Interview with creator of “Someday Somewhere Else” Joey Papalia | Galaxy-Boy Delivery

Independent creators like Joey Papalia also known as Joseppi and @Joseppilinguini on Twitter know how tough the indie business can be for creators. All Ages of Geek and “Galaxy-Boy Delivery” are building a platform to shine a light on creators like this who have a dream and story to tell just like Joey and his WEBTOON/Tapas comic “Someday Somewhere Else”.

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What makes you create?

What makes me create?

Probably an overactive imagination and the compulsion to share that.

What drives you?

That’s a pretty personal question, but I guess at the end of the day, I love fantasy and story telling in any medium. I want to hone my craft and make something meaningful that reaches people and brings them together.

How did you get started in your craft?

That’s not super easy to define for me. For as long as I can remember, I was always doodling something, or create imaginative worlds, even as a small kid. I guess I got more serious when I was 14 and went from being a pretty lazy, directionless kid, to really pushing myself to get into art school.

Since college, it has been an interesting, wandering, few years, but I’m still at it.

What’s your favorite part about your craft?

Oh man, hard to say, there’s something about the headspace you fall into while drawing/writing. it’s nice to have something that completely takes over your whole focus in challenging and satisfying way.

And the people. The closest people in my life are other creatives of some kind, designers, artists, writers, etc. I like hearing about other people’s ideas as much as I like to sit and work at my own.

Some struggles along the way?

Well, for me, I have to balance a day job along with my creative career. And it can be difficult to determine what a good use of your time might be, especially if you’ve yet to get a lot of good experience under your belt. I’ve been at it for a long time, but due to circumstances, I’m really only at the “beginning” of my career still. The “creative path” has a lot of branches, and it takes some people longer to hone in on which “branch” works best for them.

What would you change about your industry?

That’s another one that’s tough to say for me, as I’m on the outskirts of a few like the center of some weird venn diagram. I have a few thoughts about the industry, but take anything I say with a huge grain of salt.

As far as Games and Comics are concerned, I have nuanced feelings. I love that we’re in an Indie Golden age for both industries, with creation tools and publishing platforms being so accessible, as a result though, everyone wants to be the next “Solo Legend.” We look at the success of things like “Undertale” and “Lore Olympus” and think, “Yeah, they did it themselves, so can I.” Or we can be too precious about our creations, not wanting anyone else to touch them. I don’t see enough people coming together to create and collaboration.

For animation, well, I live in America, Animation is not appreciated properly here, and likely never will be. And since it’s a medium that usually takes such large scale undertakings, I don’t know if I’m wise enough to solve our current problems like what’s happening with all this HBO MAX/ Warner Bros. Nonsense happening. But I can say we don’t have enough options here. Featured Film Animation, at this point, is Disney, Warner, Dream Works, Illumination, sometimes Sony, and we don’t even have Blue Sky anymore.

It would be nice to see some new Animation Houses pop up, perhaps even a new network made with the sole purpose of revivifying, furthering, and educating the next generation of American animation. There’s an awesome movement happening in the Anime Industry over in Japan called “Animator Supporters,” not only am I fascinated with how well that project can turn out, but I think we could use a few projects like this here in the States as well.

We need to lower the barriers to entry, adopt more Mentorship mentalities, have entry level jobs not require 2 years of experience from the get-go, and scale our projects smaller. We need to pay our creatives well enough to not work so hard that they burn themselves out as well, but, you know, I’m just adding to the echo chamber on that last bit.

Your inspirations and favorite creators?

Oh don’t get me started… Okay, I’m Starting.

It’s so hard to pin down one major inspiration, but I try to let myself be inspired by as much as possible. I could write an incoherent essay about how much I love stuff from 90s-2000s for their raw creativity and weirdness, but to simplify, I’m just going to list off some stuff that I think is cool, and know has influenced my art/story telling.

The Dark Crystal, The Labyrinth, Mirror Mask, Wakfu/Dofus, Kingdom Hearts, Sonic, Pokemon, Legend of Zelda, Final Fantasy, Jak and Daxter, Star Wars, Avatar: Last Airbender, Digimon, Street Fighter, Dungeons and Dragons (especially 4th edition), Soul Caliber, Gurren Lagann, Fairy Tail, Bleach, Wild Star, and a whole bunch of other stuff, that I’m probably missing. Sorry to dump all of that on you!

Favorite creators! I almost forgot, I was too busy thinking of cool cartoons/games that I love!

Jim Henson, Neil Gaimen, Meat Loaf, R.A. Salvatore, Henry Selick, Coheed and Cambria, Butterscotch Shenanigans, Xavier Houssin, Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor, System Mastery (Podcast), and so much more.

Any rituals when you create things like drinking tea or breathing exercises?

Hmm. There’s two answers to that I guess, as far as getting work done, I need to have headphones on, as few distractions as possible, and either very upbeat music, or that one specific “ADHD Relief Music” playing in the background (you know, the one with the sailboat on the red background?)

As far as channeling creativity, I find it helps to be able to enter a “state of play”, as well as have a mindset for problem solving. 

(I’d like to reference this clip from one of John Cleese’s lectures on the subject, there’s plenty more to be found from him online, but this clip is short and to the point I want to reference)

What makes your art stand out from the crowd?

