The Hopeless Maine family is large, sprawling, and wonderful. We have so many awesome people getting involved in all kinds of ways to make the island ever more weird. We love you. You make it all worthwhile.
In 2019, we didn’t go to the enormous steampunk gathering in Lincoln, but Lyssa did, bearing a copy of The Gathering to put into the hands of Japanese film producer and wizard Dr Abbey. He was rather taken with it, and a conversation developed from there.
We fell in love with him. Emotionally, creatively. Tom and I were enraptured by his ideas, his perspective, his energy. Over the months he became more of a part of our lives and we talked, ever more seriously about what we might do together. If you’re a regular here, you will have seen bits of that going by.
In July, he came to us from Japan and for some weeks he has lived with us, drawing, talking, sharing ideas. There were a lot of ideas, and most of them are things we simply can’t do without him. We were daring to dream large there, for a while, and to imagine a future for the series beyond the story arc we already have planned. Abbey drew a number of images that clearly belong further along the timeline of some characters than I was expecting to go.
This is a picture Tom did of the three of us before we had met in person. It was drawn as a statement of intent, a small act of magic to move us in the direction we wanted to go. It’s Abbey doing his Durosimi face – he’s a tricky person to catch with one image. How he looks depends a lot on whether he is serious or clowning, or truly happy, or deep in concentration. He usually wears glasses, his hair is far crazier than any image really captures.
I’m posting it now as a statement of intent, an act of hope and dedication. This week has not gone well. There are times in life when you have to choose between dreams and being sensible. When you protect your heart, or keep it wide open no matter the cost. There are times when all you can do is choose whether to step away, or keep trying and hoping.
Hopeless, Maine is a project built fundamentally out of love and a willingness to try unlikely things. It is at heart a project about hope. It’s always been a community project, and we’ve always held doors open and enthusiastically encouraged anyone who wanted to play with us. It’s who we are, and what we do.
At this point, we have no idea how anything might work out with Dr Abbey. We don’t know what options we even have. It feels like everything is hanging in the balance. So we do what we always do. We keep moving as best we can. We keep hopeful. We want the heart of this project to be three people, not two people. We want future projects where Dr Abbey has his hands on the paper. We want to take the larger, crazier dreams and make them real.
This is what we’re for, as a project. This is what the story is about – both in real life and in the graphic novels. What people do when they love each other, and do not give up, no matter what.