Mildred Louis Discusses Agents of the Realm
Earlier this month, writer and artist Mildred Louis took her webcomic Agents of the Realm (a comic about college-aged magical girls) to Kickstarter to fund the printing of physical copies. The project hit its funding goal in less than a week, but will remain on Kickstarter until March 2. I spoke to Mildred about her project and the transition from web to print comic.
Graphic Policy: First of all, thanks for taking the time to talk to me, and congratulations on hitting your Kickstarter goal already! Did you expect this kind of response when you posted the project?
Mildred Louis: Not at all! I am honestly floored at the positive response I’ve been getting over this. I consider myself a tiny little bean in the comic world, still very new to the game and not a big established name. Being able to see so many people feel like what I’m doing is worth supporting has been incredibly encouraging and also very humbling.
GP: Agents of the Realm has been a webcomic for a while now. When you first started publishing it, did you have any idea that it would get as big as it is now?
ML: Oh gosh, no. The Webcomics game is kinda dicey when you get down to it. There’s no real clear way to figure out what’s going to do well and what isn’t. I also was nervous since I originally imagined this series to be like your typical monthly installment floppies, so I’ve been worried about how well doing the page by page update would translate. I thought for a while that the pacing would just be off and brutal but I’m learning to enjoy it and am glad my readers seem to be, too!
GP: What has been the most rewarding aspect of this project for you?
ML: Getting to see my readers responses to the updates. I think when you spend so much time working on a story idea, you start to wonder if other people will actually be invested in it like you are. So being able to see my readers reactions and see that they’re interested and involved in the story has been very encouraging.
GP: As you’ve said before, Agents of the Realm is inspired by magical girls. Were you inspired by any particular series, and do you have comic books that inspire you as well? (Favorites?)
ML: I think the big ones are definitely Sailor Moon (of course) and Magic Knight Rayearth. I’ve also been inspired quite a bit from the original Young Justice comic series from back in the late 90s. I just honestly love stories that are about a group of people, how they interact with one another and the complexities that come from creating a team that has to work together.
GP: Can we expect to see print versions of Agents of the Realm in stores, or is the book version only available through Kickstarter?
ML: I’d definitely love to get it in stores! I know I’ve gotten some interest from a few places so fingers crossed it’ll happen. But regardless, the books will still be available post-Kickstarter at conventions I’ll be at throughout the year!
GP: What are you most excited for readers to see when the book comes out in print?–Is there anything you got to do with the book that you couldn’t do with the webcomic?
ML: I’m very curious to see people’s reactions when they’re able to read the entire thing at once. There’s also going to be a special chapter that I’m adding to the books that I won’t be releasing online and I am extra excited to see people’s reactions to it!
GP: Can you tell us a little about the awesome rewards that come with backing the Kickstarter?
ML: There’s a ton of stuff being offered currently! I have postcards that have been illustrated by a number of great artists, including Nilah Magruder (M.F.K), Victoria Grace Elliott (Balderdash!), and Isabelle Melancon (Namesake). I’ve also got two prints that’ll be available that will be foil stamped that I’m also very excited over. There were also a number of specialty items including Acrylic Replicas of the girl’s amulets but those went very quick!
GP: Is there anything else you’d like to talk about that I didn’t ask you?
ML: Not that I can think of!
GP: Thank you again for your time!