Kickstart the Week(end) with Amelia Sky #1-4: A Sci-fi Horror Comic

By: Nicole D’Andria

“Kickstart the Week” has covered the ongoing sci-horror comic Amelia Sky since its very first issue. Let’s take a look at the evolution this post-apocalyptic journey has taken and highlight its latest Kickstarter, which includes the fourth issue, titled “Whatever Doesn’t Kill You.”

Compared to The Last of Us, Alien, The Walking Dead, and the Jason Bourne series, Amelia Sky follows an amnesiac girl who works up in a world infested with aliens known as Shriekers. And she may just be the key to stopping them all! With her unusual powers, she will go on a journey of survival and self-discovery, meeting various allies and enemies along the way.  

The creator/writer of the project is Jermaine M. Boyd, whose inspirations include science fiction authors H.G. Wells and Ray Bradbury. He’s worked on various films such as Captain Marvel and Passengers. The lead artist, letterer, and co-creator for the fourth issue of Amelia Sky is Martina Niosi. Having worked as a comic book colorist at Shockdom since 2021, she is currently a freelance artist for illustration and sequential art.

All of the previous issues were illustrated by Gwynn Tavares, who worked as a sculptor and a special effects artist on movies themed on graphic novels before becoming a sequential artist. Some of the other members of the creative team include Kuen Tang, the letterer for issues #2-3; and editor Brittany Matter, who has been there since the beginning.

Amelia Sky Creative Team

The Kickstarter is seeking to raise $5,000 by November 10, 2023, at 11:00 AM EST. Rewards include digital ($5; $7 for the Italian edition) and physical ($18; $20 for the Italian edition) copies of Amelia Sky #4 as well as digital ($12) and physical ($30) catch-up packets of all four issues. You can check out the rest of the creative rewards, which include a wraparound cover variant, a glow-in-the-dark t-shirt, and even collector’s bundles that come in custom-designed boxes, on their official Kickstarter page.

To learn more about how the series has evolved and the distinct style the latest issue has, please enjoy my interviews with creator/writer Jermaine M. Boyd and artist, letterer, and co-creator Martina Niosi below.

Jermaine M. Boyd

Nicole D’Andria (ND): What initially inspired the story of Amelia Sky?

Jermaine M. Boyd (JMB): Well, I’m a huge fan of sci-fi, horror, and superheroes. I always thought bringing those three things together in a cohesive way would give rise to something truly unique. But if I peel back the layers of this story, I would say tales like Alice in Wonderland and War of the Worlds truly inspired me in the creation of Amelia’s world.

ND: On your Kickstarter page, you specifically say that fans of The Last of Us and The Jason Bourne Series will enjoy Amelia Sky, as well as Alien and The Walking Dead. What is it about these titles that you feel is reflected in your series?

JMB: I would say each one of those amazing series has a character-driven story. Each of them has a backdrop of an apocalyptic setting, whether it be a known or unknown world facing destruction or the destruction of one’s inner self. Their environments are saturated in horror and sci-fi. This drives the characters to rise to their arks in my opinion in a more immersive way.

Amelia “enjoying” a snowy day

ND: What can you tell us about the main character of this series, Amelia Sky herself, as well as supporting characters like Abigail and Rubi?

JMB: I can tell you that Amelia is starting to lose her soft-spoken side and beginning to show the audience just how intelligent and audacious she’s becoming or has always been. We find Amelia as she awakens without memories in issue #1. Her mind slowly repairs itself throughout the first two volumes. We’ll get to see who Amelia was before the apocalypse.

Abigail and Rubi are two sisters who work for Artemis Imagistics, a former billion-dollar tech corporation that once employed Amelia’s parents Kala and Cameron Sky. This family duo of mercenaries is a force of nature if they work together. But their dark family past is surfacing under the stress of survival. This leads the pair to question their loyalty to one another.

