Things are...complicated for Crystal, the main character in Karl Altstaetter's Me2. The future series for MTV Comics tells the story of a girl with multiple, superpowered personalities, each with an agenda of its own. Crystal soon learns not only that the personalities exist, but that they can occasionally leave her body and head out on their own.
According to Altstaetter, when we spoke with him at the 2010 New York Comic Con, the multiple personalities are a metaphor for the identity issues that plague so many teenage girls. "Most of your life is about identity," he said. "Defining your identity through clothes you wear, the music you listen to, and in this case, each one of those identities that she's dealing with internally, manifests itself as a person, so I'm able to play out that drama in a very different way."
The story follows Chrystal from her exit from a mental institution to her re-entry into school. "She's getting back into being a a normal teenager, but she starts to see these odd things happening in her life and she starts realizing that there may be more than one of her out there," he said.
Altstaetter finds an important theme running through his story that he thinks will connect Chrystal's plight to his readers. "There's larger issues of good and evil and power and corruption, I sort of see that as a metaphor for adulthood with the character, taking on these larger issues of life and morality," he said. "And you get to see how each one of her personalities takes that on and helps her or hinders her."
Altstaetter shook up his art style to match his words thematically. "I use a combination of hand-drawn artwork and digital artwork and I create some artwork directly into the computer." In past works, such as in his previous series, Deity, Alsteaetter didn't utilize this heavy mix of digital and traditional art. "In some ways it's a looser art style, but I feel it's a more emotional that fits this type of story and I'm hoping that people will see it in a different light than work I've done before."
Karl Altstaetter will be at the Amazing Arizona Comic Con in Phoenix, Arizona on January 8-9. He'll be promoting both Me2 and Samurai: The Graphic Novel, which is debuting at the convention. Samurai: The Graphic Novel is an anthology book featuring work by; Altstaetter, Gerimi Burleigh, Jamie Gambell, Donna Letterese, Dan Smith, Jesse Toves, Wayne Young, and Landish, with a cover by Wonder Woman and Authority artist, Drew Johnson. Head to Karl's website to check out a preview of Samurai: The Graphic Novel and be sure to drop by and see him on January 8 or 9 at the Amazing Arizona Comic Con!