please read this list before you email me. You may find your
Q. Now that D101
is completed, what will you be doing next?
I have two comic projects
on the go at the moment. Zombies
Calling is my first adventure into print media. It's a action-packed
tale of three university students who find themselves trapped
at school during a zombie invasion. Having no firepower to fight
the zombies, they attempt to survive in the manner of all pop
culture enthusiasts: by following the Rules of Zombie Movies.
The graphic novel will be published by SLG Publishing this November.
If you enjoyed D101, please buy it and support me becoming a
Real Live Comic Book Artist! :D
I also have another online comic, Ice.
Ice is updated "when I can," and is a dark (rated R)
story of survival and love in a broken-down future England. It
is free for all to view.
Q. Will you ever
produce a D101 graphic novel, collecting the completed online
No, I don't think so.
I love D101, and I would love to return to it someday, but I
want to leave it alone and move on to other things right now.
It will remain on this website, but not in hardcopy. Maybe a
few years down the road I'll return to it. But not right now.
Q. Why do you
write/draw this comic?
For shits and giggles.
It's too bad people don't do online comics for fun anymore. Ah,
Q. Is there any
way readers can help out the comic?
Of course! On the front
of the D101 site is a donation button. If you have a paypal account,
feel free to donate a couple of dollars to help me out with paying
for hosting. I really appreciate it. :) Otherwise, a kind word
through email or in my guestbook really keeps me going and happy.
Q. How do you
create/keep going an online comic?
There's no magic formula
to doing a comic, and keeping it going. It all comes down to
hard work and whether or not you're willing to commit to keeping
the comic updated. I can't really answer this question, mostly
because I don't know how I've managed to do over 600 pages
of D101... I just do it. I do not, however, wear Nike.
Q. Is your name
Uh.... yes. For the
record, my full name is Faith Erin Hicks, and I club baby seals
for a living.
Q. Where did
you come up with the title for the comic?
It all happened one
fine day while I was rotting in class, doodling contentedly.
The class I was currently afflicted with was called 'Religion
101', and despite the fact that Religion is been a force that
has constantly shaped the history of mankind, I was bored to
tears. I found this terribly ironic: shouldn't a subject as potentially
fascinating as Religion be absolute dynamite to study? Obviously
this was not the case.
So, while bored in Religion 101, I doodled a picture of a black
haired girl with pointed ears, and underneath the drawing, out
of respect for the class I was currently slacking off in, I wrote
the words "Demonology 101." The comic you read now
kind of stumbled its way out of that class and doodle. And, like
most things, the name just seemed to stick.
Q. Your comic
is really similar to Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
Well, yes. On the surface,
it is. I love the work of Joss Whedon (although I found the last
two seasons of Buffy very lacking) and I admire how he has always
managed to put a new spin on an old idea (in this case, the horror
of high school). So, at the very beginning, D101 was very much
inspired by Buffy. But I like to thing it has evolved beyond
that. You may also find inspiration in D101 from Jeff Smith's
wonderful comic Bone, The Gabriel Knight games, and my
own University experiences.
Q. Could you
explain the 'demons' of the comic?
But isn't it more fun
if you draw your own conclusions? For the truly insistant, though,
here is a rundown of the demon types we have seen in the comic.
"Suits": This isn't an official name, just what
Poe calls them. They only obey
those who have the blessing of the higher (demonic) Powers That
Be. They're basically demon grunts, identical in appearance (black
suits, ties, sunglasses & black hair), and not prone to making
conversation. They do all the menial task on earth, such as kidnapping,
beating people up, and murder. Fairly low in intelligence, but
well endowed with strength, many of these demons were wiped out
when Network was attacked, pre-comic.
Marturia Demons: Exclusively female demons, and they all
seem to have large bat-like wings. They're extremely nasty, even
more so than the Suits, and difficult to control. They do not
speak, but instead vocalize to others of their kind through chirps,
hisses and snarls. They are quite intelligent, agile and also
have slight extra sensory powers (they can sense the presence
of other demons). However, they are rarely seen on Earth.
