MeSseD in the Media
"Lilliput... is tough and enterprising. She is fearless and unflappable.
Lilliput is a hero for all of us."
-David Lyman, Cincinnati Enquirer
Articles, Interviews, and Features
INTERVIEW with Dylan Speeg "My major influences are lurid pulp novel covers and Robert Williams, R. Crumb and other comic book artists."
Season 3: Boots On ARTICLE "The Roots are home to a delightful array of skittery creatures: gigantic man-eating tubifex worms, forests of fungi, talking insects, a tribe of Allicrocs (alligator-crocodile hybrids), and bacterial colonies known as filaments."
“Hunt” Chapter 3, Season 2 REVIEW "Even in the face of defeat, Lilliput remains a strong inspiring woman who refuses to back down."
REVIEW "We follow the life of Lilliput as she works to clean the sewers from this weird and mutated creatures."
“Mother” Chapter 3, Season 2 REVIEW "Lilliput is the lone hero of this crazy world who has no time for banter when there’s obviously work to be done."
REVIEW “This is definitely one of those indie books worth going and checking out!”
"Fatberg Variations" Chapter 2, Season 2: Dregs REVIEW "... the compassion of Lilliput towards Bekka will make you smile.”
REVIEW "MeSseD comics is a fascinating, underground world-building dystopia reminiscent of the working class bizarre horror of William S. Burroughs’ Naked Lunch and the bodily grossness of JunjiIto’s Gyo."
"Echoes" Chapter 1, Season 2: Dregs REVIEW "I really enjoyed the artwork depicting Lilliput seeing in sound. Very well done."
REVIEW "I see great things in the future of MeSseD, this introduction is solid and definitely going places."
"Follow the Flush" Season 1 Trade REVIEW "Jay Kalagayan’s passion for his work is obvious for all to see and makes for a fun read."
Sol Con: The Brown, Black, & Indigenous Comics Expo
INTERVIEW "a montage of 5 creators discussing their career, influences, upcoming projects, and how the events of 2020 have shaped their work."
INTERVIEW "Tom Batiuk (creator of the long-running comic strip Funky Winkerbean) and Jay Kalagayan (creator, writer and publisher of MeSseD) join Ohio Center for the Book Scholar-In-Residence Dr. Valentino Zullo for a conversation about their use of comics as a storytelling medium, the state of comics in Ohio, and much more!"
INTERVIEW "MeSseD Comics joins us to talk sewer adventures, Matthew Sweet, and the pure wonder of Miyazaki's animated worlds."
INTERVIEW "I wanted to create a comic book that if people said 'it was a piece of s**t!' I could take it like a compliment."
REVIEW "MeSseD gives us a creative look into the weird, wet underground of the sewer system, with a strong, likeable lead, and a fun, science fiction embellishment."
REVIEW "“Leave it to MeSseD Comics to make me wish I had a pet rat and a giant grasshopper that loves beer as my sidekicks!”
INTERVIEW "Lilliput reminds me of a combination of Batman and Anne of Green Gables ... "
REVIEW “A purposefully yet uniquely disgusting sci-fi/horror comic book.”
"What wows me about this comic series is that creators ... are not afraid to play with sci-fi tropes and just have some fun."
“There is this utility that is essential that we use everyday. We contribute to this system everytime we turn on a faucet and we don’t know anything about it.”
“MeSseD … is pretty rad and has that grungy noir creature feature vibe that we just don’t get to see much in comics.”
REVIEW "Fans of independent comics built on a base of reality with a science fiction flare will enjoy this one."
Municipal Sewer & Water Magazine
“The comic book takes sewer work and amps up the fantasy, turning common tubifex worms and wastewater filaments into larger-than-life monsters … “
“I want people to realize there’s a lot that goes into maintaining sewers. That’s why people pay so much money to do it,” Beardsley says. “I try to explain how old the sewer system in the city is. In some places, it’s 120 years old, so it takes a lot of manpower, and a lot of money to maintain and get it up to date.”
Animated Short / Music Video
"Cincinnati artist Dylan Speeg has combined his two creative loves for an eye-popping new animated short."
"The local author of a comic book is taking his readers to new depths."
“I’ve been working with the same three goals my whole career,” says Kalagayan. “They’re the three Es. It has to entertain. It should educate. And it should be enlightening. I think this tour is all three of those. The sewers are something that are literally under our feet all day, every day. But most of us know almost nothing about them.”
Cincinnati Business Courier 2018
"Comic book exhibit immerses visitors in Cincinnati’s underground"
Awards and Honors
2019 SPACE Prize
PHOTO: Hailey Bollinger, Cincinnati Citybeat
Articles, Interviews, and Features
The Cinema Guys do Cincinnati Comic Expo (2018)
"If MeSseD was going to be a movie, we'd love Constance Wu to be cast as Lilliput."
Real Dudes Podcast- Real Mini: Interview with Jay Kalagayan of MeSseD Comics (2018)
"We have the first fatberg in comic books. That's one of our claims to fame."
Cincinnati Magazine dives beneath the sewer grates (2017)
"Kalagayan adds... 'My favorite response is when sewer workers come up to us and say how much they’ve enjoyed [it]. I have the utmost respect for the underappreciated yet essential job that they do.'"
Soapbox Cincinnati highlights MeSseD's local roots (2017)
"I really enjoy the process, and Jay pushes me to do things that I wouldn't normally do," Speeg says. He also loves that his involvement has influenced his 6-year-old daughter to start creating her own comics, which regularly feature a hotdog and a slice of pizza that go on adventures.
The Charlie Tonic Hour podcast features Jay, Dylan, and a special MeSseD cocktail (2017)
"For civilization to exist and get bigger, you need a plumber and the written word."
WVXU sat down to talk to Jay and Dylan about comics, sewers, and more (2017)
"Ever wondered what’s lurking beneath your feet within the city’s massive, twisting sewer system?
Know Theatre founder Jay B. Kalagayan did, and he’s giving Cincinnatians a peek underground into a gooey, alien world. ...readers get a glimpse into a surprising ecological area created by the waste that flows through the sewers."
Cincinnati Citybeat explores the alien world beneath our feet (2017)
"Speeg — also a singer and guitarist for Cincy Rock/Soul/Roots band Heavy Hinges — was fresh off of a project creating concept art for the Syfy cable channel.
...My favorite fiction and science fiction have always been built on a foundation of what’s real,” Kalagayan says. “I wanted to have that (idea) underlying, so you really think to yourself, ‘We don’t really know what’s down there.’ ”
The Cincinnati Enquirer gets down and dirty with Jay and Dylan (2017)
"Fascinating. And kinda creepy, too.
...That initial interest [in the MSD] led to more and more research about life in the subterranean world of sewer systems... The list of oddities goes on and on and on. Combine that with an overactive imagination spawned by a life spent reading sci-fi and cutting-edge theater and Kalagayan was chomping at the bit to create a freewheeling tale of life in the underground."