Mind Meld With Anas Abdulhak!

Straight from Damascus, Syria comes Anas Abdulhak and his who/howdunit revenge comedy known as Kill My Boyfriend! Currently on Kickstarter! So with that said, let’s get down to business with a little Q and A!

1. Hello there! And welcome to the Mind Meld! For those who may not be familiar with you and your work, can you tell us about yourself?

Its Anas!

Hi, thank you for having me! My name is Anas Abdulhak and I’m a writer and poet from Damascus, Syria. I love to tell very personal stories that tackle themes surrounding the human condition and ask big questions about life and death. Some of my comics that focus on that are Eleutheromania, Objects in the Mirror, and Etheres. But right now I’m going in a totally different direction tonally and experimenting with many new genres!

2. You’ve currently got a Kickstarter running for the first issue of a title called Kill My Boyfriend, what can you tell us about it?

Kill My Boyfriend is a whodunit revenge comedy. It’s equal parts Do Revenge meets Knives Out. I’d say if you’re a fan of those you’d definitely like our book!

The story follows a woman named Kim who after losing out on a promotion because of her boyfriend’s actions, she decides to get rid of him and get away with murder. To do so, she plans an extravagant 60s Americana themed yacht party and invites all her coworkers to act as the perfect pawns in her murder mystery.  The story isn’t as much of a Whodunit but rather a Howdunit and whether or not Kim will get away with it.

3. Who is part of the Creative Team for KMB?

We have a stellar team lined up for Kill My Boyfriend! Including Tench (Aleksandra Orekhova), an artist best known for her striking visuals and style. She has worked with our book editor Michele Abounader on hit anthologies like The Color of Always and Sharp Wit and the Company of Women. Our letterer is Nathan Kempf who has worked on Eisner and Ringo nominated books. As for our cover artists we have stunning variants from Dennis Menheere and Angela Wu.

4. How many issues can readers expect to see for KMB?

Readers can expect 5 full issues. 22-25 pages each and they will then be collected into a trade paperback!

5. You mention going in a new direction to try different things, what made you decide to do that?

I think a fear of being placed in a box or sort of “typecast” as that one writer that makes weird and abstract books. I enjoy many genres and want to dip my toes into all of them. It’s also nice flexing different creative muscles and seeing what comes out.

6. What was the inspiration for creating KMB?

I’ve always loved murder mysteries and detective novels in general. and I’ve been wanting to write in this genre for quite some time but I was waiting for the right story to come along. And as soon as I did and I had this Eureka! moment, I fast tracked the book to get it out as soon as possible!

7. As you live in Syria, what’s the Comic Book Culture like there?

There’s not really a culture per se. We do have our own children’s magazines that have original comic strips inside along with some puzzles and fun games for kids. But Western comics or anime never really made it to the Middle East. But I do know of quite a few people who love comic book characters thanks to the MCU and DCEU and try to read some story arcs online to know more about them.

8. Once KMB is finished, do you plan to do a second story arc?

There will not be a second story arc for this book. So we’re doing our very best to tell a compelling story from beginning to end in the span of these five issues and hope that the readers enjoy the ride!

9. Having decided to go in a new direction for storytelling, especially where KMB is concerned, what’s the experience been like for you?

The jerk boyfriend

It’s been very fun honestly. Kill My Boyfriend is probably the most fun I’ve had making comics and it has reignited my passion for the medium in a huge way. A lot of my other stories come from a place of pain and hurt so it’s hard to pour those emotions out and bare yourself to the world. But with this story, I’m just looking forward to seeing people pick up on clues and guess how the story will end.

10. Where can new readers of your work go to check it out?

My latest book Etheres is available in comic book shops! So you can ask your LCS if they have a copy in stock. and if not, then you can find all my works on GlobalComix.

11. Given you live in another country, do you expect to deal with much, if any, shipping issues once things are done and ready to go?

Thankfully no! I will be printing and shipping using Comix Well Spring which is a very excellent printer located in the US. They take care of everything and make sure the books arrive safely in the hands of backers. So I feel very confident about delivering the book!

12. Given you intend to later do a trade for KMB, why not immediately start with that?

Well that would be quite difficult because of the funds needed to create the full book. For issue one our funding goal is 5,000 euros which is already quite steep. If we’re going to do that x5 we would need 25k to fund the book. Which is something quite out of reach for someone of my level I would say.

13. In the event that the Kickstarter doesn’t reach its goal, what will you do?

I guess it’s as they say: if at first you don’t succeed, try and try again. And that’s what I plan on doing. I have high hopes for this book and I think the feedback from the community has been so wonderful and warm. I hope they’ll rally behind it and help us get to the finish line!

14. For my final question, what advice would you give to those looking to get into creating comics?

Find your community and connect with your peers! Finding other people who are just starting out is so, so important. Make those connections, rely on each other, and really help each other grow by exchanging scripts and advice. It’s very valuable!

Editor’s Note: Huge thanks to Anas for taking part in this interview! Currently, Kill My Boyfriend is at 2,036 dollars of its intended 5,444 dollar goal with 115 backers and 26 days to go. With your pledge, this project will surely be a success!

Interview by: Rob Wrecks