Monarch Demons: It's not known if this is an official
name or a nickname these demons have picked up, but this is the
kind of demon Raven is. The highest
ranking demon, and possibly the only one with the capacity for
free will (that is a whole 'nother debate). Elspeth and Lethe
also fall into this category. Like humans, their appearance varies
in relation to their upbringing (they are also the only demon-type
that is 'born' and 'grows up', although there is much debate
as to the demonic aging process, and whether or not their concept
of time is the same as mankind's); that is to say, a Monarch
raised in a human environment will have notable human features/characteristics/mannerisms,
whereas a Monarch raised 'elsewhere' may have such things as
wings or horns.
Monarch demons are the most common demons found on earth, as
unlike the other two types, they can blend easily with humanity,
and act in a "normal" fashion.
Q. What exactly
is this 'Network' thing the characters keep mentioning?
Network was an organization.
It doesn't have much bearing on the comic, because when the comic
began, Network had been destroyed... However, it does
have impact on the pasts of the characters, so here's a brief
Network was one
of those underfunded, morally superior little organizations that
are usually seen harassing Big Business and the like. They're
usually run by people who have Bachelor degrees in political
science and too much conscience to work for a traditional company.
These little organizations usually mean well, and we've all probably
supported one or two during our lifetime, but for the most part
they are understaffed, overworked and function basically on the
blood and sweat of their loyal employees. Network was devoted
to the idea of fighting the Jenners, but what they focused on
was the family's physical holdings and corruption, not the fact
that the Jenners were linked to an otherworldly force of Great
For the most part,
the Jenner Family was mildly amused by Network, a small, combative
organization doggedly determined to destroy them. That opinion
changed over the course of the last ten years, as the Jenner's
plans of political corruption, drug trade and occasional arms
dealing were repeatedly foiled by this small, formerly insignificant
organization. Why Network enjoyed such success in the past ten
years (assisting police and un-corrupted politicians in restricting
the Jenners' movements in the business world) is somewhat unknown,
although there is suspicion that Network had an insider privy
to the Jenners' inner workings on their payroll.
Raven was a big shock to Network, as she was basically living
proof that what they were fighting was in intrinsically spiritual
war which did not necessarily stay within the realm of mankind.
There had been great suspicion within Network that the Jenners
had some sort of otherworldly connection, although opinions on
that matter ran the gamut from outright disbelief to general
acknowledgement and usually depended on whether or not the person
submitting the opinion was a believer in the realm of the supernatural.
Q. What medium
do you use for the comic? Is it originally black and white?
Yup. I draw it with
my trusty blue pencil (69 cents at your local Loomis & Toles)
and ink it with a fineliner. For Episodes 2 & 3 I used a
kid's watercolour set for shading. Cheap and fairly effective.
For Episodes 1 (the revamp) 4 & 5, I scanned the comic unshaded,
and shaded it in Painter Classic (a very nice little program
I got with my wacom tablet). Later I moved on to Painter 8, which
has a much more finished look than PC.
CHARACTER FAQ (questions about the characters and
Q. How can Raven
be good, when she's inherently evil... She's a demon.
As 'God' said in the bizarre movie Time Bandits, "I
believe it had something to do with free will." If there
is any message behind Demonology 101, it's that human beings
have a wonderful gift, that allows them to chose how they will
live their lives: free will. Raven is somewhat of an anomaly
in that respect (the question of whether or not D101 demons have
free will has yet to be answered), but it's fairly obvious that
she is a bit different from her kin.
You could also look at the comic as an investigation into the
debate of Nature verses Nurture: Raven, it would seem, is inherently
evil. Yet she was raised in an environment that facilitated good,
and she is a decent person... So is she still evil? It's a huge
issue, I realize, nor am I making any statement as to one side
or the other... but this is one of the themes of the comic, and
one that applies to this question.
Q. In Episode
3, who was Mackenzie dressed as for the Halloween Dance?
Merle, from Escaflowne.
Q. Hey, Eli looks
like Harry Potter!
First of all, that's
not a question. Bad reader!
