Lindsey Stirling is no stranger to telling stories. In fact, the famed electric violinist has been weaving bite-sized tales for millions of fans through music and video via YouTube since she first joined the platform in 2007.
Stirling’s latest endeavor however, will find the musician bringing her newest original story to life in the form of a comic book series called Sparrow.
The newly minted comic book writer joined Hypable’s Hype Podcast for a special episode where she discussed the process of briging Sparrow to life. Check out some highlights from our interview with her below!
The world of comics might be new to Lindsey Stirling, but when Hypable’s Hype Podcast caught up with the violinist on the last day of San Diego Comic-Con 2017, Stirling revealed that she was surprised by how natural it felt to jump into the medium.
“A lot of people have said, ‘Oh, this is so different for you to jump into comics,’ [but] as I’ve been working on it, it’s even surprised me how not different it feels,” said Stirling on Hypable’s Hype Podcast.
Stirling’s favorite part about working on Sparrow is that it’s allowed her to continue her passion for telling stories in a whole new way.
Once Stirling rolled up her sleeves and got to work, she was quick to notice that there are actually a lot of simlilarities between how she goes about pairing her music with visual components, and what it takes to bring an entire fantasy world to life.
“I’m thinking of story ideas, I’m designing costumes, I’m coming up with creating a world, which is kind of my favorite thing to do,” said Stirling of working with co-writer R. Eric Lieb on Sparrow. “It feels very natural in a way– a lot more so than I thought it would. My art in general is very much about the visual aesthetic. It’s music, but how does the visual come to life?”
Stirling’s tale follows the story of a girl named Sparrow who lives in a fantasy world that’s in grave danger of being expunged. The planet she calls home is slowly being stripped away from all traces of hope and light, and it’s up to Sparrow and her freinds to figure out how to save it.
So how did Stirling come up with the idea for her first foray into comic books? Fittingly, the idea for Sparrow was inspired in part by a song called “Zi-Zi’s Journey” off her self-titled album.
“I had kind of thought of this story years ago, originally for a music video. It turned out it was way too high budget. I was never going to be able to afford to do this whole idea, so I shelved it,” recalled Stirling. “When the people from Golden Apple approached me, they said, ‘You don’t have to worry about budgets— you can create whatever world you want,’ and I thought of my little story immediately.”
Creating the fantasy world where Sparrow takes place is something Stirling’s been having a blast playing around with simply because the possiblities are endless.
“It makes it so fun, because you get to be like, ‘Oh, do I want to have giant fireflies?’ Sure! Why not? Anything goes!” said Stirling. “It’s been really fun to invent cultures, and people, and the things that make this giant planet run that have been taken. That’s what they’re trying to find to restore the light to the planet.”
One such character the artist is most excited for fans to meet in the six-episode comic book series is Sparrow’s dog, Luna. Sparrow’s adorable pup holds an extra special meaning for the Brave Enough musician because she’s based off of Stirling’s own dog.
“[Luna] has evolved from this little sidekick… she’s a very integral part of the story,” teased Stirling. “She’s now a very strong character, and has a backstory of her own. A lot of the characters have evolved in that way. But Luna in particular is fun becuse she’s almost like a mood ring. She changes color depending upon what’s going on, and her mood, and how she’s feeling. That was kind of a fun evolution.”
Though Sparrow focuses on the titualr character, Stirling stressed that they made it a point to ensure the supporting cast was incredibly fleshed out.
Making sure readers pick up on the idea that every character they’re introduced to has a history of their own is something that was of the utmost importance to her and the rest of the Sparrow team.
Interestingly, Stirling also cites this as one of the toughest parts of the whole creative process.
“Making this seem like it’s real [and] these are real characters, and building their lives was a lot more challenging than I expected,” said Stirling of honing in on those little extra details. “[But] you can’t just do a surface level story– you have to get to know these characters and their backstories.”
With that in mind, we couldn’t resist asking Stirling if the detailed backstory they’ve created for each character means Sparrow might spawn a few spinoffs.
“That’s kind of the hope,” confessed Stirling. “I’m hoping that it takes, and people want to hear more. We don’t want to make it all about [Sparrow]. We want people to wonder where other people come from.”
Though Stirling confirmed that there’s definitely potential for the world she’s created to expand, the musician also wants fans to know that they won’t feel cheated out of a proper ending.
“[The ending is] resolved, but you’ll know there are many more adventures to be found,” promised Stirling.
Creatively overseen by Darick Robertson and featuring additional co-writing from R. Eric Lieb, the first installment of Lindsey Stirling’s Sparrow is set to be released via Golden Apple Books and Aspen Comics in November 2017.
Want to hear more about the process behind getting the art just right, other famous fantasy worlds that inspired Sparrow, and much more? Be sure to listen to our full interview with Lindsey Stirling on Hype Podcast!
Will you be picking up a copy of Lindsey Stirling’s Sparrow when it hits shelves in November? Let us know in the comments below!