Sunday, August 28, 2011

Pheaturing Danielle Soloud

Hi, kids, welcome to another entry of the Phile, thanks for being here. How are you? My thoughts go out to everyone on the East Coast who went through for Hurricane Irene. In Washington, D.C., thousands of people have been left without power. They’re called Democrats. They say this could be the biggest disaster to hit New York since “Spider-Man the Musical.” So, did you hear a local news reporter from Washington D.C. ended up getting covered in what is probably the remnants of raw sewage as he delivered live hurricane reports from Ocean City, Maryland? Why is sewage always described as raw? Do any of you ever cook it? Researchers in Britain claim they have created a gel that prevents tooth decay. We’ve got this in America. It’s called “toothpaste.” I am British, so I am allowed to say that by the way. The east coast is still cleaning up after the earthquake. Experts say this only happens once a century. It’s Larry King’s third. Apparently there’s a crack in the Washington Monument. Calm down, Marion Barry, I said “a crack.” Regis Philbin celebrated his 80th birthday — quietly with his money. Regis maintains his youthful appearance with exercise. He loves to take a walk, especially when the check arrives. President Obama’s popularity is slipping while he’s on vacation. When he went for a walk on the beach, the tide went out. Dick Cheney says that when people in Washington read his new book, “heads will be exploding.” When Cheney says heads will be exploding, he means it. The name of Katie Couric’s new talk show has been announced. To make sure it has great ratings, they’re calling “Oprah.” So, Steve Jobs stepped down as CEO of Apple and already the company is going down. Take a look and see what they are coming out with next. Jobs wouldn't never let this happen.
I was watching the Weather Channel last night and I was thinking of those poor reporters that always have to stand out in the hurricane warning everybody to stay indoors. And I was wondering if they liked what they were doing. The Weather Channel answered by flashing something up on the screen. Take a look.

And I couldn't believe there's a hurricane themed inspirational poster out there. Here it is, kids.

I saw an alligator on the side of the road the other day, does that count? 

My Aromascope card didn't work. I was promised eight full-bodied odors, three of which were meant to be various candies. Another one was allegedly bacon. Another one cheese. Two farts were also promised. I forget the others. But I got none. I scratched it with my finger. I rubbed it with my thumb. I scraped it with my car keys. I gouged at it. I inhaled deeply. Nothing. Well, okay, not exactly nothing; the entire card smelled like freshly processed toxic chemical ink.
Who's to blame for this? Did the theater I went to receive a bad batch of cards? Did nobody professionally nose-test this gimmick before it was shipped to cinema chains? When the numbers flashed on screen telling me to smell the crispy, frying pork and/or Spy Toddler flatulence, I looked at my sad, ineffectual card and cursed it. I was cheated out of rancid, intentional stinks and, instead, was delivered card stock soaked in dry-cleaning fluid. Our local theatre is not showing the movie in 3D so we had to watch a partial blurry movie. It would've of been nice to see Jessica Alba in 3D. As for movie itself, it seems like a secondary consideration, maybe even to director Robert Rodriguez. The original spying kids are young adults now, so two newer, more polished and yet less charismatic tweens are set in motion to stop a guy with a big clock for a head from taking all the time in the world for himself. See, if he gets away with it, then Mom (Jessica Alba) and Dad (Joel McHale) won't have any time left to learn how to be better parents for the obnoxious, pampered brats and everybody will be sad. Or something. It's a strange plot trend that keeps rearing its guilty head in kid movies--one clearly conceived by adults with feelings of remorse over how they ignore their own offspring. Not that this is a useless film. It's fun enough for kid audiences, and Ricky Gervais, as the voice of the talking robot dog, will keep non-sleeping grown-ups reasonably tuned in. From 1 to 10 it gets a 6 and I probably won't be buying it.

Today's guest is the fifth artist to be pheatured in the Peverett Phile Art Gallery and the artist and writer for the on-line comic "Life with Death". She will be appearing next at the first ever PalmCom at the Polish American Club in Lake Worth, Florida, on September 17th. Please welcome to the Phile... Danielle Soloud.

