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Interview: Immelmann on his Internet legacy

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I had the pleasure of interviewing Immelmann on his Internet legacy, including Concession, Ballerina Mafia, At the Heart of it All, and his newest comic, The Black Dogs [released last Friday]. My questions and comments are not to be taken seriously.

Me: Good evening, Immelmann! Thank you so much for joining me tonight! It's a real pleasure having you on the show. Against my better judgement, I'm a big fan. Been following your work for a few years now!

ImmelmannImmelmann: I'm real sorry to hear t- I mean, thank you.

Me: Alright, let's go over your history real quick. You've formally been a part of the furry community for six years this July! In that time you've created a big name for yourself with three webcomics, a musical album, and a Fur Affinity gallery. You've won an Ursa Major for best anthropomorphic graphic novel for 2009, and you're currently in the works of another web comic. Can you believe it's only been six years?

Immelmann: ...Jesus, I can't believe I've spent six years hanging out online with these weirdos... It's weird when you put it that way, because that encompasses essentially my whole college career. It's like I got out of high school, and said, "wellp, time to be a professional furry." And I don't even have a fursuit yet, I'm a terrible furry.

Me: You don't have a fursuit?! You're lying, all furries have suits! You must a broken one. And I had no idea there was such a thing as professional furry. Are there courses for that? [Ed: There's an LJ]

Immelmann: Night school, mostly... And hey, fursuits are expensive. I'd rather pay for thing slike... food and rent. Overrated as they may be.

Me: Well other furries don't seem to have an issue with that. Now, let's start from the beginning. You take your name Immelmann from an anime called Last Exile, and there are fighter pilots in that series, and one of them makes reference to a maneuver originated by a World War I fighter pilot, Max Immelmann. It's already bad enough that you had to side with the Axis Power. Why a Nazi pilot? Are you some sort of Japanese Nazi?

Immelmann: Not a lot of Nazis in World War I, unless you believe they had a time machine. Interestingly, I do have some minor German heritage, so there could be Nazi blood in here floating around. That would be kind of cool.

Me: Hey, all I know is we were fighting the Germans. They were pretty much the proto-Nazis.

Immelmann: I must now insist you refer to me as Führer Immelmann.

Me: If you do, I want you to make a public statement, and say you got it from me. It's only fair.

Immelmann: Spread more slander like that and my Furry SS will have you silenced in the night.

Me: And now I have documented proof that furries are evil, thank you sir.

Immelmann: You needed proof?

Me: Furries are tricky. I know they're evil, but I just couldn't find anything. You have provided the info. Now, why a German pilot from a Japanese anime? Why not something American, like Wright, or Earheart or Lindbergh?

Immelmann: Those names suck. Regardless, I didn't pick the nickname, my friend did. People don't pick their own nicknames. People with social skills don't, anyways.

Me: Are you saying Americans suck? Sir, I am offended! We have worked hard off the backs of foreign industrial slaves to get where we are, thank you very much! I am proud to be an American, sir.

Immelmann: So how's that Trillion-dollar debt to the Chinese working out for you? Have they reposessed your country yet?

Me: Hey, nobody said it's perfect. Who was this person that gave you your treasonous name?

Immelmann: Epam, who you may know from Ballerina Mafia and as the creator of Mr. Dude.

Me: Is he a Nazi?

Immelmann: No, but like the Japanese, he finds the Nazis to be adorable.

Me: Sadly, I agree. They think they can be a world power! So, he just said your nickname should be Immelmann and you were just okay with that?

Immelmann: I didn't mind it. We were watching Last Exile at the time, so I understood the context and connotations. Plus, if I didn't like it, what was I going to say? No, don't call me that? That would have just made him say it more often.

Me: You gotta hate how reverse psychology works like that. Were you a furry at the time of acquiring this nickname?

Immelmann: Maybe. My interest in furries was very on-and-off before Concession, and it was never more than just liking the furry type of art.

Tyras, from ConcessionMe: Let's go back to Max Immelmann. When he was alive, he owned a dog that he named Tyras. You have your own sort of companion, a pikachu named Tyras. Did Pokemon play some part in being a furry?

Immelmann: Yes, actually. An anthropomorphic Pikachu was, specifically, the first furry drawing I had ever seen.

Me: Have you always felt you were a furry? Or was it something you came across on the internet?

Immelmann: There's no feeling involved. I liked the look of anthropomorphic animals and liked to draw them. Until that point I had never entertained the concept.

