Indie Comics Showcase #9

 

Ladies and gentle folk, welcome back to another installment of Indie Comics Showcase. To bring you this edition I’ve traveled to the four corners of the world and traversed through time its self. All this just to bring you the strangest of the strange stories I could find. So open your minds and prepare yourselves to embark on a journey like no other. You will see sites that you may wish could be unseen and others that you will never want to forget.

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Our journey began in London, to the year 1888. Through the centuries I had read tales of the many strange events happening in this iconic city and time. Stories like those of Jack The Ripper, a serial killer who stalked the streets at night, preying upon defenseless women. But I was not after Jack this night. I was after members of a secret occult organization. One responsible for the kidnapping and death of many people.

After a lengthy period in London I discovered several clues that led me to the home of a potential member of this secret society. It was a lovely yet unassuming house. Yet the front door had a stained glass mural of a pentagram at the very top. Feeling confident I was in the right place, and that there was no one home. I finessed the lock and entered, making sure to lock it behind me. The inside was just as charming and modest as the outside. I made my way through the entrance, and checked all of the rooms. Nothing struck me as unusual, until I found my way to the library. It was a circular room, with a small altar in the middle. The alter was surrounded by bookshelves which had similar stained glass murals to the pentagram on the front door. Every shelf was filled to capacity. From the names on the spine one could see that there were book on every subject, including the occult. On the altar there were raven feathers and dark red residue.

I heard noises coming from the entrance, it’s amazing how well sound traveled in the house. So I carefully made my way to the rear of the house where there was another door. I quietly and swiftly opened the door it led to a yard where there was a tall tree poised at the very rear. I climbed the tree, and used one of its branches to leap to the other side of a hedge fence which surrounded the property. Stealthily I crouched beneath the shrubbery until I was at last at the front of the ground. I walked over to a newsstand that was positioned directly across from the house. I struck up a conversation with the fellow working there, made a few purchases as I monitored the house. About a half hour passed and I saw the man leave the premises. From the shadows I proceeded to follow him. Past a few city blocks and down a dark alley.

I felt as if with each moment was bringing me closer to the headquarters of this sect of the organization, when I heard a splash come from behind me. When I turned around to see, I was surrounded by dark, sinister and shadowy figures. I then I heard more come from the other side. They attack me with what felt like cold, wet, and blunt instruments with what felt like talons on the end. Their weapons bludgeoned and sliced me fiercely. I fought against as many of them as hard as I could. I was out numbered and feeling as if my end was nearing. When a mysterious and imposing figure dropped from the rooftops of the alley in front of me and took down five, six, or more of them within a matter of seconds. Feeling renewed I covered his back and after what seemed like a very lengthy battle, the group finally dispersed. IT was then that the light from the moon shined down upon us. Once I took a look at this figure I knew exactly who it was. Merrick: The Sensational Elephantman, Enemy of The Occult, Hero to All. Merrick and I tracked one of the cult members we had injured back to this enormous mansion, but they disappeared at the gates.

 

It seemed like an impenetrable fortress, but we found one weakness in the southern court yard. It was series of large stained glass murals. Without thinking twice Merrick punched one of the murals sending small shards of colored glass and metal flying in every direction. Luckily I was standing right behind him, so I was not hit by any of the shrapnel. We enter through the opening Merrick had just made for us into a room with a strange wooden door in it. The door had a heavy lock on it. Merrick was about to punch the door when I asked him if I could try picking the lock first. Merrick crossed his arms, tilted his head down at me. I swear I could feel his eyes piercing me through his goggles. So I quickly picked the lock. Picking locks is a skill I learned from an old friend, one who we will probably we are bound to bump into again. We opened the door which led to the top of a winding staircase, lit by torches flanking each side. I grabbed one of the torches and we proceeded  down the stairs. When we reached the bottom, we followed a hallway that led to the cultist’s sacrificial chambers. It was a large circular room with an altar similar to the one we encountered in the library at the center. The Cult’s leader was making preparations to sacrifice a young girl to his twisted and blood thirsty deity, while the rest of the members danced and chanted around him.

Merrick pulled his revolver from its holster, and with precise aim shot the cult leader in the head, killing him instantly. Or so we thought, as the cultist’s and it’s leader’s figures began to change from that of men, to monsters. They were Phu-ggoggot: strange squid like creatures with tentacles coming from around their mouths. It was a good thing for us, that while they are indeed strong, they are also squishy and flammable. Merrick started blasting holes into their flesh, exposing their innards. I tossed the torch I was carrying into the crowd and it quickly engulfed them in flames. Knowing it was time to go, I cleared a path through the burning crowd, to the alter and grabbed poor girl, tossing her over my shoulders. Merrick crashed into a western wall which lead to an underground tunnel. As we ran through the tunnel, we heard the creatures exploding and felt the heat from the flames at our backs. We ran as fast as we could, until we reached a gate that Merrick easily kicked open, to clearing we spotted in the distance. Stopped to catch our bread and looked back and saw the creatures compound explode.

After cleaning our selves off and finding the way back to the city, we dropped the girl off at the nearest hospital. Our mission was at last complete. Merrick helped me return to my vessel, and we bid each other a fond farewell. I thought that would be the last I saw of my new friend. Thankfully, I discovered that his stories live on in the pages of Merrick: The Sensational Elephantman written by Tom Ward.

To find out more about Tom and contact Tom @highbrowtrash on twitter

You can view the first book at Issue here


https://issuu.com/theelephantmancomic/docs/merrick-issue-1-digital

There is also a kick starter campaign for Merrick The Sensational Elephantman which you can back.