Me: Hello, Danielle, welcome to the Phile. How are you?

Danielle: Great, thank you for asking and for the interest in my work!

Me: You're welcome. So, this year for the first time in awhile I didn't get to go to MegaCon. I like to go and meet different artists, and interview them here on the Phile. I know Michael Banks, interviewed him, and he introduced me to you, so things work out anyway. Anyway, did you have a good time at MegaCon?

Danielle: MegaCon this year was fantastic! I get to meet so many amazing people and MegaCon treats me very well. I heard attendance was up from about 27,000 attendance of last year to 33,000 this year.

Me: I am sure you've been there before, right? What is your favorite convention to go to?

Danielle: I've been quite a few times but this was only my second time in Artist Alley. My favorite is definitely MegaCon so far!

Me: Danielle, you're based here in Orlando, is that right? Have you lived here all your life? How often do you go to Disney?

Danielle: Yes, born 'n' bred. I haven't been to Disney in a while but when I was younger we'd go a lot, especially when my grandmother worked there and she had the hook up. I think I've been once since they removed Mr. Toad's Wild Ride.

Me: Let's talk about your art work, Danielle. It seems going through your portfolio you like to draw women. Is that because they are easy for you to draw, or because you are one?

Danielle: I would have to say neither. I enjoy drawing women, I like to draw curves. I see women as circles where as men more like squares and rectangles. I do find them easier to draw simply because I've been doing it since I was little and I'm sure that being female doesn't hurt!

Me: I love to draw, but when I draw a woman, they always end up looking ugly, or men in drag. When did you start to draw, Danielle? Was drawing girls one of the first things you learnt to draw?

Danielle: Like most (or maybe all) children I drew a lot when I was little, I just didn't stop. And I definitely think girls were always a strong focus from a early age.

Me: You draw a lot of Marvel characters in your style, but I don't see a whole lot of DC characters. Are you a Marvel fan more? I am.

Danielle: I would definitely say I was in middle and high school but not as much now. I favor X-men characters on the Marvel side and Batman characters on the DC side. I think DC has a lot more iconic characters when it comes to females. In fact, Harley Quinn is my most requested character I get to draw at conventions which is more than fine with me as she's one of my favorites!

Me: When you are at conventions such as MegaCon do people come up to you and ask you to draw their favorite super hero? What was the oddest request you have ever been asked?

Danielle: Sometimes it's their favorites, other times it may be a character they'd like to see in my "style", or a handful of people will request me to draw them. I've had friends swap crazy commission stories but I yet to have any of my own. I'm sure that's all in due time!

Me: Do you draw naked women as well? Can you draw me a naked Kelly Clarkson? Just kidding... I think. ; )

Danielle: Haha niiice. I have drawn nudity, mostly in figure drawing classes. I have no problem with it but I probably wouldn't do more than what you'd see in a 'Playboy'. I'm comfortable at R-rated.

Me: Okay, so, let's talk about what I really what to talk about, and I know you do as well... "Life with Death", your on-line web comic.

Danielle: "Life with Death" is my training wheels for making comics. The best way to learn to do something is to jump in, get your hands dirty, and learn from your mistakes and that's exactly what I'm doing in a very public manner. I've developed a whole world with residents and now it's just about learning how to bring others into this world. Hopefully readers will enjoy the ride.

Me: I interviewed artists in the past here who have web comics, and I always wonder if that is easier then having the comics printed. Do they come in printed form as well?

Danielle: It's definitely easier and by far CHEAPER! Right now I only have one printed "Life with Death" book and it's a prologue to the comic, taking place one week before the first page of the webcomic starts. I recently decided to change the path of my webcomic in a different direction. The webcomic started out with a graphic novel, one page a week format but this wasn't working like I wanted to. The storyline involved many characters and I thought would only become more confusing. So what I've recently decided to do is I'm going to put the original story concept and continue it in a graphic novel format (and/or digital download) so that the readers can get it in one piece. The story that's happening now is sliding back into the same path but is much simpler to follow along with on a weekly basis.

