It always blows my mind when I set out to do something and, ya know, actually do it. (This probably says more about my basement-level self-confidence than the difficulty of the task at hand.) I began 2014 with the determination to get into comic book writing — not necessarily land a job writing for Marvel or DC (which is good, because it’s not like the House of Ideas and their Distinguished Competition were banging down my front door to sign me), but to team up with an artist and get some creator-owned work out there in the world via the web. After years of playing the Hollywood game to wildly varying degrees of success, I was ready to stop asking for permission and just make stuff.
Flash forward a year later: OLIVIA DARK is finally launched and people seem to be digging it, which is nice. (If you haven’t checked it out yet, please take look here and download a free PDF of #00 while you’re at it.) And now I have a brand new project brewing that’s got me just as excited.
ONWARD is dark tale about a young orphan girl and her protector, an old combat robot searching for its commanding officer, as they make their way across the post-apocalyptic wasteland of the near future. I’ve always been a sucker for a) stories set in a world gone to hell and b) cool robots, so I figured, why not write something that brings the two together? Influences on this one include The Road Warrior, Harlan Ellison’s “A Boy and His Dog“, Robby the Robot, Cormac McCarthy’s The Road, Heavy Metal magazine and maybe a pinch of The Iron Giant.
My collaborator on this story is the fantastic Australian artist Aaron Hopkins, whose work so far is even better than what I originally imagined in my mind’s eye. Here’s a taste of some of the concept art he’s generated over the past couple of months:
Aaron is currently deep into the black and white artwork for Chapter One while I figure out the broad strokes of our overall narrative. Unlike the ongoing OLIVIA, ONWARD is intended to be a finite story — probably five chapters in total, each of them about fifteen pages long. At the end of the process, we’ll hopefully have enough material for a nice little graphic novel.
We’ll post the first installment as soon as it’s ready. It’s going to be pretty great.