Abigail and Rubi being awesome

ND: Tell us a bit about your creative team for issue #4 and how they each became part of the project.

JMB: Artist/Letterer/Co-Creator: Martina Niosi

When Gwynn decided to retire after three amazing issues, I wanted to go back to how I started. This time I had a double set of eyes. Looked at two hundred artists from DeviantArt and ArtStation. My search brought me to the brilliance of Martina Niosi’s art on ArtStation. Her use of color, light, and shadows drew my eyes. Martina’s art is what I think of when I think of what an animated Amelia Sky would look like and that’s my end goal: making Amelia Sky an animated TV series.

Editor/Kickstarter Consultant: Brittany Matter

I met Brittany through LinkedIn. I knew finding an Editor would be hard, but they’re a priceless asset. You need to have someone that you click with, someone who has the same sensibilities and vision of any story that you bring to life. Ultimately, an editor can make a story that’s good absolutely perfect. When I saw Brittany’s profile and credentials and then spoke to her for the first time, I knew I had found the right visionary for the job.

Narrative Consultant and Video Editor Steffanie N. Graves

Steffanie’s a brilliantly versatile Louisiana-born female horror/sci-fi writer and actor. She comes from the grueling world of film. I found her working in production offices and art departments on various films I’ve worked on. Her exceptional abilities in video editing and visual storytelling are perfect for this project.

Martina Niosi Amelia Sky #4 Art Excerpt 1

ND: Since there have been a couple of artists throughout Amelia Sky, how would you say the artists’ styles from each issue of Amelia Sky have differed? How do their individual styles serve the particular issue(s) that they illustrated in particular?

JMB: Gwynn Tavares is an amazing California artist who worked on issues #1-3. I met Gwynn while studying at the Academy of Art University. After communicating off and on, I realized Gwynn had the same vision as I did for this story. Gwynn’s eye inspired not only the look but also the tone of the series.

Kuen Tang’s an incredibly inspiring female Candian letterer who worked on issues #2-3. Kuen’s background working with DC Comics made her an obvious choice for this project. Her ability to take dialogue and make it into a work of truly emotional art is uncanny.

Amelia Sky #4 Wraparound Variant Cover by Gwynn Tavares

ND: You’ve been running Kickstarters for Amelia Sky since 2016. How would you say your Kickstarters have evolved from then to now?

JMB: They’ve become so much more precise and focused. We worked hard to make sure our Kickstarter was eye-catching and clear. So our past and future fans can be fully immersed and come out with a clear decision on what reward they want to back.

ND: What is the number one reason why you think backers should pledge money to this Kickstarter?

JMB: I think the number one reason is because of uniqueness. Time and time again we get such amazing praise for our art and story. It makes it hard when we struggle to get to our Kickstarter goals. But we keep surviving, we keep coming back. That’s because we love our fans and we love our story. We hope our uniqueness spreads and inspires people to help us keep surviving.

Some Kickstarter Rewards

ND: What inspirational words do you have for aspiring comic book writers?

JMB: I would tell all up-and-coming indie writers to just keep moving, keep writing, and keep positive about your art. Sometimes life just keeps throwing rocks in the road, but one day you’ll have the ability to fly.

ND: Promote yourself! Are there any other projects you have out right now or coming out in the future that you’d like to promote?

JMB: Currently, our team is looking to the future. I have a couple of projects that we’re working on slowly and we promote here and there. The Remains is a spin-off of Amelia Sky. It’s a project that has been in the works for a while now, along with Multi D., a new sci-fi/horror anthology I’m in the process of writing. We hope to have more information on both projects by the end of the year.

Martina Niosi

ND: Since the previous issues of this series had a different artist, how did you go about keeping your art style consistent with the feel of the previous issues while also making it your own?

Martina Niosi (MN): I observed a lot of the fantastic work done by Gwynn Tavares on the previous issues—I liked the ghostly atmosphere she had created. Then I tried to give back the same feeling using cold palettes, especially for environments, to make them contrast with the warmth of the actions of the characters. I really like to play on the warm-cold color contrast, and I think that is one of the things that characterizes my art style.

