Interview: Cross-Dimensional Love in 'Witch of Mine' from Ablaze
Aug 15, 2023
Interview by Nicki Faust
In these times, if you're too good or bad at something or simply too beautiful, you're called a witch. This is Witch of Mine. A story about persecution, magical beings, human beings, and the pursuit of love.
PREVIEWSworld talked to writer Haeyoon and artist MAS about witches, dimensional travel, and true love.
PREVIEWSworld: Can you tell us about your background?
Haeyoon: I am a story and continuity writer. I am also a creative planner.
MAS: I'm MAS, a manhwa artist, though recently I've been working mainly as an illustrator.
PREVIEWSworld: How did you get into making comics?
Haeyoon: I've loved comics since I was a kid, so I naturally drew comics. When I realized I wasn't good at drawing in college (laughs), I immediately changed direction and became a story writer.
MAS: I've been drawing comics almost out of habit since I was a kid, but I had no intention of making it a career. When Haeyoon suggested a collaboration, that's when I started drawing commercial comics for the first time, not as a hobby.
PREVIEWSworld: Who/what are your main artistic influences?
Haeyoon: My main influences are Korean manhwas and Japanese manga and anime from the 80s and 90s, along with world literature I read as a child. I was heavily influenced by "Normal City" (by Kang Kyung-ok) for Korean manhwa and "Trigun" for Japanese manga. I loved British and American literature. I read "Lord of the Flies" (by William Golding) and "The Good Earth" (by Pearl S. Buck) over and over again.
MAS: I think it's the genuine Korean manhwas from the 90s and 2000s. I think the content I liked as a teenager has a big impact on my output.
PREVIEWSworld: Can you tell us a little about your development process for "Witch of Mine"? How did you know this was a story you wanted to do? Anything you want the world to know about the comic's creation process?
Haeyoon: "Witch of Mine" was originally planned as a short story when I was in college. It was originally a 72-page short story. When I saw MAS's artwork, I thought, "This is it!" So, I immediately proposed a collaboration, and thankfully Mass agreed. So "Witch of Mine" is here today.
Above all, I paid attention to the dialog, the sequence of relationships, and the balance.
I drew the storyboards directly on paper in a page format, and the editing was done by removing the cuts one by one and turning them into a scrolling style.
MAS: Surprisingly, the inspiration for the series and the concept of the work itself was simple. Speaking of the artwork, I think I focused the most on how to effectively portray the emotions of the characters in Hae-yoon's storyboards, using things such as facial expressions and lighting.
PREVIEWSworld: Most of the witches' stories are at least a little tragic! Do you like making people cry? Put in a less joke-y way… The story is very emotional and bittersweet. What do you hope readers will take away from it?
Haeyoon: I hope everyone enjoys reading it, and I hope you guys remember it years from now. I hope you remember it no matter how old you are!!! I hope it stays in the back of your mind!!!
MAS: What writer doesn't love to move the reader's emotions? I love to make people laugh, and I love to make people cry. It's nice to have a good message or a positive sentiment through your work, but I like to touch the emotions themselves. I want the readers to feel what the character is feeling, and to be honestly immersed in the emotion itself, whether it's happy or sad. That's what I try to focus on when I'm making my own work and when I'm reading other works, because the experience of being in the character's emotions becomes my own emotions, and that experience is what makes me feel good when I close the book.
PREVIEWSworld: Who is your favorite witch out of those you created? (Mine's Holly. She has her priorities straight!)
Haeyoon: Cordelia and Holly. I like Cordelia because she's spunky and independent, and I like Holly because she's cute and assertive. I also like that, despite their cute faces, witches are witches.
MAS: Philippa! I've been with her since the first episode, so I've gotten really attached to her... Then there's Holly, because she has her own world without being swayed by the circumstances around her, and she has her own likes and dislikes, and she's so cute~!
PREVIEWSworld: If you were a witch, what animal would you choose as your familiar? Why?
Haeyoon: Cats. I love cats. Sadly, I'm allergic to them, but...
MAS: A tiger, because he's a big, strong cat!
Witch of Mine is available now at your local comic shop from Ablaze. Reserve your copy with PREVIEWSworld Pullbox.
Up against twists of fate and time, an outcast young boy and a mysterious witch, shunned because they're different from what's considered normal, one due to his imperfection and one due to her perfection, will need more than just magic spells and incantations...they'll need each other.
Spinning out from the events of Volume 1, we find another tale of a witch's devotion to true, tenderly mortal love. Disguising herself to fit into the world of humans, Cordelia desires to build a life with the kind-hearted Michael, but can their love survive the truth of her origins? Plus: can a resilient human woman change the heart of one of the witches' cynical sisters?
After witnessing the trials of their sisters' love affairs with humans, will the rest of the "family" be perturbed by the bittersweet possibilities? Or will still more witches inevitably fall for the charm of humans, whether it end in pleasure or pain? Violetta, who's made a name for herself in the human world as a writer, finds herself drawn to a young novice in her field. Meanwhile, the close pair of Linda and Margaret find themselves at odds when Linda's poor luck with love rears its head again. Can they navigate their respective entanglements and make it safely to the other side?