Empty All CachesEric Palicki writes;
“[This] is something I was waiting for; I have one sigil tattoo on me as well,” said Anna Wieszczyk, after I showed her the script for Red Angel Dragnet #1. Anna and I had been on each other’s radar for a while. We were going to do another book together — Neverland, our tooth fairy murder mystery — but then she landed the Lucid gig for Archaia. We lost touch.
Then, last August, Anna contacted me again, interested in another collaboration. I sent her the script for Red Angel Dragnet — or R.A.D., because that’s easier to type, and because it’s unwise to ignore an awesome acronym when it falls in your lap — about Nate Reed, a Chicago bookseller who discovers that demons really do exist. Terrified, Nate turns to his books — actual historical texts like The Key of Solomon — and covers himself with tattoos depicting the protective symbols he finds there. With his tattoos to protect him, Nate endeavors to exterminate the supernatural forces that haunt Chicago. Along with the script, I sent Anna a seven-page diagram mapping the locations of all the tattoos on Nate’s body.
Anna started sending me character designs within two days and pages inside of a week.
No better medium than comics exists to explore these symbols, and so R.A.D. endeavors to marry one method of visual storytelling to another. That said, I would not have taken my book with Anna to Kickstarter if not for Ariana Osborne’s success with her Cartes Infernales project. Jacques de Plancy’s Dictionnaire Infernal is exactly the sort of text that Nate would have pulled off his bookshelf.
My project is completely different than Ariana’s, but I figured they might share an audience. Her success boosted my confidence in R.A.D. enough to give Kickstarter a shot.
Of course, antique occult texts inspired R.A.D., but dusty books are not what R.A.D. is about. Nate Reed is a character driven by fear. R.A.D. is about his evolution from fearful to fearless, and from fearless to reckless. There’s an old cliché that writers should write the kind of stories that they want to read, and I have great affection for characters like Buffy Summers and John Constantine.
A character that makes bad decisions for the right reasons has been sorely missed since Hellblazer ended. Nate’s worst decision, made once he believes his tattoos can really protect him, turns out to be one of my best creative decisions. Emailing the script to Anna was another.