Me: How did you first find the furry aspect on the internet, exactly?

Immelmann: I just looked for more anthro art, which probably lead me to Yerf. You being 12 and all, you probably weren't around for it, but in its time, Yerf was (or carried itself as if it was) the premeir furry art site, mostly due to it's strict review process and standards of quality to get in.

Me: I'll have you know I'm 19, thank you very much. How old were you when you first came across the furries?

Immelmann: I think that was early High School, so... whenever that was. I'll say 16ish.

Me: Was Epam also a furry?

Immelmann: Nope.

Me: Thank God.

Immelmann: He's an adult who finished college and got a job.

Me: Sounds like someone's jealous.

Immelmann: I get paid per hour to draw furry smut. Hard to be jealous of a desk job. Easy to be jealous of his income, I suppose.

Me: So, you found furries by 16, and two years later, you officially started a webcomic. If those who are reading this have been living under a rock, it's called Concession. It actually started off as a way to vent your frustration at your job at the time, working in a movie theater, is that correct?

Immelmann: Less about venting frustrations and more about trivializing them with humor. That quickly took a backseat to character-based comedy.

Me: With hyperbolizing character archetypes?

Immelmann: They're not that exaggerated.

Me: But you do admit that they are?

Immelmann: Not necessarily in personality, but in actions, sure. BM characters were far more exaggerated.

Me: And we'll get in to that later on. How far in to the development of the comic did you stop working at the theater?

Immelmann: I have no idea! Well, some idea. When Roland appeared, he was working as an Art Gallery monitor and at the time, I had the same job at college

Immelmann: So I must have quit before then.

Me: Me: So not too far in! So what was your initial inspiration for starting Concession precisely?

Immelmann: Did you miss the part where you told me that I was working at a movie theatre? Okay, but more appropriately, I started reading webcomics. VG Cats in particular, which at the time was actually funny.

Me: Just wanted you to explain further for yourself! As much as I love talking, I don't want to do all the talking for you.

Immelmann: That's about it, I guess. I saw other webcomics, thought it was an interesting format and decided to try my own for some reason. Maybe I would have gone into published superhero comics if I had gotten into those instead.

Me: Would that have had the same amount of homoeroticism as Concession did?

Immelmann: Probably not, if it was getting published. Not that I would have been published at the time with art like that. The appealing thing of webcomics was that I could basically do whatever I wanted. I could have made Concession heavily pornographic if I chose. The freedom was appealing at the time, even if some of the choices I made were short-sighted.

Me: And you don't consider it to be heavily pornographic as it is?

Immelmann: No, not at all. There's no full-frontal nudity, no genitalia shown, no penetration. It's got some heavy fetish undertones at time, but that doesn't make it pornographic. R-rated movies sometimes gets away with worse.

Me: Sadly, I do agree. You mention that some of your choices were short sighted, and it's very interesting that you say that, but we'll get more in to that in a bit here. When you uploaded the very first page of Concession, you weren't intending the path that it would eventually take?

Immelmann: I don't remember what I was intending six years ago.

Me: Do you remember having any plans for a plot?

Immelmann: I think so, yes, but I was probably pretty vague about them. A lot of ideas I had back then were discarded as time went in. Joel was originally to have precognition, for example.

Me: Why did you drop that idea? It would seem it would fit in to his whole connection with the astral plane.

Immelmann: Well it was stupid, for one. But most primarily, it wasn't as interesting or explainable. A pre-determined reality is frustrating and I find it hard to believe. His powers, instead, turned into projection of thoughts into people's minds and the subtle manipulation of matter on the subatomic level via Miranda. That can all be explained, with a bit of a stretch of the imagination, to the concept of astral bodies connected to the mind on another plain. Simple, easy to swallow.

Immelmann: Precognition, on the other hand, requires the calculation and prediction of an almost infinite number of minute factors playing together. Either that, or it requires the flow of time to be perceived in a different way, more akin to Dr. Manhattan or Billy Pilgrim. Interesting, but far outside of what I wanted to happen in Concession.

Me: Yeah, I can see what you mean. I don't want to give away the ending, but I can see how having precognition and how the events at the end unfolded wouldn't have made much sense.

Immelmann: It might have. I don't remember where I was going with the idea, if anywhere.

