It happened a little over three hundred years ago. Bunch of meteors saturated with radiation collided with Earth’s atmosphere. What happened next changed our world forever.
They called it the Rain. It wiped out most of mankind, made the planet barely habitable, and darkened the skies for good.
From the ashes of the old world rose a new civilization known as the Seven Cities. And it was unlike anything that came before.
That’s the prologue to OCTANE, the “not a novel” project (#3 on this list) that I’ve been dying to tell you about for almost a year now. OCTANE is a “motion comic,” which is basically a comic book/graphic novel that’s partially animated and incorporates sound effects and music. It’s being produced by Motionworks Entertainment, a major new publisher that specializes in motion comics. When it launches in a few months, OCTANE will be available to purchase and experience exclusively on iPad, iPhone, and Android-based devices, and it will be published in roughly 25-30 page digital “books.”
Here’s the biggest, coolest part of the whole thing: OCTANE was created by comic book legend James O’Barr — best known as the creator of The Crow! O’Barr came up with the concept for OCTANE but didn’t have time to write or draw it himself, so Motionworks asked me if I could take what O’Barr gave them, develop it, and write this big, sprawling, epic story. In a nutshell: it’s O’Barr’s concept, I’ve fleshed it out and am writing the scripts, and then Motionworks is drawing, animating, and publishing it.
Now I’m not foolish enough to try and write like James O’Barr. That would be pointless; I write nothing like he does. But while Motionworks gave me the freedom to put my own sensibilities and stamp onto the story, it was equally important to me that I try to maintain the integrity, the flavor, the feel of what O’Barr does.
So what is OCTANE, exactly? Four hundred years from now, the survivors of a global disaster that brought on eternal night have been corralled into a new civilization called the Seven Cities. The Seven Cities are a kingdom, located in what used to be the Northeast United States, and its citizens are oppressed by a vile, all-powerful ruler. Our story begins with five men who live outside of the strictures of this society, coming and going as they please, bowing a knee to no one and doing whatever they like, wherever they like. They’re motivated by greed and an appreciation for anarchy. When one of their number is betrayed by the other four, he sets out in search of them on a quest for bloody vengeance that will take him to every one of the Seven Cities. But the journey he thinks he’s on may not be the journey he ends up on.
I’m not going to mince words: OCTANE is a high concept, post-apocalyptic dark tale of bloody revenge. It’s the darkest thing I’ve ever written (though aside from some violence and bloodshed, there’s nothing in it I’d call offensive). It won’t be for the faint of heart, and some of my readers won’t be attracted to this sort of material. That’s okay. But for those that dare to go on this journey, I offer this: the story is more than it initially appears to be. Take that as you will.
I’ll have lots more exciting details for you about OCTANE in the days and weeks to come, so stay tuned. In the meantime, enjoy this little taste of what’s in store! (Click the image to make it big enough to see all the incredible details.)