Kickstarting On the Coast of Dreams, an Interview with Viktor Šauer and Michael Petrus
On the Coast of Dreams promises to be an epic fantasy adventure in the medium of a graphic novel. It tells the story of a man who must travel to the world of dreams in order to save his daughter who is trapped in a coma. Within this world of dreams he is called “The Seeker” and encounters a variety of beings who either want to help or hinder him and he must fight against threats that are both physical and a little more personal. The project originally began as a school project (and got an A!) and the creators decided that it would be a shame if nothing more came out of it. With a deadline of June 14, the project is about $5,000 short of it’s $9,000 Kickstarter goal at the time of writing. This is also the first Czech comics project on Kickstarter. I recently got to interview the creators behind the project, Viktor Šauer and Michael Petrus, to find out more about On the Coast of Dreams and find out what inspired them to take the jump to a full graphic novel.
We the Nerdy: The project originally started as a school project. Did you guys already have an idea of where you wanted to go with a full-length graphic novel or did you do a lot of reworking and/or additions to expand upon the universe?
Michael Petrus: I had no idea at the time when I was choosing the theme of my diploma work. The story was written as a full length thing but the comic was just a short story based on it. So the extension was just adding the other scenes and, of course, slight editing the dialogue pages in between.
WTN: What inspired the novel?
Viktor Šauer: Well both of us had been interested in astral traveling and mysterious topics so we were talking about it a bit and then I had the idea of this story which I wrote down.
WTN: Tell me a little more about the story as well as what kind of impact you want it to have on people.
VS and MP: On the Coast of Dreams is an original fantasy story set in this fictional mysterious world, inspired by our dreams. It is about abandoning the material world that we live in and accepting other dimensions around us. In the story we will follow a man whose daughter is trapped in a coma and he has to travel into the world of dreams to get a chance to fight for her life. It is a story of hope, determination, and overcoming personal limits.
It’s all fiction but, on the other hand, we want to show people the possibility of astral traveling and lucid dreaming which can happen in the real world, and then you’re limited by just your imagination. At the same time we want to deliver good entertainment in general with an of impact on the need of overcoming personal limits and obstacles and focusing on a purpose of someone’s quest. Thus it can inspire anybody in daily life.
WTN: What were the challenged of linking the physical world to the dream world?
VS: I would say it’s probably the same connection as it is between reality and dreams themselves. For most people, reality is really sharp and exact in comparison with dreams, which are often somehow blurry and unclear. On the other side, if you’re in a lucid dream or an astral travel, these differences disappear and it’s as sharp as reality just without any limits. So I built the world of dreams on these premises and my imagination.
WTN: How long have you been working on this?
VS and MP: It’s been two years. Writing, reviewing, shortening, sketching, drawing, coloring, lettering. A lot of phases to take into account since a lot of stuff was getting extended.
WTN: What drew you to Kickstarter?
VS and MP: We believe that it is a great platform for all kinds of similar indie projects. We resonate with this idea of crowdfunding. There are other similar sites but Kickstarter has the biggest community in the comics category.
WTN: You mentioned that this is the first comics project of Czech origin. Can you expand on that? How it makes you feel? What it would mean to everyone if the project got funded?
VS and MP: Actually, it is not the first project of Czech origin but the first Czech comics project on Kickstarter. We hope that it may encourage more talented Czech authors to have a go at crowdfunding sites and try to spread Czech comics into the world.
WTN: One of the pledge pack prizes is this really, really cool sphere that glows in the dark. Whose idea was that?
VS: Thanks, happy to hear that, we think it’s cool too! It was my idea/discovery during the time when we were searching for some interesting rewards for pledges. These glass glowing spheres correlate perfectly with our story.
WTN: Were there any unexpected challenges?
VS and MP: So much time spent on writing to bloggers, journalists, and our friends. Kickstarter does not generate a lot of backers itself. You have to lead your target group to come to Kickstarter and support you. It’s extremely difficult to find them, motivate them, and then make them come create a Kickstarter account to make a pledge.
WTN: If the you reach goal, what will it mean to you?
VS and MP: That we write the history of Czech comics. It was also mean that people are interested, that we can continue to create stories from our dream world and probably publish them regularly in Czech, English, maybe other languages.
The Kickstarter for On the Coast of Dreams ends June 14th. And after getting to talk to these guys I couldn’t be more hopeful that this graphic novel reaches goal. The subject matter and the possibilities that exist within the dream world are sure to make for an interesting story at the very least.
And seriously, check out that glowing sphere. It’s awesome.