How YA comics creators all over the world created the "5 Worlds" project

5 Worlds is a young SFF project that's been a hard secret to keep these past years! It's a five book series, 250 pages each, full color. It has five worlds and there are five of us working together on it. The story involves an impossible quest to light these ancient beacons left behind by an older civilization of Feline gods. The heroes are Oona Lee, a clumsy practitioner of a magical dancing art, An Tzu, a little boy from the toxic slums, and Jax Amboy, a superstar athlete known to everyone in the five worlds. And as they're thrown together they and their worlds go through some surprising transformations.

The real magic behind the scenes is the way our little team of five works. It's not an assembly-line project—in large measure we're all authoring and building this thing together. My brother Alexis is in London, I'm in New York and the artist team is spread out between
NY and LA—but it's a super tight-knit affair, and there's a five-way
chemistry that's like nothing else I've known.

When Alexis and I send thumbnailed pages, the other three each pencil different scenes. So the style sort of 'floats' between their own different styles. Then Matt inks the whole thing, after which Xanthe does this lush color design, and Boya goes over it all with a ton of clean-up on everything. And you end up with pages like you've never seen before. So each one brings their own strengths to every panel; Matt has a Moebius-like visionary feel for landscapes for instance, and Boya has a knack for the engineering and design, while Xanthe has this heart-melting grace with acting and the characters' emotional theater.

We've all come to love these characters, and these layered worlds with clashing cultures and genetics and ancient histories, and hints of our own broken world underlying it all, of course.