Die Erste Liebe, which translates into “The First Love” is a newer indie comic from Gabby Good, who has been posting regular updates of the vivid comic since March of 2015. With vibrant art, and clever use of a sort of negative space Gabby brings a story to life that is, in her own words:
In an alternate reality known as Duality, a war is raging between two women known as The White Dusk, queen of all Nephilim, and The Black Dawn, the bride of Death himself. Caught inbetween it all is the son of The White Dusk, Makenshi, sent to spy on The Black Dawn’s children to ensure their capture should things take a turn for the worse.
Things do however when Makenshi falls for Death’s daughter Night Avalar, the one thing he was told not to do. Now torn between his loyalty to his mother and his fascination with the strange icy cold Night, he’s forced to make a decision between the two women, or keep his lies in check. But there’s far more to it all than it appears as the business of gods and their children is far more darker than expected.
The story itself, as I read it, has a lot of supernatural and fantasy elements that appeal to me, as a huge fan of fantasy and horror works. I also liked that the story so far has not been predictable, and there is an element of humor to offset the serious nature of what the characters are doing. Through each page the reader is given small parts of the story, and backstory, keeping you guessing and wanting to know what happens next.
The art itself is almost minimalist, focusing on the details that are important, like expression and body language rather than highly detailed anatomy, clothing, or background. The style is different than the current trend of comic book art, but in a way that’s very good for this narrative story. So far it’s clear this is going to be about the characters, and their lives, their story, and their experiences and that should be the focus of the art, and it is. The use of colors is frugal, but I think well chosen for the subject.
Makenshi has been a fun character to read so far. He’s brash and confident, and seems self-aware enough that it doesn’t seem to come off as arrogant. We’ve just met Night Avalar, but already she seems a great counter-point to Makenshi’s personality, and I feel like the interaction between the two is only going to get more humorous and interesting. I had a chance to talk with Gabby over email and Twitter, and get some of her thoughts on comics, and her work specifically.
F&B: What is the inspiration for Die Erste Liebe?
Gabby: Die Erste Liebe is a story that was made long ago but never truly…fleshed out? It merely sets the stage for a more darker tale. I was mostly inspired by the desire to really create a simple love between two kids, the only innocent thing I have going on during this entire journey. Love is an interesting topic to portray and I wanted to give my shot at it while bringing to justice the story hidden away in my notebooks. For years I never knew how to tell Night’s story, and honestly this fairytale is the only way to go about it.
F&B: Do you see the comic as an ongoing story or do you have and end in mind to wrap everything up for Makenshi and Night?
Gabby: D.E.L. is a six issue comic so although that arc will end, the journey between Night and Makenshi is just beginning. And its in no way a pleasant one.
F&B: What medium do you use for your art, digital, paper and ink?
Gabby: I use a combination of pencil, paper and digital. Depending on time, I’ll go all digital on my Cintiq Companion 2, but mostly I do thumbnails in pencil, scan and finish the rest in Photoshop CC.
F&B: Your use of black and white with splashes of color seem completely intentional, can you tell us a little about what’s intended with this style?
Gabby: I wanted a simple yet highly stylized look for the comic. I’ve always loved B&W work with splashes of color, so I wanted to take my try at it. As the series progresses I want to amplify the colors more and create a dark mood the reader can be immersed in. It’s a slow progression, but its the best and I enjoy the artistic challenge.
F&B: What comic artist or writer do you find most inspiring, or was most influential in your own work?
Gabby: Obviously Frank Miller was a huge inspiration when I first began this endeavor, style-wise. However, the base inspiration delved from past video games from my childhood like Final Fantasy, Silent Hill and Kingdom Hearts. Actually, giving my soul to Square was how I made anything.
F&B: Is there a current major title you’d love to work on given the chance?
Gabby: Honestly I’d love to be the artist *cough writer too cough* of Harley Quinn. I know she’s fun and wacky but god would I love to do a dark, psychological thrilling arc detailing how interaction with the Joker helped morph the persona that IS Harley Quinn. And I’d make HarleyxIvy canon because we deserve it.
F&B: DC or Marvel?
Gabby: Image? (F&B: Good answer)
F&B: Who wins if X-23 and Electra throw down?
Gabby: Good lord sir that’s almost a straight up stalemate. Either X-23 goes berserk and wipes Elektra out or Elektra uses her telepathy to gain the upper hand before X-23 can make a move…………uhhhh……hrmm….in that case. Squirrel Girl wins. 🙂
F&B: What else can fans expect, what sort of future comics are rattling around in the brain pan?
Gabby: I hope my fans are ready to get their hearts chewed up and spat out, and then be brought down a rabbit hole of chaos and mindfuckery. Night and Makenshi are truly the start of something much greater than they could ever imagine, so I just want everyone to follow along and join in my tale. It’s been many years in the making, to be honest.
I have other concepts as well, such as another love story staring a punked out girl who sees monsters, a Victorian Lolita psychopath, and a sociopathic inventor, as well as a short story about heaven and hell fighting against each other using magical girls. We’ll see what time has to say about those however.