I like doing guest star comics. I started doing it mostly as a publicity idea to get more exposure, but I just really like it. I like how people react when they see themselves drawn. And how happy they are to see a funny bit from their life turned into a comic. I like how people feel famous-for-a-day when other people see the comics starring them.
But then I had another idea—what if for some certain super-amazing fans I did, not just comics, but some of my illustrated blog posts. I like writing…
I’ve been told I have an unusual way of writing. What I would describe as swinging from casual conversation to extravagant verbosity in the same paragraph. But then again, I’m often told I do most things in an “atypical” manner.
And as much fun as I have writing and illustrating my Roses Are Reads, I do sometimes tire of blogging about myself. Don’t get me wrong, I think I’m kind of interesting. But I already know everything about myself so it’s old information. Interviewing fans and illustrating their stories is new information.
And I have an insatiable thirst for new information.
And so, with that preamble out of the way, I proudly introduce you to…Storm.
- Storm is in her early-mid 20s.
- She has blue hair.
- She was born in South Africa.
- She has lived in Namibia, Qatar, Bahrain and currently resides in the United Arab Emirates.
She is a fully qualified fire warder, car programmer, truck race-winner and kite surfing lady of awesomeness. She also crochets cute little animals and is making the squishy little yellow stuffed thing from ↓this comic↓ I drew starring her.
(I drew this before I knew anything about her other than that she was moving to France)
We decided the stuffed animal in this comic is half hippo/half potato. We call it The Hippotato.
Violet: So, you’re my first fan interviewee, is it kinda cool? Or kinda weird?
Storm: I think it’s really awesome and exciting. Like being on a TV show and you’re the host.
Violet: Now I understand you’re moving to France soon. What can you tell our readers about that?
Storm: Well, waiting for my visa to get approved was stressful. I’m having some of those moments where I’m like, “OMG I’M LEAVING EVERYTHING BEHIND” but then moments of “I’m finally gonna be free in France where I can express who I am by wearing what I want and having blue hair and the locals won’t chase me out of public bathrooms making rude comments just because I’m different.
Violet: Because you live in the UAE and it’s a Muslim country, am I right? So you’re looking forward to different laws? Or different social culture?
Storm: Both. Like, I want to be able to hang out with my friends without a care. Here my best friend is a guy and it’s always, “we can’t go out because my family, or someone who knows me will see me and I’ll get in trouble”
Violet: Wait, what? How you could get in trouble for hanging out with your friend. Trouble with who?
Storm: Police/government. In public places man and women aren’t even allowed in the same car if they are not related or married.
Imagine if they tried to pass that law in the USA.
Violet: What can they do to you if you don’t obey those laws?
Storm: Jail or deportation. People have been deported for sending each other nudes. It’s like living in the pre-1900s
Violet: Jail for nudes?
Storm: Yes. They even blocked all video apps like Skype, Snapchat video chat, WhatsApp calls, everything.
Having grown up in the social free-for-all that is California, this is type of control is hard for me to even imagine.
Violet: and you’ve lived most of your life in Muslim countries? Wait, do you have to wear a veil?
Storm: No. Luckily not. That’s only Saudi Arabia. I wouldn’t wear one even if they tried to force me.
Pretty for weddings though
Violet: So why are you moving to France?
Storm: Because I got accepted into “l’institute Supérieur Des Art Techniques” or something like that. First year bachelor for 3d animation. But I have to learn French, then transfer to that course for my second year because it’s only taught in French.
Violet: Do you speak any french yet?
Storm: All I know is
Violet: So you must be, what, tri-lingual?
Storm: I speak a little bit of four languages.
Violet: Is English your first language?
Storm: Nah. Afrikaans is my first. English is my second, and I speak some Arabic.
I’d like to add in here that at this point in the conversation she was excited and surprised that I knew Afrikaans was from South Africa. I would also not like (but feel morally obligated ) to add that the only reason I know about Afrikaans and where it is spoken is because while living in Sweden my grasp of geography was revealed to be less than impressive.
So after the “Estonia Incident” I spent the next day learning about all the countries and languages and stuff I could.
Storm and I chatted for a while longer. And I learned that on her first day in (or fairly recently after she moved to) Qatar she won a race against a bunch of guys in their trucks because her truck was better and she was a better racer. (my terminology is excellent, no?)
She also has an amusing hobby of hunting out the peanut butter swirls in chocolate peanut butter ice cream. She says she has to change her shirt and wash her face and arms after an ice cream session. I’m sure my cartoonist brain went wild with the image, but this is what I pictured.
Oh, and she taught me to say, “This is my pet squid, his name is Hamilton” in Afrikaans.
Hamilton is the stuffed squid that belonged to Bridget of my currently on hiatus comic, Bridget over troubled Waters. It is also the little doodle that pops up when you sign up on patreon…hint…hint.
And here is a video of me trying to say it