Interview: 'Furthia High' creator QuetzaDrake
This interview has been transcribed from it's original A/V format. As such, the structure of the interview may be confusing. Keep in mind that this is meant to re-create the conversation-like interview. Thank you.
Me: Good evening, Quetza, thank you so much for joining me tonight!
Quetza: Pleasure to be here.
Me: So, there has been so much to your life, it’s astounding to even imagine it! First off, how long have you been a furry?
Quetza: I first got into the fandom in, I believe, 2004. So that’s... eight years, I believe now?
Me: Were you one of those furries that always felt all their life that there was something weird about them? How they had an interest in furries. Or did you just find them and they caught your interest?
Quetza: Well I will say that I had certain interests as a kid. Not in furries. I mean, I didn’t know what a furry was. I didn’t know the concept of furry existed, until 2004. But I did have certain interests, certain things I liked as a kid a lot, and I couldn’t really explain it. Dragons, for instance, I really got into them as a pre-teen, like 11, 12. I couldn’t explain it, and eventually, I found the furry fandom and it just sort of went from there. So it isn’t really a thing you always know about, but you can have certain interests that tie in to it that can come in later, I think.
Me: What was your first run in with furry like?
Quetza: As I said, I discovered the fandom in 2004, and there were few sites at the time, but one I found was, I think, SheezyArt. But, unfortunately, I happened to find it right when they started banning adult art. So every furry was kind of jumping ship. And there was this new site that just got started called Fur Affinity, so I jumped right on to that, and I actually got on there right when it started, in 2004. Then I lurked for a while, and then eventually I tried drawing, and it developed from there.
Me: And you are obviously very well known for your two comics, DATAROM and Furthia High.
Quetza: I don’t know about DATAROM...
Me: But that was your first comic ever, right?
Quetza: Yup, it stands for Dragons, and Transformations, and Robots, Oh My!
Me: Could you please briefly explain what DATAROMis all about?
Quetza: The first story of it was about this guy named Ein, who is apparently a great robotics engineer because he has several robots that he made. He randomly comes across a magic book, and it starts transforming him into a were-dragon. Basically, it just grew from there. There’s no real over arcing plot. There’s a bunch of separate story lines that last quite a while, and they’re just really outlandish, far out there, wacky, crazy, random, that kind of thing. It was Ein as a were-dragon, several robots, a couple of recurring villains. There was an arc where everyone turned into furries. There’s an arc where the main characters got turned into giant monsters to fight Uni-Corn. A giant ear of corn from space that shot laser beams out of its eyes. Just stuff like that. Very crazy. It ended in 2007, but you can still look at it at datarom.comicgenesis.com, if you want.
Me: You said that it’s about a character who becomes a dragon, and I understand that you chose a dragon as your character. What’s your interest in dragons?
Quetza: I don’t know. As a pre-teen, just got into them from TV and seeing movies. I just go an interest in dragons. Couldn’t really explain it. It’s kind of like when you say, “Is there a thing that is always present in a furry’s head before they find out they are a furry?” Or finds out about furries. It’s kind of like that. I didn’t have an interest in furries because I didn’t know what furries were. But I always had an interest in dragons, and transformations, oddly. And that’s where DATAROM came from. And that’s where a lot of things I drew, even as a kid. I’ve just always had an interest in them. When it came to the point when I decided to stop lurking on FA, and actually start drawing, as crappy as it was, I obviously had to create a fursona to present myself. So one day I just randomly sketched up a dragon dude.
Me: I also understand something that’s been prevalent in filler comics for Furthia High, you have a sidekick, a Charmander named Ouros. What was your inspiration for him?
Quetza: Well, to be really honest here, he is basically a rip off of Immelmann who did Concession and Ballerina Mafia and currently works on The Black Dogs. He has a sidekick in his comic, Concession, called Tyras, a Pikachu. Where Tyras was there to be a sort of straight man, or someone to bounce ideas off of, with Ouros, I tried to make him more child-like. It’s kind of like I’m reading for him. There are even a few times where it’s shown that I’m reading Furthia High as a big book, to him. And he’s someone to bounce ideas off of, someone to bounce jokes. He’s like a companion.
Me: One thing that I am very interested is why did you choose the name Quetza Drake?
