Saturday, July 2, 2011

CONCLAVES: a small preview of a long story...

(top to bottom) Georgina "Georgie" Strathmore; Zenovius; Dack Nolan, agent of S.C.E.P.T.R.E.; Doctor Vincent Thomas Oblique; Dane Christian Hellstrand, a son of the demon Samael; Onus (Marisol D'Aulaire) and Pierce (John "Jack" Trantham aka Operator Zed); Solomon Anger; The Exterminating Angel (Tristan Sorrell); and Mescalita (Camille de Mauvais).

CONCLAVES is yet another dream project of mine that nearly came to fruition in 2008. I had spent that year inventing scores of characters; writing the first two issues' scripts; and devising a lengthy story bible beyond that. It was pitched to CAG (Comicbook Artists' Guild) member Steve Kanaras' Free Lunch Comics, which published a book by my later collaborator, Shawnti Therrien. But somehow, between developing projects for other indie publishers (which crashed and burned when those publishers went under); getting back in the game of freelance published journalism (in Astonishing Adventures Magazine and later Dark Discoveries); searching for secure employment; and dealing with family health issues and a deteriorating relationship, my commitment to CONCLAVES and to seeing things through with Steve (a great guy by the way; none of this is a reflection on him) fell far by the wayside.

I continued to generate characters and story ideas and even wrote an erotic short story, "The Ballad of Onus and Pierce" (my first sexually explicit writing in many years). But then, the chance to be a part of With Honor came about in October 2008 and I began to focus on "Snow Leopard" and on the cycle of short stories that have come to form the backbone of Iron Creek and Purple Rooms. These projects and Dark Discoveries filled my time in 2009 and early 2010, and I put CONCLAVES on an indefinite back burner. My search for an artist for the book had proven fruitless anyhow. It's hard to say when I'll have the chance and the wherewithall to pick back up CONCLAVES, but I have been doing some more character sketches this week, and pondering future plotlines. It's impossible to resist really. When the characters speak, I must listen.

Oh, and for those who've asked: "what exactly is CONCLAVES actually about?", I can only describe it as semi-autobiographical, metafictional pastiche, inspired by my experiences pitching comics stories.

CONCLAVES and all related art, characters, and designs depicted, and all story elements are Copyright 2008-2011 George Henry Smathers Jr.

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