Menton3 visits Lytherus to discuss his comic series ‘The Memory Collectors’

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984129_379049282199978_1030191000_nRecently, IDW posted about the upcoming release of “The Memory Collectors”, a comic mini-series created by Menton3. Menton3’s work can be seen in “Monocyte”, “Transfusion”, and “Tome”. Menton3’s work will also appear in the upcoming Tome 2 collection.

Menton3’s “The Memory Collectors” is centered 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.”  I recently had the opportunity to talk to Menton about his project and you can check out the interview below.

Would you please tell me about your project The Memory Collectors? What was your inspiration behind the project?
   It is a project that I have been thinking about for a long time. It has a lot to do with not being able to say the word “now” and mean it. Meaning that all we are is a collection of memories. We are constantly moving through them, and if any of those were altered we might not know. It is a great honor to work at IDW doing a creator owned project like this and it has meant a lot to me. You know part of the project is trying to find a new way to tell stories and also one of the big ideas with The Memory Collectors is, after Monocyte, I wanted to tell a story that was a lot more down to earth, and people would understand it a little easier.
It is not very often where I see one person acting as both writer and artist in a comic. What was it like to run both sides of the comic?
   Well you know I did co-write Monocyte, and a lot of the origin of that story was kind of based in my ideas. Kasra was extraordinarily helpful with that project. Doing something solely on my own, it is scary, but I think in a lot of ways it adds to being able to tell a better story. You get your basic ideas, you get your script, you maybe have your thumbnails, and you get up that day and you work on that page and you realize that this panel might be better served in a different way, or you need to add more panels or add more dialogue. So I think it’s a very enjoyable process and hopefully I will get the opportunity to do it again. I have quite enjoyed it thus far.
What can horror fans expect from the series?
I am trying to push the envelope on several levels visually with this. It has always been a surprise to me that people find my artwork and my storytelling to be “horror.” I love horror movies. I love the horror genre but when I’m writing and drawing I don’t actually know that I am doing horror. These are just the things that kind of come out of me. For me storytelling and artwork is all about externalizing the internality, bringing things together in an external way that don’t normally happen outside of dreams, so I guess I’m pretty demented and I think that there’s a lot of that in the book. I don’t know if it is horror or not. I do know that I’m excited by the story and there are aspects of it that do actually kind of scare me. Like I said before, the idea if somebody planted a memory in you or took one away, you would have absolutely no way of knowing. We are our memories. Our actions are typically reactions that we have learned based off of our experiences. So someone could truly alter another human being or another consciousness by implanting memories into them if that were possible. I think that is an extremely terrifying thing and you would have no idea that you had been changed or that you were different.
From what I have seen of your work, a lot of it has a dark/horror focus or twist. How does horror influence your work?
I honestly think that anything dealing with actual psychological content can come out looking horrifying. I think when we say horror what we are kind of saying is my psyche recognizes that image set or that feeling. The reason I make art is to externalize the internal. You know all of us go through bad stuff. No one has a monopoly on pain. I know very few people that grew up and have only happy stories to tell about their childhood, or even their adulthood. I’m not sure if horror itself influences me but I do think that some of the places I go to in my psyche to create these images or to try to pull this out can get really tender and painful. I understand why certain people view the work as horror and I respect it and it is never something that offends me. From my point of view, mostly what I am painting is beautiful to me, or I am trying to get to beauty, so it is shocking and surprising sometimes when you see a child at a convention get scared by one of your paintings. I’m not usually prepared for that and I don’t really understand why they are feeling that way.
Is there anything you would like to add about The Memory Collectors?
Pre-orders. One of the things I didn’t know going into making comics was that pre-orders are the bread and butter of independent comic book makers. When you pre-order one book it’s like buying 20 off of the shelf when you see it. Pre-ordering tells distributors and publishers that you want new things, you’re looking for new things, that you’re willing to support books that haven’t been out. Every month a book comes out called Previews that Diamond puts out and it is about a month or two before the books actually hit the shelf. What I do every month is I go through Previews and I order tons of independent books. I get a lot of books that aren’t very good but every now and then I find some amazing things that you would have never seen, and I know that I am supporting an industry and almost creating an industry by pre-ordering books that you haven’t heard of before.If all of us who wanted to make independent comic books bought them we would hve a much larger industry.So if you’re willing at all please go pre-order the book. You can do it at any local comic book store,it’s in the IDW section and it is a massive help. The other thing is The Memory Collectors is a bimonthly book and it is 3 issues and if that goes well I’ve got stories from this series that I can continue going on and on with. So, pre-ordering the book is  not only saying you might like some of the things I do ,it is also a way of championing independent books as a whole. So thank you anyone who does that and thank you anyone who is reading this.
Are there any other future projects you would like to talk about?
Kasra and I have a lot of ideas doing new Monocyte books, and like I said I could continue telling The Memory Collectors stories for a very long time. Christopher Mitten and I are doing some things that I can’t quite talk about yet. At 44FLOOD there are so many things I wish I could talk about, things we are working out with other companies, and projects that are coming around, a lot of really exciting stuff. Unfortunately I can’t really talk about any of them yet aside from TOME 2 which we just finished the Kickstarter for. We are very excited about making that. Please keep your eyes out. There’s a lot of stuff coming.
Thanks to Menton3 for taking the time to answer all of my questions. For those of you who would like to learn more about Menton and his artwork, you can check out his facebook page here. I’m thinking that pre-orders of “The Memory Collectors” is in order, don’t you?
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