Quetza: Well that’s not really interesting. Well... like I said, I had to choose a fursona to present myself, so I randomly drew a dragon, and I was like, “Well, I gotta name it now. Uh... Quetzalcoatl, that’s a dragon...”
Me: Drake is short for dragon.
Quetza: Yeah. Drake, dragon, that’s a furry name. I don’t really like a name with an adjective, then animal. Couldn’t really think of anything else so Quetza Drake! There ya go!
Me: And how about Ouros? How did you come up with that name?
Quetza: Basically I just took the concept Ouroboros, the snake eating its own tail. Shortened it to Ouros. It sounds like Tyras. Immy was fine with that.
Me: And I understand that you’ve actually been friends with Immelmann for a very long time now.
Quetza: Yup, 2007. I think I first went on to his forum July 4th, 2007.
Me: Wow! About a year after the comic first started! How did you two originally meet?
Quetza: I just posted an intro topic on his forum, and the next morning, he was like the third person to post, and I posted quite a while in that thread, and I was around the other threads, and then he said that I should join the IRC chat. I did, and it just grew from there, I guess.
Me: And from what I can tell, it’s actually blossomed into a very close friendship between the both of you. Before we started, you actually mentioned that you are one of the editors for Immelmann’s new comic, The Black Dogs.
Quetza: Yeah, he has two others. One is his roommate, Shugwar, and the other is another furry comic artist called Stank.
Me: Did you ever work on editing for Concession?
Quetza: Not really. Not officially. At a point, we became really close. We dated for a while. During that time, he would show me comics in advance, and I would proof read. I do help him proof read in other things. I try to tell him all the drawing errors. Word balloons pointing in the wrong direction, that kind of thing. Not really an official editor. I do try to help him.
Me: Let’s move on to your main comic, Furthia High, which originally started as a comic strip before re-starting and becoming a graphic novel. When you originally started the strip, did you have the same intentions as where the current arc is in the new version?
Quetza: No, I really didn’t. Furthia High started in 2005. I just started getting into furry more actively. I was drawing things, and I wanted to do a furry webcomic alongside my first comic, DATAROM. DATAROM was very outlandish and crazy with sweeping story arcs. I wanted to do the opposite of that. I wanted more down to earth, pulled back, normal, slice of life type of thing. And in a much shorter format since DATAROM had large pages.
The arc that in the first version was supposed to be the intro arc, and then devolve into gag-a-day. Just showing life, recurrences, jokes. Now, Furthia High has sweeping arcs, and pretty out there with drama and relationship stuff and psychology stuff. It’s really different than what I intended it to be. Which is ok.
Me: So would you say that the story just took on a mind of its own and you were a passenger on your own ride?
Quetza: Sort of. At some point, my interests in what I wanted to do with it and where I wanted to go had changed, which is why I re-booted it in 2008, along with a full page format. I don’t know if I’m a passenger, really. My mood changes, my ideas change, my story changes. It’s planned out, it’s a lot more planned out than it was in the beginning. It’s still malleable, because I think a story should be flexible. It shouldn’t be a rigid thing that you adhere to forever because you’re probably going to get bored of that, fans might get bored of that, and if it doesn’t work, you’re stuck.
Me: Yeah, it just sort of reaches a middle ground and that does get boring pretty fast. Now, I know that there are some out there who aren’t as familiar with Furthia High. Could you please briefly explain what it is all about.
Quetza: At it’s core, Furthia High is set in an alternate reality in the indiscriminate future, about the last human in a world populated by furries. It starts out as him going to school for the first time and meeting friends and encountering stuff there. Bullies, a dance, other stuff like that. But it eventually goes into stuff like, where did this human come from? How did he get made? Where did he originate from? And it eventually culminates into a sort of Jungian psychology kind of thing where he goes into a coma from an accident and encounters his Id. A shadow kind of thing. It turns out he was originally a fox, but he was turned into a human by some sort of conspiracy sort of thing. The main storyline is finding out who did this, why they did it. His fox side wants revenge, but he wants to negotiate, plan things out. And there’s other stuff in there too, like his friends, stuff going on with them, relationships, and other high school drama kind of things.
Me: Just to side track for a bit, you mentioned how Kale comes across his Id. You’re actually a student of psychology, right?
Quetza: Yeah, pretty much.
Me: I know that there are quite a few different schools of psychology, like Freudian, behavioral, humanist, etc. Which school are you a part of?
