This project's funding goal was not reached on December 8, 2011.
About this project
Sea Monster is a serialized web comic/upcoming graphic novel by Robert Rodi (Thor: For Asgard, Thor & Loki: Blood Brothers, Codename: Knockout) and Dan Dougherty (Beardo, Newton's Law, Bob Howard: Plumber of the Unknown).
The high concept: Sea Monster is the title of the new CD by the alternative rock band 7th Kind. Its premise is that it’s the soundtrack of a film that doesn’t exist. The Sea Monster graphic novel continues this meta-textual riff by positioning itself as the comics adaptation of the same nonexistent film.
The genre: Sea Monster is ground-level science fiction; there are no starships, no high-tech weaponry. Instead it deals with the conflict between postmillennial geopolitical trends and the eternal complexities of the human heart. Its influences range from the dystopian urbanity of Blade Runner and the Swiftian social satire of District 9, to apocalyptic blockbusters like 2012.
The story: Fifty years in the future, two great crises are reaching a boiling point: one is personal, the other, planetary.
The planetary crisis is of epic proportions. The earth groans under the weight of a population of 15 billion (more than double that of 2011); resources are stretched far beyond capacity, governments founder because of their inability to provide basic services, economies crumble, wars are fought over drinking water, and a reckless mismanagement of the environment has triggered a chain reaction that threatens to fry the planet in radiation in a matter of months.
Exacerbating the crisis is the presence of the Krinati, a peace-loving alien race who arrived on Earth thirteen years before, having fled a similar crisis on their own planet. The Krinati, who are serenely content to take the most lowly and hazardous jobs available, soon became society’s de facto servant class; they also exercise a disproportionate influence on the performing arts, in which they excel. The Krinati maintain that they spend only half their lives in the material world; the other half is spent in a dream state called diima that they consider every bit as real as the earthly realm.
Unfortunately, just as throughout history people have sought a scapegoat for every major calamity, so now the Krinati are blamed for Earth’s woes. Even though they make up less than 1% of the global population, they’re blamed for the planet’s overcrowding, and for all the terminal ills that have accompanied it. Their only defender is a youth movement, nicknamed the Krinateens, which rises up not only to defend the Krinati, but to use their humble, peaceful ways as example of how to live life wisely and maybe even save humanity in the process.
Running corollary to the planetary crisis is the personal crisis of Simon Lubbeck, a down-and-out musician whose life is in shambles. Twice divorced, his career circling the drain and his finances in freefall, he’s coming up hard on his fortieth birthday, and is resolved not to meet the milestone with either submission or quiet grace. Life has not only disappointed him, it’s pretty much shit on him all the way down the line. Simon was once a Krinateen himself, and in fact his first wife divorced him when she discovered him cheating with a Krinati female. When Simon then married his Krinati mistress, he was socially ostracized, even in musical circles—and quickly found his new wife’s exoticism greatly diminished by daily exposure. He divorced her (she, in that maddening Krinati way, didn’t seem to mind)—and soon came to hate her. And from there it was a short hop to hating all the Krinati, like everybody else did.
Simon is sufficiently honest with himself to realize that his hatred is partly fueled by jealousy; in his twenties he strove desperately to achieve the diima state himself, but he never succeeded; the closest he ever came was fleeting, tantalizing glimpses he’d occasionally get when playing music. He longs for diima still...but instead, he has what he calls his “sea monster,” something deep within him that rises up every time he strives for diima. The sea monster is a dark, wave-like force that threatens to overwhelm him. His first few experiences of it were so terrifying that he stopped his quest for diima entirely; but now the sea monster comes on him all on its own, usually when he least expects it. He’s had to give up music entirely, because it makes him so vulnerable to it.
As the planetary crisis reaches critical mass, so does Simon’s personal crisis—in fact, his fortieth birthday looks like it will be D-day for the whole of humanity, as well. That’s fine by Simon; he intends to help it along, by finally, fully giving himself over to the sea monster. One last fuck-you to the world that has, in his opinion, ruined him.
We follow Simon as he races ahead of the disaster (or is the disaster following him?) to say his goodbyes to the people and places in his life—even as, all around him society collapses into chaos. And as he makes his rounds, meeting for the last time his wives, his children, his old Krinati music teacher—something stirs in the recesses of his mind...a memory, deliberately suppressed, from long, long ago. But he can’t make it coalesce...can’t put his finger on its meaning.
Then his birthday arrives. As the planet itself enters its death throes, Simon invites his sea monster forth...and when it finally washes over him, he discovers at the last possible moment something about himself, something he’d long ago jettisoned but now welcomes back...something that utterly transforms him, and humanity as well.
Where you come in: Traditional comics publishers have become increasingly shy of creator-owned properties, as print itself loses market share to digital publishing. So top-tier comics creators can now bypass publishers entirely and partner directly with our readers. We welcome you as backers, collaborators, and co-publishers—and we've got some seriously wicked incentives to welcome you aboard. Thanks for your attention & support—see you on the road to apocalypse!
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- (60 days)