An initiation to The Initiation, that’s what we’re up to in this post.
Although we’ve been working on the Tens-Day graphic novel for quite some time, our prose comic, The Initiation, a more contained story, is closer to being finished. This one-shot is a re-imagining of our short story of the same name with the addition of art by Joe Koziarski. Here is the summary of the story that will be included in the comic:
A final obstacle stands in the way of Cadet Wren Yorick before he can join an elite United Colonies of Earth 23rd-century military squadron: a trust exercise on a long-abandoned installation on the planet Venus that is rumored to be haunted. Isolated and disoriented upon waking up from his induced sleep, Wren must rely on the guidance of his superiors to complete the task. They remotely direct him on his solitary journey to the remnants of the former colony through a vicious and unfamiliar landscape rife with whipping winds and extreme heat. His commanding officers, however, do little to neutralize his sense that there is something more, something uncanny about the bleak geography that he traverses. This leads Wren to question what he knows about his mission, his commanders and even his own eyes and ears before he reaches the small outpost at the edge of the colonial outpost, at which point his life forever changes.
The Initiation occurs almost a decade before the Interstellar Civil War erupts in 2239. Not so much a precursor to the conflict, this narrative examines one of the darker and stranger outposts of the INT universe before the outbreak of war. How did the story come to be?
I was tasked to write an eerie short tale set in the INT universe to share on a popular creepy pasta YouTube channel in 2014. At that time, the writing team, in conjunction with Justin Bise, INT’s creator, generated a list of possible story kernels. (The only other one I recall now was a ghost-ship narrative.) Last year, we decided to revisit The Initiation (after it was published in The Infinite Spectacle) with the aim of transforming the story into a prose comic.
That process began in late 2015, after I read a number of prose comics, including two Batman stories: Batman 663 “The Clown at Midnight” by Grant Morrison and “Death Strikes at Midnight” by Denny O’Neil. (This insightful review of the former includes its relation to the latter, if you are interested in learning more about the respective stories.) After reading around and becoming more familiar with the prose-comic genre, I broke down the 7,000 words of “The Initiation” into pages paired with one to three images. In a subsequent post, I will share the transformation from story, to script to finished page.
For the moment I will leave you with our working cover to The Initiation, courtesy of Joe:
With the cover, an INT advert, credits page and bio page, we are looking at 28-page book, which we hope to share with you shortly.
Click on the image below, the original “cover” for “The Initiation” that accompanied the creepypasta story on YouTube as rendered by Nathan, if you want to read the all-text short story: