|The stars are nearly aligned.|
Or rather, I should say "we." For this project began with my artist friend Duncan Kay, there was never any possibility of anyone else drawing it, and for that reason, Duncan has been hanging on with this thing for every bit as long as I have.
Which is a heck of a long time. I mean, what, four years now? And in that time Gods has been through plenty of iterations, growing longer and more complex with each passing take. Looking at the final script, it's hard to believe I somehow originally crammed it into a mere eight pages! In the end, though, a graphic novel felt like the only option that made sense. There were plenty of reasons for that decision, just as there are good reasons the book wound up running to three issues, and they don't all have to do with my story - though there's no denying it gains from having that room to breath. But no, the reason C21st Gods needs to be in its current form, the one it will finally see daylight in, comes down to one thing, and that's Duncan's artwork.
Because for me, first and foremost, that's what this book is about. It's a story and a script I'm rather proud of, a weird little tale perched on the brink of horror and science fiction and poking at the soft flesh where those two genres meet. But that story and script have been designed from the ground up to be a showcase for Duncan's illustration work. It's gorgeous, is the thing; I love looking at it, so will other people, and one of my missions in life is to do whatever I can to make sure they get the chance.
I realise I've gone all this way without explaining just how it's come to be that C21st Gods is close to seeing the light of day. And that's a story in itself, but here's the shortened version: I got talking to a guy by the name of Bill Campbell about some entirely unrelated matter, and during the course of that conversation I remembered having seen on Facebook that Bill had something to do with comic books. So we started discussing comics stuff, and it transpired that the reason Bill was an authority on the subject was that he was publishing them through his outfit Rosarium. Within minutes I'd discovered that Rosarium was putting out some genuinely exciting work and that Bill was exactly the kind of editor I'd like to work with, and eventually I got around to pitching him C21st Gods - which as luck would have it was right then at a stage where it could be pitched. Needless to say, Bill liked it. And suddenly, after a mere four years, everything was in place for Gods to become a reality. If only things could always be so easy!
That said, we've a ways to go yet. But finger's crossed, we'll have the first issue out by the third quarter of this year, with two and three following in close succession, and then - the main event! - the trade paperback, with probably some DVD-extra type stuff thrown in and definitely a hidden secret extra ending, because it's right there in the script.
So watch this space. Or, I guess, maybe just watch the stars. Either way, C21st Gods are finally on their way.