Me: Let's move on to the characters. The first 30 strips or so primarily serve as character introductions and development, and also, as you said, character based humor. Right at the top we have the manager, Dave Innitou, a panda. Was he originally going to be the butt of short jokes?

Immelmann: I don't think that happened very often, did it?

Me: Later on, it did. There were some silly moments with him being trapped under a cardboard box, and then requiring a "sexual step ladder" as you so put it, once. Did you have someone like Dave as a manager?

Immelmann: Well, one manager was sorta short and some sort of non-White, but Dave wasn't really based on anyone.

Me: What about Angie? She's a sort of dinosaur. Sexually open. Kinda ditzy.

Immelmann: There was someone like her at the place I worked. Rick too. I don't think the girl was that slutty though, and I might be thinking of.. all the girls who worked there, most of whom were not especially intelligent.

Me: Ah, yes! Rick! He was the custodian of the theater. He seemed more of a sexual deviant, than anything. He was in an open relationship with Angie. Was his character directly inspired by an employee, or did you add some things in there?

Immelmann: Not directly, just very vaguely, as if representing the same archetype of person.

Me: Now, Rick has a twin sister, Kate. One thing that came as a surprise to me is that they were in an incestuous relationship. What made you decide that?

Immelmann: I think I was inspired by the early days of Jay Naylor's Better Days, which was before he started to really suck at everything. Mainly though, I don't know, that was just for weird fetish reasons. It wound up coming into play during the climax.

Me: Are you normally full of sexual puns?

Immelmann: I don't usually make sexual puns...

Me: Well I will have you know that I don't have a dirty mind! So stop thinking that!

Me: Moving on, the supervisor is Artie, an albino mouse that suffers from brain cancer. For the longest time, he serves as the voice of reason and logic, serving as a sort of antagonist to Joel. He's essentially one of those supervisors who is always on your case and very anal about getting things done specifically. Was there someone like Artie at the theater?

Immelmann: Again, only sort of. He represents the same vague archetype that my supervisor did.

Me: Was it what I just described?

Immelmann: My real supervisor was a lot more eccentric, actually. Liked to make up stories. Like his one story where he paraded around his neighborhood as a superhero after dark.

Me: That sounds like a douche who just wants to impress everyone. Just saying!

Immelmann: It was more that he was really bored and knew we were bored too.

Me: Well then I take that back, and in this very rare case, I apologize. Now please excuse me while I wash my mouth out with soap and vinegar.

Me: And then of course you have Matt, the naive new hire. I think it's safe to say that any one who has worked anywhere for a year or so has experienced there own version of Matt, wouldn't you say?

Immelmann: Probably not, most people get a quick hold of their job.

Me: Probably not, but in some cases here and there. And then the main attraction for the comic, Joel. In your second web comic, At the Heart of it All, you mention how Joel is based off your real life friend, Shugwar, is that correct?

Immelmann: Somewhat. They have similar taste in music, they both possessed a scathing sort of sense of humor and dress in black. Joel's far more of a bitch, though. Whinier. He wasn't able to take things in stride, get over tragedy, or learn to adapt or let go of grudges. He's a rather pathetic version of Shugwar.

Me: Has Shugwar shared his thoughts about Joel with you?

Immelmann: Shugwar hates Joel, actually. Mostly because he thinks he's a bitch, but minorly because a lot of people thought Shugwar was Joel in BM.

Me: But they look nothing alike! Sure, you're a terrible artist, but at least you have enough skill to make canine and feline anatomy different!

Immelmann: BM is drawn in a very minimal style, so it's not hard to believe. Also, people can be kind of stupid, so the fact that he has different ears and a different tail escapes most people. They see black shirt and black fur and think, ah, it's Joel.

Me: So would you say that furries are stupid?

Immelmann: A lot of them are, yeah. Most of them are young and probably naive. A lot make pretty bad decisions regarding their lives, their money, and general visual design.

Me: That sounds rather snooty of you! I take it that you're the snooty, self-righteous, narcissistic, holier-than-thou elitist type of artist?

Immelmann: I try not to be, but that's just what I've observed.

Me: Going back to the similarities between Joel and Shug real quick, I've noticed that Joel can be rather dramatic and not very subtle in his behavior. Is Shug like this to a degree?

Immelmann: What do you mean by dramatic?

Me: Well, more often than not, Joel is always feeling some sort of extreme emotion. He's never really a middle level, and when he is, it doesn't stay that way for long. And where normal people will stick to the norms, Joel steps way beyond the boundaries.

