Ask @Soul_Symph:

Kyle L.
Latest answers

listen what if two dudes were on the moon and one killed the other wouldn't that be fucked up


that would be. maybe that dude is still out there..hiding on the side of the moon that doesnt face us....

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Do you participate in fanfiction at all? If so, what advice would you give to an aspiring writer? I've heard of show, not tell, but is there anything else you'd suggest?

Hmmmm...I've only really done one fanfic (a Homestuck one about Karkat, bless my soul), but I've tried my hand at writing other prose before.

I think it's important to make your writing fun and engaging to read. Think about novels you've had to read for school or for fun. If they were boring, why were they boring? Try avoiding the type of narration that comes off as boring to you, such as long descriptions of the scenery. Your writing does not need to be long or poetic. Be brief and direct whenever you can, and don't worry about trying to sound fancy.

I think that writing from a first-person point of view can help a lot! Have your main character be the narrator. It lets us put ourselves in their shoes and feel their emotions and thoughts in every moment. How do they narrate the story? What details do they notice? What mood are they in? Are they tired, are they excited? The way you word every sentence can do a lot to characterize them and let us see the world through their eyes.

One last thing: your story's ending. Your ending is a chance to leave your reader with a thought or a feeling. We don't get a lot of chances in life for an audience of people to sit down and just listen to what we have to say, but writing a story IS that chance for you. So don't waste it! What do you want to say? Do you have something you want to say about the world, or about relationships, or about growing up, or about school, or about certain characters/types of people? Do you want to leave your reader with a particular image or memory in their mind, or a certain emotion? Do you want the reader to step away feeling motivated and energized, or introspective and reflective?

Don't be shy about what you want to say to your reader. If they made it to the ending, they've been along for the ride. They want to hear what you have to say! You get to pick what they walk away from the story with.

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Could my comment on the latest page be officially unofficial cannon? ~Bunk


It's entirely possible, sure!

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How did you create the character of Olivia? Where did your initial inspiration for her come from?

By complete coincidence, I happen to be working on one of those *secret Soul Symphony projects* right now that will answer that question in pretty step-by-step detail. But until then, here's what basically happened:

-I was trying to think of a webcomic idea, and I doodled a quiet, dark-haired girl with glasses in my sketchbook one day.
-I decided that she'd be the protagonist, and that she'd be an anti-social girl who had to spend the story reluctantly helping other kids. Over time, she would learn to see the world differently and make friends. She would become more accepting and empathetic.
-I decided to make the comic about high school music geeks, because that's what I was at the time.

From there, most things about her design were made to contrast against her sidekick, John, and most things about her initial personality were made to have her start the story as really, really self-centered and grumpy. That way, she could grow over time.

Fun fact: Before I decided on the music theme, Olivia was going to fight monsters with a pair of magic, laser-shooting glasses.

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Will you make another comic after Soul Symphony? If not, where will we be able to see your art on a regular basis?

I have an idea for another big comic series after Soul Symphony that I've been working on for a long time. However...I'm not sure if I'm going to have enough time to dedicate to it in such a large scale. So...for now the idea is on hold. I might come back to it, OR I might just do it in a smaller scale. Like, maybe I'll do it but in short little black-and-white strips that are easier for me to do while juggling other stuff. We will see.

What you WILL definitely see after Soul Symphony is me putting out stuff weekly. They might be drawings, they might be comics, or animations, or 3D models, or who knows what.

The best place to see my art on a regular basis right NOW is my Tumblr,

The second best place is to follow me on Twitter, @kylelabriola , where I often post stuff as well.

The third best place, if you have the Soul Symphony page Liked on Facebook, is to just keep it Liked after the comic ends, because I'll keep using it as a place to post stuff for a long while.

But yeah, my Tumblr is the best place. And yes, after the comic is over, I will still be drawing stuff and posting stuff and doing lil comic strips and all that jazz frequently! So thank you so much for asking!

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Why did you never refer to Tom as Mustard-Stain? I'm disappointed in you Kyle.

Do not speak his name, or he will appear.

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Is it true you and alex tried to figure out what your nen attributes were as children?

Brittany Lauda

Yeah! We were so into HunterxHunter [and that's not past-tense, I still think it's probably my favorite shonen fighting series] and I love how Nen is presented and explained. It's so much better than something like Ki in DBZ where it's vague and everyone's powers are practically the same. Nen is so thoroughly specific.

