Magic and science are almost always at odds. Their age-old conflict is given new life in the Dark Horse comic Ether, which debuts this week. Written by Matt Kindt (Mind MGMT, Dept H) and illustrated by David Rubin, the series follows inter-dimensional adventurer Boone Dias, who finds himself drawn to the magical dimension of Ether. Dias uses his human knowledge of science to help the people of the dimension Ether solve crimes. Dias’ love of science brushes up headlong against all the magical oddities of Ether, ranging from cursed songbirds to lanterns with faces to more nefarious sorcery. The result is a fully-realized magical world, shaped by the over-active imaginations of both Kindt and Rubin.
“When I read Matt’s pitch a new world had exploded in my head,” Rubin told EW in a statement. “It was really inspiring and made my imagination run in a lot of powerful ways. I started to draw a lot of creatures, characters, and sets … Drawing this series has been a lot of fun, but at the same time a great challenge. In each issue new things happen: New characters, new environments, space-time jumps. You cannot use the same formula to draw all that.”
“I had some definite ideas for Deweys, the little creatures that file books in the Library-of-all-knowledge-and-books-ever, but then I had other more vague ideas like ‘what does the prison system look like in the Ether?'” Kindt added. “He developed elaborate designs and sketches for all of that … I ended up writing some new characters into the story based on some sketches he just threw in on a lark. Truest definition of collaboration you can have while making comics.”
Ahead of this week’s release of Ether #1, check out some of Rubin’s sketches – characters, ships, and places in Ether below.