Two aspiring Oklahoma comic book creators are working on fulfilling a dream. In this case, almost literally.
Author Tim Berry, of Owasso, created the story for “Lucid” inspired by a dream he had. He's now working with artist Natasha Alterici of Tahlequah to bring that comic to life. The pair are running a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds for the completion of the comic.
“It really all came out of a dream,” Berry, 27, said in an email interview. “It sounds cheesy but this dream seemed so real to me. I woke up and jotted down a few notes. It just kept growing from there.”
In “Lucid,” five strangers are trapped, trying to determine what is reality and what is a dream.
“When I read the script for ‘Lucid' and talked with Tim about how this comic could look, he was very open to the idea of going the nontraditional route,” Alterici said in an email interview. “So many comics today are created with that distinct ‘comic book style' art, and while it takes great skill to produce, I think it may stifle new ideas and unique voices, especially for newcomers. It so important for artists to find their own voice and hone it. I'm happy Tim is letting me do this in my style, sketchy lines and all. It's how I love to draw.”
Berry and Alterici met through a Facebook group for Oklahoma comic book creators, which they credited for helping inspire their collaboration.
“I sometimes feel frustrated being an artist in Oklahoma,” Alterici said. “But at the same time when I meet other isolated artists and find we share the same frustrations and the same aspirations, I can tell it gives us both hope and reignites the creative flame.”
Feedback and critiques from the group helped in the early days of the project.
“Like Natasha said, being surrounded by such great and caring comic creators has made all the difference,” Berry said.
The pair went through several options before deciding on a Kickstarter campaign to fund the book.
“We kind of went back and forth on the Kickstarter idea for a while,” Alterici said. “We had been working on the comic since late last year, and I admit the delay was all me, because I proposed several redesigns. When we finally found a style that we both loved for it, I still wasn't able to get as much done on it as I wanted to due to other obligations. That's when we decided that a fundraiser would help lift some of those obligations from me and let me focus solely on ‘Lucid.'”
Alterici, 25, has a bachelor's of art from Northeastern State. She wasn't a comics fan growing up, but began reading them after a college assignment.
“Now I'm obsessed,” she said. “I love the combination of art and literature.”
Alterici is originally from Arkansas, and grew up in Oklahoma, where she's been drawing for as long as she can remember. “Lucid” will be the first published comic book for Berry and Alterici. Berry has written two other comic scripts, and Alterici is also working on her own graphic novels.
“My next project will be an epic called ‘Drifting,' which I've been writing, sketching, and conceptualizing for about five years,” Alterici said. “It's my baby.”