You might know Marvel and DC artist and writer Gene Ha as the force behind The Adventures of Cyclops and Phoenix, The Forty-Niners, the Batman graphic novel Fortunate Son, among many others, but did you know about his fantastical indie series The Adventures of Mae?
While drawing a dragon (no pencil, straight to marker!), Ha admitted to SYFY WIRE's Caitlin Busch that he wanted to do something that allowed him to be both the artist and writer without having to grow extra tentacles to juggle everything needed for a massive crossover storyline which editors kept throwing even more elements into. He just wanted to do his story his way — and who can blame him?
Mae is, in Ha's words, "modern fantasy portal fiction." Portal fiction is something like The Wizard of Oz or Alice in Wonderland, a story in which a character from this world enters some sort of weird alternate universe. It actually started out as fan fiction that went in a totally different direction, morphing into something that was purely out of Ha's imagination.
Eight years since her older sister went missing, Mae encounters her to find out she's been trapped in another world she has grown tired of, except getting out of that world isn't exactly easy. Enter a mad scientist who is the only hope for Mae to get her sister out of this monster-infested altverse.
"There were not a lot of stories about geek girls who are the heroes of their stories because they're geeks," Ha said of his inspiration behind the character of Mae.
Meaning, he got sick of seeing stories where the geek girl's crush takes her glasses off, and after a bit of hair and makeup, she's relieved she doesn't have to be a geek anymore. That definitely isn't going on here.
Watch on to see Ha finish off the dragon, which, like all of the live drawings featured on our ECCC and C2E2 streams, will be auctioned off to benefit St. Jude.
This article was contributed to by Elizabeth Rayne.