Merciful is a comic book series set in our grim, but not too distant future. It chronicles an ensemble of characters that are struggling to do what they think is right while the world is crumbling around them.
After 15 years of government corruption, oil shortages and nuclear war, the world is suffering from a very serious food shortage. Whole cities are surviving on nothing more then vitamin and protein-enriched gruel. But in the year 2033 there’s a momentary glimmer of hope when Takahashi Enterprise has a break through with bioengineering. They’ve found a way to drastically speed up the production of pork while also increasing the size of the swine considerably, creating a sustainable protein source. Countries quickly jump on board setting up the new pork production plants and pumping out product as fast as they can to feed the masses. In the major cities, conference centers and sport arenas are transformed into massive soup kitchens to feed the hungry. At first the world rejoices, parents are final able to feed their children. But the celebrations are short lived.
Only weeks after the first person was served, cases of a strange sickness are popping up all over the globe. Originally thought to be isolated cases of food poising, the world quickly learns that it’s much more than that. Symptoms seem to change from patient to patient. For some the sickness comes on slowly and for others it seems to hit them like a Mac truck. Within a few short weeks8 two thirds of the worlds population is either sick or dying.
Just as all hope seems to be lost, a young scientist and entrepreneur named Joshua Van Es, discovered both the cause and the solution for the sickness. Through his own independent experiments he discovered that the type of diseases they were dealing with was a “prion” (protein infection) caused by the tainted pork. He creates an inoculation that stops the sickness by slowing and eventual halting the unfolding of healthy brain cells. The vaccine is quickly distributed worldwide but in some cases it’s too late, the people who first fell ill are too far-gone. The ones who don’t die slip into comas, receiving food and oxygen through tubes. The people who do pull through are left scarred and sterile, leaving only a small number of people healthy and able to reproduce.
Without people to run them, small towns and cities fall by the wayside. Larger cities use their resources to transform huge high-rise condos into giant medical wards for the comatose in hopes they’ll find a cure for the damage caused by the sickness.
8 years pass...
It’s 2041, and the sick are still in comas with no sign of improvement. But Van Es hasn’t lost hope, he’s heard rumours of an ex military man who had the sickness but some how still fathered a child, a son. After investigating, he finds out that the stories are true. He has reason to believe the key to reviving the comatose might lie in the child’s DNA.
Private William King and his wife have taken their newborn son and are hiding deep in the woods. They fear that their baby might be taken away if anyone finds out about him. So when Van Es tracks them down they go into panic mode. He doesn’t try to force them to come back, but instead tries to lure them back with the promise of amazing living conditions and minimal testing. William agrees to at least think about it and Van Es leaves to return to the city.
Upon arriving back at Van Es Towers, Joshua is informed that there was a board meeting in his absence. Some of people in power have decided it’s time to move on. They plan to divert power form the sick wards to new village set up for the survivors, euthanizing thousands of sick.
In only 8 days, they’ll throw the switch and destroy any chance Van Es had at discovering a cure.
Van Es now realizes that the time for niceties has come and gone. The child might be their only hope. He puts a military tracking team together to go after William’s family and bring them to the city whether they like it or not. But What Van Es doesn't know is that shortly after he left, William and Catherine fled. They loaded what they could on to a wagon and left on horse back for the coast.
The majority of our story will follow the cat and mouse chase as the military team tries to track down the family. The reader is left unsure who to root for, the desperate family or the rest of the world. It will keep them on the edge of their seat wondering if Van Es will have time to find a cure before they can pull the plug.
Key Personal Biographies
ADAM & KYLE
These two have been causing trouble together for more than 25 years. They originally met in day care and have been best friends ever since. In their pre-teen years they spent weekends watching horror movies all night and coming up with elaborate plots for make believe sequels. After high school Adam went off to LA for Film School and Kyle went out to BC to pursue his music career. Shortly after returning home to Canada Adam continued making films in hopes of breaking into the industry. Being young and industrious, he landed a meeting with CTV and within 3 months was developing an hour-long drama series, “Lost City”, under the “Writer Only Program”. Since then he has developed many original concepts with several major production companies. Kyle put his music career on hold to further his education. He returned to Ontario and studied Music Production as well as Sustainable Energy and Building Technology. But it wasn’t all studies for Kyle, he also carved out a name for himself in the underground music and poetry scene in Hamilton. Although this is the guy’s first official collaboration, it certainly won’t be their last.
Dan can't remember a time when he wasn't drawing wizards, monsters, and comic books. A fan of science fiction, Dungeons and Dragon, and anything with the words 'post apocalyptic' in the title, Dan has finally stopped pretending he was going to be anything other than a comic book artist. He has recently finished a diploma in Sequential Illustration and has done work for the new Rune Quest RPG and St. James Comics. Originally from Cape Breton, Dan has lived all over Canada but now calls British Columbia home.
- (60 days)