Recently I was able to sit down with Metheena to discuss her new Kickstarter, Beckoning of Aetherius: Chapter 2. We discussed the project, her influences and inspirations and much more.
I’ve already backed this project and I suggest you do too. Head over to the Kickstarter link and pick a support level that works for you.
From the Kickstarter:
Have you ever watched a show, film, or read a comic book where it appeared deep and meaningful at first, but when you finished it, you felt the story was kind of meaningless, and empty? Maybe, it even left you feeling a little negative, in a way that you didn’t want or need to experience? I feel this is quite popular in stories now days, and that many of us want to see the opposite.
We want to see deeper characters with more meaningful content that leaves you feeling a realistic sense of positivity about life and humanity. The Beckoning Of Aetherius comic series does just that, and chapter 2, which is what this campaign is for, is a shining example of exactly this.
This chapter continues the story of Methy and Sienna, two women who were friends, but had a falling out in chapter 1 about what it means to be an authentic person. The topic of Feminism is at the center of their conflict, however this series is not about any particular political view.
Aetherius is a sci-fi fantasy about about 4 people who become real heroes, showing us how life really effects others and their decisions, giving us a much deeper, more realistic and meaningful portrayal of their stories.
In the case for Methy, she’ll soon discover that her disagreement with Sienna is just a small part of what she will quickly learn to be an enormous, traumatic, inconvenient truth about her reality. Depending on how she handles it, could mean dire consequences for the world as we know it.
Now on to the interview!
Masked Library (Kevin): In the Kickstarter for Beckoning of Aetherius you mention the emptiness and meaninglessness of many stories today. I have felt this many times and stopped watching shows I previously enjoyed because of this. Was there a specific moment that finally pushed you over?
Metheena: That is a great question! The moment that pushed me over was when I realized how the media often negatively effects people with their superfical stories, that misrepresents reality. There were themes that came from the news, magazines, talk shows, & I started to also see how this was all reflected in movies, TV series, and story books. I wanted to write a story that was the opposite of this, as I find that to be more meaningful.
Methy and Sienna have a falling out that becomes part of the bigger story of the title. The older I get the more I realize arguments and fights are rarely about the moment as it happens, but more a culmination of many previous events and often an impetus of change for where one or both of the people need to go next. Have you had an argument that is far enough in the past to give you a sense of clarity and how do moments like that factor into your writing process?
Yes. One such argument, which had the biggest impact on my life, was with a distant family member. They followed a particular belief system and was pushing me to join. At the time I was seriously on the edge of whether to be a believer of things, or to dismiss beliefs altogether and focus on facts only. Life circumstances lead me to that point. After that discussion, I focused on facts only ever since. This has had huge positive benefits to my life. I do think belief in general for society is crucially important though. My writing process is effected by this in a way where I try to make sure I do research on people, places, things, stay as factual as I possibly can so that my writing is a authentic.
The first thing that drew my interest for this project was the art. Your preview pages are stunning. I feel it would be easier to tell any artists that didn’t influence you. There’s hyper realistic, there’s animated, there’s manga, there are so many echoes here I feel it’s impossible to attach any label to your art. I know this is a big question, but how did you get started? Did you begin with one style of art and brought other styles in later? Or have you always been this chimera of styles?
Thank you! I started with a particular style in Anime. Specifically, I was inspired by the Anime, Battle Angel Alita, based off the Manga. I loved that style so much that I found myself drawing Alita’s eyes over and over, pausing the video, trying to mimic the style. I was inspired by other similar Anime styles like Ranma 1/2, then I eventually added inspirations from Disney such as the Centaurides characters from the film, Fantasia, and The Sword & The Stone. I enjoyed a few comic artists, and later on got into old painters such as Singer Sargent and Bouguereau. These are the core styles that continue to influence me even as I learn from other artists.
This is a vast project with 15 potential chapters and you are a one person show for it. Recently I’ve had people not understand how much it takes to create a comic, especially by yourself. I know you work hard and your days are crazy. Would you mind telling my readers how your day or week breaks down between all of your regular commitments and now adding this beautiful Kickstarter to only 24 hours and 7 days?
Certainly. My day starts with breakfast, then I get right to my main job. At lunch, or when I take a 15 minute break, I manage the comic, which recently has been in the form of maintaining the Kickstarter. After work, it’s dinner and family time. After that on certain days I do paid freelance jobs till late at night. On other days I go to bed early. This may sound a bit weird but what has made it easier for me to do this, and what maintains the fun, is that I always have a schedule in my mind, and I’m always mentally preparing for the next few things. There’s always a few moments in the day like driving to the gas station, or picking up the mail, where I organize the chaos of things in my mind that need to get done, so that when I get home I feel relaxed and focused. I only feel stressed out when I don’t have a plan, so I make sure I always have one.
This was a great interview and I want to thank Metheena for her time. I’m all in for this project and all of her future Kickstarters.