Arthur Protasio is one of the creators featured in our latest anthology, Welcome to Mina’s. Arthur is an award-winning writer & narrative designer with a passion for crafting riveting tales – no matter the genre or platform. As an experienced and versatile storyteller, he is an expert at developing content for TV, film, comics, and video games – from Cobra Kai to Mickey Mouse. His transmedia work on the TV series Now Generation was nominated for an Emmy Award, and his work on the tactical RPG Sword Legacy and sci-fi VR adventure Angest won Best Game, Best Storytelling, Best VR awards alongside international partners such as Walt Disney Company, Sony Pictures, Samsung, Team 17, and TV Globo. He worked with Victor Moura, a talented comic book artist from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. to create the story “Blessings in Disguise” for Welcome to Mina’s. I sat down [virtually] with Arthur to get some insight into comics, diners, and the creative process.
K: What was the inspiration behind your story for this anthology?
A: Culture. Legacy. Relationships. Diversity. And all of those elements connected through what I believe to be the most social ritual of all: eating food! The act of eating with others nourishes us both physically and mentally. Thus, “Blessings in Disguise” is a heartwarming tale of how food can bring people together and promote acceptance – no matter the origin, age, or experience. In fact, that’s why the Chop Suey dish, as a fusion of North-American and Asian cuisine, is an integral part of the story!
K: What is your favourite part of the creative process?
A: It’s hard to pick a favorite because I love all of it – all the way from conceiving the idea, pitching it, scripting, and finally working with the artist in bringing it to life in comic form. However, perhaps the process of illustrating the script, discussing the page layout, panel styles, and camera angles is the one that most stands out to me because it’s truly collaborative! I find it fascinating how, no matter how detailed my scene descriptions were, Victor always applied his creative vision to my original concept. This is certainly one of the highlights of crafting comics!
K: What’s your go-to diner order?
A: I’m somewhat of a foodie, so choosing one specific dish is certainly a challenge. However, I think there’s something very special about a well made Carbonara. It’s got pasta, eggs, cheese, pork, and pepper – an amazing combination! Few things beat the comfort and coziness of feeling warm pasta in your stomach, not to mention it’s a great dish to cook with a friend – or impress that special someone. I highly recommend the experience of collaborative cooking and aimed to show a bit of that in our comic!
K: This anthology is set in Vancouver. What’s your connection to the city? How would you describe Vancouver?
A: I immigrated to Vancouver in July 2019 and have been in Canada for almost 18 months now. I’m originally from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, so moving from the Atlantic Southeast to the Pacific Northwest was a significant life-changing experience, but I always had my sights set on Vancouver for personal and professional reasons. As a writer, director, and producer, I work in the digital entertainment industry and was already working on a Mickey Mouse VR project for a local company at the time. However, as a lover of beaches, trails, and exploration, BC revealed itself to quite charming – with the added bonus of snowy mountains!
Culturally, though, I believe Vancouver is a very interesting hub that welcomes people from all origins and has a very strong Asian influence. That’s something I aimed to explore in “Blessings in Disguise”.
K: How did you and Victor come to collaborate?
A: I first knew of Victor when I read his comic, Bartolomeu. He’s known as the “Brazilian Mike Mignola” because of his particular art style – strong light and dark contrast with the added detail of characters not having any visible pupils in their eyes.
I thought his art perfectly matched a grim poem I had written, “Human, You Are”, and approached him to discuss a collaboration. We worked together on the adaptation from poetry to comics and decided to continue our successful partnership by pitching “Blessings in Disguise” to Welcome to Mina’s. And here we are 🙂
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If you haven’t already, check out the Welcome to Mina’s KICKSTARTER!