Quetza: Like most psychologist today, I don’t follow a particular school, more like a combination of everything. Sort of an amalgam of things. We’re all humanistic, neurological. Sort of combining what works, what doesn’t work. You can’t really say you have a school. It’s not like in the old days where you could say you were a behaviorist. You can, but you can also follow other schools as well.
For the sake of the comic, I really like Jungian pyschology. Carl Jung was a student of Freud, who is religious. He brought a lot of religion into it. The main thing about it is he introduced the concept of a collective sub conscious, where everyone in the world is connected at the sub conscious level, and that’s where a lot of concepts and images sort of crop up between different people and different races. Like dragons, and God figures. I really liked that idea. And another thing that uses Jungian psychology really well is the Shin Megami Tensei Persona series, which uses the shadows and the personas concept from Jungian psychology and uses it to their advantage, and I’m a fan of both, so I try to use both. So that way you can say you have an ego, and Fox Kale is the Id, and the hoodie wearing Kale is the Superego, sort of. It’s more like Kale’s persona. Fox Kale is his shadow. Human Kale is a different archetype.
Me: Wow! Well thank you for going into such depth like that. I really appreciate it! Moving on, why choose a high school as a setting in the first place? Why not choose something adult oriented, like maybe an office.
Quetza: Well, DATAROM was set in college. They were college age. At the time, I was in high school. In 2005, I was in my senior year, so I decided to set in high school since I was familiar with what high school life is like. As it has worked out, I did a college set story when I was in high school and a high school set story when I was in college. Like I said, I wanted to do a more down to earth story. A “sane” sort of story. So a high school drama just made sense.
Me: As you said earlier, you said it’s about the only human in a world of furries. Why?
Quetza: It’s just a concept that’s original, I guess. Fairly original. You can do a lot with it. It grew out of a weird concept I always had that spawned from several ideas from stories I’ve read. Like the anime Blue Gender. The original concept is about a human waking up in a world of furry space marines fighting alien space bugs or something like that. I just took that concept that I had already and took the human with the furries and downgraded it into a high school setting instead of a sci-fi action kind of thing.
Me: Is there any symbolism to the names of the characters?
Quetza: Originally, yes. They had "great" names like Bruce Renard. Ashley Macska, which is Russian for cat. Campy’s name was kind of original. He had the name of a character from a very obscure Dreamcast game called Blue Stinger. I think it was the middle name. When I started, they really weren’t that great. But when I re-started the comic, I wanted their names to mean something, and I decided to make up the most obscure, inane references I could. I can’t really recall them, they’re so obscure.
You have Kale Frederick Williams. Williams is psychologist of some sort. So is Frederick. Both of them are psychologists. One of them had to do with OCD, because Kale sort of has OCD. Bruce Brian Beradino is the last name of a Soap Opera star, and Brian is the last name of the person who started Dagorhir, which is a LARPing thing with foam swords, which Bruce also likes to do. When I made most of the beginning characters, like Bruce, Kale, Campy, Gus, Ashley, they all have meaningful names to their characters. Even Lupin Gibb. Gibb is the last name of the actor who played the ogre in Revenge of the Nerds. Because he’s a bully. See, these are so obscure, only I could possibly know these. So, they do mean something.
Later characters, like Eve and Connor, their names don’t mean anything. They do sort of have meanings. Their first names, though; Kale can also be pronounced Kale`, which is Hawaiian for man. That’s it. Bruce, Ashley, Christopher, these are all normal names. As for Campy, that nickname is just something I came up with one day, randomly. Just seemed like a good nickname for a character with a big hat covering his eyes, and bangs.
Me: Let’s talk about the characters real quick. You mentioned Kale and how he has OCD, but he seems to be the most laid back, relaxed guy in the comic.
Quetza: Yeah, that’s true. What it is, really, he’s trying to hide it. Like he’s trying to maintain his composure. At his core, he’s a human in a world filled with people that are not human. In that sort of situation, a human would probably try to seem ok, calm, collected. Early on, he was very nervous, but eventually he would get accepted. Not seen as an oddity. Lately, even though he’s probably the most neurotic character in the comic, like legitimately. Going to a psychotherapist, and going through actual therapeutic medicine. He tried to stay calm and collected. Hands in his pockets, staying in the background, trying not to draw attention to himself. He’s introverted, he’s quiet. He listens. Just trying to help. So basically he’s just trying to put on this front so people don’t worry about him. He doesn’t want people worrying about him. He doesn’t want to be a bother. He doesn’t want to be a problem, more than he is already as the only human left in existence (supposedly). That goes back to how his whole appearance is a facade, a mask, a persona.
