Bronx-based blogger/artist/vlogger Jasmine Keitt’s forthcoming webcomic The Preternaturals blends occult and horror with fantasy/sci-fi elements. In this world, werewolves and vampires are real and some humans have super powers. Check out an excerpt of “Nae Nae & the Wolf Cub,” the first of three stories to be released before the comic’s October debut.
As I take my morning run across the city, I try to fight the tears, let the wind carry them off my face, but the weight of it all just becomes too heavy. I see it happening again and again in my head. The dogs just kept coming, one after another out of their holding pens in the underground tunnels where the 1 and 9 trains used to run, the smell of human blood in the air and on the pavement driving them crazy. I fought harder than I ever fought in my life, putting down one dog after another, and then…I heard Roberto scream.
I’m out for my morning run across the whole island of Manhattan at super speed before heading to classes. I go down Lexington Ave. from 116th to 59th, dashing across Fifth Avenue to the West Side, jump on the highway, and zoom all the way down until hitting old Tribeca, passing by the Holland Tunnel Checkpoint to leave the city. Only today…I got company with me: the werewolf cub from the fighting pits the night my older brother, Roberto, was killed. Its presence feels like a violation of my personal space. Usually running through the city, having the wind caress my face as I run with it, past it, become one with it…it helps me escape, get away, if only for a moment…until I see the cub running beside me, and I’m taken back to that night…
Visit Keitt’s website to download the rest of the story and continue reading to hear about her inspiration for the series.
Midwest BSFA: How did you come up with the concept for The Preternaturals?
Keitt: I chose the name after looking up synonyms for “supernatural” and “paranormal”. I ended up going with the name to encompass all beings who are either supernatural creatures or enhanced humans.
Midwest BSFA: “Preternatural” means “beyond what is normal or natural.” Why did you choose that name?
Keitt: At first the name choice was entirely needy and a means to find a word that wouldn’t get me in any copyright trouble, but after more introspection, it seems apt that I’d use that word, given the topics I’ll be including in the series (gender, race, gentrification, etc).
Midwest BSFA: What has been your experience as a POC creator in “mainstream” comics and in comics communities as a fan?
Keitt: As a fan, it’s disturbing that PoC still have to fight for inclusivity in 2016 in the media we consume. I always knew that I wanted to create something comic related that I could relate to, and with advances in technology and art techniques, I’m able to bring my creation to life and share it with others.
Midwest BSFA: What works influence/have influenced you as a creator?
Keitt: A lot of mainstream and indie work has inspired me. There’s way too many to count.
Midwest BSFA: Why a webcomic (as opposed to something like a Kickstarter or Indiegogo campaign)? What do you see as the benefits of self-publishing/online publishing?
Keitt: I chose to go with a webcomic versus crowdfunding because for one, I don’t do comics for a living, and I currently don’t have the resources to give incentives for a campaign. The main reason is that I just really want to get my work out there, because I’ve spent too much time holding back for fear that it won’t be perfect. With a webcomic and these short stories, I can get my feet wet in publishing and share my stories a bit faster than waiting for a campaign to finish, and then what if I don’t hit my mark, y’know?
Midwest BSFA: What other projects are you working on right now?
Keitt: I’m currently working on volume 2 of my short stories series; I want to give people a sort of intro to the main characters and the world they’re in. I’m working to have that released on Free Comic Book Day (May 7th), and the final short story to be released in early summer.