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In Conversation with Kosmo: Creator of "Saga of the Seven Stevens"




A seven-year member of the DeviantArt community, Kosmo (also known by her username @Kosperry) is a remarkably talented visual artist and animator who has accomplished quite a feat: reviving the nostalgic magic of animation legend Don Bluth. From her character designs to her backgrounds, and even her illustrations, Kosmo has invoked that same old black magic that has made films like The Secret of N.I.M.H., An American Tail, The Land Before Time, and All Dogs Go to Heaven household names for us 80s and 90s kids. 

Amongst her greatest achievements is a collection of fan art for Five Nights at Freddy’s and Seinfeld, and an assortment of more nostalgic gems from the 60s through the 90s. However, her most notable achievement is her production Saga of the Seven Stevens, an independent art series focusing on the exciting and dangerous adventures of a father and his six sons. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is what were are here to read about.


Staff writer Ali Harris had an opportunity to speak with Kosmo about her exciting work as an artist and storyteller and dive into more detail about the Seven Stevens…Just in time to celebrate the series’ fifth anniversary. 



Beginnings

AFA: What initially inspired you to become an artist?

Kosmo: As a kid, I always loved to doodle and draw, so I guess you can say being an artist always been a part of who I am!

AFA: On DeviantArt, you have often told viewers you are a self-taught artist. That’s truly remarkable! Would you care to tell us more about this?

Kosmo: Well, as I said, I've always enjoyed drawing and it's something I've never stopped doing. My ability to draw is definitely a gift, and I've always practiced and that's how I kept on getting better at what I do!

"Good Job, Sport!" (Five Nights at Freddy's)

 AFA: What is the first drawing you were truly proud of? I mean, that first one that made the lightbulb click.

Kosmo: Hm, now that's a tough one. Because that's something I can't seem to recall happening, heh! There were lots of drawings I was proud of, hard to think of just one.

AFA: What artists do you admire the most, and why?

Kosmo: Gosh, I'd have to say first, Don Bluth. I grew up with mainly The Land Before Time and always loved it! His work gives me a great feeling of happiness and it's just so beautiful and inspiring to watch. I enjoy the classic Walt Disney films for pretty much the same reasons as well.

Commission: Ask 95
AFA: You have often said you are forever stuck in the 70s and 80s. What draws you to this time period in particular?

Kosmo: To be totally honest with you, it all started when I discovered how much I loved Steve Perry and Journey at age 14. I fell instantly in love with Steve when I first watched the 1981 Escape Tour video. I began to research and read everything I could about Journey/Steve Perry and I just became SO invested in their time period, mainly because of Steve Perry and how much I wished I lived in the same era when he was doing music and such. It's actually quite complicated to explain, but ever since then I pretty much transformed my lifestyle in a way, to where I felt closer to the era I wanted to live in. I've changed my clothes to completely vintage, I love to surround myself with things from the 70's and 80's, and my hair is always big! Even my drawing style reflects this 80's world I live in. It's my happy place!


Saga of the Seven Stevens


AFA: Saga of the Seven Stevens is a series that can only be described as a breath of fresh air. It’s original and heartwarming and an absolute joy to read and watch. What inspired you to create such a unique independent art/animation series?

Kosmo: That means a lot to hear! Well, it's something I've always wanted to create as long as I can remember. I guess I just didn't know exactly when or how it would happen. But Saga of The Seven Stevens turned out to be it! It's funny because I mainly grew up drawing animal characters and avoided drawing humans as much as possible because I always felt I wasn't good at it. But then the concept of SOTSS came along...Who would've thought my MAIN series would be starring human characters, right?

Anyway, I wanted to create a series that people could enjoy and look forward to, y’know? Kind of like a TV show or something! I wanted to make something that makes people happy, and even laugh!

AFA: In your own words, what is the story?

Kosmo: Truthfully, that's something that's never been set in stone the entire 5 years the series has been around. And whenever I get asked that, I feel so bad not totally knowing how to explain it, ya know? Haha!

I guess the main premise is a father and his 6 sons all living under one roof in their little house in LA. Mainly getting into wacky situations! SOTSS never really followed a set storyline. Every time we see them, there's something different going on. I kind of see SOTSS as a weekly comic strip, a sitcom, and a bit of a feature film all mushed together!

Ray and Stanley getting into trouble, while Edward annoys his cousin, Dep. 

 AFA: Your characters are so colorful and so unique! How have they evolved over the years in terms of style and personality?

