On The Run
A deadly race in a noxious environment for a one-way trip to an off-world paradise. Underneath it all, a revolution begins.
Box Canyon Run is featured in Volume 2 of Cosmic Journeys, Available Now!
The creators spill their inspiration behind the story below.
Now to get to know the creators of Box Canyon Run.
TANYA STOPARCZYK (WRITER): Hiya! My name is Tanya. I’m a Canadian writer and author of the sci-fi/dystopian short story, Box Canyon Run.
BORIS PECIKOZIĆ (ARTIST, COLORIST, LETTERER): I'm a freelance comic book artist from Croatia.
How long have you been creating comics?
TANYA: I wrote a few short stories in high school and even won an essay contest, but I abandoned writing until my late thirties. When I was a child, I had a fascination with Greek mythology and also read many books on the science of sleep. I proceeded to get sidetracked by a whole bunch of things! I spent many years studying geology, archaeology, astronomy, and other sciency stuff. Many years later, I finally settled on getting a Library Technician diploma. I also recently completed a Video Game Writing program which made me appreciate how much I enjoy writing for a visual medium. My first comic was five pages and was written in 2020 while taking the Introduction to Writing Comics course with Comics Experience. So, I’m new to the industry!
BORIS: I started drawing comics at the age of ten and have been doing commission work and freelance projects for the last seven years.
Inspiration for the story?
TANYA: Box Canyon is an actual canyon located in British Columbia, Canada and has an elevation of 1,491 meters. It’s on the Coquihalla Highway and has a steep incline. The idea of the story was created while on a summer road trip passing through Box Canyon.
How many stories have you gotten published?
TANYA: Box Canyon Run is my first published comic and I currently have a mini-series in the works. I have a lot of story ideas and this is one of the reasons that comics are so appealing to me, and why the thought of writing a novel seems daunting. I have a lot of respect for writers who spend years focusing on one story idea. I would like to take on that challenge someday.
BORIS: My work was published in a couple of anthologies:
''Dreadful Sorry'' - Chronicles of Terror #1 - 2016
''Next World'', ''Dead Planet'' - The Devastation #1 - stand-alone comic - 2016
''Caught In A Moment'' - Hallowscream! #9 - 2017
''Quiet as the grave: Grendel and Ba-Pef, Underworld God of Woe'' - Monster Mashup Comic Anthology #2 - Kickstarter - 2021 (Successful!)
''Priorities'' - Fletcher Cross - A 120 Page Comic Anthology #1 - Kickstarter - 2022 (Successful!)
''God's Lonely Man'' - Tales From The Dispatch #3 - 2022
''Startled'' - Somewhere Below The Surface - Comics - 2022 (''Unaocznieni'' - Gdzies Pod Powierzchnia - Komiksy)
What art style did you want to go for?
TANYA: I wasn’t sure exactly what I was looking for until I saw Boris’ deviant art page and realized that his art would fit the story. I was lucky that he was available for work! I’m really happy with the overall look. It’s a cool feeling to see the first pencils for a story you’re working on.
Challenges during the writing process?
TANYA: Yeah, it was really hard for me to stop the editing process and call the project finished. I wanted to keep going because I felt there was always room for improvement. At one point, I wanted to scrap the whole thing. I think that the best thing you can do when you’re in this state is to spend time away from the project, as much time as you can, which can be difficult when working against a deadline. This was also my first time working with an artist and getting a story published. I stumbled my way through the process and learned a lot!
Did anything change during the writing process?
TANYA: Yup, the story kept getting longer. I stopped myself at twelve pages but could easily have added a few more. A lot of dialogue changes too, this was my main challenge in the editing process.
Who are your influences?
TANYA: There are pivotal moments in my life where I felt my world expand both as a reader and a writer. The Lord of the Rings introduced me to fantasy. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (Philip K. Dick) and The Dispossessed (Ursula K. Le Guin) introduced me to the world of Sci-fi. Watchmen was my first comic, other than Archie's comics. I also enjoy narrative-based video games such as Detroit: Become Human. Lastly, A Scanner Darkly directed by Richard Linklater and written by Philip K. Dick left a huge impact on me.
BORIS: My main art influences are Mark Bagley, Dale Keown, Jim Lee and Frank Frazetta.
Dream artist collaboration?
TANYA: It would be great to work with Sana Takeda (Monstress). I love her work! There are so many great artists out there that I would love to work with. When I’m inspired by an artist, it makes me want to write a story that fits their style of art.
See you across the Cosmos!
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