Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Age Old Enemies: Book One

After completing the six issues of the Zooniverse comic I had planned to follow the three members of the Kren Patrol in a series of twelve albums. Upon leaving the planet Crastalla Spak, Lokki, and Entox, are besieged by Void Pirates who capture and sell them into slavery. The twelve albums follow their individual struggle back to freedom.

The first book I had planned was "Age Old Enemies", where Althra, a Shadanese agent from the Halls Of Record is sent to find out what happened to Zeroy and Larote's secret expedition. She goes to their last known whereabouts, the planet Crastalla, where she finds Larote Quoke, who has gone native and is leader/god of a village of Insectoids. Althra learns that Zeroy and the Kren Patrol went missing eight paraspan ago. Her journey leads her to Spak who she frees from sex enslavement and madness.

Althra is nabbed by Arachnoids.  This art was originally done in 1991 and colored recently.
(Click to enlarge)

So here's what happened to the book....
The timing seemed perfect, it was 1987 I had completed the first season as character designer on the animated ALF series and had met French publisher Guy Delcourt while in LA. He invited me to stay a few days with him in Paris during my return trip to Australia. In Paris, Guy discussed interest in my next Zooniverse book should he approve the story. So upon my return home I commenced work but was interrupted by the second season of Alf, and another trip around the world (this time with Helen), and back to Paris and Guy, I showed him some of the pages I had finished and left the first page in his care (doh! I guess I'll never see that art again). Back in Australia I completed inking up to the 16th page, and decided to send the finished pages off for review. Upon seeing the pages, Guy suggested that I show him roughs of the remaining 30 pages rather than allowing me to commit to finished art that he may not publish.

So I roughed the remaining pages at the same size as a French album. I sent them off to Guy. His response was that it was too hard to read, so he requested that I write a script.

I began scripting the entire 46 page book from beginning to end with my brother Thomas, who could type and use a computer, skills that I had yet to learn in 1991. Together we finished the tome, a process that took so many months that I probably could have completed drawing and inking the book within the same time. So in the end I held the script in my hand, but I had no passion for the project, all of my energy had been invested into what I considered to be a novel, the story was complete and I was creatively dry. I decided not to send it to Guy because I had no interest in illustrating the script.

I realized an important fact about my technique, I like to improvise and work by blending images and words, too much planning kills the spontaneity that I thrive on.

At this point it was early 1992, I was broke and disillusioned, there was a recession happening and I got a call to travel up North to Queensland to work in their film industry. To date, my work for "Age Old Enemies" remains unpublished and unseen, except for the panels on this blog.