So, there’s a story that I wrote a little while ago that’s been in production and has gone through many iterations in both writing and artwork, but we finally have some finished pencils for this awesome thing! The very talented Malcolm Ra Johnson is the only artist that can do this story right, with a fun and quirky design sense that fits the world of Styx perfectly. I am beyond proud of this comic after seeing what he’s come up with, and I can’t wait for this thing to get finished. Here’s a little back story for the comic:
It’s the 1920’s, and Hell has frozen over. The underworld has become an icy wasteland from the Grove of Persephone to the Elysian Fields, effectively halting the ferrying of souls across the waters of the river Styx. Lucky for the boatman Charon, Hell freezing over is the one and only clause releasing him from his eternity of duty to a life of cozy retirement. He only has one last trip aboard the brand sparkling new Styx Express from the Marshes where the five rivers meet to the far reaches of the afterlife, and his job is handed off to the new conductor Marcus. Just as it is in life, nothing in the afterlife is ever easy, as things go horribly wrong on top the tracks.
So, there’s the story, and here’s the artwork!
This first page shows a poor old Gypsy family on their way to America, trying to escape their horrible life overseas. As you can see, nothing goes well for these poor folks!
They arrive at the station on the river Styx and are immediately accosted by the poor souls begging for change to ride the train. If you don’t pay the fare, you’re stuck at the shore, slowly dwindling away into nothing.
A cool montage scene of Marcus accepting the fares from the passengers. It’s pages like these that Malcolm truly shines. What an interesting page, right?!
This page is showing the inner rooms of the train. Holy crap, do I love this work Malcolm is doing on these pages. According to him, he was inspired by the movie “The Life Aquatic” when drawing these bad boys out. A true artistic genius, this guy.