Interview With Remote Angel Authors Yennie Fer And Banunu
Written by Eoghan O'Connell on 13 Aug 2023
The Kickstarter for Remote Angel Volume 2 is ongoing as of the time of this article and I am honoured that I've been given the chance to do this interview with the authors behind this series, Yennie Fer and Banunu.
Why don’t we start by introducing yourselves to the readers?
Yennie Fer: Hello! I am Yennie Fer. I am an author and the main artist of Remote Angel. I have been doing art nearly my whole life and picked up on writing as a passion in 2020.
Banunu: So my name is Banunu. I have always had a passion for reading and writing. When I reached middle school, I decided that I wanted to start seriously pursuing it.
Banunu (left) Yennie Fer (right)
And since Remote Angel is the topic today, could you give us a brief overview of the premise?
Yennie Fer: Sure! After a freak accident of an attempted assault, Alice Desangi wakes up in a different apocalyptic universe. Gifted with mysterious powers of an earth angel, she dies in unfortunate occurrences. She wakes up to relive that day again in a confused manner. Depending on her choices, they could change history.
Cool. Now I took a look at your ongoing Kickstarter campaign and I noticed that there was a previous version of Remote Angel before its current form. How did you come up with the story, Yennie Fer, and how did you, Banunu, come to be involved with the project?
Yennie Fer: Well, the very first Remote Angel dates back in 2008. Embarrassingly enough, it was rather horrendous. Then, I scrapped it and restarted it two more times between the years 2010-2011. The story was a mess and I decided to abandon it in 2014. One day in 2020, I wanted to come back to it as I have a strong love for isekai, the butterfly effect and time loop themed stories. I didn't want to do it on my own this time, so…I needed someone to collaborate with me.
Banunu: After we met, we started writing fanfics together. Things went forward from there, and she eventually asked me to help her out with the revamped version of Remote Angel. It was a huge honor to me to be able to work on my first published original work with her.
Since you brought up 2020, you mentioned to me that you two have been working on Remote Angel since September of 2020. Considering what happened that year, I was wondering how the pandemic may have affected you and the work needed to produce this webcomic?
Yennie Fer: Well, I'm kind of an introvert, so it didn't bother me any. I was extremely productive that year regarding artwork and writing. It helped me get a lot done as I started doing weekly updates--which is about 5 manga pages that I would finish in a full day. While I was drawing, we continued writing stories together on the side.
Oh wow! 5 pages in a day is incredible!
Yennie Fer: Yeahhhh! My hand would be cramping. Haha. I'd wake up at 9 a.m., start working and finish between 9 p.m.-10 p.m. depending on the details.
Amazing! With regards to the story of Remote Angel, you mentioned your love for isekai, the butterfly effect and time loop themed stories and you also mentioned to me that several anime also influenced this title. Could you expand on the impact of these influences? Also, Banunu, you're contributing as a writer to this series now, right? What were some of the changes that you two hammered out compared to the old version?
Banunu: One of the things that Yennie Fer brought up to me when we started writing was that in the original version, most of the characters were heavily based off of real people in her life. One of the things we worked on together was fleshing out original characters that are separate from those people. We also worked together to create a more concrete running plot line than the original version had.
Yennie Fer: Yeah. As for your question: there's a mixture of inspirations. Steins; Gate and Re:Zero are two I can name. I loved the idea how the main character went through trauma in various events. I like a lot of angst and feels, and I wanted to portray that into Alice. As I was working on drawing Remote Angel, I started watching Demon Slayer. I got a lot of drawing inspiration from the series. For the horror aspect: Junji Ito's horror designs as I want the dethyx (demons) to look creepy. Additionally, Madoka Magica for the "magical girl" premise due to Alice turning into an earth angel. I wanted to make something look deceivingly cute when it's really a dark series. And I know this isn't anime, but Undertale played a part as well. Alice's days "reset" when she dies to repeat the day all over again.
That's a great range of influences. I do love those concepts of repeating time loops like in All You Need is Kill (Live, Die, Repeat) or Groundhog Day. Something I'll confess is that a weakness of mine is that I'm not as familiar with webcomics as I would like to be. Could you go over some of the challenges when it comes to creating this type of content as well as some of the advantages you believe it has over more traditional media?
Yennie Fer: Avoiding plot holes and inconsistencies. We had to look back on our writing to see if it lines up. There had to be a lot of notes one who remembers what happened or if that event didn't happen in that timeline. I think it has an advantage to make people "think" and come up with theories for our story. Based on readers' reactions, we love reading those types of comments the most. I'd like to see more of that in media. I'm always searching for that theme. I had some people address me about Groundhog Day, but I never have seen that movie. I need to!
I'd definitely recommend it. As of this interview, you're currently running your fourth Kickstarter campaign to produce a physical release of Volume 2. I also took a look at your previous campaigns and noticed that the first campaign struggled but the relaunch proved to be very successful, making over twice the amount requested. The revamped volume 1 Kickstarter was an even greater success, attracting $4,466 against a goal of $2,000. What has your experience on Kickstarter been like and how has that experience and the effort needed behind these campaigns changed over time? Also, I presume Banunu assists you with these campaigns now. How does working with someone on a Kickstarter campaign feel compared to when you had to run them just by yourself and, Banunu, how did it feel working on a campaign for the first time?
