Posted December 12, 2016 by Carlos Alcazaren in Comics

LET’S TALK KOMIKS: Chelsea Oleta’s turn for her Graveyard Shift

One of the new Komiks that’ll be released at this weekend’s Komikon 2016 is Chelsea Oleta‘s The Graveyard Shift – a story about a mangkukulam named Maya who joins her mother in America to investigate a town’s supernatural reports. We here at FlipGeeks got a chance to sit down and talk about Chelsea’s komiks debut and what to expect from her booth this weekend.


FLIPGEEKS: When did you start thinking of making comics and why?
CHELSEA OLETA: My comic started out as a plot outline for an animated pilot back in 2014. However, as I started to develop the story more, I thought of maybe turning it into my very first comic! I still want to animate the pilot, but thought this would make a very good practice for story flow and sharpening my artistic skills in general. Also, the different adventures the characters experience take advantage of the comic medium through dividing them into issues.

What’s The Graveyard Shift about?
Maya comes from a long line of shamans and witches (also known as ‘mangkukulam’) hence her ability to use magic. Originating from the Philippine provinces, she soon joins her mother in America to live in a suburban town in the countryside. She has been briefed about the town’s supernatural reports, but doesn’t realize the severity of those stories until she experiences it for herself. The succeeding issues follow Maya and the people she meets as they deal with the town’s strange problems.

How did you come up with it?
I’ve always found the supernatural very interesting. But most importantly, the origin story of anything from your common ghost to ancient Greek gods. I had initially struggled with the setting more than the rest of the story elements since that would be the main basis as to what creatures will appear. Then, I realized such a country where just about every person from different countries and cultures had set foot and lived in does exist–the United States of America. It felt like the perfect setting for a story that involves characters from multicultural backgrounds without feeling too out of place given the right circumstances. Maya joining her mother in the USA felt like a situation I feel many Filipinos, both inside and outside the Philippines, can relate with; immigration and life as an OFW (Overseas Filipino Worker) in search for better opportunities abroad. Aside from the supernatural element to my story, I hope to bring to light as well the impact of living in a place and culture so different from your own while also being so far from those you love to better support them.

Are you excited for its release?
Definitely! As well as kind of nervous. I hope people will like it and feel curious enough to desire learning more of how the story progresses. I am also very open to critiques and suggestions that can further push my comic’s potential.

What can we expect from your booth?
Besides my comic, I’ll be selling ‘The Graveyard Shift’ merchandise. Some even come free with each comic purchase! That along with both original and fan works. Expect Maegan Macarat’s Deep Sea Thoughts comic and merchandise too. There will be other artists as well selling different prints and stickers that will definitely be something to look forward to with the skill set they all possess!

Carlos Alcazaren