New Comic Insider: Boston Metaphysical Society


“Meet The Boston Metaphysical Society”

Women and people of color take center stage in the Boston Metaphysical Society comic, written by Madeline Holly-Rosing, with art by Emily Hu.  Inspired by fantasy and the art of storytelling, Holly-Rosing uses her imagination to create a fantastic story that is both well-written and fearless. Boston Metaphysical Society has not gone unnoticed in the literary world. The comic has been nominated and won a series of awards, including:

>Nominated for Best Comic/Graphic Novel at the 2014 GEEKIE AWARDS.
>Received an Honorable Mention at the 2013 GEEKIE AWARDS.
>Nominated for a 2013 and a 2014 Steampunk Chronicles Reader’s Choice >Award for Best Webcomic and Short Story (Steampunk Rat – 2013)
>Nominated for a 2012 AIRSHIP AWARD

Holly-Rosing hails from from Southern California, but has done a fair amount of traveling. When she is not working on the her own comic, she is reading some of her favorites, which include Y: The Last Man, Saga, and Ms. Marvel. Recently, Holly-Rosing took time out of her busy schedule to sit down with us to talk about Boston Metaphyiscal Society, and future goals.

Bam Smack Pow: When did you decide that writing is your passion?

Madeline Holly-Rosing: Pretty early. When I was a child I loved to tell fantastical stories at the dinner table about my day. I guess I just wanted to have something exciting to share and not the usual, “We learned how to finger paint today.” LOL. I loved to write stories in school, but a funny thing happened when I was a teenager … I decided that I hadn’t really lived enough of life to write about anything interesting. So I stopped writing creatively for many years, then started up again in my late twenties. I look back at it now and realize I was right, but it wasn’t so much about experiences in doing things, but about emotional experiences.

How long have you been involved in comics?

A little over three years. After taking a sequential art class to learn how to adapt the TV pilot version of Boston Metaphysical Society, I immersed myself in the Comic-Con and comic book world all the while dragging my husband with me. He wasn’t terribly enthusiastic at first, but now he loves it. In fact, he moderated a panel at WonderCon and will be moderating another at San Diego Comic Con this year. I’ve been doing reviews and interviews for Fanboy Comics for the past year and a half, as well as doing panels at steampunk and comic cons.

Can you give a synopsis of Boston Metaphysical Society?

The year is 1895, and an evil from a parallel dimension escaped and now roams the city of Boston. Our world has developed along the lines of Steampunk technology, but with a modern twist.

Here exists steam driven rudimentary computers and electronics. And dirigibles rule the sky. But with it comes social and political upheaval as not everyone is comfortable with change. In fact, many people fear it.

That fear and the violence that followed caused a psychic rift to puncture the veil of space and time allowing the entity known as “The Shifter” to escape. The only people who stand a chance in hell of destroying it are: Samuel Hunter, ex-Pinkerton Detective; Caitlin O’Sullivan, Medium and Spirit Photographer and Granville Woods, Scientist Extraordinaire.

What was the inspiration for Boston Metaphysical Society?

It’s a combination of my love for The X-Files, history and science fiction. I wrote a screenplay called Stargazer while at the UCLA MFA Program in Screenwriting. It was about a Scottish-American astronomer named Mina Fleming who lived in the late 1800’s. I did some serious research on that time period and found it fascinating. The script also won the Sloan Fellowship.

What was the inspiration for the characters?

The relationship of Kick, Spock and McCoy from Star Trek as well as Mulder and Scully. Obviously, the historical figures I use (Bell, Edison, Tesla, Houdini and Granville Woods) are not completely accurate. I do try to maintain the organic conflicts they did have with each other at the time though.

How did you and artist Emily Hu decide on the particulars of the artwork? How did she help shape your vision?

The way Emily and I work is that I hand her the script and she turns in one to three pages a week. The artwork has no bearing on the evolution of the story. That was written a while ago. However, I do adjust and rewrite dialogue based on panel space if I need to. I try not to micromanage Emi unless a particular panel has to look a certain way in order for the story to be told correctly. I hired her for her artistic talent, so I want her to use it. Every once in a while she will ignore my paneling and do something pretty cool. I love that. Otherwise, she pretty much draws what I write. If there are any changes to be made, I send her notes, which she then executes. Emily is a real pro, and I feel fortunate to have found her.

What were some of the difficulties or challenges you experienced while creating this comic?

Time and money. Producing a comic is expensive. We have self-funded most of it, but Kickstarter has helped a great deal as well. My Kickstarter backers are awesome and have been very devoted followers. Also, you can never get things done fast enough. LOL. Everyone is very busy, but we work it out. The team is worth waiting for.

Where do you hope to see the success of Boston Metaphysical Society a year from now?

We will put together the trade sometime next year, but I have not decided how I am going to do that yet. And I hope to have the first novel completed by then. Long term goals … Since this began as a TV pilot, I’d love to see it go back in that direction as either a live action or animated series.

Can you provide any advice for those looking to write for independent comic book companies?

Not really. Hahaha. I’ve never worked for an independent comic book company. I own one. The BMS anthology is under our new imprint new name, Brass-T Publishing, and the Kickstarter book I’ve written will be under it as well (the book is called Kickstarter for Independent Creators). Eventually, the comic will be under that name as well. However, if you are looking to break in there are lists online of how you can submit your work, and it never hurts to have a table and volunteer for panels at cons to get exposure. Like any other industry, it’s all about relationships.

What can fans expect from you in the future?

Well, I just complied all of the short stories and novellas that are prequels to the comic into an anthology called Boston Metaphysical Society: Prelude (A Seven Story Collection). That is available as an eBook or in print, which is available at Amazon, Nook and Smashwords. My husband wants me to write the novels, which I will do … eventually. As for comics, any other BMS comics I do will be 32-page one-offs due to time and budget constraints. I do have storylines in mind for those already, and I’m very excited to get to them since we will be finished with the six issue mini-series by the end of the year.

For more information, pictures, and updates about Boston Metaphysical Society comic, be sure to visit the website and the social media contacts on the Facebook  page, and follow Holly-Rosing on Twitter and LinkedIn.

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