Richard Dent

Dynamite Entertainment is about to release the second installment of Richard Dent’s steampunk thriller MYOPIA: THE RISE OF THE DOMES. This award-winning story-turned-Kickstarter-comic has been supported by huge names such as George R.R. Martin, Neil Gaiman, Margaret Atwood, Dean Koontz, and Jim Butcher.

MYOPIA centers around a futuristic AI contact lens. However, the government eventually uses it for nefarious purposes, which leads to a web of intrigue. MYOPIA: THE RISE OF THE DOMES continues the ongoing story after the government decodes a virus they found in mysterious domes at the magnetic poles.

Creator Richard Dent talks to us about his inspiration, the writing process, and what’s to come for the series.


ComicsVerse (CV): Describe the world of MYOPIA and your vision for the book. 

Richard Dent (RD): MYOPIA takes place a few hundred years after a global energy crisis. The discovery of an abundance of magnetic energy has allowed civilization to get back on its feet. However, the fear of plunging into another crisis has brought about the Magnetic Energy Agreement, which prohibits the dependency on any one source of energy. The style of this future world is steampunk, and everyone wears psychically linked lenses that connect to the Central Lens Network. I’ve already completed the story arc for the series, but I can see it going further. We’ll just have to wait and see!


Richard Dent
Image courtesy of Dynamite Entertainment.

CV: MYOPIA began as a successful Kickstarter campaign. What was the process of creating the Kickstarter and developing publicity for the book?

RD: The Kickstarter took me a year to develop. The rewards that were donated came from talent who I admire. In one shape or form, they had a connection to the project or the concept behind the project.


CV: How did your background in poetry influence MYOPIA and your approach to comics?

RD: Going into comics, I carried a love for form I learned from writing poetry. When presented with the constraints of panels, word bubbles and page limits, I thrived.

CV: What are your main non-comic book related artistic influences? How did their techniques touch your approach to MYOPIA?

RD: I love literary novels and big budget movies, and I think both influence what I’ve done with MYOPIA. Steampunk is something I admire from an aesthetic aspect. Though I did enjoy WAREHOUSE 13!

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CV: As a Creative Writing teacher through the National University MFA program, what do you think is the most important concept that new writers need to grasp?

RD: Considering most of my students are fiction writers attempting to write that first screenplay, they need to grasp brevity, picking just the right image and words to create a scene. Show Don’t Tell is thrown around a lot as sage advice. But there are some fiction writers who skirt this (at least temporarily) with voice. Comic book writers can do this, too, especially when using humor. But ultimately, comics are about using valuable space wisely.

CV: What was your creative relationship with illustrator Patrick Berkenkotter? How do you think that his style complemented your writing?

RD: I picked him as an illustrator because of his incredible talent to render realistic expressions and settings. Without that, the speculative aspect of the story would be compromised. We work well together too. Patrick is extremely articulate and intuitive. We also share a love for animals. Although I think Patrick wins on this front!

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CV: Can you provide a brief summary of your creative process for thinking through MYOPIA’s original script? What aspects of sci-fi drew you to this story?

RD: When I teach screenwriting, I ask that my students methodically plan out their scripts. However, with MYOPIA, I sat down one day with the whimsy of a poet and just started to write. I revised in this fashion, too. Pushing through to the end of the script 1, 2, 3… 7 times before I felt comfortable that I had a complete story. I wouldn’t recommend this process to genre writers. Yet I would if you are a fast “drafter.” Meaning you’re able to fly through drafts without censoring yourself. I’m more like this with screenwriting and poetry than fiction. This is due to the structure. Comic book drafting and screenwriting allow you to skip large chunks of prose and experiment with putting down “what’s needed.”

RD: With MYOPIA, I was really drawn to the psychically connected lenses. And the idea of a world that runs on a new energy source. These concepts allowed me to take something new and make them feel hauntingly familiar.


CV: Originally, MYOPIA began as a movie script. What aspects of the work did you need to translate and change to work better as a comic?

RD: Good comic book writers take advantage of panels. You can fit a lot more story into a page of panels than a page of script. In this sense, I had to expand the story.

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Richard Dent
Image courtesy of Dynamite Entertainment.

CV: What themes did you want to express in MYOPIA? Additionally, what do you hope the reader gets out of the book?

RD: There is a distrust for humanity. This idea that no matter how much we try to get it right, our very presence is a burden on the planet. But there is also hope that if we try hard enough, we might be able to thrive.


CV: Can you tell us what projects you have coming up?

RD: More MYOPIA! We’re not done yet. I’m also trying to finish up a novel for my agent which isn’t science fiction. There is another one after that that’s on the way to completion. But for now I’m focusing all my love on comics.

Copies of Richard Dent’s new series from Dynamite, MYOPIA: RISE OF THE DOMES, can be found here. It goes on sale starting February 28, 2018!


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