Burdens of Draco: Charissa Beukema & Micah Metz
By: Dezaray Barr
Beukema is a freelancer at the moment, but since February, her and Metz have been working a special project. “Micah approached me about illustrating a comic book he wrote. In all honesty, I was terrified to say yes,” Beukema shared. “I had never done anything like this before. Comic books, science fiction, space—it was all new to me. But God pushed on my heart and made it clear accepting the project was the right thing to do. I told Micah as much, saying that, if he would have me, I was all in. We began working together the following day. In an absolute blessing of a journey, Micah and I made this comic book, start to finish, in about 6 months. We had our first signing together at Abbey Coffee Co. in October. Marion is a place special to us both, and we wanted to do a signing here for sure.”
Metz has been working on the comic, Burdens of Draco, for six years. “I have been writing and re-writing, editing and tweaking, making sure the story has an impact on the reader- making sure that it is a story that not only excites the reader but moves them emotionally. With help from a few sample readers and my editor, A.J. Ellis, the story is now complete. The rough page count for the story is 280 pages, which makes for a pretty hefty graphic novel. That is why we are splitting it into 20ish page issues. I am most excited to see how reader reacts to the twists and turns placed throughout the book and the interesting characters that they will meet,” Metz shared.
Beukema said her time at IWU was amazing. “My time at IWU was so much bigger and more rewarding than I ever imagined. Of course, it was a struggle at first,” she shared. “I came from hundreds of miles away, to a place where I had no friends. But I had made the right choice in my college selection. I spent my first week on campus holed up in the Williams Prayer Chapel fervently praying that God would make it clear IWU was where I was supposed to be.”
“While at IWU, I went through a time of spiritual exploration,” Metz shared about his time at IWU. “I researched other religions and looked at what they believed and why. My Dad was a part-time pastor, and growing up in the church was something that gave me good roots in Christianity, but I wanted to make it my own. IWU is where I found the foundations of biblical truth and Christ’s relationship that has made me so solid in my faith today.”
If Beukema could encourage IWU students, she’d say, “Utilize every second you have in Marion. Make it your home, but be prepared to leave. You will not be in this environment forever, and you need to learn how to live outside a supportive and secure Christian environment.” Metz would encourage students, ‘The best is yet to come, but without determination and hustle you will only find mediocre service to God. Find what He has called you to and then relentlessly pursue despite what others are doing around you.”
Written by Dezaray Barr, PR Specialist for the Alumni Office. Dezaray is a junior Strategic Communication and Honors Humanities double major at Indiana Wesleyan University in the John Wesley Honors College. At IWU, Dezaray runs both the JWHC Blog and her own blog. Visit Dez’s website at www.dezaraybarr.weebly.com.