Madeleine Holly-Rosing on Writing for TV, Comics and Building a Creative Team

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We first met Madeleine Holly-Rosing at the Alternative Press Expo in San Francisco. The Shortboxed staff is, perhaps unsurprisingly, enamored with steampunk. Madeleine’s pitch was “Steampunk meets X-Files” – say no more, we were hooked. We also wanted to get to know Madeleine more, and share that knowledge with Shortboxed readers.

Madeleine is a TV and feature film writer, Madeleine holds an MFA in Screenwriting from UCLA where she won numerous awards as well as the Sloan Fellowship which requires integrating science and technology themes into a script. Madeleine is also formerly a nationally ranked epee fencer, she has competed nationally and internationally. Badass, right?
Shortboxed: So, you’re a writer with a story to tell. What makes comics the most appealing medium to you?
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Madeleine Holly-Rosing: It’s very visual. Coming from a  film and TV background,( I have an MFA inScreenwriting from UCLA,) it was very easy to to make the switch to comics once I got my head around the whole paneling thing. Once I learned it’s like directing, it all fell into place.
SB: Were you an avid comic book or comic strip reader when you were younger? Do you remember your first comic book store experience? What was it like?MH-R: I liked Snoopy growing up, but my introduction to comics came through my brother. An avid collector of Daredevil comics, I was allowed to look but not touch. This didn’t bother me as I wasn’t interested in superhero comics and it wasn’t until I learned how to write comics that I discovered the world of indie comics. What a shock!   I loved them and I now even review them for Fanboy Comics.

SB: When you pitched Boston Metaphysical Society to Shortboxed at APE, you called it “Steampunk X-Files” – naturally, the Shortboxed staff was intrigued. How did you conceive the idea of a ‘Steampunk X-Files’ series? What were your inspirations? MH-R: The story was originally written as a TV pilot when I was at UCLA. It was a straight period detective drama until a friend suggested I develop it into a steampunk world. Not knowing much about it, I read and did research on steampunk and loved it. Turns out it was the perfect marriage of my love for history, science fiction and supernatural stories like “The X-Files.”
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SB: You and Emily Hu (the artist of BMS) are a female team working in the comic industry. In what way, if any, has this fact influenced your creation process, or your road to being recognized and published?MH-R: I do use the fact that we are a primarily female creative team (colorist – Gloria Caeli) as a marketing tool since there are fewer creative female teams in mainstream comics though in indie comics I think there are quite a number. However, I think any smart publisher would be looking at the art and the story, not the gender of the team.
As for your question as to whether it has influenced my creative process…absolutely not. When I started putting together the team, it never entered my mind to create a “female” team, I simply wanted the best people for this project and one’s who I could afford.
You have to understand that this is everyone’s first book except for Troy and Shawn (Letterers). So we are all newbies together.
The Shortboxed Top 5: We ask every creator what their top 5 desert island comics are, and why? (trades,

Madeleine Holly-Rosing in full steampunk array

graphic novels or mini-series are all game).

You can find Madeleine Holly-Rosing on her:

If this is your first time visiting Shortboxed, thanks for stopping by! We want to provide a place online where people new to comics can come and learn about the culture and be introduced to some amazing stories without feeling overwhelmed or intimidated. We’re always adding new content, so please come back soon! You can also follow us on Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr at @shortboxed.


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