Kosmo: Well thank you kindly! Ah, this is actually a topic I recently covered while providing info for an article written about the characters. 5 years ago I started to create these comics based around the band Journey in the 1980's, particularly, the lead singer Steve Perry was the main character. On October 28th, 2011, I officially coined Saga of The 7 Steves (This was the early title) to be a series! The comics were short strips that depicted singer Perry in various random situations. 

Steve Perry, the inspiration for Saga of the Seven Stevens

As time went on, I began to add additional characters that were personifications of Journey and Steve Perry albums. The characters were named after the 6 albums I had chosen to personify. Evolution, Escape, Frontiers, Street Talk, Raised On Radio, and For The Love Of Strange Medicine. The 7th "Steve" was actually based on Steve Perry in the Present Day, who was just called "PD" in the comics. As years passed, the Steves eventually came into their own and became the Stevens. The series was totally rebooted and re-titled Saga of The Seven Stevens, and the characters became Evan, Edward, Freddy, Stanley, Ray, Steve, and PD (Perry Don) Stevens. Personality-wise, some characters changed more than others over the years. For example, back in early concepts of the series, Ray used to be a little more of a bully to Stanley. Always stealing his hat and cookies! Ray was changed later on because I felt it wasn't a good trait and I didn't want him to be unlikeable. Edward and Freddy have always been polar opposites of each other, but later gaining some more dimension and traits. Evan used to be a little more naive and flat in a way. He's now slightly more outgoing and he got LOTS more character dimension and traits. Steve has always been a more matured individual, taking the role of PD's right-hand man. As for PD...he's just always been the best dad ever!

Evolution

Sketch of Edward, Ray, and Stanley

Concept Art of Revo, the glamorous snake-monster

AFA: Villains are the meat and bones of any story, and yours are positively sensational, Kosmo. Care to elaborate more on them?

Kosmo: I'm glad to hear that! The main 4 villains of the series, the Pyreras, are relatives of the Stevens. Alan Daray Pyrera is PD's half-brother, making Daray's sons Dep Pyrera, Cap Pyrera, and Fin Pyrera the half-cousins. Though, of course, we can't forget about Revo. Revo isn't related to the family in any way, for he's a creation of Daray's, a humanoid created from magic and science if you will! The Pyreras reside in a large mansion of a home, built to look almost like a castle, in the hills further from the city.

AFA: One character’s name that especially stands out is Revo’s. How did you come up with such a unique title for this unique character?

Kosmo: As for Revo- So going back to how Evan used to be referred to as Evolution, In very early concepts, Daray created Revo to be sort of an opposite to "Evolution" and so Revo was called "Revolution". Basically, since then his name never got around to being changed like the rest and it was just shortened over time to Revo.



AFA: If you could pick your favorite hero and your favorite villain who would they be?

Kosmo: Oh boy, picking favorites is the worst sometimes, haha! Edward has always had a special place in my heart, to be totally honest with you. Being the first character to start the SOTSS journey and all, I gotta pick him! (Sorry, Ray. You're second, though!)




As for villain...hmmm… I have to go with crazy Cap on this one! I honestly have a lot of fun working with him since he's a very flexible character. I can draw him being sinister and super creepy one minute and the next he's holding a hot dog on a stick with a goofy look on his face trying to get Fin to light it on fire for him. He's somethin' I tell ya!



AFA: Do you plan to turn this into an actual animated film and/or series someday?

Kosmo: That would be a dream! It seems like a long way to go for sure. But I hope to get there someday. I've also considered making a Saga of The Seven Stevens graphic novel of some sort. It's a possibility!

AFA: What else does the future hold for Saga of the Seven Stevens?

Kosmo: Heh, y'know, I ask the same question sometimes. What's next for the Stevens family? Life is full of surprises. I tend to surprise myself, even! When it comes to the future of SOTSS, well, we just have to wait and see, shall we? The journey isn't over yet!



Kosmo (aka Kosperry) is an independent visual artist, concept artist, and animator. You can view more of her work on DeviantArt and Instagram, and be sure to follow her on Twitter.

Saga of the Seven Stevens and all related characters are owned by Kosmo. To view more of the wacky world of Edward, Cap, and the rest of the Stevens and Pyreras, be sure to visit them on the official Saga of the Seven Stevens Facebook page and take a look at the official merchandise store.

Also, for more articles about Saga of the Seven Stevens, check out my two Moviepilot reviews of the story and characters.

Saga of the Seven Stevens: Story
Saga of the Seven Stevens: Meet the Heroes and Villains















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