Immelmann: Ah, right. No, I guess Shugwar is pretty much the opposite, as he never really feels strongly about much of anything.

Me: And he doesn't act in an over dramatic manner?

Immelmann: Nope. But that's not very funny, so he acts more dramatically when in a comic.

Me: Well of course! BM wouldn't be very interesting then.

Me: As you mentioned earlier, you introduced Roland, an art student, as a special side comic about Joel being at college. Essentially, Joel and Roland were meant as different representations of yourself, is that correct?

Immelmann: Not really. Not on Joel's behalf. Roland, only sort of, in terms of some of the things he went through in art school.

Me: Such as overlooking an art gallery. And dealing with a very critical art teacher, I take it?

Immelmann: His art teachers weren't shown as being very critical. He was the critical one. And similarly, in my school, all the teachers were unwilling to be critical of student's art.

Me: I see! It's just that one of Roland's teacher was very hard on the students. That's why I ask that.

Immelmann: That was more a statement about the students being pussies.

Me: OK, I see now! Being too sensitive about the slightest critique?

Immelmann: Yup. One time, I gave someone a critique that I thought was fair and helpful. After the critique, another student said that if I did something like that again, they'd call the campus police on me.

Me: That's really extreme! I don't have words for that!

Immelmann: I was confused at first, really had no idea what I did. I only figured it out once I got back to my dorm. I then proceeded to not say anything ever in further critiques in that class. It got to the point where at one point, she came back to me and said, "you know, you don't have to say nothing." I still didn't say anything in that class again.

Me: Well, I would sympathize with you, but she was right. A furry should never even be out in public in the first place! Shame on you! Even though you seem to know what you're talking about, I am overlooking that simply because of your choice in artistic expression.

Immelmann: Big words for a vlogger.

Me: Thesauruses are my best friend.

Me: Roland himself gives some pretty hurtful critique on other art students. Obviously a parody of your own experience. But he eventually meets Thonnen, a distant cousin of Angie. She also provides some blunt critique that Roland finds appealing. Was Thonnen inspired by someone you personally met?

Immelmann: Sort of, yes. There was a girl at college who was a bit blunt and mean herself. She wasn't a big talking lizard, though.

Me: Well I should hope not! That would be terrifying!

Immelmann: Terrifyingly sexy

Me: Of course! The typical furry! Gotta make sex about everything! And why does it have to be terrifyingly sexy? Are in to sex terrorists?

Immelmann: Terrifyingly just describes the great magnitude to which it is sexy, as if so attractive that it's humbling. Has nothing to do with terrorism. English not your first language?

Me: I speak fluent American, thank you very much!

Me: Another thing that's prevalent in this whole introduction of Concession is the Random Character Generator system. It does exactly what is says it does, but I'm more interested in the contents of the generator. You have gender, sexual orientation, animal species, but you also have the type of religion they practice and an actual brief biography. Now most writers, lazy as they are, never put so much thought and effort in to characters that don't serve much of anything. Why did you do this?

Immelmann: Well, the generator itself was to make sure I didn't use the same set of creatures for the background - easy to think about animals like foxes, wolves, cats, lizards. It made sure there was a wide, interesting array of animals to look at from time to time. It also make sure I had a somewhat even distribution of genders and orientation. As for the bios.. I just thought it would be interesting that way.

Me: Some of the bios are rather funny to read, I'll admit. For the universe that Concession takes place in, you've actually developed several detailed religions and how they work. Why did you write so many detailed religions?

Immelmann: Again, I thought it would be interesting. I wanted to imagine what religions may look like in a world full of furries.

Me: I've noticed there are no religions for furries who are Jewish. Are you anti-Semitic?

Immelmann: No, but Judaism always seemed like a rather strict religion, so I didn't think they'd ave much patience for Furries. Plus, I think they have some weird "jewish race" thing going on.

Me: You're walking a very fine line here, Furhur Immelmann. Be careful what you say.

Me: So, fast forward to page 24. It's the comic where we learn that Artie has brain cancer for a second time. This is the very first step, albeit small, towards the progression of the plot. Did you know at that point the direction the comic was going to end?

Immelmann: I might have. I don't remember. The planned ending changed a few times as I went along.

Me: Do you remember what the first planned ending was?

Immelmann: Nope.

Me: Did you know that there was going to be a lot of conflict between Joel and Artie?