I can't remember what him and I came up with, but I imagine he preferred Transmuter or Manipulator, and I probably preferred Emitter or or Conjurer.

Also the Gon-Killua personality dynamic was so obvious of thing to relate to when we were younger.

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top five favorite comics you're currently reading?

Cucumber Quest, Paranatural, Octopus Pie, Gunnerkrigg Court, Broodhollow

I feel bad that all of those are popular and widely known, but....yeah.

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Have you played any of bemani's more recent rhythm games like Sound Voltex, Jubeat, or ReflecBeat?

I haven't! But I looked them up just now:

Out of the 3, Sound Voltex definitely seems the most interesting to me. I'd love to try it. I'm normally wary of games that are just "hit notes that fall down the track a la Guitar Hero/DDR" because it's been done a lot, but....I feel like Sound Voltex changes the formula enough. It immerses you into a different type of music in a different way than Guitar Hero. Plus, two of the buttons being dials to turn is interesting.

Jubeat and ReflecBeat I'm not sure how to feel about. On one hand, I definitely appreciate the effort to try something new and not just do the GH/DDR style. On the other hand...they both just seem a little silly to me. It's unfair of me to judge without trying it, and with only having seen like 2 videos on Youtube, but it just comes off as feeling very "what's your reflexes when it comes to hitting flashing lights" as opposed to being about immersing you in the music?

Rock Band is one of my favorite games, but it's never been a "what's the hardest, most extreme song I can handle?!?!" type of fun. And for Rhythm Heaven and Rhythm Doctor, one of the biggest reasons I like them are because they're designed to be so simple. It's not about keeping up with some frantic song with high BPM.

I could be wrong, but that's just the notion I get. I would have to try all of these, though. I wish I could! And Sound Voltex is definitely a cool idea.

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What does your perfect day look like?

Getting a lot of work done on something I'm passionate about, having an in-depth discussion with friends about something we're interested in, and watching or listening to something that's informative and/or makes me laugh.

And if I can multi-task any of those at the same time....even better!

Also maybe, on special occasion, playing a short game in one sitting that's impactful, i.e. Gone Home, To the Moon, Stanley Parable, etc.

I know that might sound boring or vague, and doesnt include things like "wake up and eat an x, do y, etc." but that really is my perfect day! Which probably says a lot about me.

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What is your favourite kind of bread?

Buttery garlic bread, no doubt. And/or Cheddar Bay Biscuits from Red Lobster, which are basically just that.

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What is/are your favourite digimon and why?

Tentomon, because I like electricity and bugs and I associated with Izzy as a character, and Wizardmon, because I like mages.

There's others that I like a bunch but I can't think of them right now. Motimon is really cute.

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What is your biggest success up until now?

Maybe a predictable answer, but Soul Symphony. Particularly the dedication to keep going and put all the hours in. I'm also proud of the sincerity and heart that I hope, most of the time, comes through. Also the visible improvement over time.

I had a lot of academic successes in high school but I don't think they're as important or impressive to me as the comic.

Lastly, I feel like I was a generally welcoming, kind, and helpful senior in my school's band department. I was a section leader and drum major for marching band, etc., and if I helped any underclassmen feel welcome or happy in school then I consider that a huge success.

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How do you start creating characters? Do you start drawing out character designs or do you start with a set of character traits that you want? or other things?

It depends. Generally it starts from a visual place for me: sketches in a sketchbook. Personality traits come out of that, or they're formed at around the same time.

Something I do a lot is design characters in pairs or trios. Like, John was designed specifically to contrast with Olivia. and Carl (particularly his size and flowing tail) were sketched out specifically next to Olivia. If you've seen my characters for "Internet Famous" or "Living Space" on Tumblr, those characters were designed as groups as well.

Until recently I never really put as much time and effort into crafting the characters as I probably should have. Sometimes plot/themes come first and I whip up characters quickly just to have something, but I'm slooooooowly getting better at brainstorming. I hope I can create characters a little more thoughtfully in the future, especially in terms of personality. The Soul Symphony cast's personalities have mostly been sculpted over the years of doing the series.

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What's your favourite colour nerd

Green or purple!

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Hike or bike?

I guess hike, but I don't do either. I'm not much of an outdoorsman, unfortunately.

That idea of a dream vacation is working on a project (comic/animation) in a log cabin out in the middle of the woods for like a week.

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If money was no object, what would you do all day? (This implies you wouldn't need a job)

Probably webcomics, and spend my spare time on other projects like animation. Not stories as long as Soul Symphony, but shorter things. Between 3 to 100 pages maybe.

