I.C.U. had the chance to talk to Michael Bancroft about his graphic novel - The Lucent - Now In Demand on Indiegogo
Note: This interview was first published in ICU #8
The Lucent is a very unique sounding book. Can you give us a brief explanation of what The Lucent is?
Imagine what the world might look like if people were capable of tapping into vastly enhanced physical and mental abilities, but the knowledge of this has been hidden and controlled by secret societies reaching back millennia. Imagine how rich and powerful these secret leaders could become over the years. Now imagine what they might resort to when someone new is discovered with enough latent power to overturn everything.
This is the background bubbling just under the surface in The Lucent: Waking Dream, the first in the an ongoing series, where we meet Ella Forsythe, an unassuming young woman, hiding an earth-shattering secret in her dreams.
What were some of the inspirations in creating the story?
My own dreams were the primary inspiration for The Lucent. When I was younger, I got so into lucid dreaming, I started to notice that, with practice, I could improve on what I was capable of. I even taught myself how to do what’s called wake-induced lucid dreaming, which is where you go from a fully conscious state directly into a lucid dream. The intensity of these experiences gave birth to the initial premise, but from there, my obsession with ancient history really rounded out the story. I just love the idea that what we know of our own story as human beings is woefully incomplete, or has even been kept hidden from us, and that our history is far more ancient and mysterious than we’ve been led to believe.
Comicsgate was a godsend when it came around, because it meant that nobodies like me could finally find an audience that’s willing to back your project financially, but even if all that never happened, I’d still be here working away on The Lucent, albeit with fewer people paying attention. But you’re definitely right, this first book is just the beginning. A glimpse into a vast world with a rich, mysterious history that I’ve been carrying around in my head for far too long. Readers who stick around for future books will be well rewarded with some mighty big payoffs.
You host quite a lot of live streams on your YouTube channel. How has that helped in spreading the word about The Lucent?
It’s difficult to gauge just how much of a boon the channel has been to the success of the book. It’s kind of a chicken and egg thing. If the book wasn’t all that appealing, it wouldn’t matter how many live streams I do, but at the same time, without building up my public persona, far less people would’ve even heard of it.
I always say though, crowdfunding is 90% promotion, so my hunch is that the channel has been invaluable. It really is win win win though, not only can I use it as a platform to sell and discuss my story, but it allows me to meet and build relationships with some of the coolest, like minded people out there, and also help other creators get their own stories in front of new eyeballs.
What do you see for the future of The Lucent?
My hope is that once this first book gets into reader’s hands, people will get a real sense of the kind of story I’m writing, and what to expect from future releases. The thought of building a YouTube audience not only of live-stream regulars, but genuine fans of The Lucent is very exciting.
At the moment, I plan on releasing a new book every year, but who knows what the future holds? If the second campaign can somehow bring in double what the first one has, then I’ll have something more concrete to think about with regards to work and all this fun comic stuff.
Back The Lucent on Indiegogo
Follow Michael Bancroft on Twitter: @thelucentcomic