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INDIE SPOTLIGHT #016 – THE BOSTON METAPHYSICAL SOCIETY

By Robin Jones

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Welcome back to the Inter-Comics Indie Spotlight, this column aims to make you, the readers, aware of cool indie/crowd funded comic book creators and projects!

Following the trend of having writer/artist duos, this time around we have the writer and artist of the steampunk, paranormal comic The Boston Metaphysical Society, Madeleine Holly-Rosing and Emily Hu. Recently nominated for a Geekie Award, the series follows Hunter and O’Sullivan, paranormal investigators for the BMS, a group created by some of the Victorian era’s greatest minds to investigate the strange, ghostly and ghastly goings on in Boston, Mass. This series is a must read for fans of the X-Files!

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Me: Where did the inspiration for the Boston Metaphysical Society come from?

Madeleine: It was a combination of my love of history and the scifi, supernatural and fantasy genres. I didn’t realize that by combining them I would get steampunk. J

Me: How fun is it to take established historical characters such as Tesla, Edison and Houdini, and drop them into this world of paranormal investigation and time and space monsters?

Madeleine: It’s been a lot of fun. Obviously since this is fiction none of the characters are probably anywhere close to who they were in real life, but I do try to keep their relationships thematically accurate. Like the fact that Tesla and Edison were in constant conflict and that Edison tried to steal some of Granville’s patents. In case you didn’t know, Granville Woods existed during that same time period and knew Bell and Edison. (He was an engineer whose most famous invention was the Synchronous Multiplex Railway Telegraph.) It’s a blast to be able to see how these characters react in the world I’ve created.

Emily: I love it! It’s always fun to have actual historical characters to reference off of, as well as look into their actual lives, and then see how Madeleine has worked them seamlessly into this world.

Me: What sets BMS apart from other supernatural ensemble comics like BRDP?

Madeleine: Quite a bit, actually. First BMS is not a government organization. It’s just Samuel, Granville and Caitlin. And though Caitlin has some supernatural abilities, no else does. Samuel lives by his wits and instincts while Granville is a man of science though not the “hide in the lab” kind of guy. They see “The Shifter” as a threat to Boston and not the world as a whole…at least not yet. There is a reason “The Shifter” is in Boston which will not be revealed until the 6th issue.

Emily: I’ll be honest- I have not read BRDP. However I have read The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, which is another supernatural ensemble comic and I love both very much. For BMS I think one of the most interesting things is that the main character has nothing to lose–he has already lost. So we are following his journey to redemption, which may or may not be morally sound.

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Me: If you could sell BMS in a single sentence, what would you say?

Madeleine: The story is about an ex-Pinkerton detective and his spirit photographer partner who battle supernatural forces in late 1800’s Boston.

Me: Which artists/writers have most influenced you in bringing BMS to life?

Madeleine: I have been a big reader all my life, but I came to comics late. My brother was a big superhero fan so I thought that’s all there was growing up. It wasn’t until I started adapting BMS from the TV pilot I wrote while at UCLA MFA Program in Screenwriting that I discovered that there was so much more out there. Which means my main influences were SciFi novel writers such as Lois McMaster Bujold, John Scalzi, C.J. Cherryh, Anne McCaffrey, Arthur C. Clarke, etc. and not comic book writers.

Emily: Eduardo Risso has always been a huge influence on me in everything artistically. I always look to his books for guidance and inspiration. Other such artists are Tomer Hanuka and Josh Middleton.

Me: Do you have time to still read comics? If so, which comics regularly appear on your pull list?

Madeleine: Yes. I review comics for Fanboy Comics (and the occasional novel). I usually review indies, but I’ve been having fun reviewing the TERMINATOR SALVATION: THE FINAL BATTLE series. I love to read so I try get some pages in before I go to bed every night.

Emily: I do! But far less than I used to in regards to American comics, because I was a huge fan of DC pre-new 52. Right now the only comic I regularly read is All New Ghost Rider by Felipe Smith and Tradd Moore.

Me: What can we expect from your future issues of BMS? Are you planning to further expand the story past the initial 6 issue run?

Madeleine: I hope to. I have a short comic series mapped out that focuses on Granville and another on Caitlin. But due to the financial burden of producing a comic, I’ll be writing BMS novels first.

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Me: You have a kickstarter running at the moment for Issue 5, what’s been the draw and greatest aspect of using crowd funding like kickstarter?

Madeleine: Running a Kickstarter is a time sucker and since it’s only me running it I barely have time to eat let alone do any writing. It’s very hard unless you are a famous person so you have to try and prepare as much as possible before you launch to make it a little easier on yourself. But even then you can make mistakes and it doesn’t work out. This is the third Kickstarter I’ve run. The first failed, but I learned a lot from it. The second one was fully funded in under 48 hours, but this one has been tough. I have a feeling that I launched it at a bad time of year, i.e. end of summer. So we’ll see how it goes. I’m still hopeful though.

Me: What’s your favorite aspect of making comics?

Madeleine: Writing them then seeing Emily making my vision come to life. She’s awesome.

Emily: I love setting pacing, especially in big impact moment scenes, when the reader is about to find out something shocking. It’s very rewarding to finally get to the “pay off” of the page, so to speak.

Me: Hypothetical question now… Mulder and Scully are tasked with tracking down “the Stalker”, would they beat Hunter and O’Sullivan to the punch?

Madeleine: I would think so. They would have better technology at their disposal and probably better investigative skills just because of the advances made in criminology.

The kickstarter finishes on September 12th and you can donate to it here. You can check out all the previous issues and entries to the series at the BMS website here. you can also follow Madeleine on twitter here. Finally, Madeleine is appearing at the following conventions: Rose City (Portland) (Sept. 20-21), Long Beach Comic and Horror Con( Sept. 27 and 28), APE (Oct. 4 and 5) and the San Diego Comic Fest (Oct. 17-19)

Until next time

Rob Jones is an honourary Yorkie, but for the life of him, he can’t understand why. He writes articles, is attempting to write comics and his life ambition is to own a solid gold Donkey… For more comic news, reviews and the odd bit of sense, follow Robin on twitter @Hulksmash1985

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Posted on September 11th, 2014
Category: INDIE SPOTLIGHT, PREVIEWS & UPCOMING RELEASES
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