Friday, 25 November 2016

C21st Gods Issue #1 Is Out

I'm a little behind on this, I must admit, having been distracted by that whole thing of The Black River Chronicles: Level One coming out and also having had a birthday around the same time (not a major one, thankfully, I'm not certain I could have coped with that this year!)  At any rate, when I say that the first issue of C21st Gods is out, I mean to say that it's been out for a few days now.  And that, in fact, you can buy it right this minute if the urge should take you.

The response so far has definitely been positive, if not absolutely great: lots of love, understandably, for Anthony's artwork, a general air that we're punching  above our weight in terms of a book from an indy press, but also a few comments along the lines of "So, is this it?"  Which is to say, is the first issue of Gods and its tale of a police detective stumbling across a gruesome string of murders that hint at darker horrors indicative of everything the book has going on?

And no, it isn't.  I mean, of course it isn't.  Anthony and I have some big damn things to come, of that I promise you, and many of those will come more clearly into focus in issue two, wherein the central conflicts become more readily apparent.  A small confession: one of the aspects of writing commercially that I find hardest is that you can't simply ask a reader to trust you.  If you let it, that fact ends up restricting the choices you make; faced with an audience who aren't familiar with your work and who'll tend to assume the worst, the temptation is to play safe, to front load the big ideas, to be attention-grabbing in favour of a slow burn.

But all of those things would have killed this idea stone dead, and that left me in the risky - but, fingers crossed, in the long term more rewarding - place of starting small and quiet and letting the artwork do the heavy lifting.  And at this point I must say, not for the first and surely not for the last time, that thank goodness I stumbled across Anthony Summey, whose detailed penciling and striking design work and eye-catching approach to colour are more than capable of all the heavy lifting I could have asked for.  I'm wholly ready to admit that his art carries this first issue -but that's as it was intended to be.

Because, as I say - big things to come.  And I for one am downright giddy at the thought of what Anthony's going to do with the next issue, when balls (and heads) really start rolling and shadowy figures make themselves known and C21st Gods gets to play some of the cards that make it, I hope, not just another book riding on the lengthy coattails of Mr. H. P. Lovecraft.  But all of that starts here in issue one, with a creepy house and a ghastly murder - soon to be followed by a string of even ghastlier murders - and a cop who realises he's willing to put everything on the line for the answers that no one much wants to give him.

You can pick up the first issue of C21st Gods here on Comixology and here on Amazon US.

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