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Empathy, Humanity & Misinformation: In Conversation with Callum Fraser, Writer of Peace of Mind

Grym Comics is in the midst of campaigning to raise funds for #3 of their ongoing thought-provoking cyberpunk series Peace of Mind. Their penultimate issue before this tale of body-hacking and hyper-capitalism in a grim dystopia wraps up, we caught up with its writer, Callum Fraser, to discover more of the ins and outs of this third chapter in Grym Comics’ flagship title.

A Place To Hang Your Cape: What can readers expect from Peace of Mind #3?

Callum Fraser: Issue #2 ended as the group reached Mickey’s old home, the giant factory complex so large, it houses entire communities. Issue #3 shows us the result of Mickey’s actions and introduces one of my favourite characters, the Jazzcat, who takes the reader and the main characters on a trip down memory lane, and a lesson in history.

AP2HYC: How would you say Peace of Mind has evolved over these three current issues?

Fraser: I’d say the story has grown in terms of its empathy and humanity, which is what I wanted to explore in its infancy, but now it’s grown to something I didn’t expect. In the comic’s world, an age of uber-overt dehumanisation and oppression, finding some humanity and empathy is not an easy task. Watching the characters prod and poke their way into clawing back some of those traits has been interesting and fulfilling to write.

AP2HYC: Reading the first two issues, there’s a strong cryptic vibe at play within the story, even when #2 expands upon the backstories of the main trio of characters. How might issue #3 expand upon the world of Peace of Mind further?

Fraser: Issue #3 will explore the backstory of the world in further detail and why it’s currently in the mess that it’s in. We have a cohort of supporting characters that will be introduced and one who… well, let’s just say he’s been watching for a long time.

There will always be an air of mystery to the story. Even though the characters are able to do the amazing and cobble together some tech-wizardry, mis (and dis) information is rife… no one truly knows about the world around them.

AP2HYC: Issue #2 gave us another visual masterclass from Emiliano Correa, what’s it been like working with him?

Fraser: Fantastic. He’s easy to talk to and professional to the max. He’s truly a delight to work with. Because of the time zone difference, when we are working on a project I’ll regularly go to bed and wake up to some art the next day. It’s a nice experience.

AP2HYC: He captures a very unhinged look for Peace of Mind, with the juxtaposition between the physical and digital worlds being particularly striking. What might the process involve when you two go about creating Peace of Mind together?

Fraser: I find he improves my writing and the story as a whole, so I give him all the wriggle room he needs. I give him a loose description of direction, character and tone in each panel, and off he goes. He will initially send me some layouts which I can comment on and, from my experience, that’s all I need to do – his inking and colours have never needed to be redone. It’s almost as if he can read my mind, which is worrying.

AP2HYC: Where does Peace of Mind go from here?

Fraser: There is one more issue left to wrap up this volume, it’s always been planned as a self-contained mini-series. We’re aiming to wrap it all up by the end of Summer 2020, if the Kickstarter campaigns go as planned!

AP2HYC: Are there any other projects from Grym Comics coming soon?

Fraser: Oh yes. I’m aiming to get another comic done next year with another creative team. I have a few scripts needing their second draft… my next collaboration will likely be a Western.

Have you backed Peace of Mind #3 on Kickstarter yet? Let us know in the comments section or send us a Tweet!

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Fred McNamara

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