Me: Tell the readers of the Phile what "Life with Death" is about, Danielle.

Danielle: "Life with Death" focuses mainly on Kim Reaper, the daughter of the Grim Reaper, currently 17 years old, and is to be the next Angel of Death following in her father's footsteps. But this is something she has no interest in. The rest of the primary family includes her mother, Lucy, daughter of Satan (and the reason they have to live in Hell), her brother Jimmy, and zombie-dog, Rotty. The comic focuses mainly on the family and residents of the afterlife (Heaven, Hell, and Limbo).

Me: How long have you been drawing and writing "Life with Death", and how often can a reader see new chapters?

Danielle: I have very old concepts of Kim Reaper but I would say I started getting into it a year ago, March 2010. A new page is uploaded every Thursday.

Me: Is that the only story you write?

Danielle: It's the only currently publicly available story, yes! I'm also working on a few others. A little preview that people got on "Life with Death" was for my grindhouse-styled "Sai O'Nara" story which features a female vampire-werewolf-ninja-assassin. It was well received so I'm really looking forward to putting that out.

Me: It's an interesting concept, Danielle. Do you ever think it'll make a great movie or TV show? Maybe for Adult Swim or something?

Danielle: Thank you! I've said many times that "Life with Death" just FEELS like it would be better fit as a cartoon and I'd love to see Kim Reaper and the rest of the cast come alive as such.

Me: I like the dog with the eye popping out. I can easily see kids buying a plush of him at Hot Topic or something.

Danielle: Another thing people say to me quite often is how merchandise-able "Life with Death" is. And it's definitely something I consider for the future. I'd adore a little plush Rotty.

Me: Do you see "Life with Death" ending? How much of a story do you have planned out?

Danielle: I do have an ending in mind, but it's always opened to change and I'm no where near ready to end it.

Me: It's hard enough for me to post an entry of this blog once or twice a week and get people to interview, let alone write a weekly comic? Do you ever get tired of it, or a writer's block?

Danielle: YES. But when I do start to dread or get tired of it then that means it's time to switch it up. I have so many ideas for "Life with Death" that I try to write down EVERYTHING. Whether it be moments, possible events, anything that can spark inspiration for future storylines.

Me: Your art work is similar to manga to me, Danielle. Are you a big manga fan?

Danielle: Yes, although I'm not up to date on it. I was a big anime fan in the 80's and 90's and it definitely contributed to my style.

Me: I like to ask artists I interview which tools they use, so, Danielle, which tools do you use? Is your comic done on a Mac like the Phile is?

Danielle: I use a PC and Wacom Cintiq for the comic now pretty much and work often in Manga Studio and Photoshop. Traditional inking I like to use Faber-Castell Pitt Pens, Copic Multiliners, Pentel Brush Pen, and sometimes brush and ink. For traditional colors I'll use a mixture of Copic and Prismacolor markers.

Me: So, what's next? Any new projects lined up?

Danielle: Always! There is so much I want to do that it really just feels like there isn't enough time in a day. I have many more comic ideas I want to do and I'm becoming more interested in gallery type work so we'll see how that goes!

Me: Thanks so much for being on the Phile, Danielle. Go ahead and plug your websites and come back again, soon, okay?

Danielle: Thank you SO much for having me! My main site and blog can be found at and my webcomic "Life with Death" is at

Me: Hope to see you at a convention soon. Take care.

Danielle: Thank you again, it's been a pleasure!

There you go, that about does it for another entry. Thanks to Danielle for a great interview. Well, the Phile will be back tomorrow with the singer from one of my favorite bands ever Bowling for Soup. Yep, Jaret Reddick. And then next Sunday it's Robert A. Medeiros, lead singer for the cool California band The Clarences. So, spread the word, not the turd. Don't let snakes and alligators bite you. Bye, love you, bye.

Drawing by my niece Kaylie Gray.

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