By: Nicole D’Andria
With 24 stories from over 40 contributors, Twisting Time is a huge science-fiction anthology uniting a diverse group of independent artists. On this “Kickstart the Week,” I’m talking with the comic creator who put the project together.
The Twisting Time anthology brings together artists, including women, POC, and LGBTQ+, in a collection of stories exploring travel through space, time, alternate dimensions, and more sci-fi concepts. It’s over 200 pages of content that will make you feel like you’re marathoning Black Mirror.
Megan Archer is using the money raised from this campaign to fund the book’s printing and pay the independent artists for their hard and wonderful work. The project’s goal is to raise $7,500 by October 1, 2021, at 5:41 AM EDT. Rewards include digital ($10) and physical ($25) copies of the Twisting Time anthology as well as perks like vinyl stickers ($33) and custom character art ($100). Check out the rest of the potential rewards you can get from backing the comic on Kickstarter here.
I spoke with Megan about this collaborative project in more detail below.
Me: Can you talk about how you became inspired to create this project and about your specific role in it?
Megan Archer: I have been a contributing artist to anthologies in the past, and I’ve been dreaming of starting my own for years. I’m thrilled to have finally found myself in a place where it’s possible! It’s been an incredible journey getting to connect with a team of truly talented artists and creating something amazing together.
I’ve been wearing a lot of hats during this process, but I’m basically the person pulling everything together—story selection, editing, Kickstarter, publishing, etc. I also have my own story that will be featured in the anthology.
Me: In what ways would you say works like Black Mirror inspired projects like Twisting Time?
Archer: I mention Black Mirror in the Kickstarter because it’s a convenient recent cultural touchstone to get across what this anthology is about—a series of quick speculative stories, each exploring a fascinating creative idea.
Me: What is it about the science-fiction genre that you find particularly fascinating and anthology-worthy?
Archer: I love that you phrased the question this way because it’s true! Science-fiction is particularly good for anthologies. I’ve always loved collections of sci-fi stories, whether they are comic or prose. I grew up reading short stories by Bradbury, Asimov, Heinlein, etc. I think short stories are such a powerful tool for these authors because science fiction thrives on introducing a novel idea, and helping to guide the reader’s mind along the implications of it, bringing them to a stunning conclusion they never would have thought of.
Me: There are 24 stories in this anthology. If you could, can you give us a one-sentence rundown of what each story is about?
– The anthology opens and closes with two “palindrome comics,” showcasing the fluidity of time.
– Dinosaurs become sentient after eating a mysterious compound from outer space.
– Loom, the weaver of reality, reconsiders her job.
– A queer artist opens a window into the past, making them reevaluate their present circumstances.
– After the time of humans, adorable octopus babies inherit the Earth.
– An anxiety-ridden woman finds a way to make life happen at her pace.
– A (future) famous author struggles with the creative process.
– A man uses “time travel” VR technology to connect with his granddaughter and show her what his life was like.
– Two words: cyborg porpoises.
– A woman discovers that dreams can be recorded and shared with the world, just in the nick of time.
– Soulmates, reincarnated.
– The downsides of having a time-traveling mother.
– An old attic holds a family’s memories—literally.
– Finding love on a distant planet, where time works very differently.
– A man is stuck in a mysterious place with one form of entertainment.
– Two robots want to break the ultimate divide between themselves and humans, risking everything.
– Humans face an impossible enemy—aliens who can fight backward through time.
– The consequences of time travel and immortality.
– Two friends struggle with survivor’s guilt during the apocalypse.
– Repairing a spaceship in a time crunch with unorthodox methods.
– An astronaut and ghost reflect on their pasts.
– A story skewering “hustle culture” by dialing it up to “hustle life.”
– Tourists in Chernobyl fall through to a grim alternate reality.
– A woman grapples with the consequences of keeping her late wife’s consciousness around.
Me: If you had to pick one of the realities featured in these stories to live in, which one would you choose and why?
Archer: I would love to be able to record my dreams. I love to reflect on what I dream about; I think it’s a raw form of creativity. I would least like to live in the reality that is instantaneously destroyed by aliens.
Me: How did you go about finding the 40+ people who contributed to this project?
Archer: I put out a call on social media for open submissions. Honestly, I wasn’t expecting many applications since I’m not exactly a big name, but I was blown away by the large number of very talented applicants!
Me: Can you talk a bit about the beauty of diversity in comics and how this is reflected in Twisting Time?
Archer: I believe that speculative fiction is at its best when we can hear from a variety of voices with different experiences, backgrounds, and viewpoints. I myself am a queer woman, and many of my friends and contributors to this anthology belong to categories that are often not represented in comics. I think independent comics are a wonderful, diverse space where artists can help lift each other up and amplify each other’s voices!
Me: What advice do you have for people managing a project of this size and anthologies in general?
Archer: It gets overwhelming sometimes, it’s true. But whenever I felt that way, I just reread the latest updates from my contributors. Their ideas and talent were always so inspiring that I’d find myself reinvigorated and ready to work hard to make sure they’d get to see their stories published!
Me: What is the number one reason why people should pledge money to your project?
Archer: I’m not making any money off of this anthology—my only goals are to see these amazing stories make it to print, and to make sure that the contributors get paid. Supporting independent artists is a cause I can always get excited about, and I hope you can as well.
Me: Promote yourself! Let us know what else we can look forward to from you in the future.
As for myself, you can check out my website at http://meganarchercomics.com/ where you can read some of my previous short stories that have been featured in other anthologies.
Me: Thanks for taking the time to share these stories with us, Megan! Readers can explore the cosmos with the Twisting Time anthology Kickstarter here.
Do you have a crowdfunding project? Want to be interviewed about it and have the project featured on “Kickstart/IndieGogo/GoFundMe the Week?” Let me know in the comments below or message me on my website. Also check out the official Kickstart the Week: Interviews with Comic Book Kickstarter Creators Volume 1 on Kindle.
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