The Chocolate Cult: Meet "The Confectionaries" Creator

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Meet "The Confectionaries" Creator

Today, Sisters and Brothers, we have the pleasure of introducing you to Darren Mueller one of the co-creators of "The Confectionaries" a comic series that follows the adventures of a group of creatures created from baked goods and candies.  My husband met Mueller at a convention and brought home copies of this series and after reading them I was lucky enough to get an email interview.  Below are our questions with Mueller's answers in italics.  All images are the property of Mueller and should not be copied for your own use.  Please if you have any questions leave a comment and perhaps he will reply!

How long have you been working in the comic or graphic novel genre?

About 6 years or so ago, my friend Jackie asked me if I’d like to make a comic book with her. I thought, sure that would be fun. Several years down the road and not only are we still making comics, we have others making books for us as well.

Where can people find your comics?

Our books are available in some comic shops across the country, especially in the Kentucky, Ohio and Indiana areas. However, the easiest ways to get our comics are either to come see us at a convention, or to simply go to our website.

What is your training in the field?

Formally, neither Jackie or I have any formal training that would be specific to comic books. There are plenty of people who teach panels on comic creation but very few official courses. Jackie’s background was in animation, which tends to help for giving the characters a very animated look. As for my writing, it’s simply something I’ve enjoyed all my life. I mentioned there was no formal training when we started, but that is beginning to change. Our company for example actually has interns from a couple of different colleges who study with us.

Where did you get the idea for "The Confectionaries"?

The initial idea started as a joke about a talking marshmallow, which quickly grew into a few other ideas. We have a tendency to take an idea and quickly expand it out into something larger. From the marshmallow idea came several other characters which quickly followed with “how did they get here” and a story started to build up around it.

Currently you have three issues out I believe -- Issue 0 a back story, Issue 1 of the series, and a Holiday special issue.  Do you know how many issues will eventually be done in this world?

Aside from the off shoot stories like the holiday issue, the main storyline of The Confectionaries is three major story arcs. Each of those arcs is planned to be 5 or so issues. Meaning the main storyline is going to be 15 issues, or 3 graphic novels worth of content. Of course, if we choose to continue the story on from that point we could, but that’s the logical stopping point for the time being. The entire series is already planned out.

Here on The Chocolate Cult we are most interested in chocolate and you have three characters ( Rhys, Mint-Choc, and Swirl) made from chocolate.  What can you tell our readers about them?

Rhys is a peanut butter and chocolate wolf, he’s one of the oldest of The Confectionaries and serves as something of a guardian or father figure to the  younger ones.  He used to be very upbeat and enthusiastic (as in the Holiday issue) but he’s changed over time and become a lot more stern. He has a no-nonsense sort of attitude and a huge sword that’s nearly as scary as he is.

Mint-Choc is a unicorn, she’s made of chocolate mint. While most of The Confectionaries tend to be humanoid animals, Mint-Choc is one of the few exceptions. Mint-Choc is free spirited, energetic and kind. She enjoys being outside the castle more than most of The Confectionaries do. She tends to enjoy solitude but is still quite friendly and social with others.

Swirl is a white and dark chocolate swirled mouse. She’s one of the younger Confectionaries and is almost always in the company of her friends Scotch and Yuck. She is a very cautious character, wanting to play by the rules but at the same time wanting to take care of and protect her friends. Swirl quickly becomes friends with Sara, as the two find they have much in common.

Scotch is not a chocolate character, but I thought I’d mention he is the one who shows up on the chocolate bar we had a candy company produce for us.

My husband bought one of these candy bars for me but it melted then re-solidified so I didn't think the shape it was in was appropriate for a regular old review on the site.

Do you think you'll add any more chocolate creations to the cast of characters?

There are actually a number of Confectionaries who have not yet shown up. I don’t want to give away too much just yet, but I think you’d be pleasantly surprised. Also, if we’re getting technical Neo, the Ice Cream character is also partially chocolate. He’s a waffle-cone skeleton with melty ice cream covering him. His rib cage is filled with liquid chocolate and a maraschino cherry for a heart...still a kids book, honest! 

More chocolate characters!  Excellent to hear.  Thank you for pointing this out to us.

Do you have experience in the kitchen making candy or baking?  If so, does that add to your ideas about the characters and their strengths or weaknesses?

My grandfather is actually a master chef, so I grew up with just about every kind of amazing dessert you can imagine (petifores still being my favorite.) Of all the kinds of cooking, I think I enjoy desserts and sweets the most, aside from the fact they’re delicious they just tend to look so much nicer. When we were designing the characters, the type of candy they were, and the type of animal was very integral to their personalities.  Yuck, for example being tofu thinks that nobody likes him. Swirls markings come from the fact she was an “early” attempt by the older generation to cook up more Confectionaries. Her swirl pattern could be said to be “insufficient mixing” but to most eyes it’s what makes her unique and stands out. The caramel fox (who I have already said too much about) is a very slow, mellow sort of character. I would say we always try to pair the right candy to the right character, or try and figure out what sort of personality a certain candy might have.

Thank you so much for your time!

Thank you for yours, it’s always fun getting to meet other candy enthusiasts.

Sisters and Brothers, if you have any questions please leave them in a comment below.

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