Interview: meganebii on LUCID MEMORIES
In Lucid Memories by meganebii, Mason Lockwood survives a terrible car accident… only to find that he’s plagued by strange, enigmatic dreams!
Prism caught up with meganebii over email to learn more about the webcomic Lucid Memories, to find out why a game show makes such a perfect setting, and to ask them what their favorite snack was!
AVERY KAPLAN: What was the genesis of Lucid Memories? Did one character come to you before the others?
meganebii: I had always wanted to make a webcomic, but was afraid of ruining old ideas I’d worked on for years. So, I flipped through my phone notes, where I’d written a few one-off ideas. The concept “amnesiac plays dream gameshow to recover identity” felt like it had potential– something interesting and new, that I was okay with using to learn the ropes.
The first few weeks I worked on the story, it wasn’t really coming together though. It wasn’t until I allowed myself to use my own experiences to inspire the characters that things really began to go somewhere. I was really struggling at the time, and allowing myself to create as a means of “venting” proved really fruitful, for both my writing and wellbeing.
I came up with Mason and August first, and both characters have a lot of me in them, in different ways.
KAPLAN: What made you decide to use a game show in your comic?
meganebii: Well, I’ve always enjoyed watching game shows. There’s something just so undeniably fun and engaging about the way they’re presented! And if I’m being honest, a big appeal was that game shows have a really straightforward formula to write that can be rehashed, subverted, and easily toiled with. I’d never written a long-format story from start to finish before Lucid Memories, and the idea of breaking down this big idea I had into a series of formulaic game shows felt digestible to me.
KAPLAN: When was the first time you felt you could see yourself represented in a story (if you have had such an experience)?
meganebii: When I first got into anime, my cousin started me on Ouran Highschool Host Club and Soul Eater. Both shows have genderqueer characters— Haruhi in Ouran and Crona in Soul Eater. I’d never seen nonbinary characters (or people, for that matter) in my entire life until that point, and I grew very attached to them— especially to Crona. I didn’t really understand it at the time, but Crona especially made me feel so understood, and I identified with them for years.
KAPLAN: Why is it that comics are such a good medium for exploring stories that explore the interior life of a character, a narrative element that is strongly represented in Lucid Memories?
meganebii: My goal with every episode is always to get across a feeling, an emotion— and I feel like the intimate experience of reading a comic on your own helps that emotion come across. Comics require all your attention to consume, unlike movies or audio works that can play in the background. It’s just you and the comic, one-on-one. I feel that makes a really nice space for more personal storytelling.
KAPLAN: I notice that cooking plays a significant role in Lucid Memories. Do you enjoy cooking? Why is cooking such an effective metaphor for this story?
meganebii: Yes, I do love cooking! When I thought about developing Mason as a character, I thought he needed some kind of passion, something artistic and emotional. It needed to be something that helped him connect with others but was also distinctly his own.
Cooking felt perfect. It has so much artistic and emotional pull, and feels very intimate. I feel like food universally resonates with most people. (Also, I love painting food!)
KAPLAN: What is your favorite snack?
meganebii: Egg toast, just like in the comic! Although I normally eat it with avocado rather than tomato (sorry Lily, tomatoes are kind of nasty)!
KAPLAN: Have there been any other comics (or any other kind of stories) that have been especially inspirational for you lately?
meganebii: I love Hard Lacquer by Amelia Allore so much! Her work, particularly her colorwork, was a huge inspiration to me when I began making Lucid Memories. I was so stoked when she began making her comic!
My creator friends also inspire me so much! I love Endless Night Encore, Ily Lily, and New Stars (all on tapas/webtoon canvas). Their works are so lovely, and reading every update from them is such a joy!
KAPLAN: Is there anything else you’d like me to be sure and include?
meganebii: Lucid Memories is an extremely personal story to me, and creating a work from such a personal place gives me a lot of purpose. As we dig further into the story, I hope it can help others who come from a similar place I do. Thank you so much for this interview! It’s been an honor.
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