Sky Eye Speculation Gives Trouble Double Vision

by Vince Brusio

We’re familiar with the tag line “Who Watches The Watchmen?” So is Richard Dent. Richard is a fan of Alan Moore’s work, so Watchmen is naturally at the top of Richard’s all-time favorite comic book classics. This fact is reinforced when you check out his new book Myopia: Rise of the Domes (DEC171427), which is described as steampunk thriller fiction. A familiar conundrum of “what side is working for which goal” is a theme that plays out in Dent’s new title, and it makes for a dystopian mystery that’s soon coming to comic shops in February 2018. Read our PREVIEWSworld interview to learn more about this book that’s brought to us from our friends at Dynamite Entertainment.

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Vince Brusio: For those new to the title, can you bring us up to speed on the story so far as we now embark on the second chapter of Myopia?

Richard Dent: Myopia Special #1 (DEC171428) takes place a few hundred years in the future where everyone wears eye lenses psychically linked to the Central Lens Network.  The lenses are meant to help make life easier, but much like our smart phones there is something ominous here.  The government is covering up falling satellites and electrical storms.  Suddenly the man who designed the lenses is killed.  Five years later another man steps into the story wearing a pair of lenses that function outside of the Central Lens Network.  The setting is post energy crisis; a Magnetic Energy Agreement is the ethos of civilization.  The style is modern mixed with steampunk.  In short, we're introduced to the players and the world.

Vince Brusio: Let’s profile some of the main actors on this stage. Who are the movers and shakers responsible for all of the energy in Myopia? 

Richard Dent: Bill Glen is the brains behind the lenses.  He lives in Hoboken with his lovely wife Molly and their son Matthew.  When Bill is found dead, Ledge Carver, Bill's best friend, steps into the role of Molly and Matthews' caretaker.  He is also the CEO of Formula Media where Bill worked, and where they make the lenses.  James Chase steps into the story after Bill's death, around five years later.  Ledge hires James to work at Formula Media based on a recommendation from Bill Glen.  James has very little backstory other than this.  The only people who seem to know him are a homeless man who is suddenly taken into custody and Jill.  She is the face of the Formula Media Assistant, the future Siri.  She is in charge of the psychic imprints registered with the Central Lens Network.  We also have Agni Shelton, the Secretary of Defense, taking secret meetings with Formula Media, and then there is Hudson Brown, James's sidekick and the last surviving falcon. 

Vince Brusio: The book is a “steampunk thriller.” What creative works are you most fond of in this genre that moved you to try your own hand at creating such a story? 

Richard Dent: When I was working on the concept, I imagined that the people inhabiting Myopia weren't going to think of themselves as living in the future. They're going to have styles and fads and trends just like we do, and I thought steampunk would be the fashion trend of the time.  As far as the thriller influence, I would say Minority Report or The Matrix, stories that deal with speculative politics and bigger ideas, like what would happen if this thing we are doing now took a turn for the worse in a few hundred years. Of course, I'm always inspired by Alan Moore when laying out a comic series of this complexity.

Vince Brusio: What was the most challenging aspect of working on Myopia? 

Richard Dent: There are many challenges when launching a new comic book. Finding the right team to work with and finding an audience.  I've been incredibly lucky on both these fronts.  Myopia has had a fantastic reception by the comic book community, and I couldn't ask for a better team than the people over at Dynamite.

Vince Brusio: Describe your working relationship with artist Patrick Berkenkotter. Why was he picked as the one to interpret your story on canvas? How does he give Myopia a pulse?

Richard Dent: Myopia is speculative fiction.  The reader needs to believe that this could actually happen.  Without Patrick's attention to detail, I don't think that layer would translate.  It would just be another dystopian story.  His work helps send a chill down your spine.  His pages are usually described as beautiful.  Honestly, I would hang Patrick's work in an art gallery.  He lives in the Philippines, and I live in Los Angeles.  We have never meet in person, so that's always odd.  There is an adjustment period when trying to get to know someone over the Internet.  Fortunately, Patrick is very articulate and is able to digest (and convey) large amounts of helpful information.  He always has a lot of notes and I do, too.  We're like two control freaks working on the same project!  His art always comes out how I imagined it.  No. Much better than that! 

Early preview art from Myopia: Rise of the Domes

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Vince Brusio writes about comics, and writes comics. He is the long-serving Editor of PREVIEWSworld.com, the creator of PUSSYCATS, and encourages everyone to keep the faith...and keep reading comics.

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