Oh man, I don’t really know if it does! I guess… If you look at my comic, “Someday Somewhere Else,” it doesn’t look like any of the popular styles currently found on the big webcomic platforms. My goal when drawing is usually strong shapes and I have a specific style of drawing proportions, I usually use models from old PS1 and N64 games for my human anatomy, choosing bolder shape language and wild designs over realism, modern anime, or a “cal arts look” (which some people throw around as an insult, it’s not my intention here, I just don’t have another name for it that would be colloquial enough. I like the cal arts look just fine.)

Mostly though, long legs, small torsos, and big hair, but proportioned just enough to be believable anatomy as well. that’s my typical approach. I guess i like to refer to my current Inking Approach as “Crunchy” and my color work is a contrast of muted and vibrant tones.

Your favorite piece of work from your portfolio?

Haha, a favorite? I don’t know, I actually struggle to put together a portfolio, once a piece is done, I move on to the next and don’t think much about it. Sometimes I’ll find something I’ve done and be like “oh, yeah i did do this.”

I hate to plug it a second time, and it’s actually fairly rough, but i think “Someday Somewhere Else” is my favorite, just because it’s my passion piece. (I’m so behind on my page uploads, it’s embarrassing, I’ve just been so busy.”

I did a pinup of one of my characters for “Bunny Month” Back in April of this year, and I think that’s one of my favorite pieces that I’ve ever done.

Any tips to give about your craft for beginners?

Yes! Do something small, but “Complete.”

It’s one thing to sketch in your sketchbook forever, or do character designs, or draw your character floating on a white background, or plot an outline for your novel forever. But nothing will improve your skill level like story telling.

If you’re an artist, I highly recommend you take to comics, regardless of your main role, they will force you to learn 3 very important fundamentals: Anatomy, Perspective, and Visual Story-Telling, all of which can be applied to other mediums of art. What’s more, Comics are relatively low risk compared to other mediums such as animation or game development and have a faster turn around. set yourself to making a complete, 5 page long, one shot story. Finish it, and then do a 10 page, so on and so forth.

Same to writers, Short Stories, Short Stories, Short Stories, I know you want to do the full Novel, but build up to it! There’s Novelettes and Novellas too, give those a try first, you’ll be happy that you did.

For Game Designers, I recommend starting in Table Top Design, there’s plenty of cool stuff going on, and you can make small supplements and adventures for your favorite game, usually under some license that’s pretty open.

Learn to complete things. Something small that exists is better than something gigantic that you’ll never get off the ground. You level up with each project you finish, but you don’t get that XP until the end, so get to it!

Also, learn to work alone, and learn to work with others. Do a solo project, finish it, invite a friend to the next one.

What do you think about All Ages of Geek? Who do you think we should interview next? Any creators you want to give a special shout out to? 

I think every generation has something of value to bring to the conversation of Fantasy. I think it’s interesting that we’ve finally hit an age of millennial creators, I could be projecting, but we seem to really wear our influences on our sleeve, while approaching new topics and themes that were danced around in the past. Things are a lot more character driven, and tropes get subverted a lot more these days, which I think is great! Gen Z is almost all grown up now too and they’re going to be joining the conversation very soon as well, some already have their head start! I can’t wait to see what Fantasy (across all mediums) looks like in a handful of years.

I do think however, as Millennials and Gen Z move in as the main voices, we continue to remember a quote from R.A. Salvatore – “Fantasy is the endless optimism that one person can make a difference.”

With each of these stories we craft, we should have fun, but continue to inspire. We never know when the world of make-believe could become reality, so as we write our grimmest and darkest of settings, we need to remember that the glimmers of hope are what’s important. We should make the most of the time that we’re given, and create honestly and hopefully, because one day the sun will set on us, and the stories we leave behind will build new worlds tomorrow. Imagination needs to be nourished and encouraged as we pass our torches on.

Shoutouts, and who to ask next?

Okay here’s a few good ones for different reasons.

My gf @biggobenergy who is also a creator of a very different style and path. She’s very sweet.

Some other friends of mine would be @DeLuna41624035 @windpriest @celestial_jinx @SkysSplendor @Martianworks and @DarsLife but I don’t know how open they are to interviews.

As far as cool things going on you may want to look at!

I’ve been animating for @ottojokes for a while now and the game is nearly done! We’re already well into our next project @rosettgame as well, which I’m very excited for! dive into those and ask around, there’s so much cool stuff going on there!

Also, @StorytellingCol is hosting another “Write your first Adventure” workshop this month, it’s headed by @ashleynhwarren who is just wonderful.

Oh, @Sprite_Star0 is a pretty cool dude too, he created Olympia in Rivals of Aether, and I believe he’s really trying to hustle and get career off the ground right now. He’s always been pretty chill whenever I go to his streams, so maybe approach him

Where can people find your work online?

Well, my portfolio is here:

And my personal comic series is “Someday Somewhere Else” on both Webtoons and Tapas.

(I know there’s a huge gap in uploads, I promise I’m cleaning up my act, Chapter 1 will finish soon, and Chapter 2 should be starting no later than January.)

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