Martina Niosi Amelia Sky #4 Art Excerpt 2

ND: You also have the unique opportunity of working as both the artist and letterer on this series. Are there certain advantages to that, and does it change your art or lettering processes at all?

MN: Working on both roles has certain advantages because it allows me to have better management of the space on the page so as to not cover important parts of the drawing with lettering. Sometimes the artist can fill the whole panels with drawings and not leave the right space for lettering, even risking compromising the storytelling. Dealing with lettering, I also learned to better set the drawing on the pages of comics.

Martina Niosi Amelia Sky #4 Art Excerpt 3

ND: Who is your favorite character to draw and why?

MN: Abigail is definitely my favorite character. She is loving with Amelia but ruthless in front of the enemies. A sensitive and hard character at the same time.

ND: Sans spoilers, is there a particular panel or page that was your favorite to draw? Why?.

MN: Yes, actually there are several scenes that I liked to draw, and they are those in which we see quite large portions of environments with many details. I really like working on these details because I think they are essential to characterize the environments and characters of the story and tell what they have lived through.

Martina Niosi Amelia Sky #4 Art Excerpt 4

ND: What is the number one reason why you think backers should pledge money to this Kickstarter?

MN: Kickstarter allows even young artists and small independent projects to grow and show themselves to the world, expressing their ideas with extreme freedom. I, therefore, think that people should support those who take this path to ensure that realities like ours continue to grow. As for Amelia Sky, it’s important to support us because we are creating an amazing story!

ND: What inspirational words do you have for aspiring comic book artists?

MN: Tenacity and perseverance. To achieve goals you often need to try and try again, as well as collaborate with other people to get out of your comfort zone to find a better way. Sometimes it is also very important to fail because it allows us to understand what ways are not good for us, so afterward, we can choose a better method.

Martina Niosi Amelia Sky #4 Art Excerpt 5

ND: What are some tips that you think comic book letterers should know?

MN: I would recommend paying attention to the highlights of the scene to find the best space for the texts so that they have the right relevance without obscuring important parts of the drawing. Moreover, I think it’s also important to collaborate with the artist to find the best solutions.

ND: Promote yourself! Are there any other projects you have out right now or coming out in the future that you’d like to promote?

MN: There are some other projects I’m about to start working on. I can’t talk about them yet, but I will definitely do it soon. For that reason, I recommend everyone follow Amelia Sky to find out what other projects I will work on!

Martina Niosi Amelia Sky #4 Art Excerpt 6

ND: Thank you both for sharing your post-apocalyptic world with us, Jermaine and Martina! If you’re reading this and interested in checking out the end of the world (and the fight to save it), check out the Amelia Sky #4 Kickstarter campaign here.

And if you still haven’t gotten enough insight on Amelia Sky, then check out the three previous “Kickstart the Week” interviews:

Kickstart the Week with Amelia Sky #1

Kickstart the Week with Amelia Sky #2

Kickstart the Week with Amelia Sky #3: The Monster Within Tells You

Back the Amelia Sky #1-4 Kickstarter today!

Do you have a crowdfunding project? Want to be interviewed about it and have the project featured on “Kickstart/IndieGogo/GoFundMe/etc. the Week?” Then message me on my website. Also, consider checking out the official Kickstart the Week: Interviews with Comic Book Kickstarter Creators Volume 1 on Kindle. 

Other “Kickstart the Week” features:

ONE-SHOT: A Chaotic Fantasy Adventure

Voyage: An authentic Sci-fi comic following the beginning tale of Sonderon, an intergalactic space explorer!

Ichabod Jones: The complete Lovecraftian dark-fantasy comic

Puppet Theater: The Fool #1

Pulp Girls: PRINCE-S STARthief 1-3

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