By Christine Caprilozzi , Sr. Editor
Menton3 Discusses “The Memory Collectors”
Last month IDW announced “The Memory Collectors,” a new comic mini-seriesÃ‚Â from Menton 3, who handles both the story and art. The series centers around Ã‚Â “a group of unexpected heroines as they uncover the terrifying revelationÃ‚Â that humans have become unwillingly harvested by demonic entities for theirÃ‚Â memories. Undaunted, the group decides to fight back against their unseen Ã‚Â enemies in this desolate new reality.” Ã‚Â We caught up with Menton to talkÃ‚Â about the upcoming series.
Horror News Network: Can you tell us a bit more about the story behind Ã¢â‚¬Å“TheÃ‚Â Memory Collectors?Ã¢â‚¬Â
Menton3: I think a lot of it started after “Monocyte.” Myself and KasraÃ‚Â really wanted to stay true to the idea we had about “Monocyte” and weÃ‚Â realized that was going to alienate a certain group of people, in certainÃ‚Â ways. “Monocyte,” which IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m extremely proud of, is at times very difficultÃ‚Â to understand what it is we were doing. Naturally, I started thinking ofÃ‚Â ideas I was excited about doing that would be something people wouldÃ‚Â consider more down to Earth. IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m currently working on a solo show for LastÃ‚Â Rites gallery that involves a lot of painting the feminine and aspects ofÃ‚Â the anima. Joining the two of them up seemed fairly interesting because IÃ‚Â wanted to introduce a new kind of antagonist idea where memory was the thingÃ‚Â being stolen and given. What are you aside from your memory? You canÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t really be more than that. YouÃ‚Â canÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t really say the word Ã¢â‚¬Å“nowÃ¢â‚¬Â and mean it. Memory as a currency is a veryÃ‚Â interesting idea to me, and I think that all of those ideas came togetherÃ‚Â and meshed, and I started breathing life into the characters, naming theÃ‚Â characters, knowing that I wanted to use Beatrice in the story and breathingÃ‚Â nuema into that whole thing. It just kind of developed on itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s own at that Ã‚Â point. I finished book one at this point and I think itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s the best work IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢veÃ‚Â done. It is scary being the only storyteller, the only writer and artist onÃ‚Â the book, but itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s also very refreshing and itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s very exciting for me.
Horror News Network: The juxtaposition/contrast between the world ofÃ‚Â beautiful models and the horrific evils they face is a really interestingÃ‚Â concept. Does that play a big role in the story and/or the artwork?
Menton3: For me creating artwork, writing music, and writing stories, theÃ‚Â only reason to really do it is to externalize the internality, and so for meÃ‚Â itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s just what I am currently going through. I know that in some ways thatÃ‚Â sounds pretentious, but a lot of times you hear Ã¢â‚¬Å“write what you know.Ã¢â‚¬Â TheÃ‚Â only thing I can do is write down the things that are currently going on inÃ‚Â my head, meditations, etc. I would like to think the concept is interesting,Ã‚Â but I didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t start out juxtaposing beauty against horror. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s just thatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢sÃ‚Â what IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m currently going through in my head and thatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s what I think I wouldÃ‚Â write the best story about, would mean the most to me right now, and beÃ‚Â significant to me.
Horror News Network: What can horror fans expect in terms of the artwork forÃ‚Â this series?
Menton3: I think, as an artist, a comic artist and storyteller that IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢mÃ‚Â evolving. Again, I just finished issue one and I do believe itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s the bestÃ‚Â thing IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve done as far as comic storytelling is concerned. I donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t know howÃ‚Â to really answer that question except that there is a lot of fighting,Ã‚Â especially in issue two, and there are some things that when IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m paintingÃ‚Â them are freaking me out and IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m hoping that feeling translates.
Horror News Network: How is it working on a comic as both writer and artist,Ã‚Â as opposed to collaborating with another writer?
Menton3: Well with “Monocyte” there was another writer. Kasra Ghanbari and IÃ‚Â wrote that together and that was a lot of fun so this is the first book IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢mÃ‚Â doing completely by myself. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s scary but at the same time I think it addsÃ‚Â a lot of freedom to this particular storyline. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s very safe to write withÃ‚Â somebody else because you always have someone to bounce things off of, everyÃ‚Â little nook and cranny. IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m a little on my own with this, but thus far IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢mÃ‚Â very happy with it and IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m really enjoying the freedom. I do miss gettingÃ‚Â scripts from people and going through and trying to visualize how they wouldÃ‚Â do it, but at the same time waking up everyday to work on a book that IÃ‚Â could change anything about, anytime I wanted to, really lends itself to theÃ‚Â best story I could make in the end.
Horror News Network: You have a very distinct, almost signature, style ofÃ‚Â art. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s very dark with brooding tones, yet beautiful. YouÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re also aÃ‚Â musician, how does that creative process influence your artwork?
