Interview with Kymera Press



I recently had the pleasure of meeting up with Debbie Lynn Smith Daughetee, at Kymera Press. Our mutual friend Susan Lee introduced us. Most of her professional career was spent writing and producing such television shows as “Murder, She Wrote”, “Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman”, and “Touched by an Angel.” Which is freaking awesome! I even went and watched the first episode of Dr. Quinn after we hung out.

When illness prevented her from continuing with that path, she wrote short stories that were published in anthologies such as “Dark Delicacies” and “Summer Chills” and she also wrote audio dramas for the 60’s classic “Dark Shadows.” She started Kymera Press in 2013 and published their first comic, ” Gates of Midnight.”

Today, Kymera Press is a full fledged publishing company with 5 titles, all with multiple issues and they continue to create and publish comics with the help of a strong team of 12 female artists and writers.

Here is my chat with her:

Why did you start your own publishing company?

I decided to publish comics myself is so I could control the content. I didn’t want to promote Gates as a comic that portrays women with real bodies and then have an ad with female characters that offends my audience. I was on a panel once where I mentioned this, and another panelist, a father of a young girl, told me he bought a comic for his 6-year-old and was appalled to find a masochistic themed ad within the otherwise benign pages.

Why the name Kymera Press?

The Chimera (we chose to be creative with the spelling) is a female creature that represents strength and diversity, as evidenced by the beast’s typically three-headed nature: a lion, a goat, and a serpent. Over the years, the term chimera has also come to describe anything composed of very disparate parts or perceived as wildly imaginative, implausible, or dazzling. And that’s our goal, to join together with women world-wide to create stories and art that are precisely that; wildly imaginative and dazzling stories that will entertain us all.

Who is your inspiration?

Strong women who don’t ask for permission inspire me the most.  Famous women on that list would be Barbra Streisand, Helen Mirren, Gina Davis, Susan Sarandon, Ellen DeGeneres, Madonna.  I’m also inspired by people who reinvent themselves (in other words, continue to move forward with their lives) like William Shatner, Queen Latifa, and Lady Gaga.  Among the non-famous are my writer friends, both men, and woman.  I’m always thrilled when someone deserving gets their book or story or comic book published.  I’m behind the person who strives for years to hone their craft.  I’m inspired by those who persevere.

Lately, I’ve been inspired by the people who serve our country.  Those of us who haven’t served have no idea what it takes to go through combat and emerge a different person than the one everyone knows.  The last scene of Return of the King, where Frodo, Pippin, Merry, and Sam are in the pub drinking, really made me stop and think about how hard it must be for soldiers to return home where nothing has changed.  Except them.  I can’t imagine how hard it must be.

What do you want people to get from Gates of Midnight?

I want Gates to be a solid comic that entertains.  My secondary goal is to shine a light on some of our issues, like the plight of veterans, PTSD, and the discrimination that transgender people face.  I don’t write issue-oriented stories, but I have real-life issues running in the background for those who care to see them.  And I want to be known for presenting strong women and girls, both with realistic bodies.

What is the story behind Mary Shelley Presents:

Nancy Holder and I wanted to do something to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the publication of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, but we didn’t want to redo the story as it’s been done to death.  So we had the idea to have the ghost of Mary Shelley and her creature introduce Victorian women’s horror stories.  Mary Shelley describes the series best in Issue #1:

“That night I dreamed of The Creature, pieced together from corpses, revived … and unloved. His tragedy has granted me immortality. Other women writers of my time have not been as lucky. Famous once, their ghostly stories now gather dust.”

We have resurrected the voices of Elizabeth Gaskell (The Old Nurses Story), Edit Nesbit (Man-sized in Marble) Margaret Strickland (The Case of Sir Alister Moeran), and Amelia Davis (Monsieur Maurice).

Thank you for sitting down with us today!!

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