Interview by Dr. Sheena C. Howard with Phil Hollins (Co-writer of In Search of Amanicalifia)
Can you tell us the storyline behind your new book, In Search Of Amanicalifia?
After a Black, former orphaned, anthropology student unearths relics that prove the existence of Califia, the mythical 16th Century Black Queen of California, she develops superpowers and uncovers an eerie connection that contradicts her university administrators’ findings, who will do anything to stop her.
The story leads the readers to an incredible forgotten culture. Greek and Norse myths have been explored in books and films ad-nauseum, but the stories of the Kush Empire have for centuries gone untold. The Kush’s queens were revered as fierce warriors who defeated many armies; most notably, they outwitted the illustrious Emperor Augustus Caesar and his mighty Roman Army.
Who is the creative team behind the book and how has the publishing process been?
Myself, and my writing partner, John McCarney. The comic is based on our screenplay; “In Search… of Califia.” It is the first in our trilogy that explores the history of the Nubian/Kush Empire and African folklore.
The publishing process has helped us to use the comic to turn the screenplays into graphic storytelling of an incredible ancient culture.
What advice would you give comic book creators and storytellers, in general, who are looking to put their work out into the world but might be fearful or apprehensive?
Make sure you have a vision of the world you wish to create. Don’t rush. Though there are many affordable creative professionals who “work for hire” that can help bring it to life, it is important to present your “world” in a way that they can translate that vision into reality.
How long did it take to finish In Search Of Amanicalifia and what were some of the biggest challenges during the process?
Really just a few months. The main obstacle was finding the right illustrator that understood our vision and researching to ensure the images were accurately reflected.
One thing we learned is that there is a worldwide pool of talent that can digitally collaborate with you with just a few clicks on the computer mouse.
What are your long-term goals for the book? What would you like to see happen with it going forward?
The possibilities of the IN SEARCH OF…series are endless. IN SEARCH OF AMANICALIFIA, will have five more issues. After that, IN SEARCH OF… AMANIRENAS is the next screenplay, and its comic companion will spawn another five to six comic books. Our third story, IN SEARCH OF… MATA WATA, will produce the same number of comics. Ideally, we would like the comics to be an inspiration to inspire a wide storytelling following and turn our screenplays into feature films.
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