Thrud is launching on May 8, 2021, during the online event, SO YOU WANT TO MAKE A GRAPHIC NOVEL: 5 COMIC CREATOR DISCUSS LAUNCHING THEIR BOOKS. Attend the event for a Q&A with Zach Schuster and several other comic creators. There will also be some awesome giveaways of their graphic novels and art prints! View the event schedule here.
Coming soon from Mythos & Ink: Thrud, a Norse-inspired graphic novel about a mute girl named Thrud and her companion Kvasir, a talking puddle of god-spit she carries around in a flask. It’s told by Kvasir in a series of short, non-sequential stories.
Today we’re having a chat with the graphic novel’s writer and artist, Zach Schuster. You may recognize Zach from being featured on our blog last year for this VERY SAME graphic novel that he was kickstarting at the time. Mythos & Ink is working with Zach to reprint the novel this year and get it onto the shelves of bookstores near you! You will also be able to order it from your local library. Thanks for dropping by, Zach!
1. What is the mythology that inspired THRUD?
“Norse! It’s been my favourite since I was a kid reading Thor comics. I always felt like I should have a better reason than that, at least until Neil Gaiman said the same thing in the foreword to his book Norse Mythology. For THRUD I made sure to avoid Thor, Odin, and Loki as much as possible and stick to some of the more obscure stories and characters.”
2. What was your favourite scene to write in the book?
“The early stories were a blast to write because of all the cool stuff I was making up as I went. The later stuff was a different kind of fun, since I had to write myself out of corners I had written myself into earlier. My favorite comic is the third one, “The Return of the Valkyries,” for several reasons. I got to riff on the Weird Sisters from Macbeth, and as a result the whole vibe felt Hellboy-esque. Also, in the background, I set up some cool stuff I don’t fully reveal until later, but I don’t want to spoil anything else for now!”
3. How does Thrud's muteness impact her story?
“I originally based Thrud and Kvasir off of Link and Navi from The Legend of Zelda. I have always loved how Link’s heroic actions showed off his character without words and let you immerse yourself in the game, and how his sidekicks are typically chatterboxes that compliment his strengths on their adventure. Thrud needs Kvasir to help communicate with the world, and Kvasir needs Thrud to get around, and between the two of them they can handle pretty much whatever the world throws at them! Towards the end I also showed that Thrud learned some sign language once she found other people to communicate with, because it’s always been an interest of mine. (I even took an ASL class last year!) I want to do more with that in future stories for sure.”
4. What do you appreciate about being able to write and illustrate your own stories?
“I honestly was not feeling very confident as a writer before starting THRUD, which is why I wanted to use an established mythos as a base. It was good I was doing this one myself, though, as no sane writer (ha!) would have liked the schedule I made it on. I was making it up as I went along in weird, inconsistent spurts in between other projects.”
5. What's your biggest fandom?
“My favourite comic of all time would have to be Hellboy and my favorite game series is The Legend of Zelda, and THRUD clearly draws from both of those things. Avatar: The Last Airbender is my favourite show, and while it may not be as much of a direct influence, I hope a little of it shone through anyway!”
6. Which Norse creature would you choose to go on a quest with: Jörmungandr (the serpent), Fenrir (the wolf), or Sleipnir (the 8-legged horse)?
“Sleipnir, easily the coolest ride in the nine realms! Plus, it’s the only one of them that isn’t specifically said to die at Ragnarok, so it’s the best bet long-term, too.”
Zach Schuster is an illustrator from Calgary, Alberta, who graduated from the Alberta College of Art + Design in 2018. Zach draws weird comics, a lot of wizards, and the occasional robot. His wide variety of subject matter stems from when his taste was tragically and irrevocably changed as a child by a wild hodgepodge of crappy late 90’s and early 2000’s stuff like Young Justice comics, games like Earthbound, and the box office bomb Treasure Planet. In his spare time, he makes video games with his code-monkey buddies, designs board games, and plays the occasional gig with his more talented musician friends.