Throughout the month of October, the Cartoonist Cooperative will be sharing interviews with members of the Co-op who have a new comic available at the ShortBox Comics Fair 2023!
NOTE: The Cartoonist Cooperative is not affiliated, associated, authorized, endorsed by, or in any way formally connected with ShortBox.
Cartoonist Cooperative: We’d love it if you could introduce yourself and tell us about your background in comics.
Azam Raharjo: I’m Azam Raharjo, an Indonesian comic artist. I used to work mainly as a children’s textbook illustrator before accidentally falling into comics in 2015. At first, I mostly made gag comics for a local comic magazine and various clients until I started making horror comics in 2018 that got published in Webtoon Indonesia. Since then I have focused on horror and have made another horror comic for ShortBox Comics Fair 2022.
CC: Tell us more about your new comic!
AR: My new horror comic is called “Someone Died Here”. It has 160 pages with only several dialogues. It’s mostly composed from a first-person point of view. Since telling a lot will absolutely spoil the story, the only thing I can say is:
There is a house and someone died there.
CC: Tell us about your creative process; how did you develop this comic and what are the steps you took to bring it to the final stage?
AR: I was struggling when developing a horror comic for ShortBox Comics Fair 2023. At that time, it wasn’t “Someone Died Here” but other ideas that proved to be too time consuming to develop. One night, a fellow horror comic artist posted an Instagram story about how they don’t feel scared by ghost-related horror anymore. They reasoned that the premises are predictable and rather obsolete these days. While I agree with them, I started to wonder what kind of ghost horror comics might genuinely scare me. From that musing, a simple idea came to mind and that’s how I started “Someone Died Here”.
I didn’t make any storyboards at all. The only thing I did in the start was listing the scenes. Then I got right to it in a stream of consciousness style. Adding pages as I go. Some pages are deliberately duplicated for certain effects. I utilized perspective rulers and basic 3D shapes a lot in Clip Studio Paint cause I had to draw so many backgrounds. The comic was finished in one and a half months of work spread across three months.
CC: Can you tell us about your newest projects/projects you have in development? Feel free to plug anything here as well eg. socials, website, etc.
Later this year I plan to continue the “would-be” ShortBox Comics before “Someone Died Here”. On the other hand, I just finished a short horror comic for upcoming extra content of “Mycorrhiza”, an indie horror visual novel game. I’m also currently inking an upcoming Filipino-American horror comic set in the colonial era, written by NP Alfaro and penciled by Borg Sinaban, hopefully released next year. Newest releases will be announced at azamraharjo.com. You can also read many of my older works there. You can find me on most social media @azamraharjo.