Immelmann: I did, yes. The comic about them having a light sabre duel was foreshadowing of that.

Me: Just let me say so the readers understand, Joel is a black wolf and Artie is a white mouse. Obviously some symbolism in there. Was that deliberate? Even from the beginning with all the gag strips?

Immelmann: No, purely coincidental. Matt and Joel's eyes being complimentary colors wasn't a coincidence, but Joel and Artie's fur colors were.

Me: So you knew that Joel and Matt would end up in a relationship?

Immelmann: From the very start.

Me: But you didn't know that the comic would turn so dark and serious at times?

Immelmann: I think I had an idea. I can't recall very well. I knew it was going to get darker.

Me: So obviously not all of the plot was planned. How much of it did you come up with as you went along?

Immelmann: Certainly less than half. Not really sure nowadays. The plot with Matt coming out of the closet to his parents was very spur-of-the-moment, I know that much

Me: That was a very interesting part of the story. It was nice to see that interaction between Joel and Matt's father. The plot in itself is all very interesting to follow, but at times the gag strips ruined the pace of the plot. What are your thoughts on that?

Immelmann: My thoughts are usually "get over it", but maybe that's not the best response. Regardless of my thoughts, it's something I plan to avoid doing in the future.

Me: Alright, so, what obviously makes Concession stand out from a lot of other topics is the subject matter that's introduced, such as paedophilia, rape, incest, and just a lot of disturbing imagery [mostly NSFW]. How high were you when you wrote the plot? Or are you just demented on a daily basis?

Immelmann: Only a little high. Other media has done far worse. I just thought it would make an interesting story.

Me: Well I don't know about interesting so much as horrifying! Now surely, as furry, you could have thought of far worse subjects, like open mouthed kissing between guys. How come you didn't take Concession further than that?

Immelmann: Further than what?

Me: Rape, incest, paedophilia. Your heathen colleagues have gone far beyond than just those!

Immelmann: See? Thus my point. And: Why go further? that's far enough.

Me: I'm on to you, Immy. Don't think you can hide from me.

Me: Another recurring symbol in the comic is the use of moths, which I understand stems from your own fear of moths, is that correct?

Immelmann: Yup! That specifically.

Me: But they're just moths! I can understand spiders. They are venom factories out to poison humanity and take over the world. If an animal has more than four limbs, they can't be good. That's why I don't eat squid.

Immelmann: Well, Moths have six legs AND wings, by that logic.

Me: But it has wings, and in my logic, that cancels each other out.

Immelmann: Ah, yes, because spiders are so much better, confined by walls and ceiling. They'd be much less horrifying if they could fly to your face.

Me: Well you're a furry, so I don't care what sort of "facts" you throw at me. I only care about what feels right. So what's so wrong about moths? Are you scared they'll eat holes in your clothes?

Immelmann: Specifically I guess I'm afraid of them getting in my ears. Crawling and fluttering with that awful noise. Getting in so deep you can't get it out

Me: So by this so called "logic" as you say it, the same can be said about butterflies and mosquitoes?

Immelmann: Butterflies are slower and daintier when they fly, so they're less creepy. Mosquitoes are small and easier to ignore. It's a phobia, mild as it is. It's irrational by definition.

Me: It makes me very uncomfortable that I agree with you. This is why I don't trust writers.

Me: At the end of Concession, you said you would release a special edition of the comic. Where is it? I was sitting all year, and it never came!

Immelmann: Well, part of why I stopped Concession was that I was tired of doing it which made me disinclined to work on it further. Eventually, the new comic took priority. I want do the CE some
day, but the new project is just more important.

Me: We'll be getting to that in just a bit. Let's briefly talk about your album, Mire. It's basically a character soundtrack, for Miranda?

Immelmann: No, not really. She makes a nice theme for it, but it's not about her.

Me: Oh? Please, do go on!

Immelmann: It's not really about anything. I myself imagine it as the narrative describing a sort of journy, but otherwise, it's just soundscape. Up to interpretation, of course.

Me: Well, whatever exactly you recorded, it has kept me up at night. I've trying to decipher what subliminal messages you've encoded! Making everyone a sort of Manchurian Candidate!

Me: Let's move on to your short project, At the Heart of It All. Again, you introduced a lot of disturbing imagery, with a heavy use of symbolism. Such as Joel, taking on the role of self-hate, and doubt, and all negative emotions, and how he abuses you. And then there is a very interesting concept of a Leviathan. All of it played as a sort of self-therapy, right?

