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Successful Kickstarters & Shattering Realities: In Conversation with Undetermined Writer Andy Perry

Parallel realities has always intrigued sci-fi writers, one of which is Andy Perry. After a rapturously received Kickstarter campaign to fund the first issue of his ongoing sci-fi drama Undetermined, Andy is bringing issue #2 of the comic to life in the same manner.

Alongside artist Chris Holmes, he and Andy have crafted an intriguing comic book that deals in some rather hefty, existential themes. Undetermined follows the growing catastrophes for teenager Robert as a freakish turn of events cause his various alternate selves to become conflicted with each other. Undetermined Vol 1-2: Entangled dives deeper into this world, whilst we dive into conversation with Andy to discover more about the comic.

A Place To Hang Your Cape: The Kickstarter for Undetermined: Volume 1-1 received 200% backing, has that made things any easier for Kickstarting 1-2?

Andy Perry: Yes and no. There was such a wave of excitement from family and friends for the first one, it was always going to be hard to repeat the same feat. That said, the process of running a Kickstarter and the fulfilment has made this episode run a lot smoother. Chris and I are learning more and more every day, which will hold us in good stead for our future releases.

AP2HYC: How has the story progressed since 1-1?

Perry: Firstly, it gets a lot darker. I was keen to avoid over exposition but needed to explain some of the crazy things that were going on. In this episode, we see Robert coming to terms with his entangled existence and introduce a few other themes that will lead to some pretty destructive outcomes.

AP2HYC: Undetermined dabbles in some pretty heavy themes, including parallel selves and how our everyday choices affect our lives. Why did you want to create a comic focusing on these ideas?

If I wasn’t an IT bod (my day job), or a writer (my night/weekends/spare time job), I’d be a scientist, and ideally explore quantum theory. The whole premise fascinates me, and I wonder what belongs behind the boundaries of our universe. The parallel selves idea is something I’ve pondered over for years. Is there another me who’s made better or worse decisions? That concept has been explored many times, but I hope I’m putting a different slant on the idea – especially when we start to see what happens when Robert crosses multiverses.

AP2HYC: What’s it been like working with Chris? Has your working relationship evolved with 1-2 of Undetermined?

Perry: I’ve known Chris for twenty years, and although we lost touch a bit when he moved to NZ, our ability to share ideas, discuss the comic and its launch and how we’ll take this and our planned new series, improves every time we speak. It’s tough working late nights or early mornings and only being able to talk via Skype or a via various chat services, however it’s amazing to think what we’ve achieved in a year purely through an online medium.

AP2HYC: Chris brings an economical appearance to Undetermined, but he also brings an interesting angle to the visual construction of the comic, with warped panels reflecting the breaking down of realities. Was it an easy task for Chris to bring your ambitious story-telling to life?

Perry: Chris and I discussed creating artwork that reflected normality but created vibrancy and would descend into darker tones as the comic progressed. The idea of reality shattering is hopefully apparent and allowed to introduce some fun ways of depicting the phenomena, such as literally breaking the forth wall. Personally, I love the vibrancy and tone Chris has set out; it tends to shock people when they see something that looks innocent on the outside but discusses some darker and complex themes beneath the surface.

AP2HYC: What’s the plan for 1-3 and 1-4?

Perry: 1-3 will get very weird, very quick as we venture into Robert’s alternate realities and his encounter with his greatest enemy. This part of the story will close in cataclysmic circumstances in 1-4, but we’ve ideas for other volumes, possibly set in different times and eras. The plan for 1-3 is a release midway through 2019, as we’ve both got other projects in the pipeline. Chris will be introducing his Werewolf Bounty Hunter, and I’ll be re-imagining H. P. Lovecraft’s Reanimator series.

AP2HYC: What’s been the most rewarding aspect for you about bringing Undetermined to life?

Perry: That no one is ever too old, or too busy to realise their dream. What started as an idea and a chat message has turned into a series of comics and some really great feedback. In a year, we’ve produced two comics, come up with a load more ideas and learnt more than we’d ever imagined. This is the start of our journey in to the comic book world and may it continue for an undetermined period of time…!

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About the author

Fred McNamara