Menton3: ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s actually kind of strange. When I write music I go into aÃ‚Â completely different mode than I do when IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m creating art. I donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t actuallyÃ‚Â think they influence each other in my head. It honestly feels schizophrenicÃ‚Â and strange at times. With “Monocyte” it was interesting to try to make aÃ‚Â soundtrack to that story but I also found that very limiting on a musicalÃ‚Â level. I have to say that however crazy it sounds it feels like twoÃ‚Â different people for me. I donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t really relate the two very much at all.Ã‚Â
There is kind of a synesthesia like quality to everything I think, like how ‘does that image come across?Ã¢â‚¬â„¢ But it doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t really play that much of aÃ‚Â part to be honest. It almost would be cool and romantic to say that it doesÃ‚Â but to be honest it really doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t.
Horror News Network: Ã¢â‚¬Å“The Memory CollectorsÃ¢â‚¬Â is a three-issue mini-series.Ã‚Â When you start out writing the first issue, do you already know how itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢sÃ‚Â going to end?
Menton3: Absolutely! I write a lot in my head and I kind of let theÃ‚Â characters that are playing do it themselves. I donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t really have anÃ‚Â antagonist and I go Ã¢â‚¬Å“what would they do?Ã¢â‚¬Â I create an antagonist in my headÃ‚Â and give that life as much as I can and in a sense ask them what they wouldÃ‚Â do, and then you get five, ten, eight, six, however many main charactersÃ‚Â that are going on, you get them doing what it is that they do and thenÃ‚Â thatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s how it ends. They all inevitably come in to their own with it. So,Ã‚Â yes, I do know what IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m going to write at the end, I do know how “MemoryÃ‚Â Collectors” is going to end, but at the same time it actually could changeÃ‚Â between now and then. For one example in “Monocyte” there was a characterÃ‚Â named Ã¢â‚¬Å“the ShepherdÃ¢â‚¬Â and she was a very minor character in the beginning ofÃ‚Â the book in regards to us telling that story, but as we kept telling theÃ‚Â story she just wasnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t going to let it go. She really, kind of, forcedÃ‚Â herself upon Kasra and me and kind of raped us and made us write more aboutÃ‚Â her. I know that sounds nuts, but I donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t think youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re really writing unlessÃ‚Â youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re really engaged with those characters. I realize in my head thoseÃ‚Â characters are me. I donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t feel like thatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a schizophrenic type thing, IÃ‚Â realize itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s me, but at this point Magdalena, Edith, and Beatrice all haveÃ‚Â their own voice, their own mannerisms, their own way of doing things in myÃ‚Â head, and as opposed to making up something that Beatrice would do, I justÃ‚Â ask her what she would do. There is a main antagonist in the story thatÃ‚Â doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t get revealed necessarily in the first issue. I know what theirÃ‚Â purpose is, what theyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re doing, why theyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re doing it, and obviously whatÃ‚Â they think theyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re doing isnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t bad or evil, or nasty. They think they areÃ‚Â trying to do something great and these characters collide, and what happensÃ‚Â is kind of up to them. Yeah, I know how itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s going to end but thereÃ¢â‚¬â„¢sÃ‚Â outside influences and thereÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s lotÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s of stuff going on. I guess the quickÃ‚Â answer is I do know how itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s going to end but IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m also open to (in theÃ‚Â middle of writing this story, and doing art) the idea that if something moreÃ‚Â significant comes along, something that means more to me then IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll obviouslyÃ‚Â use that. I donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t ever start a story not knowing what IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m doing, but at theÃ‚Â same time IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m not going to stay stuck in a rigid system that doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t allowÃ‚Â 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 goingÃ‚Â through these things and for me in meditations and dreams IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m also goingÃ‚Â through a lot of it, and sometimes there are surprises, and there are thingsÃ‚Â that come up, and there are voices that need to be heard that might not beÃ‚Â available in the beginning.
Horror News Network: Any additional thoughts you’d like to share?
Menton3: IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢d love to talk for a second about preorders if you donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t mind. AÃ‚Â lot of people in comics donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t really understand it and they think itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s justÃ‚Â a way of getting comics faster. However, really publishers print the amountÃ‚Â that we preorder and thatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s what determines how many they print. The moreÃ‚Â preorders we get as independent comic publishers the better off our bookÃ‚Â does. Buying one book off the shelf is nowhere near like preordering oneÃ‚Â book. Preordering one book is like buying a hundred off the shelf. ByÃ‚Â preordering one book youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re telling the retailers, youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re telling theÃ‚Â distributors, youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re telling the publishers what kind of books you like. YouÃ‚Â do hear a lot of complaining at conventions and through forums that peopleÃ‚Â want new and original stuff. I understand that not every independent comicÃ‚Â that comes out is good, but if we all ordered more of them, if we all readÃ‚Â more of them and had opinions on them, it would be a bigger industry. IÃ‚Â think people as a whole would benefit from that because there would be moreÃ‚Â creative, more unique and individual material coming out. So please, if youÃ‚Â have the ability to do so, go to any local comic store and preorder this. Ã‚Â There are also several places online you can preorder it. It is a huge help. Ã‚Â ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s not just something thatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s cute. It really changes the outcome of a bookÃ‚Â 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 oneÃ‚Â readers don’t want to miss. Preorder is available now at your local comicÃ‚Â store or online. As always, remember to support indie artists!