Rachel Davis at NYCC 2017 talks with the amazing Patricia Lyfoung. Lyfoung has worked as an assistant storyboard artist for Totally Spies! and Martin Mystery at Marathon Animation. She has also published her own mini-comic called Strike!

Rachel Davis: Welcome to New York Comic Con 2017. My name is Rachel Davis. With me is the amazing Patricia Lyfoung and you are listening to ComicsVerse. How are you enjoying the Con so far?

Patricia Lyfoung:  Thank you. Hello, Rachel. Yes. I very enjoy it. I love this atmosphere. It’s very… Because I am a geek, and so I am home here. We have cosplay, we have figurines, we have comics, and it’s very different from a book convention because it’s very … It’s more joyful. I think it’s more joy in this type of convention.

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Rachel Davis: I couldn’t agree more. We’re here today to discuss The Scarlet Rose, your English book that just got translated from French out by PaperCutz and Charmz. Could you tell us some of the inspirations behind The Scarlet Rose? It seems like a highwayman, action, romance comic. Very enjoyable.

Patricia Lyfoung: I was inspired by Japanese animation because when I was young, I saw a lot of Japanese animation on TV. In France, we have a lot of animation from Japan, and when I started this series, this book, this comics, I wanted to … Because when I was young in France, we have comics for little children and then comics for adult. Between, there is nothing when I started, and I wanted to tell a story that I want to live, but I want to love to read.

If I were a young girl and I want to make romance with adventures, so there is some action too, I think a strong main characters, the girl is stronger, and she knows what she wants to do. That’s the [inaudible 00:02:34] is a mix from all of this idea, and I do the 13 books in France. It’s a long series. You have the two first book, and I hope that the American girls and boys will like it.

Rachel Davis:  I’m sure they will. In France, this is originally a webcomic. It was originally published on the internet. Correct?

Patricia Lyfoung: No, no, no. Not at all. No. It’s published, it’s a book. A paper book.

Rachel Davis: My apologies for that, I’m sorry. The series is further along in France, right? There’s not just one book? In the U.S.. there’s currently one book in this series, The Scarlet Rose?

Patricia Lyfoung: Yes. There is two, I think. I think it’s like seasons, TV show. I begin the third season. There is two season in France, okay? You have the two first book of the first season. I hope that PaperCutz will publish the rest of the series.

Rachel Davis: Oh, I’m sure they will. It’s such a wonderful book. I’m in love with Maud. She’s the kind of heroine that I wish I could grow up to be, and the kind of heroine I would have loved as a child as well.

Patricia Lyfoung: Yes.

Rachel Davis: How did Maud come to be? She’s such a dynamic character. She’s on this quest to avenge her father, and yet she’s having this really interesting dynamic relationship with her grandfather when she finds out she’s nobility, and all these interesting dynamics coming to her. Did she come to you all at once or how did she develop?

Patricia Lyfoung

Patricia Lyfoung: When I was young girl, I wanted to read this sort of story and I want to do a character, and I want to create a character who can be a model for the young girl, young woman. She is like a dream. I want to be like this girl. Really, there is a question very important for me too that we are girl. Sometimes somebody say, “Oh, you can’t do this, you can’t do this,” but I want to say to the young girl that everything is possible. If you want to do something, do this, and you can be a girl. You can be strong and fragile, but do this.

Rachel Davis: Oh, you just won me over. Thank you for that.

What’s also wonderful about your comic, it’s very inter-cultural. Maud happens to have a father who is French but her mother comes from the Middle East, and in fact, the book opens with a scene from the Middle East. You don’t normally see in those kind of depictions when you’re looking at a young French girl. What kind of research did you do? Was France really that multi-cultural in that time period?

PaPatricia Lyfoung: I think it’s not … I use this period like a theater. Not really realistic story, but very like a background. I want to use this … She’s in two culture. She don’t know, but she’s in two culture, and she will be a long journey. Yes. She will have long journey between France. I don’t know. We don’t know yet, but the first pages is a clue. Yes. I like to draw some different backgrounds too, and she will have a long journey in Europe and maybe in other countries.

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Rachel Davis: Oh, I can’t wait to read that. What was the process like adapting your book into an English, an American market? What was that process like as a creator?

Patricia Lyfoung: I don’t know really. Someday I have an email from my French editor, and he say, “PaperCutz is interest by your book. Do you want to be translated?” I say, “Yes.” I don’t know really; I don’t know how it works.

There is some international market of book, so they meet each other. Maybe PaperCutz, I think they like the book. They want to share it in America. I don’t know really, but for me, it’s really … I am very proud that first, I do a job that I like.

It’s job of my dream, and I can l the ve with this job, and there is a lot of freedom in France, and I hope that American people will like it too. I am very proud because the book is very, very good, very beautiful too. The colors are very beautiful. I was a little concerned.

Yes, I worried about the colors. It was very important to have them very bright like in the French book.

Yes. When I saw the book, the American book, I was “Oop.” I’m very happy.

Rachel Davis:  Thank you. What are you currently working on in France? Any future projects that are coming up that you’re excited about?

Patricia Lyfoung: From the moment, I welcome the 14 books in France. You have a lot of book to read. Tell the people, kids, to translate it in English. I say there is three season, maybe more. The audience is here. There are people from … The reader are very, very gentle. They wait the next book issue, and I have some project, personal project too. I have, for example, another series called, in French, —

It’s contemporary. It is a story, contemporary. It’s like a fairytale in Paris nowadays. Yes. It’s only in French. For myself, for the artist, as I am, I have to draw other stories because I have to show that I can do contemporary design. For me, it’s my own project, and I have another project of comics, but I have no time. The days are so, so short.

Rachel Davis: Oh, I look forward to seeing more of your word, especially in English. PaperCutz, I am talking to you. Yes. Thank you so much for your time Patricia and Flor for translating. For more interviews as well as reviews, analysis and other content, make sure to check out ComicsVerse.com. My name is Rachel Davis, and I’ll see you next time.

If you are fluent in French and have good taste in comics, make sure to follow Patricia Lyfoung on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr

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