Banunu: Working on a campaign for the first time was so exciting. My favorite part was probably when we were signing copies of the first volume to send out as rewards for those who backed the Kickstarter. Holding a physical copy of something you put your heart into is such a surreal feeling.
Yennie Fer: This time around seems to be tougher as expenses have been going up, a lot of our biggest supporters couldn't contribute as much or at all this time. So we're looking for newer readers that may have interest. Our goal is higher this time around due to these expenses and I'd like to put a bulk of that money into advertising. Last Kickstarter, I put effort into the campaign, but I seem to put even more effort into this one. I spend hours of my day reaching out to followers and new people to promote it. I use Tiktok, reels and Youtube shorts to gain some interest as well. It's been helping get daily backers at least. I have Banunu helping me message her own followers to get out there more compared to last time. It feels nice to have someone else to contribute. I always ask her for opinions on visuals and input--which really helps as well.
Yeah, everyone's feeling the burn of those expenses. Just to touch on something Banunu said, could you two describe the first time you saw your work physically printed? For you, Banunu, it would've been relatively recent but the older version of Remote Angel also got a physical release so how did it feel back then, Yennie Fer, to see all of that work turn into something that you could hold in your hands?
Banunu: It is honestly still shocking to me that it even happened! If you had told my elementary school self that I would one day be able to hold a physical copy of a book I worked on, I wouldn't have believed you. Sometimes I still pull it off the shelves just to hold it in my hands and remind myself it's real.
Yennie Fer: The first time was back in 2008. I wasn't knowledgeable at print quality and the trim of pages. When I look back on that book, it looked terrible. Hahah. 2013's print was a bunch of trial and error, but the final product I felt happy with. Printing in 2020 had been a MUCH easier process as the website became more user friendly for printing. I had a bit of trouble getting it to work properly. I think I ordered like 1-2 test copies before I became satisfied. I was very impressed with how it came out and felt complete. It even makes me happier to see fans post their own copies on social media. That's an even more surreal feeling!
I can't even imagine what it must feel like to see others posting pictures of themselves with your work. It must feel incredible. By the way, I notice that both your current and last Kickstarter campaign mention producing copies to donate to libraries, sell at local bookstores and Artist Alleys/book expos. Could you explain the importance of seeing your work available to the public to either purchase physically or to be able to borrow it from a library?
The first volume of Remote Angel at a local bookstore.
Yennie Fer: Having them in stores reaaallly makes me happy. I reached out to a lot of local bookstores. We have Remote Angel Volume 1 in two locally. There's copies of it in a bunch of libraries. We have had some fans purchase additional copies to donate to their libraries--which really helps! I go into our local store from time to time and I remember the day the owner told me they sold the first copy. I nearly cried! We're wanting it in Barnes & Noble too, but I need to republish it through a different distributor to do that. As for doing Artist Alleys, I haven't had experience with this current version of Remote Angel. I did sell the older copies in person. It felt nice for people to look through our books! I can't wait to do that again really soon. It'll be Banunu's first time at a table with me as we're doing our first Book Expo together this month AND a ZineFest to promote our books and the current Kickstarter!
That's cool! Good luck with that Banunu! Before we finish up, could you let the readers know how they can read your content, why they should participate in your ongoing Kickstarter, plug any other things that you’re currently doing and maybe give some teasers for the future?
Banunu: Absolutely! You can read Remote Angel for free on Webtoon, and, of course, by buying the physical version. Backing the Kickstarter allows us to continue doing what we love and producing art for all our lovely readers and anyone who is going to become one in the future. As for the future, there is something coming soon. We will be promoting it and giving updates on our social media accounts, so you can follow us to stay in the loop.
Yennie Fer: To add to why backers should participate in our ongoing Kickstarter, we have nifty rewards. The cheapest one is $1 to have your username in the back of the book in the special thanks section. Other rewards: the book(s), prints, and art commissions. Popular rewards the last time were the commissions, have your character/or you drawn in a future webtoon update! (you'll see backers drawn in volume 2 from the last Kickstarter!) , an ad placement in our book of content you make and we're even including the OLD Remote Angel in a reward. We had that as rewards last time, so there's only two copies left in existence! Maybe you can see how bad it was back then haha. As for my teaser, while I'm juggling promoting this Kickstarter daily…I am working on the cover of Remote Angel's Volume 3. It's a bit detailed and it will take me some time to finish. Group paintings always kills my hand. I'm so excited to introduce new characters in this upcoming volume!
Fantastic. Good luck with the campaign and your future projects!
Banunu: Thank you so much!
Yennie Fer: Thank you! And thanks for having us!
You can find their work on Webtoon and participate in their Kickstarter which is ongoing as of the release of this article.
Originally published on immortalliumblog.com
About Eoghan O'Connell
Going by the online persona Immortallium, I'm a YouTuber as well as a Manga, Anime and Video Game enthusiast.