Me: Oh! Ok, now we’re getting really deep here!
Quetza: It just kinda ties together like that. It’s just how he is. Even though he should be asking people for help, which he did. He asked his girlfriend for help at the end of an arc, and she’s been helping him off screen, which we have been seeing more of this current arc.
Me: Let’s move on to Kale’s friends. Ashley, Bruce, and Campy. Ashley is this orange tabby cat, I believe. And she seems to be this very tom boyish character, but she still has this cute, kitten like personality, from her father. Bruce is very ecstatic and impulsive. Basically a loveable idiot.
Quetza: Most would say obnoxious idiot.
Me: That’s a much better way to put it, yes. And then there is Campy. He’s... is he emo or is he goth?
Quetza: Neither. It’s just sort of how he dresses. It doesn’t really come up. I updated his character profile on the cast page a while ago. He gets a lot of his behavior and the way he talks and his interests from his father, who was a wandering, hippie sort of musician sort of thing. No shirt, raggy pants, messy hair, and he just left one day. Campy’s mother kind of expected this, because that’s who he was, and she didn’t really question it. That’s where he gets a lot of his behavior from. Like the fact that he has a surfer accent.
Me: Yeah, you write the dialogue for Campy in a very interesting way in that he uses a lot of contractions.
Quetza: Yeah. He’s the only character that has a certain accent that I can think of. He just has your regular surfer accent. Like “far out, man!” You can see a lot of apostrophe’s in his dialogue. A lot of dropped “g’s” like instead of hanging it’s hangin’. That kind of thing. Just imagine your traditional 90s movie where you have a surfer. Sort of like Keanu Reaves in Point Break.
Me: So why did you decide on the way on the way Ashley and Bruce behave?
Quetza: Well, Bruce was very loosely based off a friend I had in high school, but he was nowhere near as bad as Bruce eventually came to be. The original version was actually a lot more like him. He was very eccentric, and friendly, and outgoing. So I made a character like that to contrast the more with drawn and introverted Kale. But then, as I wrote him, he just became weirder and more crazy. To the point where he’s just really obnoxious, and a lot of people don’t like him anymore. Well, some do, but he still seems really obnoxious to people.
Ashley, well... I will say this: the original concept of Furthia High in 2005 was, it reads out like a cliche high school drama. It was supposed to be. So a lot of the characters are kind of purposeful archetypes back then. So you do have the tough tom girl, you have the eccentric, obnoxious guy, you have the withdrawn introverted main character, you have the stoner kind of thing, sort of. He didn’t really do drugs, but he slept a lot, in his own drool at the time, before I gave him an actual character instead of having him as a prop. You have Lupin, a bully, through and through, even into the new comic. Then there is a Gus, who is a toadie (who kind of has a thing for Ashley). And that’s where they came from, really. Just me trying to make character archetypes. You know, the thing you’d see in a high school drama, and turned it into a furry webcomic.
Me: Now, I am personally curious; Bruce’s father is gay. Is that also a part of an archetype?
Quetza: No! When I did think of this... I don’t know what year it was, but I knew what Kale was and where he came from, and I did make some sketches of some characters. Now I don’t know why, but I just drew Bruce’s dad like I did, and I just thought, you know what? I want a flaming homosexual in the comic, and he is going to be this character’s dad. And that’s going to be funny as hell. Possibly.
Me: And it did turn out to be quite funny, yeah!
Quetza: There’s really not much more to it than that. I mean, I guess I just wanted a flaming homosexual as a dad. I mean, that’s a pretty funny concept, I think. I thought I could work with that, and I did, I think.
Me: No, that’s a pretty fair reason, and it has worked out. And just let me add here real quick, it is about damn time that updated the cast page.
Quetza: I know.
Me: You said you were going to do it for the longest time, and now you’ve done it, so thank you.
