Since this blog is supposed to be about my attempt to break into the comics industry as a writer, I thought I should start talking about some of my projects. So I'm starting a new feature called In the Works which I'll be using to highlight some of my current projects and hopefully get some feedback from you guys. The first installment of In the Works will feature my pulp concept, Aces Wild. Before I get started, I'll point out that all characters in the Aces Wild concept are property of myself, Brett Williams.
Without divulging too much, I can say that Aces Wild is primarily set in the 1930s. It focuses on a team of adventurers (one French, two American and one a British national by way of China) brought together by a coalition of allied nations and spearheaded by the British government. The program is based on an earlier British program that saw a great deal of success before the agent involved, Samuel Wilde, was killed in action. The Brits shelved the program for some time, but were convinced to dust it off and give it a new direction when they were approached by newly elected American president, Franklin D. Roosevelt. The group is tasked with fighting threats both scientific and supernatural, the sort of "keep it out of the papers" threats that are represented by mad scientists and secret criminal organizations.
On the surface that sounds a bit like Hellboy or B.P.R.D., but I assure you there are many differences. I'd be a liar if I said I wasn't influenced by those stories, but I have to admit that I had this concept in the back of my head before I'd ever read an issue of B.P.R.D. and before I'd read no more than the first Hellboy TPB. The main focus of the book is to offer my own take on the sort of high adventure stories that helped pave the way for the Golden Age of comics while also exploring a time period in history I feel has been fairly unexplored in the medium; the years leading up to WWII.
That period of history is one of my favorites and I really enjoy doing the research necessary to flesh out the world these characters will be adventuring in. I see this book as being a sort of combination of the over-the-top pulp storytelling of the 1930s and the military/political travelogue type of stories Brubaker's been telling in Cap for years now. Lofty goal? Sure, but I think I can accomplish it. It doesn't hurt that I've managed to pique the interest of friend and fellow creator Evan Shaner, whose artwork would be perfect for the story.
Finding a home for such a story could be the real challenge. Dark Horse already has B.P.R.D. and Hellboy, plus Umbrella Academy, which also has a pulp/adventure style to its storytelling. I doubt they'd be interested. I mentioned that I had a pulp concept to Chip Mosher when I met him in Baltimore and he told me that everybody is pitching pulp right now. But a good story prevails, right? And I think Aces is a great story. Evan and I talked briefly the other day about possibly showing it to Moonstone once we have something to show. If you're not familiar, they are doing some new things with the Spider, the Phantom and the Green Hornet. Pretty exciting stuff if you like pulp. Not sure if they want new properties, but it's worth a shot. I mentioned this idea to John Siuntres of World Balloon and he seemed to be in favor of it. So Moonstone, get ready to have your mind blown. Probably.
That's going to do it for the first In The Works. If you like the sound of this concept and want to hear more about it, just e-mail me at gbrettwilliams at gmail. I'd love to share this with some fellow creators and get your opinions on what I've got planned. Thanks a lot guys!