Review Fix chats with “The Zurvan Club” creator Adolf Navarro, who speaks about the creative-commons powered graphic novel. In this Q & A, Navarro also discusses the future of the series as well as its inspirations and creative process.
Review Fix: What was the inspiration for the comic?
Adolf Navarro: Well, I’m a big fan of mystery and adventure novels. At the same time, some incredible remains of ancient civilizations always puzzled me and reading about ancient myths I found an inexhaustible source of inspiration. So I try to mix all those ingredients in “The Zurvan Club” adventures.
Review Fix: What made you make the work free via Creative Commons?
Navarro: It’s an experiment that I wanted to try. The Internet has become a powerful tool to spread information around the world, so I wanted to check if a free distribution of my stories could trigger a bigger and faster diffusion of my work. If it happened, I would try to find the income via product placement and other “non invasive” ways of advertising embedded in the comic and the web.
Review Fix: How important is the art to the series?
Navarro: When you tell a tale, you aren’t just describing the facts, but also you try to transmit the feelings and the heat of every moment. In a graphic novel, the artwork is the most significant way to do that. I wanted a different and personal look for my slides and I finally got it using CGI tools. I’m still working to improve, anyway.
Review Fix: The website for the comic is great and is almost like an encyclopedia for it- what was your reason for dedicating so much time to it?
Navarro: As the entire project has been conceived to be read on computers, tablets and smartphones, the website is perfect to add a “bonus material” that complements and helps to understand some aspects of the novel. Although the events of the story are completely fictional, I try to give a “convincing” background, using real myths and scientific concepts, but it would be too thick if included in the story itself. So the website is the perfect place.
Review Fix: What, in your mind, is the coolest part of the comic?
Navarro: Definitely, the things to come. In this first episode I introduced the characters and the storyline, setting the base for a much more developed story. As you read the comic, the action moves from urban and academic circles to the expedition. They have just begun to make the first discoveries, the adventure just started.
Review Fix: What does the future hold for the series?
Navarro: My idea is to create a continuous saga, where each episode is related and follows the previous one as a part of a much bigger adventure. Our problem is that, at the moment, we are only Izara and me, (well, and Marina, also helping us from Canada), and it’s going slower than I would like because there is a lot of work involved. In any case, we have planted the seed and we are taking care of it, so I’m quite confident.
Review Fix: What do you think is holding the comic back from being as successful as you’d like it to be?
Navarro: Well, things require time to grow. But considering that… this is my first work, it has been just 4 months since its release and we are completely out of the mass media promotional channels… I’m quite proud of the goals accomplished. We have received about 18.000 visits to the website and the comic has been downloaded around the world, even in places as Nepal and Nigeria, (where I didn’t imagine to be read so quickly). We expected more collaboration from the Creative Commons staff that ignored our project except in few cases like Chile, or Costa Rica, but I agree that our weakness is the promotion of the product. We are wide open to suggestions and collaborations.
Review Fix: How do you want this series to be remembered?
Navarro: Wow. I don’t know. Right now we just started the project and we are focused in its development. If it finally becomes a big success, I will be happy if a lot of people around the world enjoy the stories of “The Zurvan Club” and remember them each one in his own way.