RICH INTERVIEWS: Brittany Matter Creator/Writer for Dead Dreams: The Lucid Chronicles # 1
First Comics News: Why do you enjoy writing?
Brittany Matter: I enjoy writing because I get to tap into the creative part of my brain, which is a form of exercise that I actually like to do (I pretty much despise most forms of physical exercise). Writing also allows me to lose time. Most of the day, I’m constantly aware of it–the pressure that it can bring–and writing lets me get lost in other worlds and forget about those pressures…for a time.
1st: How did the idea of “Dead Dreams: The Lucid Chronicles” first come to you?
Brittany: It struck me while I was heading to work one morning on the Metro train into Washington, D.C. I imagined a vendor unhappy at their job, which I was at the time, and how they didn’t follow their dreams and instead sold them. I also didn’t follow my dreams (of becoming an astronaut) so there’s part of me in the initial concept.
1st: What is the basic storyline in “Dead Dreams: The Lucid Chronicles”?
Brittany: Innocuous dream tonics open a doorway to a parallel universe where dreams are drugs and doppelgangers that change the world.
1st: Who are Pina Axletree and Matron?
Brittany: Piña is an aspiring actress looking to live out her dreams. We’ll learn more about her doppelgänger Matron in later issues, but what I can say is that they are two sides of the same coin. While existing in different universes, they had similar upbringings—both grew up abused by their parents. This trauma contributes to who they are now as adults and drives every choice that they make.
1st: What is the Oneiroi?
Brittany: Ohhh the Oneiroi…well in Greek mythos they’re the gods of sleep and dreams. In Dead Dreams, the Oneiroi are something different and don’t fully make an appearance in issue #1. I can say they’re a dangerous group that Piña and her allies go up against.
1st: What is a doppelganger?
Brittany: A doppelgänger is a person that is alike in appearance but dissimilar in personality, typically a double or an evil twin. The concept comes from German folklore and can mean your spiritual opposite.
1st: How does Dailen Ogden’s art complement your story?
Brittany: Dailen brings the otherworldly dreamy strangeness to Dead Dreams and injected color and personality into all these characters that I had rolling around in my head. Dailen is a genius with color (shout out to Flatter Drew Wills!) which they used expertly to not only convey the parallel worlds but also to tell a parallel story, which sets the tone for the series.
1st: Do you see any of yourself in Pina, how are you both alike and different?
Brittany: Just a tiny bit but more so in her background. Both Piña and I grew up in abusive environments. Piña became rather introverted, fearful, and hesitant because of it, while I became more of an extroverted, agreeable people pleaser who doesn’t have boundaries. But I’m working on it!
1st: How do people get a hold of the dream they want?
Brittany: They purchase a tonic specific to the experience they seek, and it typically shows the user’s desires play out as if in real time, in a fashion.
1st: What is the difference between a Lucid and Daydream Tonic?
Brittany: Great question. The daydream tonic is sold as a way to tap into your imagination, but it’s voyeuristic and fleeting where the Lucid tonic lasts quite a bit longer, allowing the user to shape outcomes.
1st: Do you dream a lot? If so, of what?
Brittany: I do dream a lot and what I dream of varies depending on what I’m going through in my waking life. I think dreams in general are often our brains trying to solve things we can’t while we’re awake and it uses familiar imagery as metaphors. So one of my common dreams is that I’m lost at school, I don’t know my locker combination, I can’t find my bus–which is definitely my anxiety turned into a classic dream that I think a lot of people have. Other dreams are totally bonkers, with twisting and turning stairs everywhere that lead to all kinds of places, like an M.C. Escher painting, and I’m not always myself exactly but a version of myself if they had another life.
1st: What do you think of Carrie Fisher?
Brittany: I think you must have found an old author bio of mine. Carrie Fisher is someone I’ve looked up to since I can remember seeing her in Star Wars as a tiny tot. I looked up to her character first, Leia who was a strong and forthright leader, and then I researched her more as I got older. I found out she was a Script Doctor for some of my all-time favorite movies, Hook, Sister Act, The Wedding Singer. She was often hired to improve the female lead’s dialogue and then some. I feel like her fingerprints on those lead female characters influenced me in my writing and editing in ways I didn’t realize until finding out about her largely uncredited role in those films.
1st: What do you do at Marvel.com?
Brittany: I write about their characters, all 8,000 of them! Haha, but seriously, I write a lot of listicles and character biographies. Sometimes I get to write video scripts for their Top 10 series, which are a blast to write because they demand puns and turns of phrase, and I never thought I’d have a job where puns were a requirement.
1st: Do you have anything to say to the fans of your work?
Brittany: Thank you for following me and being a fan! I hope that you’ll check out Dead Dreams: The Lucid Chronicles #1 when it launches on February 28th on Zoop. The team is working so darn hard to bring it to print and we’ve got a lot of fantastic rewards planned, like a variant cover from Liana Kangas and Dailen’s designed a dreamy enamel pin!