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Mara “Meg” Maguire is one of the cartoonists behind Rival Hearts, a high fantasy Web comic, for which she handles the art and part of the writing. She has another Web comic, Black as White, which has been going for a decade. She was at the Intervention con this past fall with an ashcan of her Rival Hearts comic. She answered our usual questions.
Meg: I write and draw two fantasy-based webcomics. One is less serious than the other.
Meg: I usually draw everything by hand: pencil, pen/ink, and pencil shading. The computer is for adding word bubbles and text…and occasionally clean up.
Meg: I was born in central New Jersey in the late 1970s.
Meg: I currently live in Silver Spring, Md., near Forest Glen metro station. I moved to the D.C. area after college for a change of scenery and to be near friends.
Meg: I never had any official training. I took art courses in high school and college, but really starting drawing comics afterward and gained skill over many years of practice.
WCP: Who are your influences?
Meg: I take my inspirations from any where I can find it. Really I have an lot of sources that influence my writing and my art style. I’ve read a lot of comics, both Eastern and Western styles, and watched a lot of TV, mostly cartoons. And there are a number of webcomics that have made me think “I can do this, too!”
WCP: If you could, what in your career would you do over or change?
WCP: What work are you best-known for?
Meg: Most people at conventions tend to recognize my distinctive style in the character buttons that I make.
Meg: The progress that my main comic Rival Hearts has made over the last nine months.
Meg: I’m hoping to eventually be able to focus more on my comic creation in the future. My main focus comic right now has the potential to be rather huge, and I plan to push for the fullest of that potential. And hopefully, on the side, I will also do some book writing or, at least, illustration.
Meg: Zone out? Usually I take a break and focus on something else for a little while, and if that is too distracting, I’ll go back to my notes and try to talk about ideas until the inspiration figure up again full force.
Meg: Web comics are getting bigger. And it’s impressive how people are still willing to even buy in a support an artist/creator even when the mainstay of the work is available free online.
Meg: Most of my frequently I attend Japanese animation cons: Katsucon, T-Mode, AnimeUSA. But I’ve done a few small comic-based conventions besides Intervention, as well as attending Baltimore comic con twice as an artist.
As I started out as an artist leaning towards the anime styles, this had been the best niche for me. Plus, a lot of the same fans at this conventions appreciate web-comics of all genres and styles.
Meg: Rival Hearts comic and some blog-like babble can be found here: www.rivalhearts.com (which replaces http://www.blackaswhite.com/rivalhearts). I also have random art stuff at http://ani-meg.deviantart.com.