‘A Rich World…Of Wonky Creatures’ – Ida Neverdahl Introduces Us To Jelly Vampire

by Hannah Means Shannon

As we recently discussed on Comicon.com, a Kickstarter campaign is currently underway to publish a new book by webcomic creator Ida Neverdahl in Jelly Vampire. Norwegian artist Neverdahl rose to public attention in the English-speaking comics community for her online, vertically scrolling comic work “Like an Artist“.

Over the past five or six years, Neverdahl has been gradually accumulating comic stories that feature a central character, Lulu, as she has strange adventures and meets even stranger creatures, and periodically publishing them on the Vice website. Cats and unicorns are some of the more frequent guest-stars in these all-ages strips. Those comics now form the core of Jelly Vampire and are coming to print via Kickstarter and a partnership with Emet Comics.

Emet Comics is a publisher dedicated to the publication of the work of female comic creators and stories featuring female protagonists, making Jelly Vampire a great fit for their mission.

Comicon.com is joined by Ida Neverdahl today for a quick chat about Jelly Vampire.

Hannah Means-Shannon: What made you turn to using the webcomic format for creating comics?

Ida Neverdahl: I always made comics for myself and my friends, but being on the internet gave me an opportunity to share my comics with a larger audience. I found Deviantart and started posting my stuff there. I was really stoked to get feedback, and after a while I also got ‘fans’, which was a bit surreal to me. From there, my comics developed to have a more webcomic specific format. I would draw long stories told as a vertical series of panels. I love this way of telling stories, because it enables you to play a lot more with storytelling and pacing.

HMS: How does creating comics for Vice relate to your other projects? How do you determine the subject matter for those pieces?

IN: What runs on Vice is actually the Jelly Vampire comic, as well as other random comics that I make, that I haven’t found a printed or digital home for. It’s kind of bits and bobs of my comics that are published there. So the creating comics for Vice is more like just me creating comics in general, that end up on the Vice page eventually.

HMS: With the current project funding for Jelly Vampire, there’s an all-ages approach and a longer format at work, as well as the appearing in English for the first time. What does Jelly Vampire mean to you and what are some of your goals on the comic?

IN: Jelly Vampire is my longest running project. I’ve been doing the comic continuously for about 5-6 years. It’s very special to me, and it has developed a lot over the years, and become better and better I think. It’s grown to become a very rich world, inhabited by all sorts of wonky creatures. I don’t have many specific goals for it, other than to keep creating it. It would be cool if it could turn into an animated TV-show or something though. But that’s a lot of work.

HMS: You have a consistent character, Lulu: in what ways is she your “voice” and in what ways might she be different than you?

IN: She’s the embodiment of my imagination in a way, because she goes through adventures that reflects my weirdest ideas and interests. She’s not like me in that she lives in this crazy world and goes on wild adventures, while I prefer to just sit at home and draw comics and drink coffee.

HMS: What kind of illustrated books or comics create an atmosphere that has been meaningful to you as a reader?

IN: I’ve always liked works that are imaginative and fantastical, but at the same time having realistic and possibly dark undertones. Also a lot of my inspiration has been comics, so I love when people challenge the medium, and find new, nifty ways to combine text and sequential images to tell a story. Some big influences I can think of are Oyasumi Punpun by Inio Asano, and the Wet Moon series by Sophie Campbell.

Jelly Vampire is currently funding on Kickstarter until Wednesday, October 18th.

You can watch the trailer below: