INDIE SPOTLIGHT- FLESH OF WHITE
Flesh of White is a supernatural horror story set in Tanzania. It follows Rehema as she tries to protect her son with albinism from a witch doctor who hunts his flesh.
As issue three begins Rehema and her companions prepare for the coming war as the witch doctor and his organ harvester come to their village.
INTERVIEW WITH FLESH OF WHITE ARTIST AMANDA RACHELS
GH: How do you and writer Erica J Heflin come together to create this project?
AR: Erica and I met through Kickstarter. She purchased a reward in which I would draw a short story for the backer. I loved the story and we worked so well together that we’ve done a few shorts and then the long form Flesh of White.
GH: What first compelled you to tell this story?
AR: The subject matter has been floating around in my head for years. It frightens me and the only way that I know to deal with fear is to put it on paper. Erica’s story, the characters and their plight captured me. I have a need to tell this story. Even if I had no one to read it, I would have to finish it.
GH: This story is a supernatural horror, but is based in factual occurrences. What kind of research was necessary to bring the realistic elements to life?
AR: I’ve spent some time reading up on the people and the area. I follow a few groups online that focus on the lives of PWA. I like the current view of life in Tanzania and surrounding areas…It’s enlightening but sometimes very hard to look at or read. I saw a story the other day about a little girl who had been attacked and the people who attacked her took her hand…it’s monstrous and my heart breaks for her and other people who have been affected by the violence against PWA. I suppose being angry also drives me to tell this story as honestly as I can.
GH: Family plays a pivotal role in the story. Can you tell me why there is such an emphasis on these relationships?
AR: I was so captivated by Rehema that I feel I relate to her in some ways. She’s fierce and she’d do anything to protect her family. She grieves for those she’s lost and finds strength in their memory. When I’m drawing the story, I try to see it from her point of view where her family is everything and she’d do anything for them. As such, they’re my family. They mean so much to me and I really try to put that forth in the art as best I can.
GH: You’ve held two successful kickstarters for previous issues of Flesh of White. What distinguishes this campaign from previous campaigns?
AR: Actually I think the most important part is what’s the same as the previous campaigns. We’ve built upon those experiences and learned so much that we are able to run a highly efficient campaign. We’re experimenting with a few new reward types in this campaign- almost all of which are sold at this point- And handling some previously used concepts more effectively. We had a huge first day thanks to our many repeat backers and quite a few new ones and it’s great to see people so excited about the story. We just hope to continue the positive progress through this one and the upcoming campaign.
GH: As an artist, you need to visually recreate horrific moments as a part of the storytelling process. How do you prepare yourself to tackle such scenes?
AR: I tend to draw scenes like that when I’m alone. I’ll get upset. I’ll cry. I’ll draw. Nobody needs to see that. After I finish I’ll go watch a nice movie or silly old sitcom. I have to decompress after those scenes.
GH: Are there any moments in issue 3 that were particularly difficult to address?
AR: Without spoiling anything I’ll just have to say there’s a scene that made me very sad. My flatter called me saying “Why did you do that to me?!” I had to tell her that it was not me- Erica wrote it, blame her! She’s not over it. I’m not either…but that’s just how good the story is.
GH: Looking at a location that is far removed from your own, what do you do to provide a realistic background and setting?
AR: That all goes back to the references. Erica gives me some good resources in the actual script and I find others in books and via the internet. Parts of it feel like home now I’ve looked at them so much.
GH: Finally, why do you feel it is important that people read Flesh of White?
AR: Although our story is fictional, we hope it might shed some light on this very real ongoing atrocity that is STILL HAPPENING TODAY. The more people who know, the more people can stand up and say it has to stop. That’s important to me, that we might in some small way help raise awareness and ultimately be able to speak in a much louder voice to help people whose suffering should not go unnoticed.
Less than a week to go and some great rewards still available for this project. Check it out here:
To find more of Amanda’s work head to www.inversepress.com