Looking for a Little Magic: An Interview with Moonsia

It was at New York Comic Con a few years ago that I discovered WEBTOON and started devouring a number of comics on the platform. I saw a panel and got interested in some of the comics that were being mentioned and almost immediately went home and looked them up. So it seems fitting that it was NYCC again that gave me the opportunity to interview some of WEBTOON’s creators!

Moonsia is the creator of the magical fantasy series The Witch and the Bull, about an arrogant, anti-magic young man who gets turned into a bull and must rely on a witch to help him turn back. The Witch and the Bull is one of the series I’ve recommended in our not-always-weekly Wednesday Webcomics spotlight. It launched in January of 2020 and currently has over 935,000 subscribers and 63.4 million views.

At this year’s NYCC, held in October, Moonsia participated in the “Who Runs the Fantasy World? Girls!” panel on Saturday. She was also kind enough to set aside time to answer some questions.

Can you talk a little bit about your inspiration for The Witch and the Bull? How did you come up with the idea?

In 2018, my journey led me to Split, Croatia, where the allure of the ancient town captivated me instantly. Determined to weave its essence into my future endeavors, I embarked on the creative process for my WEBTOON later that year.

Among my notes, I stumbled upon a lackluster tale about a lethargic merchant cursed into an ox, toiling through physical labor for redemption. While this concept resonates in Asian culture, I pondered its resonance in English-speaking regions. Shifting the creature to a bull, inspired by Greek zodiacs, breathed new life into the narrative.

Reflecting on my time at Vancouver Film School in 2011, a memory surfaced of a game design assignment. The concept involved a girl navigating the Milky Way, illuminating stars to craft constellations with her bow and arrow.

Combining these diverse elements, The Witch and The Bull emerged as the synthesis of my creative exploration.

Who is your favorite character to write for?

I love writing both Tan and Bex, they are definitely vibrant characters that speak in an interesting tone. When they speak their mind, they stand out, and they both tend to be funnier and have a laid-back feeling. Bex is also more down to earth than Tan, so it’s very free and pressureless to write her lines, maybe because she has less to worry about in general, at least compared to most of my main characters. Tan is the type who would facade behind his jokes, so it’s fun to come up with creative ways to hide his vulnerable side. Throughout the story, however, he does learn to be more vulnerable, which is the version of him I like most. I love people who are not afraid to show their vulnerability generally real life too.

With an ongoing series like this, how important is it to outline the story? Has your idea changed at all, and if so, how?

Having an overall plan is definitely very important, I do an outline of the story entirely, split them into seasons, and each season into episodes. Whenever I am about to start on an episode, I turn that episode plot into a script by adding dentists and dialogues. However I also like to leave room for spontaneous creativity, so overall when I look at my seasonal beats, I can see where I have room for any breathing space. Some of the most memorable episodes are created on the spot.

WEBTOON as a platform allows for more reader feedback than others. Has fan reaction ever surprised you (i.e. character you didn’t think would be popular)?

So many! I got a lot of really positive feedback. I love those who wrote useful negative feedback too, as long as they are true and respectful. I think any feedback is good to have – whether or not I take this feedback to practice is another thing – but I am happy people are engaging and caring. I would say the feedback I would consider surprising will be something very out of the box like… someone came to say they are the constellation witch herself, and that I am taking their life story without consulting them, I think it was from a very early episode, I cannot remember which one anymore. I swear I didn’t know a witch who carries a bow and shoots the stars to summon constellations to be real and existed! What an eye-opener was that!

What about WEBTOON’s scroll format is most challenging when drawing a chapter? What is your favorite aspect of the format?

Actually, I think most of the challenges from the scrolling format are because of the vertical view vs. the horizontal experience. It’s very different from turning a comic or manga. However, I feel like the storyboard is a lot easier to manage because there is no page count limiting the length of the content. It’s a lot easier to manage the panel counts.

However, the most challenging part is actually full color. As much as I love the vibrant colors that I whip up every time, it is extremely hard to keep it up every week with the same details and quality. Before drawing in the WEBTOON format, I used to draw a lot of short stories in manga format, the storyboard was more challenging, however, the black-and-white format was a lot easier to manage in the same length of time.

Can you tease anything about what fans can expect in upcoming chapters?

May I just say whatever is happening next has something to do with coffee? I think that’s intriguing enough and keeps people guessing. Do you like coffee? I love it… I went to a full barista course because of this storyline. My stories are always a strong reason why I wanted to learn about new subjects. 

You were recently at New York Comic Con. What was your favorite part of the experience?

My favorite part of New York Comic-Con was meeting all the people from WEBTOON. I’ve been very lucky to work with this bunch of people who are passionate about storytelling and comics, and it’s great to meet some of them in person – along with other creators. Over the course of the four days, I had a lot of chances to actually connect with these people and have coffee, lunch, and dinner. Basically, just the social aspect really motivated me. Because as a creator working from home, sometimes I can feel very lonely and I also forget how many people you were actually working with, it’s a good reminder this whole thing is not really a one-man show.

Is there any chance of The Witch and the Bull getting a print run?

Definitely yes! I cannot speak about it too much right now, but if any publisher or agent is interested, please send me a message, and do not wait.

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I’d like to thank Moonsia for taking the time out of her no doubt busy schedule to speak to me, and thanks to the awesome people at WEBTOON for facilitating!

If you haven’t already, I highly recommend checking out The Witch and the Bull on WEBTOON!

And don’t forget to check out our other coverage from this year’s NYCC!

Author: Jamie Sugah

Jamie has a BA in English with a focus in creative writing from The Ohio State University. She self-published her first novel, The Perils of Long Hair on a Windy Day, which is available through Amazon. She is currently an archivist and lives in New York City with her demon ninja vampire cat. She covers television, books, movies, anime, and conventions in the NYC area.


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