That would be cool

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Do you prefer a night out or an evening in?

Evening in. Preceded by a morning in, and an afternoon in. Always in.

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Favorite caffeinated beverage?

I don't drink any caffeinated beverages. I drink lemonade, juice, and milk like a baby. But these days I pretty much drink water exclusively.

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Do you like watching sports? If so, which ones? Tell me your favourite sports team and why too (if you like sports)!

I don't, unfortunately! I grew up vehemently disliking sports, but the older I get the more I realize that playing sports and watching sports are two totally different interests. And they're both equally valid and cool.

Sometimes I get a little jealous of people who passionately watch sports, or do Fantasy Sports, and such. They have so much material to follow, be interested in, keep up with, and discuss with others.

I know that at this point, my favorite sport to PLAY is badminton. Not sure what my favorite sport to watch would be, though. I feel like I would have a lot of studying and catching up to do to really grasp what's going on.

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What's one of your favorite Soul Symphony memories?

Honestly, at the risk of not sounding cool or humble: my favorite Soul Symphony memories are generally days where I get feedback from readers, or get to read how readers feel about it.

There have been a few key moments where someone has caught up on the archive and left a lengthy comment with their thoughts, or I've seen a post in the tag on Tumblr describing how they can relate to Olivia or something, and it always makes my day. Or my week. It has a huge impact on me, and has greatly inspired me over the years. It genuinely changed my entire perspective on myself as an artist.

Honorable mentions:

-I was really excited when John, Ashley, and Charlie exited Olivia's Soul World and re-united with Olivia and Eric. It felt like the whole team was finally together, and they weren't arguing amongst themselves. It was finally the "cast of Soul Symphony" together as I had always imagined them.

-Coming home from class and seeing people's response to page 313 (The Carl Page) meant a lot to me. The page was mega-long, and I had started drawing it like a month before it was due. Cheesy as it may be, I had really put my heart into that moment, and it was something that was heavy on my mind for a long time. The night before it went up, I stayed up all night finishing it. It's an important page to me, and I felt like I was really going out on a limb with that type of moment. I was so scared people weren't going to feel as invested as I was, or they were going to think it was all dumb or something.

I was so glad to see that people were on board.

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I can't decide on just one or two types for them D: But luckily, a few months ago I scoured through Bulbapedia trying to make Pokemon teams that they would have.

Chatot [She couldn't resist]

Delibird [He likes how it gives presents! It's always giving stuff to his friend's Pokemon and that makes him happy.]

Duskull [He keeps trying to evolve it but it refuses, thus it stays cute forever. Which he pretends to not like.]

Kricketune [Couldn't resist]

Litwick [She likes its cute lil bangs]

Mr. Dalton
Just a single Metapod

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any big creative projects lined up after Soul Symphony?

My answer to the previous question goes into this a little bit, so definitely check that one out, but I'll go into more detail here:

About a year ago, I started planning out what I wanted to do after Soul Symphony. The plan was to do a new webcomic that was a gag strip with sprinkled in storylines (think Gunshow, which had occasional long stories like Anime Club.) The two main recurring series were going to Living Space, a series about characters based on planets, stars, and moons, and a series called Internet Famous, which is about a boy in high school who wants to become an internet celebrity.

After a while, I decided I wanted to focus on IF. If you follow my tumblr, you've probably seen drawings from it. Instead of an occasional webcomic story, I want to release it digitally as a graphic novel, in volumes instead of individual pages. I still hope to do this, but it will probably take a while. I'm super passionate about the idea and I think you'll like it.

As for Living Space, the characters are very simple and cartoony, so I'm thinking of using their designs as practice for animating, as opposed to using them in comic form.

So basically, yes! But instead of putting all my eggs in one comic basket, I'm going to be trying a variety of comic and little animation things.

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Any ETA for the first page of the comic about the two online friends? I loved what I saw from the preview.

I'm....not sure. The plan was "as soon after Soul Symphony ends as possible", but now it might be a little longer.

I go to school for animation and I definitely wanna try my hand at animating for fun outside of class. So I'll probably be uploading some lil animation things and 3D models. Hopefully those are cool!

So for that comic....I would say...maybe by the end of this year! Possibly. We'll see!

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how was your day?

Yesterday was good! I spent most of it working on a lil illustration that I'm pretty proud of. I also played a lil Brawlhalla, which is fun.

Today's going well too! Thanks for asking!

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