Menton3 Discusses The Memory Collectors

by Rob Caprilozzi

By Christine Caprilozzi , Sr. Editor

Menton3 Discusses “The Memory Collectors”

Last month IDW announced “The Memory Collectors,” a new comic mini-series from Menton 3, who handles both the story and art. The series centers around  “a group of unexpected heroines as they uncover the terrifying revelation that humans have become unwillingly harvested by demonic entities for their memories. Undaunted, the group decides to fight back against their unseen  enemies in this desolate new reality.”  We caught up with Menton to talk about the upcoming series.

Horror News Network: Can you tell us a bit more about the story behind “The Memory Collectors?”

Menton3: I think a lot of it started after “Monocyte.” Myself and Kasra really wanted to stay true to the idea we had about “Monocyte” and we realized that was going to alienate a certain group of people, in certain ways. “Monocyte,” which I’m extremely proud of, is at times very difficult to understand what it is we were doing. Naturally, I started thinking of ideas I was excited about doing that would be something people would consider more down to Earth. I’m currently working on a solo show for Last Rites gallery that involves a lot of painting the feminine and aspects of the anima. Joining the two of them up seemed fairly interesting because I wanted to introduce a new kind of antagonist idea where memory was the thing being stolen and given. What are you aside from your memory? You can’t really be more than that. You can’t really say the word “now” and mean it. Memory as a currency is a very interesting idea to me, and I think that all of those ideas came together and meshed, and I started breathing life into the characters, naming the characters, knowing that I wanted to use Beatrice in the story and breathing nuema into that whole thing. It just kind of developed on it’s own at that  point. I finished book one at this point and I think it’s the best work I’ve done. It is scary being the only storyteller, the only writer and artist on the book, but it’s also very refreshing and it’s very exciting for me.

Horror News Network: The juxtaposition/contrast between the world of beautiful models and the horrific evils they face is a really interesting concept. Does that play a big role in the story and/or the artwork?

Menton3: For me creating artwork, writing music, and writing stories, the only reason to really do it is to externalize the internality, and so for me it’s just what I am currently going through. I know that in some ways that sounds pretentious, but a lot of times you hear “write what you know.” The only thing I can do is write down the things that are currently going on in my head, meditations, etc. I would like to think the concept is interesting, but I didn’t start out juxtaposing beauty against horror. It’s just that’s what I’m currently going through in my head and that’s what I think I would write the best story about, would mean the most to me right now, and be significant to me.

Horror News Network: What can horror fans expect in terms of the artwork for this series?

Menton3: I think, as an artist, a comic artist and storyteller that I’m evolving. Again, I just finished issue one and I do believe it’s the best thing I’ve done as far as comic storytelling is concerned. I don’t know how to really answer that question except that there is a lot of fighting, especially in issue two, and there are some things that when I’m painting them are freaking me out and I’m hoping that feeling translates.

Horror News Network: How is it working on a comic as both writer and artist, as opposed to collaborating with another writer?

Menton3: Well with “Monocyte” there was another writer. Kasra Ghanbari and I wrote that together and that was a lot of fun so this is the first book I’m doing completely by myself. It’s scary but at the same time I think it adds a lot of freedom to this particular storyline. It’s very safe to write with somebody else because you always have someone to bounce things off of, every little nook and cranny. I’m a little on my own with this, but thus far I’m very happy with it and I’m really enjoying the freedom. I do miss getting scripts from people and going through and trying to visualize how they would do it, but at the same time waking up everyday to work on a book that I could change anything about, anytime I wanted to, really lends itself to the best story I could make in the end.

Horror News Network: You have a very distinct, almost signature, style of art. It’s very dark with brooding tones, yet beautiful. You’re also a musician, how does that creative process influence your artwork?

Menton3: It’s actually kind of strange. When I write music I go into a completely different mode than I do when I’m creating art. I don’t actually think they influence each other in my head. It honestly feels schizophrenic and strange at times. With “Monocyte” it was interesting to try to make a soundtrack to that story but I also found that very limiting on a musical level. I have to say that however crazy it sounds it feels like two different people for me. I don’t really relate the two very much at all. 

