Making it in the world of comics is not easy, and even though many people aspire to create the next “Man of Steel,” the odds of that happening are small. The efforts, however, are not in vain. Even though new characters rarely manage to write themselves into the annals of comic history, we still find a few diamonds in the rough.
Lauren Bianca, the creator of The Shadower (soon-to-be) series, decided to brave the waters. Laura Bianca is a 26-year-old comic creator and cosplayer from Durban, South Africa. With a background in psychological counseling, her love for comics began with Marvel and has now led to her creating her own unique stories while embodying characters like Black Widow and Wanda through cosplay.
The Shadower is a story that follows a girl who gains superhuman powers after accidentally consuming the wrong medication. As she discovers the truth about her surroundings, she joins a team to face a dangerous threat that risks many lives. Together, they work tirelessly to defeat the dark forces and protect their world.
We had the opportunity to ask Lauren a few questions related to her creative process. So without further ado, let’s go.
CB: The comic book industry is filled with up-and-coming artists & writers looking to have their stories heard. What do you think separates The Shadower from other similar works?
Lauren Bianca: Thank you for this opportunity to share info about my comic. What makes my work unique is that instead of traditional drawings, I use photographs of real people that are transformed into a comic format. The characters in my comic come to life through these images, creating a one-of-a-kind experience for readers.
Gaining superhuman powers by accident is a pretty common trope in comics. What separates Chasi from similar characters? What makes her origin story unique?
Chasi is a complex character with a rich personality. Her superpower is particularly unique, as she is able to unleash both ice and fire from her hands. Even Chasi herself doesn’t always know what to expect from her abilities, making her all the more compelling and fascinating for readers.
What challenges did you face when creating a comic book with a female lead character in a male-dominated industry?
It was risky at first. I haven’t seen many female Comic book writers, but having faith goes a long way. I was inspired by a line from the movie “We Bought a Zoo” Matt Damon mentions in his Character, “All you need is 20 seconds of insane courage” It was that courage that The Shadower was born, and everything started to flow, thereafter every negative thought was drowned. The most important for me is to put God first in everything and anything.
Can you tell us about your collaboration with the artist and how they helped bring your vision to life?
Would it be shocking to tell you I wrote, designed, and published the comic book myself? I wrote the story, used an app called Comica to convert the pictures, and self-published the book. The characters, my friends, were very cooperative when I asked for certain required images.
Looking at your story’s art style, it draws so much from real-life. Can you think of some specific event that inspired your story?
Marvel has been a major inspiration for me, particularly their emphasis on the family theme and the idea of “Whatever It Takes.” Their work has motivated me to strive for excellence in my comics, and my ultimate goal is to become a part of the Marvel family. I am grateful for the support of my friends and family, which has helped me understand the true meaning of unity and teamwork.
Speaking of art style, what inspired you to use real-life images instead of “tried & tested” styles?
I am someone who likes to create different and new ideas that are weird and also fun. I love to, in a good way, go against the stereotypical grain, and making this bold move was one of them.
What do you hope readers take away from your story?
I hope that readers will be able to draw parallels between the characters in my comics and people in their own lives, distinguishing between those who have good intentions and those who do not. I also want to emphasize the power of working with the right people to bring about positive change and that standing up for what is right should be seen as a strength that makes you unique rather than an obstacle that sets you apart.
Is there more in store for Chasi Aven? Do you plan to make The Shadower into a series?
Yes, definitely. I have already started with the storyline of book 2 of The Shadower. This is only the beginning.
You can check out more about The Shadower and how to support her on Lauren’s official site.