Bryan Golden, the creator of the lovely and enchanting webcomic Strawberry Seafoam, talks about their influences and creative process. Their webcomic, a magical mermaid story, shows the power of friendship and self-worth even during the bleakest of times.
I’ve had the wonderful chance to discover and read Strawberry Seafoam last month. The webcomic follows the story of the young mermaid Frasei as she balances life at Delphic Academy and her newfound abilities as a magical girl. Her friendship with Rogue, Bijou, Sage, and Soleil grows stronger as they face their adversary Delmare and protect the sea. In this interview, Bryan Golden reveals the inspiration and creative process behind their magical mermaid webcomic.
The Geekiary: Thank you for taking the time to be here. Let’s start with introducing yourself.
Bryan Golden: Thank you for the opportunity! My name is Bryan Golden. I’m a self-taught concept/comic artist also trying to learn animation. I’ve been drawing for over twenty years.
TG: Strawberry Seafoam is truly a bundle of sweetness and fun. There are so many things that have impressed me, from the character development to the transformation sequences. I’m still thinking about the characters even as I write this. How did this wonderful undersea world come about for you?
Golden: I’ve always been obsessed with mermaids from a very young age, probably in part from Disney’s The Little Mermaid. My second obsession after that has been magical girl anime. Sailor Moon was definitely the catalyst. So when thinking of creating a webcomic series idea, those two ideas naturally started coming together and Strawberry Seafoam slowly started to form.
TG: Frasei, Rogue, Bijou, Sage, and Soleil struggle with their self-worth. As the story progresses, each of those characters gains the confidence and trust to deal with their internal troubles while saving the sea. Rogue and Soleil’s arcs definitely feel personal to me. Rogue’s parents push her to keep studying instead of giving her breaks and letting her enjoy life. Soleil (a dolphin) wears a floaty to keep from sinking; she’s still young, and yet there’s a scene in which Soleil overhears her parents questioning why she isn’t swimming on her own. Your execution of these themes is gold. Really, I want to know how you’ve developed their character arcs. Have there been changes along the way?
Golden: I really wanted to show the complexities of school life, anxieties as well as the good things. Soleil’s arc was pretty clear from the beginning. The goal was to have her push past her fear, but at her own pace. The parent’s scene I hope showed why she sometimes overcompensates by being brash. Rouge’s arc had the biggest change because, in the original idea, she didn’t become a bad magical girl. My editor thought it may be good to have an opposite to Frasei’s powers. I’m glad he gave me that idea because it better punctuated her anxiety over school and her eventual growth.
TG: What are your favorite movies, TV shows, books, etc.? Anything that inspired Strawberry Seafoam?
Golden: Some recent favorite shows are Lovecraft Country, WandaVision, and I also love The Owl House. Besides Sailor Moon and The Little Mermaid, Cardcaptor Sakura, other works by CLAMP, and Princess Tutu helped inspire Strawberry Seafoam. Also, a lot of research into mermaid myths around the world. I tried to include as many variations as I could.
TG: Are you currently working or planning current/future projects?
Golden: Actually, yes! I’m planning a new webtoon. I’ve finished the pitch, with the help of my amazing editor. So I hope to be sharing some news about it very soon.
Strawberry Seafoam is available to read on WebToon. You can read my full review here.
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