The Herald
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The Herald

Q&A with F. H. Rustica

From the creators of We are Afton Parveen

As we announced previously, We are Afton Parveen is on a break this week so that we could give our readers an opportunity to ask us some questions about the comic. The following questions were provided by readers, family members, and friends during the period where we were receiving questions and through the past few months. We at F. H. Rustica are excited for the opportunity to respond to your feedback. Both of us, Fuzzy and Hawk, will be contributing to these answers.

Who is Afton Parveen?

Afton H Parveen is the school account used by the helpdesk staff in the IT Services department. It is one of many work accounts utilized by the office. Another one is Brogan H Supnet which handles many automated systems on the back end of IT processes. These accounts were named specifically not to be confused with real students on campus, that is why the origins of the names are usually something gaelic in origin for the first name and something from an asian country as the surname because those combinations would be less common. Still, many people think that someone named Afton is actually responding to their tickets.

Hawk: WE are Afton. All of us.

Fuzzy: Not me.

Hawk: Not you- just the help-desk staff I mean.

What is your inspiration to write these comics?

Hawk: I just really love my friends. I think we have a lot of fun together, so sharing the things that happen with us is my inspiration.

Fuzzy: Awww. Wholesome.

Why use animal characters?

People are often sensitive about how they are portrayed in a cartoonish style. This is most important when making caricatures of people who are close to you. When depicting someone as an animal you have more artistic freedom to bring out their personality and identifiable attributes with less worry. Also we wanted to make sure to preserve the anonymity for those whose likeness and life experiences drove the inspiration for the comic. These stories are not perfectly true to life, and may be simplified scenarios compared to things that actually happened. Last but not least, having a variety of unique animal species brings with it the possibility of a very diverse cast of characters, so it’s more fun.

Fuzzy: That’s a lot of words to say “I prefer drawing animals over drawing humans.”

Are all of the characters in the comic real people?

Jerry from Who’s Masking? 04/01/22

All of the characters in the comic are inspired by real people, most of them are either staff/faculty of the school or student workers. Only one of the characters is mostly fictional. His name is Jerry. Jerry is a concept loosely based on someone who graduated in Hawk’s freshman year at the school, but he carries many traits that would be uncharacteristic of that former associate. That is why he is the only named character in the comic. (The original person’s name was not Jerry.)

Hawk: Jerry is my OC plz do not steal.

The Marketing Dept: Give us back the mascot.

Hawk: No.

What program do you use?

We use Clip Studio Paint!

Fuzzy: It’s a good program. Very much nice.

Hawk: Yes! *haha*

It’s available on iPad OS for a monthly or annual subscription fee. We use the EX version which allows for more animation tools and greater versatility.

How long does it take to create an Afton Parveen Comic?

It depends because some of the comics are more labor intensive than others. Fuzzy can finish lining most comics in roughly two days (depending on whether they have many background elements). Hawk works more intermittently due to school and work schedules so usually she will be working on a comic through the week on and off, then send it to Fuzzy, and finish it the following week after she gets it back.

Fuzzy to Hawk: Put your classes first or I will fly to Virginia and fight you.

Hawk: You can count on it!

What is it like working on this project as a team?

Hawk starts with the sketches, then sends them to Fuzzy who lines them. Then Fuzzy sends them back to Hawk for coloring. After all of that is done, Hawk sends the finished draft to Fuzzy to look it over and make sure nothing was missed. Fuzzy worries that Hawk does too much work and might be stressed about it because the sketching process also involves coming up with the script and composition of the comic. Hawk really dislikes spending time on lineart but that’s Fuzzy’s bread and butter, so it works out really well in the end. On other projects that aren’t so reliant on Hawk’s personal life experience, the process of thumbnailing and scripting is a bit more even.

Fuzzy: It kind of sounds like I’m your editor that just so happens to do lineart.

Hawk: //sweats

What other projects have you done together?

from Episode 2 of Swallow Heart

Our first project was a 5 episode comic published on Webtoon called Swallow Heart. It’s a coming of age story about a young bird who comes from a mixed heritage and decides to go on a journey to join her mother’s flock. This was made as a proof of concept for a larger story about a land full of passerine birds who were cursed by a magical event that turned their wings into arms.

From Trouble in Guyun

We also participated in a webcomic contest on the same platform sponsored by videogame company Hoyoverse. Our entry was #104 in the list titled Trouble in Guyun. It is a single-episode comic about Aether of Genshin Impact and Aloy, a crossover character from the Horizon series.

All of these projects were meant to be trial runs to make sure we could work well together in a professional capacity.

Are you enjoying this project?

We both enjoy the project for our own reasons aside from the artistic challenge it presents. Fuzzy enjoys learning about the little tidbits of other people’s lives because slice of life media is a fun genre to work in. Hawk enjoys sharing her experiences at school and drawing all of her friends as animals. Overall it’s been a fun experience. The most stressful thing about the project is considering the friends’ opinions of their caricatrure’s actions. Like we said before, all of the people in this comic are only based on real people but do not always perfectly reflect reality. We try to be really respectful in the ways that we portray them.

Will you bring it back next semester?

Hawk: Sure, if the school will sign us a contract for a thousand dollars. (jk)

Since Hawk will be graduating at the end of this semester, we will no longer be doing content for the school newspaper unless they would be willing to hire us for it in an official capacity.

Thank you for your feedback and participation in the last few months. We’re excited to finish out the semester with some fun content for you all so stay tuned!

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