The Winter King: Welcome to the Machine
A 40 page comic about a talking raven, insurgent punks, corrupt politics, media moguls, Norse gods, The World Tree, plus great rewards!
Welcome to the Machine is the first of three chapters in The Winter King. At 40 pages, this first chapter is twice the length of the standard comic book!
The story is set in an undefined time and place, a sort of hyper-reality like you might find in an old Norse myth. Gage is a peaceful man living in the last bastion of rural existence who clings fiercely to the old beliefs of the Norsemen. When a billboard is placed on his land advertising the impending urban sprawl, and a talking raven appears to him and informs him that someone has usurped the name of Odin, he reluctantly accepts his role as a messenger for the gods.
Meanwhile, in the city, a violent uprising has begun against an oppressive media mogul who calls himself Odin. Odin owns every media outlet in the city save for one (the public broadcasting television station), as well as the city’s police force, the majority of the national guard, and a large part of the nation’s military forces. He pushes his consumerist and expansionist ideals on the unwilling population often through censorship and force, and his right-hand man, Mr. Nobyashi, controls all his interests throughout the city.
When Gage reaches the city, he is immediately branded a threat by the 'establishment.' The rebellion, headed by a ruthless domestic terrorist named Fenris, believes Gage to be a spy for Odin. And Gage finds himself in the middle of an insurgency, on a mission for gods in which only he believes, a pawn in a game he doesn't understand, in a city so foreign to him that he begins questioning his own sanity, haunted by prophetic dreams. Needless to say, things don't go so well for him.
And that's where the introduction ends! If you want to know more about the story, or read script pages, or see art as it comes out, you'll have to donate to the cause!
The Winter King started as a kernel of an idea I had almost a decade ago. It was an expression of how I envisioned old ideas colliding head first with new attitudes. It was also something of an exposition on how happiness requires simplicity but life is often too complex for that. Finally, it was a love affair between my adolescent readings of Bulfinch's Mythology and my more mature listenings of Pink Floyd (hence the title of the first chapter).
About a year ago, I started to very seriously look for the right artist for this book. It needed someone with a great grasp of characterization, because this is a character driven story. Along with that, the artist needed to be able to show natural beauty and real, contemporary grit. This book is moves from the picturesque outland to the down-and-dirty city streets. This is the crossroads where the ancient and the modern meet and then duke it out. So the artist needed to be able to handle those disparities. George Zapata is that artist. You can check out his website and see for yourself. I have no doubt that he can give this comic more life and depth than anything that I could have hoped for.
Through the grass roots support of the Kickstarter community, George and I will bring to life this world in which the stark differences of natural simplicity and conformist chaos come together. The funds we raise here will go towards our initial run of this first chapter, including all the artwork, pre-press, and marketing that it takes to bring a book like this to life and get it into the hands of you, the readers. When the book is complete, we'll pull up our boot-straps and hit the road to bring it to you at conventions, local stores, or just to hand it to you in the street.
Don't forget to check out the updates for more information and artwork! Thank you so much for checking out our project. And if you're donating to our endeavor, thank you so much again. This is, absolutely, my dream coming to life.
- (57 days)