Today’s spotlight is on Dani O’Brien, writer of All New Issues!
I remember sporadically reading comics when I was younger. A comic with Disney characters or a random Archie book here or there. It wasn’t until I was 12 and watched the first episode of the X-Men cartoon that my love of affair with comics blossomed. There was something about that cartoon that I instantly fell in love with it, and the character Jubilee. I remember, a good friend of mine called me up after it was finished and was like, “Did you see the X-Men cartoon?” Then he said the magic words, “it’s based on a comic.”
I remember purchasing my very first comic, X-Men #20 (the 90s series) and I’ve been reading ever since.
* Tell us a bit about the projects you’ve worked on
I’ve mostly been a behind the scenes girl. In the past, I’ve helped out with a couple webcomic people, running booths, designing merchandise and books, mostly doing the business end of things. It wasn’t until recently that I began writing the webcomic All New Issues.
My boyfriend Bill had worked on a webcomic years ago called Silver Rage, with another friend of ours. Life got busy, and the comic was put on hiatus. About 2 years ago, he got the itch to create again, with those same characters in mind. Since I was around from their conception, we would brainstorm together. I then started coming up with story ideas, character interactions, until next thing you know, I was writing the strip.
I to this day, I will joke that he tricked me into writing it.
* What is your favourite work that you’ve done so far
I’ve only written for All New Issues, so I don’t have much to choose from. But, I am pretty proud of the storyline revolving around the characters of Dee, Todd, and Gavin which I’ll refer to as the wrestling storyline around strip 60ish. I put a lot of time and effort into coordinating that storyline, and if you go back, you can see hints leading up to the big reveal. It was my first try at really developing a storyline with a bigger picture. It could have been a failure, and not everyone liked it, but I’m proud that I was able to do it. It was terrifying.
* Did you ever get advice about the field that you’d like to pass on
One of the best pieces of advice I ever received was from Danielle Corsetto. I was going to be introducing a brand new character and I only had a vague idea who she was and I didn’t know how to write her. Danielle gave me the wise advice of, when you first meet someone in real life, you don’t know their whole life story.
That opened up a whole new perspective for me. In my head, I had to know exactly who that person was before I could write a single sentence of dialogue. That advice gave me the freedom to just write and let her evolve organically. I had ideas of who I thought she was, but those changed once I started writing her. And I feel she’s a better character for it.
*What is your favourite thing to write or draw? From situations to characters to themes, anything goes.
I’m so new to writing that it feels strange to answer this, but I love writing character interactions. Usually when I write, I write conversations out and see where they go. I love slice of life stories, so my writing is very grounded in that. It’s all about characters and how they interact with each other and how they live their lives. I chalk it up to my compulsive need to understand why people do the things they do.
* In an ideal world, in what direction would you like to see your project evolve
In an ideal world, I’d love to see the webcomic go 5 days a week and support us financially. I’m not sure how I’d feel about writing a daily strip, but I’d love to be able to devote all my time to it. Not just writing, but the back end stuff too. I’m a graphic designer by trade, so I’d love to be able to design more with freedom and use all my skills to help further the comic.
* Links to your work: