Meet Diavkha, a set designer and storyteller who has taken their passion for world-building to the next level by creating a unique and immersive series of comics using Second Life.
Learn more about Diavkha from this short interview and video as the next installment in our Made in Second Life series!
What is your name and how long have you been in SL?
My name is Diavkha, people have told me it sounds Slavic but it’s an original name that I came up with. I like to have something unique and catchy! I’ve been in Second Life since 2018.
How did you get started making comics?
In the beginning, I just did photography, sometimes I would write short stories or descriptions of what the picture was about to give it a bit of context even though the picture might not show it.
Last year I thought it would be an interesting project to create a deeper and expansive narrative and flesh out my writing skills. SL is perfect for that because of the sheer amount of content available within the platform to build worlds and characters.
There was also another reason that inspired me to create Beyond Star and that is my nephew, he loves things about outer space and adventures.
Where do you get the avatars and the sets from?
Most of our avatars wear the mesh heads from the store BeSpoke, they are wonderfully designed, unique, and different from what’s available. Because I wanted to have non-human characters I specifically saw a lot of potential in their options.
We also use other outfits, poses, and building kits from stores like: Process of Elimination, Contraption, SKNK, Unholy Duality, Fanatik, and more.
I’m very thankful for these creators and their work that allow us to build imaginative worlds and characters.
How many episodes of Beyond Star are there?
At the moment we have 6 Episodes completed and are working on number 7 right now which is almost finished. The idea is to have 9 Episodes total for the first chapter/season of the project.
It was important to build the characters, themes, and worlds with a sense of pace and to let the story grow.
Each Episode can take a few months to be completed as there is a process: beginning with a script, then building sets and characters, taking the photos, and finally editing.
Can SL comics compete with “real” comics made the “traditional” way, in terms of visual fidelity and storytelling?
I don’t see a reason why they couldn’t. While some people might think illustrating traditional comics is a more valuable endeavor, the items used in SL were also created by real humans who put a lot of love and effort into making them.
The tools might be different, what’s important is to have a good imagination and use the potential of the platform to create a compelling story.
Are you self-taught? What is your background?
Since I was little, I always loved creating my own worlds and stories, sometimes I would write these stories for school and plays. I studied Graphic Design and Animation and I have a lot of interest in history, politics, science, and religion.
My RL job allows me a certain amount of flexibility to devote to the arts and to other projects like Beyond Star.
What tools outside of SL do you use for making the comics?
Primarily a web-based editor called Pixlr, it’s similar to other picture editing software and has enough tools to work with. I always try to do everything within SL, so that the editing process is less outside of it.
We are using Blurb at the moment for the printed comic, if you’d like to support us you can purchase a copy here: Beyond Star on Blurb
What does SL mean to you?
Second Life means a lot of things, to start, it feels like an open canvas for creators of all types. It also means connections with other people, even though the boundaries of reality prevent you from seeing them. In SL, you can share moments that feel just as real and unique as they would be in real life. Sometimes those moments are more powerful just because you don’t have the weight of the real world upon you.
Do you have a place that you call home? Rent/own?
My partner and I rent a small piece of land, we’ve had it for over a year now and it’s our happy corner. We use it as our home and work area for the comic and other projects.
Please mention your collaborators.
The project started originally with my partner Elarik Nokturne and myself, later our friend Ayumi Suki joined in. They both have contributed to the project with ideas, sets, and even the title of the story.
Any final thoughts?
My hopes are that with this project, people can see SL in a positive light and see its potential.
Video Production by Draxtor Despres
Logo by Marianne McCann