Balazs Lorinczi is the author of Doughnuts and Doom. Doughnuts and Doom follows Margot and Elena, one of which is a teenage witch and another is a rock musician. The graphic novel explores the idea of enemies being friends, and possibly more. YEM was able to speak with Balazs about the process of making a graphic novel, who inspired the characters, and why Balazs chose to specifically write a story about a witch and a rockstar.
Young Entertainment Mag: How do you feel about your book Doughnuts and Doom being out for everyone to read?
Balazs Lorinczi: It’s a bit surreal, just a little bit scary, but overall electrifying. I’ve always dreamt about having a book out on the shelves and it took me a while to get there. I still can’t believe it one hundred percent, even though I have seen it out in the wild with my own two eyes.
YEM: What can you tell us about Doughnuts and Doom?
Balazs: It’s a breezy, sapphic, YA graphic novel about a witch and an aspiring rock musician who get off on the wrong foot at first. They slowly start becoming friends (and maybe more) and start inspiring each other.
YEM: What is the process of making a graphic novel like?
Balazs: For me it’s fairly methodical, I like structure. I tend to write a story outline with all the important beats, then start drawing the pages as loose sketches and work out the dialogue alongside the drawings. But I only do that in 10-20 pages chapters, cause it gets a bit overwhelming. Then every page is being drawn individually from pencils to inks to colors. After the full book is drawn, I go through every page one by one, correcting whatever feels off.
YEM: How long does creating a graphic novel take?
Balazs: I can only speak from my own experience, but it really depends on the complexity and the amount of the pages. It also depends on how much time you can dedicate to it. I’ve drawn Doughnuts and Doom while working full time and I sacrificed all my free time to it. Also, I’ve stuck to a method that helped me save time, but that’s not for everyone. I would say if you write and draw a 120 page graphic novel yourself, under a year, that’s fast. But it depends on the complexity of the art, coloring, etc.
YEM: When did you start illustrating?
Balazs: Professionally, in my mid-twenties (I’m 36 now) but I never really had a proper career as an illustrator. I guess I used to call myself an illustrator because that was most of my paid work, but now I should just call myself a graphic novelist or something like that. I just like to draw and I mostly do comics cause that’s my favorite medium, haha.
YEM: Where did you get inspiration for your graphic novel from?
Balazs: My own life, to a certain extent. Working in fast food while trying to achieve your dream that’s just not taking off. Trying to make a band happen. Having a talent but not fulfilling my potential. These are things my two leads and myself struggle (or struggled) with. But it’s also an amalgamation of elements from a lot of things I love and wanted to do myself.
YEM: Are you in the process of making more graphic novels?
Balazs: Always! (Well, since I started Doughnuts and Doom, I can’t seem to stop). I have another GN coming out from Top Shelf Productions in 2024, called Wolfpitch. It’s not a sequel to Doughnuts and Doom, but more of a spiritual follow up. And I’m already working on a third graphic novel as we speak, this time it’s vampire themed.
YEM: Who inspired your characters Margot and Elena?
Balazs: They have crumbs of my own personality and life experiences in them, but they are more projections of the type of people I like or would like to hang out with. But no one specific. Although, every time I was writing Elena’s dialogue I heard AJ Michalka’s voice in my head (voice actor for Catra in the Netflix She-ra series).
YEM: What is your favorite part of writing for a young adult audience?
Balazs: I hope this won’t be a disappointing answer, but I don’t write with an audience in mind. I write characters I want to hang out with in environments I want to spend time in. I’m with these characters and settings for months and months, so it must be something I enjoy. And this YA, urban fantasy inspired setting is what I like most. I guess the most rewarding part would be if my books sell well enough and resonate positively with the younger readers, that means I’m still young at heart at least. Haha. Also, I hope they will find the stories at least a bit inspiring.
YEM: What advice do you have for someone who wants to write graphic novels too?
Balazs: Just start doing it. Don’t stress, don’t overthink, just go for it. Even if you think you are not ready yet, the beauty of making comics is that the best way to get better at them is to keep doing them. Take it slow, take it easy, maybe have a production plan. Go small first (both in story scope and page count) and you will have a graphic novel in your hands before you know it.
YEM: Why did you choose to specifically write a story about a witch and a rockstar?
Balazs: One of the most essential writing advices is to write what you know. I know how it is to struggle with a small, unknown band and I really like witches, urban fantasy…and doughnuts. I had the idea of a witch cursing a doughnut already as a funny bit. Then I thought I could make the story work as a proper narrative if I write the other main character as a musician with a similar problem I myself used to have (thinking I’m good but no one is paying attention to me. Except Elena is actually good at music, haha).
YEM: What is one thing you hope your readers can take away from Doughnuts and Doom?
Balazs: That it’s always worth pursuing your passion.