Quetza: Yeah, well, you’re welcome. I mean, I’m still updating it. I only have four characters on it right now. I have, I don’t know, ten more characters to put up there? Oh God... But, yeah, the site needed an update for a long time. It has not changed since I started it. The menu bar had not changed. I mean, in the four years that it was there, that info button did not work. It was not clickable. I never put up an info page until I started this revamp four years later. And the cast drawings, and the header. Those were the first ever drawings I did with a tablet, so they were atrocious. Drawing with a tablet is very different than drawing on paper because there is less texture, and a small screen, and you’re not looking at the screen, you’re looking at the monitor and not at the tablet. So it was very different. You can still see in the very first couple of comics. It has very jittery lines, pretty crappy coloring, you know. It really needed to be updated. I’m glad I did, finally.
Me: And as the comic has progressed in the past four years, there have been many things introduced and things the fans have clung on to, especially Gus. Did you ever intend for Gus to be such a popular character?
Quetza: Not really. How he is, the way he’s all over Ashley, that was always intended. Even back in the old canon, Gus was always like that. Even at the very end of the old canon, it showed through that he had sexual thoughts about her. His personality has always been that way. I wouldn’t say he’s popular... well, I guess he’s popular.
Me: I mean, he got his own story arc.
Quetza: I’ll be honest, that arc didn’t turn out quite how I wanted it to be. I wanted a lot more Ashley in there. It’s supposed to be about her and Gus. But to do that, I would have had to make the arc a lot longer, and near the end, it was running for a year, and that was way too long for an arc that had nothing to do with the main story line, sort of. There was something in there sort of related to the main story line. If you remember any weird things happening, you might wanna look out for that. Maybe some guy may have given a card to somebody. Something like that.
Me: Look for it, right now!
Quetza: Gus just ended up taking up that whole arc. He got more popular when I got to like him. Like, certain other people grew to like Gus, then I got to like Gus because they liked him. I guess I’ve always liked Gus. He’s an original character. He’s got a relatable problem, I guess. I guess I didn’t expect him to become that popular. I didn’t expect him to take up that whole arc by himself. It was supposed to be both Ashley and Gus wrestling with this, but time, love, and patience, and just what I ended up focusing on, and Gus developed a lot!
Actually, one thing I wanted to do with that arc was to present a very realistic story about love, or a situation like that concerning love, where a guy is heads over heel for a girl to the point of near stalker-ism. Or in Gus’ case, actual stalker-ism, where Ashley just hates him for it. It gets so annoying after years of bothering her, no matter what she did to make Gus go away. She just does not have an interest in him.
I just wanted to present it in a very realistic point of view. Sort of where at the end of this, she does not accept him, she does not become his friend. She respects him a little at the end, even if she doesn’t believe him. Just because he has this epiphany all of a sudden, she didn’t believe that. It’s just sort of examining indecision, and what to do in that sort of situation. Not knowing what to do. Trying to figure out what to do. How to handle it. How does Gus get Ashley because he can’t get her out of his mind, and it’s tearing him apart.
And having friends all trying to say that their way is the best, and all of this coming together, conflicting and fighting at the end. I was just trying to present something realistic because you don’t really see that. You always kind of see it in media, like a romance, or a romantic comedy, or whatever. The girl hates the guy in the beginning, but they’re in love at the end all of a sudden. Or they’re friends, or they accept each other or whatever. But in real life, that doesn’t usually happen. Usually break ups are real bad. People just don’t get together all of a sudden. People just don’t accept each other. They don’t find their courting amusing or touching or cute or whatever. And at the end of the day, the best you can do is move on and become a better person from your failures. That is what a lot of romances end up in, unfortunately, as failures. So that’s what I tried to intend with that arc!
Me: Oh well, when you put it that way, I think it was a very good idea to do that instead of just going for a full blown romance. Just more respect. Now, at one point, I think there was a running joke with the fans that since Ashley had so much disdain for Gus, it was suspected she was a lesbian, right?
Quetza: No, she is totally straight. Eve though, Kale’s girlfriend? Is bi, and has shown a little crush for Ashley. Nothing will come of that, I will say that right now. Feel free to draw any fan art that you want.
Me: That would be awesome, by the way.
Quetza: But Eve does have a little thing for Ashley sometimes. Like she’ll think she’s cute, that sort of thing. But obviously she’s with Kale and she loves Kale. No, Ashley is straight as an arrow, unfortunately, for anybody out there who thinks otherwise.
Me: So, back to how this conversation started, about this arc with Gus. At one point, Bruce comes in to help him win Ashley’s affections. Bruce’s actions to have been the funniest moments in the comic by far. And pretty much all the humor in the comic is due to Bruce. Do you sometimes find it difficult to write comedic scenes with Bruce? Or do they come naturally?
