Snailords is a webcomic creator who has been working for WEBTOON since 2015. With art being one of his creative outlets, Snailords has created and released two webtoons – now completed – that won the hearts of over 3 million readers combined worldwide: “Freaking Romance” and “Snailogy.” Snailords’ third and ongoing webtoon is titled “Death: Rescheduled,” which is a thriller centered around a young man named Kreyul Arroyal and his quest to challenge what is known as the “one-kill rule” with the help of his friends. “Death: Rescheduled” returns today with Season 2. In this interview, Snailords shares more about his WEBTOON journey, fun facts about himself, as well as some of his goals and insights on life.
Her Campus CU Boulder: “Today, you are the featured creator of several popular webtoons that have experienced a lot of success: ‘Death: Rescheduled’ and ‘Freaking Romance.’ Can you tell us about your career journey with WEBTOON? Where did it all start, and what inspired you to continue working on webcomics?“
Snailords: “It was my first day at my college campus, and my friend, who was welcoming me, pointed to this empty park and was like, ‘Do not walk there. You’re going to get killed because students have gotten killed there before.’ And I was like, ‘Okay cool. Good to know. I’m not going to do that.’ And then flash forward to a few weeks later, I was walking through that part of the campus, and there was this guy in a hoodie, and he was just walking around. He was like, ‘Free food! Whoever wants free food, follow me.’ So obviously everybody else ignored him, as they should. It’s common sense. I was a hungry college student, so I was like, ‘Free food? Death? Free food? Imma take my chances.’ *laughs* So I followed him, and I mean I’m still alive, so obviously, that ended well. I did get free food. But the point is, I was just a poor, hungry college student, and at that time, WEBTOON was hosting their first contest in the U.S. for $30,000, and I was like, ‘That seems like a great option, that’s a lot of food!’ *laughs* so I joined the contest. I didn’t win it, but I got offered the contract [to be a WEBTOON ORIGINALS creator], and I’ve been with them ever since, for the past 8 years now. And that one contract basically changed my whole life.”
Whenever you’re working on art or webcomics, what do you enjoy most about it, whether it’s the drawing process, the story creation, or anything else?
“I like coming up with story ideas. I like getting lost in my own world, and whenever I come up with new ideas, it kind of plays in my head – kind of like watching a movie – and the story would just play in my head as I’m driving. My favorite part about creating it is you go from nothing – like you’re the only person who can see these characters and these stories in your own head – to when it hits the canvas. Then when I give it to my artist, they turn back the files, and it’s like, this whole new world got created from nothing. From a blank canvas to an actual world I could show to someone else and be like, ‘Hi! Come see this beautiful [piece of work].’ So yeah, that’s my favorite, just being able to turn nothing into something.”
Your webtoon “Freaking Romance” began in 2018 and was ongoing into the year 2020. As we all know, 2020 was a crazy year, with the COVID-19 outbreak, everyone meeting virtually, etc. What was it like to be working during the quarantine period in 2020? Were there any challenges you faced or lessons you learned?
“Honestly, I’ve been working from home since 2016, so nothing changed in my routine. I was just at home…Obviously, it was really sad trying to go out and seeing shops closing down around me, I feel so bad for those businesses. I also feel really fortunate that my job didn’t require me to physically be somewhere else, so the pandemic actually didn’t really impact me or my job. I was just grateful to still have a job through the pandemic.”
When you were originally coming up with the plot and concepts for “Death: Rescheduled,” what helped inspire you during the brainstorming process?
“A lot of it. My character [Kreyul Arroyal from “Death: Rescheduled”] has been in my head for a really long time since I was in high school, so he first started as a dream boy, like the personality I’m interested in. And I started creating worlds around him, like a story to house this kind of personality, and as time progresses and things that I’m interested in changed, I come up with a new and different story for him, inspired by live events that were going on either in the world or in my own personal life.”
In any of your webtoons, have you ever related to any of your characters on a personal level?
“I think there’s a part of me in every single one of the characters, even the villains *laughs*. But for the character I relate to the most…It seems like the readers think that I’m most similar to Kissae because of their quick temper, they’re foul-mouthed, *laughs* borderline anger issues, and they’re kind of sassy. And there’s also the non-binary factor to the character that I relate to a lot. So it’s strongly Kissae that I relate to the most out of all the characters.”
Time for a fun question! What kinds of music do you listen to? Any artists or genres that you really like?
“I usually like softer romantic music actually, so it’s not distracting as I’m either drawing or coming up with a story. I love listening to super soft romantic, sometimes K-Pop, cafe music, and then drawing the most violent scenes *laughs*. I also like to listen to epic instrumental music that has female vocals. It’s soft, and they’re good for creating action sequences. So yeah, those are the things I listen to the most.”
In your artwork and on social media, you have helped spread the positive message of loving who you are and learning how to be your true self. For your readers or anyone out there who wants to express themselves or build their self-confidence, what words of encouragement or advice would you give them?
“This year, I found a new quote I really love. I wrote it on the wall to remind myself too. ‘It is the courage to not quit that counts.’ So a lot of times when we’re attempting new tasks or trying something new, like learning new skills, we tend to be really hard on ourselves and beat ourselves over for our mistakes. But I feel like it’s the effort that we put towards something that matters just as much as the end result, or even more than the end result. I feel like just being kind to yourself and forgiving yourself gives you a chance to be less afraid when you’re attempting a new task, and trying new things, and it just makes you go through life. Just being confident, like ‘So what if I fail this thing? I’m still going to love me at the end of the day.’ And another aspect of that is I feel like self-confidence comes from just knowing that you’re capable of achieving certain things. So for me personally, it would be…I know that I draw well and write really well. But I wouldn’t be here if I was afraid to try. So the confidence comes from building certain points, certain skills, that make you proud of yourself. So yeah, I think just the ability to forgive yourself, and to keep trying things until you figure it out that would help build self-esteem.”
What goals do you have for the future, whether it’s for yourself, your career, or anything else?
“I think I want to make a lot of stories. My audience is kind of on the younger end, so maybe I’m generalizing, but people who read tend to be a little bit more introverted, or maybe the audience that I attract is more introverted. I want my stories and characters to do for them what they did for me. When I was growing up, these characters were there as my comfort zone and my comfort food, like a safe place for me to return to whenever life gets rough outside. I want to offer the same for my audience, where if life gets rough outside…Maybe they’re going through a heartbreak, maybe there’s a job interview that didn’t go well, or they failed a college exam, or whatever it might be. I want my stories to be there for them through these rough times. So yeah, my goals are just to bring them companionship and be a comforting place for them.”
You don’t need to give us any spoilers, but what can we look forward to upon the return of “Death: Rescheduled?”
“Season 2 to me feels like a dark fairytale. There’s romance, there’s a lot of violence, there’s also humor as well. I think it’s gonna be a fun ride for the audience, and we also get to meet the antagonist. But I think people are going to fall in love with the antagonist because I’m telling his side of the story. So once we finally arrive to why he’s going to be doing what he does, I feel like the audience will 100% back him up. He’s the antagonist, so he’s going to eventually meet the main cast, Kreyul and Kissae, and they’re always going to butt heads. I want the audience to be really conflicted as to who they want to cheer for, essentially. And that’s it. I’m excited to release Season 2 of ‘Death: Rescheduled.’ I hope the audience likes it.”