Immelmann: That was the theory. Vent art, sort of.

Me: Well, a trend started in that side comic. You first introduced three alternate forms of yourself. A pangolin, a Martian, and a zerg. From there, you've become a raptor, an otter, and a taco. Are you schizophrenic, Immy? Why can't you just decide on one form and stick with it? Do you have commitment issues?

Immelmann: Actually, Dissociative Identity Disorder - or Multiple Personality Disorder as plebians like you know it - isn't entirely related to Schizophrenia, that's a bit different. So try again, Freud.

Me: I can say big words too! I just don't want to right now. Why so many forms?

Immelmann: It's more fun that way. It's nice to mix it up now and then. Only some of them end up lasting in the long run.

Me: So what, you just cast them aside like a forgotten toy? You'll just leave them to collect dust and rot over the years until they are eventually found in a post-apocalyptic wasteland where they are found by raiders and worshipped as some heathen deity? I am offended by your carelessness! Now please excuse me, I need to get something out of my eye.

Immelmann: Well if they're anything like their original, they like feeling used.

Me: That's what they're meant for! So, your most recent comic has been Ballerina Mafia, purely a gag comic. You say that all of your real life friends are exaggerated?

Immelmann: Malik isn't really that exaggerated, actually.

Me: So he's a recluse?

Immelmann: Not really, he's just really busy. I guess the Christmas comic was a hyperbole.

Me: So I assume that your friends and family have only expressed extreme distaste in how they've been portrayed accurately?

Immelmann: Nah, they're all pretty amused.

Me: Why would they? They're freakish animal people! They should be terrified that they're anything other than human! Shug has said himself that he's not a furry!

Immelmann: Yeah, so?

Me: You've brain washed them. That's what you did.

Immelmann: I guess.

Me: You will pay for your crimes some day. Over on FA, you've started a sort of fiction pharmaceutical company called ImmelCorp [NSFW]. What exactly is it?

Immelmann: I never said pharmacwhatever. It presents itself as a fictional sex toy company with other scientific side projects like AI and sports drinks.

Me: So, you have sex toys on one side, and AI and sports drinks? Even to my standards, that doesn't make sense.

Immelmann: It's not uncommon for one company to produce things unrelated to it's main goal. It's logical to expand into other areas for more profit. They made sex dolls, so they developed AI for them. They produce transformative potions, so they also do more general-purpose drinks. It makes sense if you use your brain a little.

Me: I don't need my brain, I just need my gut. It usually tells me what to do.

Me: So, for a while now, you've had your own site, immelmann.net, where you update your blog from time to time. A while ago, you've expressed your interest in cryptzoology.

Immelmann: Yup.

Me: What exactly about it interests you?

Immelmann: It's just fun to imagine interesting critters that we've never seen, defying science.

Me: So more than just science fiction? Probable science?

Immelmann: Well most of the fun ones certainly don't exist, I know that. It's just fun to read about claims and descriptions, and it sounds like it woudl be fun to investigate them.

Me: Investigate them how? Will you be purchasing your own Mystery Machine?

Immelmann: Run around the woods with a flashlight like an idiot perhaps, do some interviews, etc. That sounds fun.

Me: I understand that you've been going on your own investigations last year, is that true?

Immelmann: Barely. We ran around the woods with flashlights like idiots. Walked around a graveyard, some of the people said they saw ghosts.

Me: Have you and your friends been called meddling kids yet?

Immelmann: Some day!

Me: I pray to God that never happens.

Me: So, on your site, you have a resume, and like any other artist commie, you have a portfolio. Some of your example pieces are from a college project you titled the Black Water Journal. Could you please explain what this was all about?

Immelmann: Well, the project was originally going to be a music project. I was gonna record some proper music in my dorm and have the project be about the marketing and packaging. That fell through pretty quickly. The music became Mire instead, and I shifted gears for the art direction.

Immelmann: A friend told me abut the town he grew up in, which he described as a very filthy, polluted place. I took the inspiration and made the journal an exploration of a place like that - a horrible place corrupted by pollution, filled with empty, deranged people.

Immelmann: I took artistic inspiration from Steven Gammell, who drew the nightmarish pictures in the book series Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark which, I later found out, was a shared thread between all my friends and I.