Quetza: With Bruce, pretty easy to write scenes. It’s just that kind of spontaneous, random, you can do anything type of thing. I mean, for God’s sake, he just spontaneously turned into a cross-dresser to help Gus by trying to get him to practice wooing and kissing. Gus just turned his back, then turned around and Bruce had balloons under his shirt, wearing wig. All of a sudden!
Me: That was the most disturbing, shocking thing I’ve ever seen. But please, go on!
Quetza: Bruce just sort of plays with his hair and is all, “Oh my, Gus!” Bruce comes pretty natural. It’s easy to write a joke with Bruce. Sometimes too easy. A lot of humor comes from him, and sometimes I think that’s a crutch. You can put all your humor on to one character, but you shouldn’t. You should have other characters have comedy with them, too. With Bruce, who is really easy to write a joke for, I would like for him to downgraded, I guess. I know he’s really popular, and I like him too! I love him. I try to down play Bruce when I can, but he does end up stealing the show all the time. It’s just pretty hard to write jokes for any of the other characters when I’m on a time crunch and finish it really quick so I can wake up at a reasonable time.
Because I never update on time. I’m sorry, I really am. As much as I like Bruce, as much as I know how popular he is, he is a crutch because he’s so easy to write. I try to write other characters comedically so it’s not just “The Bruce Comic.”
Me: A while ago, you mentioned the relationship between Kale and Eve. Why did you decide to have a relationship with Kale in the first place? Don’t you think he would be seen as too much of an outcast? He wouldn’t be able to get with anyone?
Quetza: With Eve, she appeared in comic 25 as a randomly generated character. At the time, Kale had just stood up to Lupin. Eve is sort of a nerdy girl who looked up to that because she was getting pushed around by female bullies at the time. It just kind of blossomed from there, I guess. Looking up to, and then getting closer to Kale off screen. And it just ended in a romance. I don’t really have much of an explanation for that. It’s not that I intended for the main character to have girlfriend or anything. Eve is a character who is relatively normal, kinda nerdy, got picked on a lot. She saw Kale, who, despite being so different and so withdrawn, he stood up to the bully, and she just really looked up to that and it developed from there. Truth be told, I did want to make her into main character eventually. Sort of in the same way Immy made Nicole in Concession into a main character. I guess that’s where it came from, sort of. I just didn’t make her for the intention of that either. I just wanted a lemur in the comic, ok?
Me: No, fair enough! With that tail, she does make for a pretty cute girlfriend. Is a relationship between a furry and a human a personal interest of yours?
Quetza: To me personally, no, not really. It’s just a thing that happens in the story. It’s not really a thing for me. I know it’s a thing for other people.
Me: Another character that your fans seemed to have become so obsessed over is Caddy Chicken. What was the inspiration for that.
Quetza: I don’t even know.
Me: I know he first appeared in a dream sequence with Kale.
Quetza: You know, I love that comic. I was like, I’m just gonna draw something and whatever comes out, comes out. It’s a dream, it’s just going to be a random dream, it could be anything. So I put Kale in 1920s golfer clothes with the hat, and the big pants and the plaid all over. Put him in space on floating islands with a golf course, and I just had him golfing. And I was like, well, he could use caddy. Fuck it, I’ll make it chicken. Caddy Chicken!
And people just liked him, a lot! And then, in the next comic, he comes back with a stick. And he’s like, He’s your club. And Kale is like, that’s a stick. “Yeah, it’s a 3-wood.” And he talked, and he just got popular from there. He just became a thing, I don’t know. I didn’t even put any effort into that.
Me: It’s amazing how the simplest thing will catch on. Caddy Chicken is essentially the epitome of a breakout character. Something that wasn’t intended to be popular, but people just love.
Quetza: Yeah, he’s just sort of a mascot. One thing I would is that a lot of comedy writers sort of find this out at some point. The joke you work hours on, the one you try to nail, versus a joke you just fart out of your brain, out of nowhere, people love that joke. And they’ll just latch on to that, they’ll turn it into memes. They’ll do everything to it. They’ll love the hell out of it. And that joke that you spent hours on will be like, yeah, that’s pretty funny. It’ll just get a giggle or a chuckle.
