Gene Ha’s ‘Mae’ Makes it’s Way From Kickstarter to Dark Horse in May

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Mae

Mae is the Kickstarter sensation launched by Gene Ha this time last year, and now Dark Horse presents the first issue in the just released May solicitations. The four-time Eisner Award-winning comic creator has worked with the best in the business from Alan Moore to Grant Morrison, but was ready to strike out on his own so he went to the crowdfunding platform and launched Mae to great success. His first wholly creator-owned project, the series is about, in Ha’s own words :

Mae is the story of two sisters. The older sister, Abbie, disappeared 8 years ago at the age of 13. Mae Fortell has no idea what happened to her sister. She takes care of their ailing dad, begins running the family business, and graduates from high school. The tale begins when Mae gets a call late one night from the sheriff’s office. Her sister is drunk and she needs to be picked up.

Abbie says she’s been fighting monsters and mad scientists and leading a savage tribe of stray cat barbarians. These claims are hard to believe, at least until the monsters start showing up too…

About his inspiration for the series Ha told me:

Obviously I love the tales of Oz and Barsoom. Bill Willingham tells me this subgenre is called portal fiction. The most direct inspiration was Kyle Baker’s Why I Hate Saturn. I read that around 1993. I took a lot of the basic premise from Kyle’s book. Two loving but quarrelling sisters, one of whom claims she spent years in a fantasy world. The only page of framed art I have in my studio is a page from Why I Hate Saturn.

The other direct inspiration was Phil Hester and Mike Worley’s 1998 comic book The Picture Taker. That story begins with someone picking up their reckless friend from jail.

Once I began mixing those together, the story bloomed in unexpected ways.

My whole interview with Gene Ha from last year when the KS campaign launched is available here. He talks about more than just Mae, and gets into his childhood, his inspirations, and his feelings on going creator-owned. Mae is an all-ages romp for the whole family with a great story and fantastic art, and at 40 pages for $3.99 is a great deal. The new ongoing series begins in May with a cover by Ha and a variant by superstar Frank Cho.

Mae hits store shelves in May. Let your local comic shop know you want it now.

 

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