Richard Dent writes for Bleeding Cool:
After spending many years writing poetry, I decided to write a story out of my comfort zone and in a genre that I loved (science fiction) but never thought I would be good at. I initially wrote the story as a screenplay and while I was submitting it to screenwriting competitions I stumbled upon one with a grand prize of turning the winning screenplay into a graphic novel. I knew that the story I wrote would make a great graphic novel and without hesitation I went on the hunt for an illustrator. After searching high and low I finally found Anthony Spay. After he drew some sample pages I submitted them and the screenplay to a literary agent. During this time the screenplay placed as a finalist in the Francis Ford Coppola Screenwriting Competition and the Austin Film Festival Screenwriting Competition. We sold the script and sample pages to a comic book publisher, and I went to work on writing my first graphic novel, which eventually wound up with the title "Myopia!"
Writing a comic book was strangely familiar and yet completely foreign to me. I knew each frame or panel had to move the story forward as well as fit aesthetically on the page as a whole—this was something I did regularly with poetry–but unlike poetry each panel in a comic book has the unique potential for duplicity: an image or scene can either compliment or drastically contradict the more "character driving" dialogue. The process began to slow down the linear character driven structure of the screenplay, and I found myself thinking in layers. I indulged—at times reducing a three-page scene from the screenplay down to one panel, and at other times taking a small scene from the script and expanding it into an entire page. I added resumes, letters and diary entries–even whole short stories—most of which just wound up being a decoration in the background, or curling up under a flame in a burning lab. It was glorious fun, incorporating the meditative roots of poetry, while adding layers to the pace and excitement of the original screenplay. What I came up with was a much deeper understanding of the themes in "Myopia," not only about the isolation one can feel in a world connected by technology, but how this isolation, when left unchecked can lead to disasters of global proportions.
Imagine the sense of ironic dread I felt when our publisher went out of business and I turned to Kickstarter to fund the completion of the book! Here I was considering embarking on a social media campaign that went against the very moral "Myopia" intended to convey! But this is why they call it "speculative" fiction—it might happen—because in reality I was greeted with overwhelming support when I decided to run a Kickstarter campaign: not only from already established writers such as Neil Gaiman and Margaret Atwood—writers by the way who inspired me to write a story like "Myopia"—but from complete strangers, who after hearing what I had to say, wished me nothing but success. I hope that the Bleeding Cool community can join me in this journey and help the "Myopia" Kickstarter reach its final goal. In fact, if we can raise $600.00 dollars by the end of the weekend, the Bleeding Cool community will get a shout out via Periscope from "Supernatural's" Ruth Connell (Rowena). After you pledge, send me a note that you're from Bleeding Cool, and then go subscribe to Ruth's Periscope page. If we make the money I'll send a message out via Kickstarter before we go live!