Aaron Dembski-Bowden

Don't worry. None of this blood is mine.

My Webcomic

As you probably know by now (for y’all are wise and learned folk) I’ve got a webcomic starting soon. It’s called The Road to Jove. It’s about a road going to a place called Jove. It’s also about people, robots, rust, robots, war, robots, mythology, and some robots.

The next blog post is going to be another Tale of Five Heretics / Hobby Chatter update, but while that’s still being written I decided to steal a chance to actually discuss RtJ rather than just allude to it and run away in question-dodging silence, like I’ve been doing for the last few months.

My webcomic (by which I mean “our webcomic”, since the artist David Sondered is the one doing all of the really hard work) launches in two weeks, which is trouser-fudgingly close. If you wonder whether I – the celebrated Master of Missed Deadlines – have it all in hand this time, well, the answer is a resounding: “Yeah, kinda.”

Working with someone else means there’s a baseline level of constant pressure to Get Things Done. This palpable eternal pressure is pretty motivating, in the way nebulous things like “I need to pay my bills” and “My innocent child is starving before my very eyes” have never managed to kick me into gear.

I went into this project blind about half a year ago, with a few vague ideas circling my head and several possible artists to hit up for discussion. After checking the Notes document that contains all of mine and David’s planning and brainstorming since the fateful day I first contacted him, there are now 200 images of reference and concept art and over 100,000 words of discussion – which is the length of an average novel. Soul Hunter and The Talon of Horus were about 100,000 words, give or take. For better or worse, it’s fair to say a lot of work has gone into it even before it launches.

Dan (of the Abnett Clan) has helped out behind the scenes with advice and examples of his own comic scripts, which have been more valuable than gold in working out how to structure my own script. A comic script is sort of “for the artist”, if you get me, whereas I’m so used to writing “for the reader”. It sounds obvious, I know, but in practice it makes all the difference. This is hallowed and unfamiliar ground. It pays to tread carefully.

I’m under no illusions that a lot of guys and girls who read my work purely with a 40K eye won’t give a fuck that I’m starting to do non-40K stuff. That’s totally fine, I swear. This has been a long time coming though, and as nerve-wracking as it is to see it building up to launch, it’s also incredibly refreshing in the oh-so-rarely-professional sense. In some ways RtJ is a bit of a love letter to things like The Mysterious Cities of Gold and The Dark Tower Cycle – things that have inspired me since forever, and with moods that stuck with me through the years, informing a lot of my preferences in what I read and write. The game Another World (I think it was called Out of this World in the States) is another example.

Not the events of those stories. Just the feel and the sweeping sense of unreal distance they present to you. Worlds you knew were vast and dangerous, yet wanted to explore them despite how alien and treacherous they could be. Not a quest or a mission or a trek. A journey.

I hope when you peeps get to see it with your own skull-socketed gummi-spheres that it triggers some of the same feelings in you, too.





January 25, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | 8 Comments