Gunhild Vol 2 Release: A Talk with Creator Fred Tornager

It’s t-minus 2 days until our favorite Jotun returns to continue her journey to become a god!

In *Gunhild, Volume 2*, the gods have refused to heed her warnings about the impending Ragnarok, so she goes against their wishes and hatches her own plan to save mankind.

With the new volume set to drop on March 28th, we had to sit down with the mastermind behind the Norse mythological tale, Fred Tornager, to talk about the next volume!

Hello Fred! Thank you for taking the time to speak with us today. Could you please tell us who you are?

I’m Fred Tornager, Danish manga artist and creator of Gunhild, a Norse Mythology adventure.

What inspired you to create Gunhild? What is it about? If you could describe it by naming two other series what would it be?

I’ve always liked Norse Mythology and wanted to create a story in a world where the gods and myths were real.

The character of Gunhild came from wanting a main character who’d be relatable to me in the sense of feeling like a black sheep, in our childhood. I made Gunhild a Jotun, a personification of nature, to differentiate her from her human village and to tie her to the gods.

In the story, she wants to prevent Ragnarok, the world’s end, but has trouble being taken seriously as a Jotun, leading her to want to become a god to gain respect and influence.

It’s not an action series but the fact that it’s an adventure story is definitely inspired by One Piece and though it’s got nothing to do with horror, the Supernatural tv-series is probably an early influence as a road trip show about meeting famous mythological beings and giving them a funny twist.

How long have you been planning to create Gunhild? I know creating a story is very hard. When did you know you were ready?

I’ve wanted to make up a story in a Norse Mythology world for a while, but it wasn’t until the Summer of Manga applications 2020 I decided to make up a proper story for that purpose.

Having that concrete goal of wanting to appeal to a foreign market, by highlighting my own background and culture, sure helped. Also the deadline, it forced me to shoot my shot and hope for the best.

What are some of the themes in Gunhild? Is it a reflection of your childhood in a way? What made you choose Norse Mythology?

I guess the main theme is that you don’t have to be great to be good enough. In other words: You don’t got to be a god to change the world. It’s something I didn’t realize in my youth and I still see too many not understand that fact.

I like having mythology as a starting off point as a lot of world building is already made for you. I have a personal and cultural connection to specifically Norse Mythology and I like how due to the knowledge of it being very limited, I’ve got a lot of freedom for personal interpretation.

How did you develop your art style? What are some of your inspirations?

As a manga collector since childhood I’ve had a lot of inspirations through the years.

One Piece has made me appreciate simplicity and colors. Demizu Posuka illustrates these environments, which look incredible and perfect but on closer inspection, they’re really quite sketchy, which taught me that perfection isn’t real.

Moving on to animation there’s Wander Over Yonder which taught me to implement a certain fluidity in my art and the character designs made by Vivziepop inspire me to really push my own designs and create strong silhouettes.

Being an artist and a writer is both equally difficult. How do you stay so consistent with your goals?

My goals are to meet the deadline and create something satisfying and fun for both the readers and me. I’m very anti perfection, I’m sure that’s the main reason why. Lol.

I set off some time for my work and does the best to my abilities within that timeframe, and whatever comes of it, will be. I also taught myself to work fast that way, which is more and more helpful, the better I get.

How many volumes of Gunhild do you plan to create?

I’m working on the third volume now and hope to finish off strong with volume four.

How do you create a good pacing with your story? How do you create relatable characters? Have you wanted to quit creating before?

I think of each chapter as a mini story, like a 1-hour TV-episode, and a volume as an overarching story, like a movie.

If I relate to a part of a character or base an aspect on a person in my life, it’s usually relatable.

When I get a bit overwhelmed with adult life, I daydream about an alternate universe, in which art, or any creation never interested me, and I could live a simple life completely different from my actual life.

Paradoxically, thoughts like that spring from my interest in different stories, so long story short: No, I can’t quit creating, I’m literally obsessed and have too many stories to tell in a lifetime.

What’s next for Gunhild? What do you hope to accomplish more with the series?

I hope to get Gunhild translated and introduced to more young readers around the world!
I want the series to be as popular as it can possibly be.

What’s a piece of advice you can give to your readers who want to be like you?

Don’t be like me, be like you, haha

There we have it folks – a peak behind the curtain to see what drives Fred to share this amazing story with the world! I personally can’t wait to get my hands on Vol 2, but what about you? Are you going to grab a copy? If you haven’t gotten caught up with the story thus far check out GUNHILD VOL 1 RIGHT HERE 




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