Feature [Arnar the Writer]
Arnar H. Önnuson
What are your goals?
To bring stories to those that might not often have any. As an English-speaking white guy, I can get away wit a lot of things, and that kind power has to be used responsibly. I recently helped bring a character called Gunfist into the public domain since she was a disabled Hispanic character, I decided to run a few ads through Facebook in Mexico and Honduras, and I found that people there feel in love with her. It wasn’t just that they loved the design, or that the creator, Arthur Asa, was Hispanic himself, but also that Hispanic people as a whole have a bit of a history of not being portrayed well. So to see such a wonderful character brought to them, with the idea that they could freely create their own stories with it, was a fresh breath of air for them. That is my goal, that’s what I want to do with people around the world, for the rest of my life: Help them feel that their stories, in some way, is out there.
Are there any projects you’re working on?
Currently I’m working on a comic book called Gunnveig’s Saga, which is a viking drama about young woman that sets out to murder her brother out of revenge. It’s a comic I’ve been working on for several years, I’m publishing it through WP Comics, and I’ve got the lovely illustrator Melissa Nettleship with me on it, who does a great job of bringing the art to life. The first issue came out the 18th of February, and if you’re interested, I’ve got a link to order a digital or physical copy right up now. Other than that, I’m currently working on about half a dozen comics, as well as acting as a content producer on Littlepea and Sydney, a soon-to-be webshow and webcomic.
Why do you want more viewers and what do you feel you have to offer your audience?
I’m not inherently going to pretend that I’m a purehearted saint, I’d like more viewers because I’d like to do this for a living. However, I also feel that I have a lot to offer; I try my best to make impactful, thoughtful, humane stories that feature POC’s, LGBT+ people, international cultures and so forth. Already I’ve got comics in the works from places like Vietnam, Iceland and Detroit, and the list will only grow from there. I also give editorial and writing advice on a near daily basis, and for the time being would love to review some comic or prose material from any young enthusiast trying to better themselves.
How often do you update and how serious are you about your craft?
I’m very serious about this, and I intend to make this my personal career. I work every day on this, and I do mean literally every day. It’s incredibly tough to even be able to make a living off of comic book making, and so I try hard to maintain an audience that appreciates the content I make. My updates on Twitter are highly irregular, but it’s a bad week for me if I don’t get at a post up on Facebook.
What are your biggest influences?
Neil Gaiman and Dave Mckean, hands down. When Neil was a child, he primarily wanted to make American comics, and despite being best known as a novelist with Coraline and Stardust, his majority body of work is indeed comic books. As for Dave, those creepy little illustrations in Coraline were made by him, and the first work they ever made together was Neil Gaiman’s first graphic novel, Violent Cases. Those two provide me with endless bouts of inspirations, which I hope I can one day return to others.
Here are some unlettered pages from Gunnveig’s Saga
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