University of Wisconsin-Stout Graduate Self-Publishes Graphic Novel

Elizabeth Vierkant

Micah Amundsen, a 2018 graduate in the comics and sequential art program in the entertainment design major, recently self-published their own graphic novel.

Amundsen is currently working as a freelance comic book artist. They self-published the first issue of their ten-part graphic novel series, “Cursed.”

“The story follows a pair of pick-pocketing brothers who are cursed by a wizard and team up with another compulsive thief to try to reverse the magic,” Amundsen said. “You’ll like ‘Cursed’ if you’re a fan of criminal hijinks and magical character-driven shenanigans and drama.”

This project was funded through a kickstarter. Amundsen also did a 24-hour livestream on Twitch during the first day of their campaign. They drew the first eleven pages of “Cursed.”

Despite being self-published, Amundsen would love to be published through a comic book company. “I’ve had a cover letter sitting on my harddrive for a few weeks but haven’t worked up the courage to send it yet,” Amundsen said. “This process could take a while, which is why I self-published the story right away. I wanted it out in the world as soon as possible.”

Along with “Cursed,” Amundsen has a webcomic titled “The Roommate From Hell,” which was started in 2017.

The webcomic follows the story of the protagonist’s roommate being possessed by a demon. The protagonist’s cousin also happens to be possessed by a demon-hating angel that the cousin falls in love with. Amundsen believes someone that enjoys theorizing would like this story because it features a strict magic system and quite a bit of mystery.

When asked what inspired these stories, Amundsen said, “This may sound cliche, but both ideas came from dreams I had.” When it comes to “The Roommate from Hell,” Amundsen also found themself drawing inspiration from stories, such as “Supernatural” and “Buffy the Vampire Slayer.” For “Cursed,” they were inspired by “Dungeons and Dragons,” “Legend of Zelda” and some fantasy manga.

Amundsen has been writing stories since they were in middle school. Later in middle school, they found themself interested in comics and manga. They attempted their first webcomic in high school.

Amundsen was also very interested in animation and originally planned to attend school for this. As a cancer survivor, they used their wish from the Make a Wish Foundation to visit the studio that made “Gravity Falls,” a popular Disney cartoon. However, Amundsen believes this made them realize that animation wasn’t for them.

While much of Amundsen’s inspiration comes from dreams, television series, and games, they further develop their stories by imagining their characters in different scenarios. Following this, they tie these scenarios together until they are satisfied with the plot.

In the future, Amundsen hopes to write more stories inspired by their own life.

“There’s people out there who want to see graphic memoirs from me about what it was like to be a cancer patient in high school, or ways being non-binary has impacted my life,” they said. “However, I’d rather write a work of fiction heavily inspired by life events than a… memoir, but I’m having a hard time organizing all the themes I want to include into a single coherent story.”

Outside of being a writer and artist, Amundsen is also a musician. This summer, they won second place at the Masters of Musical Whistling International Festival and Competition.

Alongside music, “Cursed” and “The Roommate from Hell,” Amundsen is working on many other projects. They are currently taking commissions and are creating a graphic novel for Avenue A Books.

“It’s great to live in the internet age where nothing can stop you from posting your art online and getting it into the world right away,” Amundsen said.