But you're right, he does. I started Episode 3 just as I was
reading the Harry Potter books, and I thought it would be terribly
amusing if I made a little demonic version of him... However,
the joke bombed, and I rather regret doing it. Oh well. He's
still pretty cute, and seems like the type of demon Raven would
take a liking to.
Q. What's with
My characters always
get named accidentally. Their names just seem to stick on them,
no matter how ridiculous they may seem.
Gabriel is named after Gabriel Knight one of the (late)
great characters of computer gaming. I highly recommend the first
two GK games, if you can find them.
Raven is named after a horse I rode during my 15 years
of riding, but also after the trippy, schlocky poem The Raven,
by Edgar Allen Poe.
Poe is named after the poet Edgar Allen Poe, naturally.
I think 'Poe' may actually be a nickname, though I doubt we'll
John is named after this really cool guy I had a strange
platonic crush on in my second year of university. He's married
Sachs was named for the internet artist of the same name
(he draws the comic A Miracle of Science; check it out in the
links section). Sachs just seemed like a cool name for a semi-evil
immortal guy, doncha think? Well, I think so. Sachs' first name
is Daniel, which is just a name I liked.
Mackenzie I either got from a Due South episode,
or from the Prime Minister Mackenzie King. For some reason it
seems to have become a fairly popular name over the years...
Her sidekick, Mal is named thus because I liked the name
Malcolm (which Mal is short for). It's probably owing to Jurassic
Isaac is a biblical name, from the story of Abraham (Old
Testament). Isaac, in the story, was a child promised by God,
to carry on the Hebrew bloodline; but later in the OT, God orders
him sacrificed as a test of Abraham's faith.
Lethe is a word I picked up in Religion 101. Far as I
know, it means destruction/destroy. A few people have mentioned
that it's also a river in Greek mythology, but that's just a
co-incidence. He wasn't named for that.
Elspeth is a variation on the spelling of Elizabeth.
Lacey is the name of one of my oldest netfriends. It's
also a sweet, girly name, which I thought would be a fun contrast
with the character.
Eli is the name of my youngest brother. I don't know why
I chose it. It just stuck.
Banai I stole from a friend of mine in university. She
wrote a wonderful story about a character named Banai who did
a lot of drugs and planted trees, and I stole the name.
Aaron is the male spelling of my middle name. Again, it
just kinda stuck.
Jenner is the name of the main villain in The Secret of
NIMH. Great movie. Do rent it.
Q. What character
is most like you?
I share characteristics
with all the characters, I think... kind of. Raven and Mackenzie
I'm most similar to. I have Raven's self-doubt and fear, and
Mac's smart mouth and looks. However, I also share Gabe's sense
of misguided duty, and John's occasional foolhearty-ness (and
unrequited attraction. That's always pleasant). Like Poe, I'm
fond of men, and like Sachs, I'm immortal.
Q. Who's the
most popular character?
Well, you can look
at the fanart to take a guess... However, I find the volume can
be misleading: I'm much more likely to get fanarts of Raven and
the other female D101 characters, probably because they're fun
to draw... I dunno why people would rather draw women than men,
but that seems to be how it goes. The misleading aspect of it
all is that John and Isaac are actually quite popular, more so
than, say, Poe. I get a substantial about of emails and questions
about them, but rarely any fanart, probably because they're harder
to draw. I'd still say Raven is the most popular character, but
she should be, because she's the main character.
Q. Why does Gabe
always wear the same shirt?
He doesn't. He has
dozens of those kind of shirts, all in various shades of white
and off-white. Actually, what was kind of a running gag on my
part has grown into a personality quirk. He's just the kind of
guy that would buy 16 identical shirts. Square, I guess you'd
Q. In flashback
moments in the comic, Raven is shown with little demon horns.
What happened to her horns?
Basically... she molted.
A demon's appearance is sometimes affected by those he/she grows
up with, and Raven, having been raised in the company of humans
soon lost her horns. She did, however, retain her red eyes and
pointed ears, a staple of Monarch demons. This, of course, would
have made her a really cool looking goth girl, but she's a little
too involved with staying alive to get interested in specific
fashion. Maybe in university. If she survives high school.