There is kind of a synesthesia like quality to everything I think, like how ‘does that image come across?’ But it doesn’t really play that much of a part to be honest. It almost would be cool and romantic to say that it does but to be honest it really doesn’t.

Horror News Network: “The Memory Collectors” is a three-issue mini-series. When you start out writing the first issue, do you already know how it’s going to end?

Menton3: Absolutely! I write a lot in my head and I kind of let the characters that are playing do it themselves. I don’t really have an antagonist and I go “what would they do?” I create an antagonist in my head and give that life as much as I can and in a sense ask them what they would do, and then you get five, ten, eight, six, however many main characters that are going on, you get them doing what it is that they do and then that’s how it ends. They all inevitably come in to their own with it. So, yes, I do know what I’m going to write at the end, I do know how “Memory Collectors” is going to end, but at the same time it actually could change between now and then. For one example in “Monocyte” there was a character named “the Shepherd” and she was a very minor character in the beginning of the book in regards to us telling that story, but as we kept telling the story she just wasn’t going to let it go. She really, kind of, forced herself upon Kasra and me and kind of raped us and made us write more about her. I know that sounds nuts, but I don’t think you’re really writing unless you’re really engaged with those characters. I realize in my head those characters are me. I don’t feel like that’s a schizophrenic type thing, I realize it’s me, but at this point Magdalena, Edith, and Beatrice all have their own voice, their own mannerisms, their own way of doing things in my head, and as opposed to making up something that Beatrice would do, I just ask her what she would do. There is a main antagonist in the story that doesn’t get revealed necessarily in the first issue. I know what their purpose is, what they’re doing, why they’re doing it, and obviously what they think they’re doing isn’t bad or evil, or nasty. They think they are trying to do something great and these characters collide, and what happens is kind of up to them. Yeah, I know how it’s going to end but there’s outside influences and there’s lot’s of stuff going on. I guess the quick answer is I do know how it’s going to end but I’m also open to (in the middle of writing this story, and doing art) the idea that if something more significant comes along, something that means more to me then I’ll obviously use that. I don’t ever start a story not knowing what I’m doing, but at the same time I’m not going to stay stuck in a rigid system that doesn’t allow me to do something that I believe is better or more worthy to the story.

Again, I try to externalize the internal. So as these characters are going through these things and for me in meditations and dreams I’m also going through a lot of it, and sometimes there are surprises, and there are things that come up, and there are voices that need to be heard that might not be available in the beginning.

Horror News Network: Any additional thoughts you’d like to share?

Menton3: I’d love to talk for a second about preorders if you don’t mind. A lot of people in comics don’t really understand it and they think it’s just a way of getting comics faster. However, really publishers print the amount that we preorder and that’s what determines how many they print. The more preorders we get as independent comic publishers the better off our book does. Buying one book off the shelf is nowhere near like preordering one book. Preordering one book is like buying a hundred off the shelf. By preordering one book you’re telling the retailers, you’re telling the distributors, you’re telling the publishers what kind of books you like. You do hear a lot of complaining at conventions and through forums that people want new and original stuff. I understand that not every independent comic that comes out is good, but if we all ordered more of them, if we all read more of them and had opinions on them, it would be a bigger industry. I think people as a whole would benefit from that because there would be more creative, more unique and individual material coming out. So please, if you have the ability to do so, go to any local comic store and preorder this.  There are also several places online you can preorder it. It is a huge help.  It’s not just something that’s cute. It really changes the outcome of a book for independent publishers and IDW included.

Horror News Network: Thanks Menton!

Menton: I appreciate it! This book means a lot to me.

“The Memory Collectors” is due out in Ocotber, and definitely looks like one readers don’t want to miss. Preorder is available now at your local comic store or online. As always, remember to support indie artists!


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