And it’s pretty frustrating for a lot of people because they spend a lot of time writing, and it turns out they could have just farted out a bunch of things and the fans would have loved it. I’m not saying I don’t like Caddy Chicken, or that I think he’s bad. I like Caddy Chicken a lot and I’m very glad he became popular all of a sudden. I’m just saying that sometimes the best jokes really are the one you just pop out of your head, out of nowhere, just the easy joke, the random joke, the doesn’t-make-sense joke. People tend to love those things. Not say that people should stop that or that they should start loving the hard written jokes, it’s just a fact, I guess. People have to accept that. It’s nice that he’s so popular. It gives me something cute to draw. Put in a poster. Put on a badge.
Me: You say that you did some unofficial editing for Concession, did Immy ever do that for Furthia High?
Quetza: Not really. Not on the scale I did with him. I would often show him the comic in advance, and once or twice he would point out some mistakes. Mostly he would just compliment it and be on his way. I was more of the person to help him. I kind of picked at him drawings and comics and dialogue and everything, trying to get it the best it can be. Just get all the errors I see fixed. He doesn’t really do the same for me. Just not the type of person he is, which is fine.
Me: Are there any certain aspects about Furthia High you wished you could go back and change?
Quetza: Oh yeah. Of course. The big one, the fact that I revealed Fox Kale existed so early in the comic. I really jumped the gun. In the original script for that, that was supposed to be the final battle. It was a lot longer, a lot more action oriented. A lot of symbolism. The whole script was actually inspired by a song. There’s a whole lot of stuff that I just planned. And I just jumped the gun and put it into the fifth arc when we're in the fourteenth now. So if I could, I would have delayed that a lot longer, like arc eight at the earliest. In fact, I jumped the gun so fast, I didn’t really have anything to do after it. Nothing as in-depth afterwards. It was supposed to be the final battle.
So since it was in the fifth arc, I had to come up with more. He has to go find out this conspiracy. Find out all the people involved. The climax will be when everything has been revealed. There’s other things where some arcs went in different directions than I originally intended. That’s pretty much it, really. Just the direction of the arcs and how long they lasted.
Me: To counter balance that, what would you say is the shining moment in Furthia High so far?
Quetza: Not sure on that one. It’s gotten a lot popular than I had comics be. I mean DATAROM only got 35 hits a day. The old canon for FH only got a hundred hits a day. Now, I get thousands of people a day. People know who I am, which is kind of weird.
But anyways... I don’t know, I can’t really tell you. I guess just how popular it’s gotten, how much I’ve improved over the years, in art, in pacing, writing, storytelling. How much better I can draw now than I did before. How many more people I’m reaching. This upcoming story I think will be pretty good. I don’t know if it’s a shining moment. I guess I could consider the last arc with Gus is a sort of shining moment.
Me: Alright. Would you ever want to publish Furthia High?
Quetza: No, I couldn’t. The way I drew it was like Scott McCloud and his technique of an infinite canvas. You have a picture that is a specific width, but it goes down potentially infinitely. That’s what it is with the current format. It’s one or two panels wide, but it can be any number of rows tall. That doesn’t print very well, because of how variable it is. It wouldn’t print well unless it were in a very specific shaped book. Or they were shrunk down images. So I probably wouldn’t publish it in a book, maybe, if I could figure it out. There is a problem with the earlier comics in that they don’t have high resolution printing sizes. I would have to re-draw them or print them as they are, which would be terrible.
Something Immelmann did, something he wants to do is make a collector’s edition of Concession. It would just be a PDF or a collection of images in a ZIP file. He was going to print it, but it would cost too much. He’s just going to release it as a collection of images and commentary.
I’ll probably do that one day. Furthia High is pretty far from ending still. We’re about to get into a pretty major arc. There’s still a couple years left, at least. Someday, yeah, I would like to release a collector’s edition of Furthia High, which would be nice.
Me: Well I just have one last question for you. Digitigrade or plantigrade.
Quetza: I prefer digitigrade myself, but plantigrade is easier to draw, which is why Immy switched.
Me: Well thank you so much for your time Quetza. I really appreciate you coming on the show and I look forward to having you back in the future!
Quetza: Thank you very much. Thank you for having me. And sure! Gladly!
About the authorIsiah Jacobs — read stories — contact (login required)
a furry journalist and Spider from Michigan, interested in science fiction
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