Boston Metaphysical Society is a steampunk six issue graphic novel mini-series about an ex-Pinkerton detective and his spirit photographer partner who battle supernatural forces in late 1800’s Boston. Partially grounded in the real world with such historical icons as Alexander Graham Bell, Thomas Edison, Nikola Tesla and Harry Houdini as an integral part of the storyline, the series looks at an alternate history of Boston which is rife with class and social conflict. Mix that in with a good dose of the supernatural and characters that each have their own agendas and you end up with a steampunk version of The X-Files.
The series has not only received very positive reviews from Robert Sodaro (Examiner.com), Geeks with Wives and Capes and Women Who Write About Comics, the comic was also nominated for Best Comic/Graphic Novel at the 2014 Geekie Awards. According to creator, Madeleine Holly-Rosing, the current Kickstarter is to fund the production and printing of Chapter 5 in the six issue mini-series. The chapter will be a standard 22 page comic with two extra pages of bonus material. The reward tiers offer a wide range of incentives like a BMS Nikola Tesla Lapel Pin, a steampunk ring designed by Dr. Brassy Steamington, expanded pdf versions of the comic as well as an Early Bird Special of the first five chapters.
History has always been a passion of Madeleine’s and while at the UCLA MFA Program in Screenwriting, she wrote the screenplay Stargazer to enter into the Sloan Fellowship competition. Based on the real life Scottish-American astronomer Mina Fleming, the script was about how in the late 1800’s she arrived in this country pregnant, penniless and abandoned by her husband. Working as a maid in the house of the director of the Harvard Observatory, Mina was eventually hired on as what was known then as a female “computer” and not only discovered over 10,000 stars but developed a new stellar classification system. Stargazer won.
“Stargazer was my entry into the world of Boston in the 1880’s,” Madeleine commented. “It was from that research and my love of science fiction, fantasy and supernatural genres that I came up with idea of Boston Metaphysical Society as a TV Pilot.” An accidental encounter influenced her decision to integrate steampunk into the world. “I was sitting on a couch in the Melnitz Lounge at UCLA when my friend, Alex Diaz, plopped down next to me and uttered the word ‘steampunk’. Not knowing exactly what it was I did a lot of reading and research and decided that Boston Metaphysical Society needed to be set in a steampunk universe. It was later on that it was suggested I adapt the TV Pilot into a comic mini-series.”
Stargazer and Boston Metaphysical Society also shared many of the same themes Madeleine was interested in: classism and sexism. Both stories deal with the many inequalities that women and the poor had to deal with during that time period. “The sad fact is that many of the issues women dealt with over a hundred years ago they are still dealing with today. Such as unequal pay, lack of job opportunities and culturally specific gender roles.” By handling these issues subtly, Madeleine feels she can tell a story that resonates with present day concerns without lecturing. Though good storytelling is difficult, finding the right artist can be even more daunting.
After spending almost a year (and five artists later), Madeleine was introduced to Emily Hu through a mutual friend. After paying Emily to draw two sample pages, Madeleine knew she’d found the one. Drawing ever since she was a little girl and with a formal education from the School of Visual Arts in New York City, it’s been Emily’s lifelong dream to make it as a comic book artist. “Emily is a wonderful sequential artist and she’s so young that I suspect I won’t be able to afford to hire her in ten years,” Madeleine only partially joked. Though a California native, Emily lives and works in New York and notes that Becky Cloonan, Eduardo Risso, and Ito Junji have been the major influences in her life.
Chapters 1 thru 4 are completed and in print while the script for Chapter 5 is ready to go to the artist, Emily Hu. All that is needed is the funding. This team already has a solid reputation for delivering after having completed a successful Kickstarter for the printing of Chapters 3 and 4 with all rewards being sent out to backers.
This Kickstarter project will only be funded if at least $7,500.00 is pledged by Sept. 12, 2014.