A graphic novel about an individual's attempt to merge the consciousness of all beings through destructive manipulation.
Ten Thousand Gates is a self-published, detailed black and white graphic novel in the making. The culmination of over a decade of writing and design, it is the first of six forthcoming volumes, and will consist of approximately 300 pages.
Set after the collapse of the global empire, Ten Thousand Gates is the story of an immortal human who has proclaimed himself God. Having scattered copies of himself throughout the world, he has the ability to tap into the Ley Lines, conduits of energy that cover the Earth in a grid of sacred geometry.
The Ley Lines link the energy signatures of all forms of life into an interwoven tapestry, and he uses them to tap into the minds of his subjects to perpetuate and expand his immortal consciousness. In his employ are the Gatekeepers, who hold dominion over the Lines, hunting down those few beings conscious enough to oppose his will.
After years of exile, a Gatekeeper chooses to confront his former master, to prevent him from unifying the consciousness of all beings within himself and becoming a terrible manifestation of God’s totality.
I began Ten Thousand Gates when I was fourteen. It was originally based on the concept of the Akashic Records, the celestial tomes that contain the history of the universe, including our own individual lives. I'd written and drawn hundreds of pages, the characters and scenes of which have survived through a creative process that's lasted for over a decade.
Had I finished it then, the story would've been an amalgamated ripoff of The Lord of the Rings, The Eternal Champion, and Spawn. Although I wanted to avoid using stereotypical fantasy races, I was still world building another Middle-earth, one where all the enemies looked like crosses between Darth Maul and the Strangers of Dark City, with a backstory similar to Tolkien's The Silmarillion.
As I neared the end of high school, I realised I knew more about Middle-earth than I did about the real world. So I took a break from fantasy.
In college I studied Illustration and Design, and through my work I expressed many heavy emotions and thoughts about a world I didn't understand very well. I didn't have much to say about it yet, and a story with little to say wasn't something I wanted to read or write, so I stopped writing and turned to science fiction for a while.
Science fiction helped me to reconnect to the world. It dealt with current problems, like technology and the abuse of power, and the evolution of mankind.
Years later, during my first job as a concept artist, I figured I'd accumulated enough material and experience to work with, so I returned to writing, satisfied that I'd finally discovered something I needed to communicate through my work.
I didn't have to create a whole world anymore. Better to try that in life rather than fiction. I just had to write a good story, and draw it well.
A story about the power at work beneath the surface of life, that directs the consciousness of all things, and about the understanding of this power, which grants human beings the ability to control others, often without their knowledge.
If reached, the $10,000 goal will permit me to fully commit myself to Ten Thousand Gates throughout 2014, in order to complete it for release next winter with a first printed run!
INT. ADOIL'S NODE - EVENING
Adoil disconnects from Ten Thousand Gates. The simulation's light fades into the glow of his gate as it hovers above him, his node's connection to the city. He lies in the recess of a raised platform, in the center of a pentagonal chamber. A low bell clangs, and the gate announces a call.
ADOIL'S GATE - Grale of Medius.
He's been expecting this. He sighs, exhausted and anxious. He forces himself to rise, and walks to the steps lining the five chamber walls. Five portals branch off fom the top step, a star within a star. He mounts the steps, and seats himself at the top. He takes a deep breath to calm himself.
ADOIL - Accept.
The raised platform's segments shift like blooming petals as it morphs into a fountain. The gate projects Grale's body over the water, a sharp yet generic man in a matching suit.
ADOIL - Hello Grale.
GRALE - That simulation wasn't what we agreed on.
Joseph tries to seem at ease.
ADOIL - Just a few last minute changes.
GRALE - You've sabotaged your career. Medius won't stand for another Ten Thousand Gates. If you won't respect the guidelines, then I'll replace you with someone who will.
ADOIL - Go ahead and try to find someone better.
GRALE - I really don't think you appreciate the position you're in. I'm giving you a week to reconsider your current attitude.
Grale reaches out to an unseen panel and his image fades away.
Adoil's relief that the confrontation is over does nothing to relieve his anxiety over what might come next. He's seen defectors ruined before.
INT. PROXY'S NODE - EVENING
The Proxy stands in an octagonal room covered in mirrors. It examines its face closely, a featureless mask with creased, pale eyes. The creases, previously unnoticed, have become the source of much anxiety. It runs its fingers over them, probing their depths.
The Proxy has the ability to take on the shape of any man, a shifting mosiac of infinite possibilities. Yet no matter how it morphs its face, the new creases remain.
If it can no longer properly emulate another, will it be discarded and replaced? In the face of its own obsolescence, the comfort and wealth the Proxy has been made accustomed to throughout its life of service now seems meaningless.
The Proxy's gate sounds a chime, and announces his visitor.
PROXY'S GATE - Grale of Medius.
Grale. Too soon.
PROXY - Let him in.
The gate teleports Grale into the central chamber of Proxy's node. Around him is a ring of couches upon which rest three attractive young women. They stir as Grale passes through and approaches the mirror room.
The Proxy turns to Grale, mocking him with a grinning copy of his own face. Grale is not amused.
GRALE - We have a problem.
PROXY - Ten Thousand Gates
Ten Thousand Gates and all original related material ®© Claude Bernier-Tremblay
Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
The risks are few, and the challenges are many! The date of completion for this project has been determined by my freelance and industry production experiences, and I have planned for a production schedule of approximately one page per day. The backer will be kept continuously up to date with the production process. The main challenges will lie mostly in optimizing the manufacturing and distribution of the book once it's complete.
Upon completion, copies of the work will be solicited to comic book stores throughout North America. I am considering having the graphic novel printed by Quebecor, as they are a pick-up point for Diamond Comic Distributors.
The printed copy’s format will be the standard softcover graphic novel size of roughly 7 x 10 inches. The current planned cover would consist of textured matte paper and a semi-transparent dustcover. Backers have the option to receive their copies signed at no additional cost.
Although a PDF copy will be available, the full spectrum of available formats will not be adressed until late in the production process. Mobile app publication options are being considered along with digital comic outlets. Backers are encouraged to recommend their preferred digital copy formats and sources.
Original page dimensions are 12 x 16 inches, black ink on cold-pressed watercolor paper.
Poster dimensions are 18 x 24 inches, with the option to have the poster signed at no additional cost.
The dedication consists of a list of all backers in the final pages of the graphic novel, thanking them for being a part of this project and making it possible.
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