaborate, joining our two visions to create one piece, and I always learn something in the process.

What comics/comic creators inspired you to make comics?

S: Mauricio de Souza and Ziraldo are certainly the most important of all, because it was thanks to these two masters that I was enchanted by this world of comics and I got where I am today. Without mentioning the most obvious ones, other artists who inspire me today are Jamie Hewlett, Kenneth Rocafort, Mike Deodato Jr. among several others.

D: I obviously love a bunch of comics and have some favorites, but right now the inspiration to create comes from the community who creates comics with less resources. People crowdfunding their projects or just posting online for some comments.

It is inspiring to see people creating and sharing their stories knowing that the big rewards are not coming yet.

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What about Life Finds a Way caught your imagination enough to submit a story?

S: The attempt to avoid clichés. Within the chosen theme, it’s very easy to end up falling into the same clichés as always, many stories have already been told and several ideas end up repeating themselves. It was interesting to see the development of a story that wanted to move beyond this repetition.

D: I loved the list with things to avoid. First time I read those restrictions I thought “What the heck I’m supposed to write about them? Are these guys publishing blank pages?”. Five minutes later I was super invested and scribbling a bunch of ideas.

On our theme of hope, what did you find fun about creating stories within this framework? Furthermore were there any unexpected challenges?

S: I enjoy post-apocalyptic stories a lot and I am easily carried away by the theme. But the limit of pages turned out to be a little frustrating, several ideas I ended up leaving out because it would be necessary more pages to develop them better, besides frame transitions that ended up getting a little sudden due to this limit.

D: I liked the theme of hope, overall. It is interesting to think about this usually dark scenario from a hopeful standpoint, the part that the movies usually don’t get into. The biggest challenge was the page limit. Once you get excited about the story, it’s easy to exceed whatever the limit is.

Part of the fun of Post-Apocalypse is the worldbuilding, how do you deal with the limitations of the short story format with that in mind?

S: Daniel (the writer) helped me a lot in this matter, I received a script that was very well worked out and very tight, which made it possible for the story to be told without losing any important parts, and without it seeming too rushed or too drowsy. Thanks to him, the story fit perfectly within the limit of pages.

D: The human race is carrying a very bad reputation, once we introduce the event that catalyses our apocalypse, it’s easy for the reader to imagine how humans screw the world up. Other than that, a lot of revisions, back and forth with the editors, notes and edits, until everything fits in the right place.

What’s your favorite post-apocalypse media, and why? (Games, Movies, Books, etc.)

S: I Am Legend is my favorite movie and the first one that comes to mind. The story, the feeling of loneliness, the soundtrack, it is incredible.

D: Not my favourite, but right now I’m watching Into the Badlands. A post-apocalypse with a lot of martial arts fight choreography, a very cheesy and fun combination. But is not my favourite, so I kinda didn’t answer the question. Next.

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Clichés, our editors outlined some that we did not want in our stories in our narrative guide. What elements about post-apocalypse media do you think are over-done?

S: Despite liking it a lot, I think it’s zombies.

D: Zombies. Or walkers (doesn’t matter how you call it, we know its zombies). And the big reveal: “despite the apocalypse being caused by zombies, the biggest danger are other humans”.

Post-apocalyptic fiction can often be a reflection of anxieties that occur in contemporary society, does your piece reflect any societal anxiety that you can identify?

S: Greed, corruption, neglect and lack of empathy of our political leaders and the richest in relation to the poorest population. We cannot generalize, but unfortunately are always the worst that stand out.

D: People only want to benefit themselves. If you can give something (money) or take something (lives), you decide what happens. You don’t even know the faces of the rich and powerful people who runs the world. You can enjoy your life however you want, but you are not in charge and will never be.

Do you think you could survive a week in the wild with a knife, a poncho, and a fishing hook?

S: I lived a large part of my life in the countryside in a very isolated place and away from the city, even the few neighbors were far from where we lived, so I learned early on how to get along in the wild.

D: Is this a threat? Get away from me.

Where do you look to find hope for humanity’s future?

S: In small acts of everyday life, when I see someone giving up the seat to an old man, helping a disabled person, even helping to push someone’s car that has just broken down and is stopped in the middle of the street. These small actions renew hope for a better future.

D: Nowhere. I don’t think things are gonna get better. I just hope it doesn’t get very worse. And that hope I get from history, the world was never 100% fine, so maybe this desperation from nowadays is things at their best.

Do you have any projects you’d like to plug?

S: At the moment I’m not working on anything special, but I post many of my drawings and some projects in my Instagram: @shirakyart

D: Nothing, so here is Shiraky’s instagram again: @shirakyart

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