Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Dark Horse Presents -- Once Upon a Time Machine

Featuring a story by... me! I'm finally allowed to share this, and it feels pretty good. A long while back, it's gotta be around 2 and a half years now, the community at a website I contribute to called Digital Webbing (sound familiar?) got together and decided to piece together an idea for an anthology featuring stories based on classic fairy tales, fables, tall tales and the like with a futuristic spin to them. Initially it was known as "Digital Webbing Presents Future Fairy Tales", or DWPFF for short. The ringleaders of the idea, a bunch of swell gents named Chris Stevens, Jason Rodriguez, and later stalwart members such as L. Jamal Walton and Andrew Carl asked the Digital Webbing community to pool their resources, their creativity and their passion for storytelling into a massive collaborative effort. Writers and artists were invited to pitch their best re-imagined renditions of any fairy tale that struck their fancy.

I pitched two stories to the DWPFF project. The first was based on "The Ugly Duckling", but as fate would have it another excellent writer named Magnus Aspli had already pitched an idea featuring that particular fairy tale that was accepted that very day. The next idea spawned partially from Chris Stevens, the man that had rejected the first idea. He had some fables and fairy tales that were close to his own heart that had been neglected throughout the pitch process, and he asked if I'd be willing to try and pitch an idea incorporating one of those. I agreed, and was thrilled to see that Rudyard Kipling's "The Jungle Books" was on the list. As soon as I saw that, I knew the story I wanted to tell. One of my favorite fables of all time was "Rikki Tikki Tavi", the story of a young, half-drowned mongoose adopted by a family that had recently moved to India. The house the family lived in contained a garden where two large cobras made their home. The cobras, not appreciating the intrusion into their habitat, decide to kill the family, and it is up to the inexperienced mongoose to save the day.

To make a long story short, I pitched my idea, it was accepted, and I wrote a script encompassing what I felt were the very best traits of the story I had enjoyed so much as a child. The script was then brought to life by an incredible artist named Ricardo Jurado Farrula, and then colored by an equally brilliant artist named Tim Durning. And now, along with dozens of other stories based on some of the most wonderful fairy tales imaginable by an amazing array of talented creators, my story is set to be included in the anthology previously, lovingly known as DWPFF that has been rechristened "Once Upon a Time Machine", published by Dark Horse Comics.

This is basically a dream come true for me, and I'm more honored than words can convey to be included in such an innovative project beside so many wonderful, diverse creators that put my humble efforts to shame. For instance, the art that began this post was done by one of the best comic creators around, Farel Dalrymple, a man that is no stranger to Dark Horse. Below is a page from my own story, brought to life by the two talented artists I mentioned above. The collection is set to be released at some point in December of this year, and I hope to be able to share a lot more of it as the release date draws near.