Orctober – Creator Spotlight – Meg Syverud


Hello once again! Up today we have the creator, artist, and writer of the wonderful webcomic Daughter of the Lilies! Meg was very interested in joining in the festivities when I reached out and, in case you were wondering, seems to be a super nice person. Always a plus.

The comic itself came to my attention earlier in the year and, while not focusing on orcs, one of the main characters is an orc, and another is a quarter-orc. The cast itself consists of a human, an elf, and the orcs. The art is lovely and the colors (provided by Yoko Weaver) really pop. The story’s been interesting and really picking up as of late. So, without further ado, Meg!

When did you start creating?
Oh gosh, since I was two, maybe. Ever since I could hold a pencil. I started writing comics when I was 8, but didn’t take my comic-making very seriously until a couple years ago. My friend Lora Innes and her husband Mike told me that I was really good at it and that it was what I was supposed to be doing, which completely threw me for a loop. I had always thought of it as a hobby, but ever since I started pursuing it a little more seriously – well, here we are.

Why do you love orcs?
Man, what isn’t to like?

My first Orc experience was in Lord of the Rings, which was amazing. I loved how gross and scary they were, and for several years that’s all they were in my mind. Eventually, you get bored and your interests change, so I revisited the idea of those “gross things” and started wondering why that was even the case. I wondered if it was possible to make Orcs a race that was deep and complex, while staying loyal to that original concept of a fierce and frightening group.

There’s something fascinating about that concept: the idea of a group whose reputation is intimidating and primal, but at its heart is something else entirely. …And all the additional questions and potential explanations for that: the social reasons for that happening, the biological/evolutionary process and needs that would dictate how their anatomy turned into what it is, etc.

What’s your favorite piece of work you’ve made?
It’s hard to pick, just because there’s always something new that I’m making and my answer will be different depending on when you ask. Right now it has to be this crazy over the top scene I’m currently drawing in Daughter of the Lilies, where all the characters are fighting this massive demon frog monster. Writing/choreographing any fight scene is difficult, especially when it is its own, enclosed story that also operates as the climax.

What’s your favorite piece of someone else’s work?
It’s been a long time since I’ve read it, but I remember enjoying In the Company of Ogres by A. Lee Martinez. It was a fun fantasy novel that didn’t take itself too seriously, and mostly focused on the more uncommon and overlooked creatures in Fantasy. Orcs themselves don’t appear in name, but it’s very much in the same spirit of things.

What’s your biggest hope for orcs in media?
I haven’t seen World of Warcraft yet, but that seems like it was a step in the right direction. Really, though, I need a new fantasy epic to fill the LotR shaped hole in my life.
Just more stories with Orcs as main characters who aren’t bad guys. That would be great.

“More stories.” The natural refrain of Orctober, right? And given Meg’s work (and everyone else’s), I’d say we’re getting there.

Quick notes for the month: Due to some personal health stuff, I haven’t been able to get through Blood of the Queen, so that review will come when i can get the book finished. The spirit was willing but the flesh (and brain) are weak. Come back on Wednesday for more Orc Facts and then Monday will mark the last day of Orctober, and the Creator Spotlight, where I managed to get a very special guest.