What happened to Amelia Earhart? It's a question that has been asked time and time again since the trailblazing aviator's mysterious disappearance 80 years ago. Her plane has never been found, and it could have ended up anywhere.
Or … it could have ended up … Elsewhere …
In their new Image Comics series Elsewhere writer Jay Faerber (Copperhead) and artist Sumeyye Kesgin (September Mourning) will let readers in on the reason she's never been found: She didn't end up on Earth. In the new series, they tell the tale of how Earhart ended up in the mysterious fantasy realm of Korvath and her role in the uprising that has its sights set on the world's malevolent ruler. Along the way readers will soar in all new ways with Amelia as they discover alongside her just what kind of place Korvath really is.
The story is a blast, filled with adventure, imagination, big surprises, and high-flying action. I was lucky enough to read the immensely fun and beautifully drawn first issue, and Faerber and Kesgin were kind enough to answer a few questions about it as well as share a six-page preview of the first issue, which is out August 2.
Check out the interview and read the full preview in the gallery ... then be sure to leave us your theories on where Amelia Earhart ended up in the comments.
Tell me a bit about the origins of this project. What sparked the idea, and how did you two end up working together?
Jay Faerber: I'd come across Sumeyye's work online, and was really taken with it. I knew I had to work with her. So I reached out and we pretty quickly decided to collaborate on a project. Now here we are!
Sumeyye Kesgin: Jay contacted me via Twitter and he said he had a project I'd be good for. I said yes immediately. He is an amazing writer and I feel honored to get a chance to work with him on a creator-owned book.
Amelia Earhart is a fascinating historical figure, but what was it about her that made you both want to explore her character further? And for Sumeyye, what makes Earhart someone you want to spend a lot of time drawing?
JF: For me, the chance to put such an iconic — yet very real — figure in this fantasy landscape was irresistible. Everyone's heard of Amelia Earhart. Her disappearance is one of the most compelling mysteries of all time. It's both tragic and heroic at the same time. And using her real personality traits as a springboard, it was pretty easy to imagine her in our fictional story.
SK: I always love to draw strong, lead female characters. Also I have admiration for aerial concepts in fantasy comics. So Amelia Earhart was a wonderful character choice for me too. She is inspiring, courageous and a natural-born leader. On the top of it, she is "real"! And she is the subject of one of the biggest missing mysteries in history.
The world Amelia ends up in, Korvath, is a very unique fantasy setting. Can you talk about what went into creating this world, both in terms of what kind of story you wanted to tell there, and how it looks? Were there any specific sources you pulled from for inspiration?
JF: The look of Korvath is all Sumeyye. It was born out of sketches she sent me that really sparked my imagination. From there, it was just a matter of populating it with a variety of characters and species that I thought this world required. I can't cite any specific inspiration — I was really more interested in dealing with fantasy archetypes and both subverting and honoring them.
SK: Jay left me all designs. I really love this book's idea: "What if missing people and things go somewhere fantastical?" A little heartbreaking but also fascinating. The first thought that came to mind just after I read Jay's story: What should this fantastic world look like? And I settled on designing something strange, beautiful, alien-ish. Not something like Lord of the Rings or Dungeons & Dragons, etc. Something like popping out from Heavy Metal. And my biggest inspiration was Moebius while building Korvath.
The Steeds—which we see flying on the cover—are very, very cool. We get to see Amelia ride one in the issue, but will these be the only new "aircraft" she will learn to fly?
JF: So far, Amelia sticks to the steed she "adopts" in our first issue. But in the future, who knows? Korvath is a big place—there's no telling what manner of flying creature or machine she may encounter.
Sumeyye, you're working with colorist Ron Riley on this series, who has given Korvath a really beautiful palette of purples, greens, and blues. What was the process like of working with him to land on that particular look?
SK: I personally love to draw my general stuff as black and white. But if we mention fantasy comic art, coloring is vital […]. Color elements build and complete these "imaginary worlds" perfectly. So I couldn't be happier with Ron's palette. He is doing an amazing job with Elsewhere. He has his own coloring styles and palette choices. He can feel characters' moods and scenes' atmospheres skillfully.
I won't spoil anything, but this book had one of the best last-page reveals I've seen in a while. It really opens up the door to the type of stories you can tell going forward, while also hinting at what type of place Korvath might be. I guess there isn't really a question there, but I had to mention it!
JF: Haha! Thanks. I hope everyone who reads the book feels the same way.
SK: Jay is a cliffhanger master! Hang on guys, it's just a beginning. You'll see lots of incredible last pages in this series.
Can you give readers a tease as to what's coming up in Elsewhere that you're excited about?
JF: Amelia's going to have to adapt to Korvath pretty quickly, as she almost immediately gets caught up in the resistance against an evil overlord. So before the first arc is complete, you'll see some skirmishes between Amelia and her allies and Lord Kragen's forces. And beyond that, I think we're both really excited to build out this world, and chronicle Amelia's reactions to it. It's a wonderful place, but at the end of the day, all she really wants is to get home.
SK: Every issue steps up another higher level and Elsewhere's universe is getting bigger and bigger. Amelia has a long way to go and I'm so excited […].
Elsewhere #1 is on sale August 2 from Image Comics. Art by Sumeyye Kesgin with colors by Ron Riley. Variant cover by Andrew Robinson.