Me: Amazing the similarities you will find among your friends! Black Water Journal seems to carry over a lot of themes used in Concession and At The Heart of it All. Namely a lot of conceptual, dark, twisted imagery.

Me: I will admit, ever since I read Dracula, I've been a fan of epistolary stories, or stories told through a series of documents, or with the film industry nowadays, recorded video.

Immelmann: It's a somewhat Lovecraftian way to tell a story.

Me: Lovecraft! That's the theme I was looking for. ...thank you...

Me: Ugh... I am deeply ashamed to admit it, but I am very interested in this journal. Is there any way we can see a digital release in the future?

Immelmann: Even if I had the book in my possession, it'd be quite a pain in the ass to scan.

Me: Well, it was a shot.

Immelmann: Maybe some day, but not soon. I have to get all the way back to The University during daylight hours.

Me: Damn University.

Me: So finally, let's move on to your latest project, your next web comic. It's for certain not set in the same universe as Concession?

Immelmann: That's art. Alternate universe, near-future.

Me: But set in Egypt with a 1930's style of architecture, is that correct?

Immelmann: Yup. Egypt in this world is a world superpower, very much like America. "Very much" in that for much of the stories it will be indistinguishable from America.

Me: So why Egypt? Why do you have a thing against America?

Immelmann: Egypt puts it closer to the rest of the real world without an obnoxious ocean in the way, and it borders the rest of Africa, which is a dangerous and interesting place to go. It's also right next to the Cradle of Civilization, which seems like a logical place for its Heart.

Me: You have your facts wrong. Everyone knows Jesus was an apple pie eating American. Why else does he look white in all the movies? But that's neither here nor there. From the sketches you've uploaded, it looks like it will feature a mixture of science fiction and Lovecraftian imagery.

Me: Now sir, I am a very big fan of science fiction, so I've got to know. On a scale of one to psychotically obsessed, how much of a sci-fi fan are you?

Immelmann: 6ish? I like it, but a lot of it's done too poorly for me to go head over heels.

Me: I agree! Not enough three breasted alien chicks! More, I say! Now, in another post, you said you have roughly 60 pages done and you're having your editors looking over the pages. How soon until we can start seeing regular updates?

Immelmann: I am, at this very moment, drawing the 10th page for the first issue. I've set my goals on releasing the first issue before Anthrocon, which is in June.

Me: That is very exciting! Looking forward to being obsessed over another web comic. Will there still be a whole bunch of gag strips?

Immelmann: Nope, pure plot. Well, plot and character development where necessary

Me: Always one of my favorites! Now, you mentioned the first issue. Why are you dividing this in to issues when it's a web comic?

Immelmann: Some day, I hope to get it published. Regardless, breaking it up into issues makes it easier to plan and read.

Me: Well, I hate to say this, but I hope it does get published. Is there a title for this comic yet? I mean, you're planning for a release by June!

Immelmann: Yeah, uh, no. No title yet. That's proved to be pretty difficult.

Me: I propose Not Concession: The Sequel.

Immelmann: I'll keep that in mind.

Me: You better!

Me: Ok, final question. Digitigrade? Or do you still stick to plantigrade?

Immelmann: The raptor gets digitgrade to make him look more feral and dangerous, but everyone else gets the easy-to-draw legs.

Me: You are a blasphemous heathen and I hope you burn in Hell! But before that, thank you coming on the show and sticking with the interview! It's been a pleasure! Looking forward to having you back on!

Immelmann: Oh! Well, happy to oblige.

Comments

Your rating: None

"Immelmann: ... And I don't even have a fursuit yet, I'm a terrible furry.

Me: You don't have a fursuit?! You're lying, all furries have suits! You must a broken one. And I had no idea there was such a thing as professional furry. Are there courses for that? [Ed: There's an LJ]"

Yes! Back in 199-whenever, some FurSuiter said that I was not really a Furry fan because I didn't wear a FurSuit!

Fred Patten

Your rating: None

I've been sorely tempted to get one at times, but never got around to making it happen. I did try out a friend's partial, and it was a lot of fun, so I wouldn't rule it out for the future.

Your rating: None

Oh man, Reaper, thank you much for editing this monster. I know that had to have taken a lot of time and effort. And you went above and beyond with providing links throughout the article. You have my deepest respect, sir!

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About the author

Isiah Jacobsread storiescontact (login required)

a furry journalist and Spider from Michigan, interested in science fiction