 

The campaign is to help Tom complete issues 7 and 8. But, for 13 Euro you can get the first 8 issues on digital format, or for 30 Euro you can get physical copies of all 8 issues. The comics will ship anywhere in the world.

This is a short summary of the story provided to me by Tom Ward.

“When Joseph Merrick’s pregnant mother was knocked down by an escaped elephant, the phenomenon of maternal impression caused her child to develop the toughness and strength of an elephant.

Spurned by genteel society because of his thick grey skin and mis-shapen body he acquired the stage name of Merrick: The Sensational Elephantman and travelled Europe as part of a sideshow, until his manager betrayed him and left him for dead.

After dragging himself back to London on a quest for revenge, Merrick now finds himself embroiled with Dr Frederick Treves, one of the country’s greatest surgeons, and a member of a secret society who seem to be manipulating The Elephantman for their own agenda ‘

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On the 20th of December, 1910 I was taking a break from my travels and decided to visit a Museum that was curating a collection of curious cursed commodities. The rarest and most valuable of which was the Hope Diamond. Which coincidentally was exactly what I was looking at, when suddenly the entire Museum went dark. After the lights came back on, the Hope Diamond was still there. At least that is what it would seem to someone with an untrained eye. The Hope Diamond had been swapped with a fake, during those few moments of darkness. I was able to notice it had been swapped, because what gives the Hope Diamond it’s unique color is trace amounts of boron atoms. The stone that it was swapped with was a Blue Sapphire, which gets its blue coloration from trace amounts of Titanium. The  more Titanium in the store, the darker the shade of blue becomes. As I was looking for clues, I saw markings on the ceiling panel that indicated something heavy had just been hung from it, something that was no longer there. I knew of only one thief who was not just partial to cursed objects and relics, but also had the skills to pull this off.

It was Wolverton: Thief Of Impossible Objects. Knowing his modus operandi I was able to predict the location he would be exiting the Museum. So I rushed there with dignity and purpose. Sure enough there he was in his stylish black mask and costume, and glimmering in his gloved hand was the real Hope Diamond. I waved him down, and we walked over to meet each other. We shook hands  like gentlemen and had short conversation, in which he informed me that he was paid generously to steal The Hope Diamond and offered to cut me in on the deal. I of course refused his offer, but did let him keep the Diamond. It was after all a cursed object and was better off in his hands than hurting anyone else. We then went our separate ways, which was for the best, things tend to get rather strange when he’s around. Stranger than what I’m use to anyways.

Here is a brief summary of Wolverton: Thief Of Impossible Objects provided to me by Michael Stark

“In turn of the century London, Jack Wolverton, gentleman thief, specializes in stealing the arcane, the accursed and the occultic. With  war about to break out, only he can stop the world’s most powerful  artifacts (The Monkey’s Paw, The Hope Diamond and the Portrait of Dorian  Gray) from falling into the wrong hands! There’s only one hiccup however! He really, really hates magic.”

If you would like to read more of Wolverton: Thief Of Impossible Objects and his adventures you can do so by backing Michael Stark’s Kick Starter Campaign.

You can also follow along at @WolvertonComic on twitter

 

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On my way back from seeing Wolverton I received a notification that Night Crawler Captain, Corvan Moore of the Bastion Guard of Cog Town was in need of assistance on a case. Some Mortoni Family lackeys had been setting up Dreamdust labs all over the city. Dreamdust is a highly addictive drug and Corvan sought to shut down all of the facilities producing it, as well as punish the sellers who have been pushing it throughout Cog Town. But there is something not quite right with Captain Moore. I am uncertain if I can trust him. I’m afraid that the only way I can help the Captain is with your assistance. So please hurry and back Raven Nevermore on Kickstarter. We are counting on you.

Here is a brief Summary or Raven Nevermore provided to me by Xei Nuno

RAVEN NEVERMORE is a bleak and dreary supernatural horror-fantasy tale that tells the origin story of elite lawman, Nightwatcher Captain, Corvan Moore. He struggles to save his city, confronting criminals, shifters, fiends, and spirits, to ultimately face a dark secret, successfully kept buried in his subconscious, that threatens to destroy everything he loves. The worst realization, for Corvan Moore, is that maybe it’s too late. Follow this tale as Corvan’s mundane encounter with the local mob spirals into a soul-shattering, epic-scale battle that could annihilate Cog Town and everyone in it!”

                                            

Raven Nevermore is by

  • Writing: Nuno XEI
  • Artwork: Emmanuel Xerx Javier
  • Colours: Axel Rator and Hector Rubilar Lara
  • Letters: Ed Brisson and Chris Crank
  • Covers: Samuel Casal

 

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/nunoxei/raven-nevermore-1-days-of-yore

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Resting at my quarters, pondering how to best assist the good Captain Moore, I fell asleep. When I awoke I was no longer in my quarters, but laying in a bed, in an unfamiliar room. Needing to investigate my current situation further, I arose. On the wall nearest to me, there was a sword in it’s scabbard, and a shield. I grab the sword and unsheathed it from it scabbard. It was glorious. Perfectly balanced with beautiful markings etched all long the blade. There were rare stones mounted on the stems of the handle, and the butt. This was a weapon made for the slaying of beasts. I strapped the sword to the shield, then hooked them onto the harness on my back. Leaving the room I walked along a regal hallway. On one of the walls draped a banner with a families coat of arms. I recognized it instantly. It was the Craven Family Crest. David Craven and his wife Dawn work as Hunters for the Hovah Corporation. Tracking and killing those who serve a Chaos God named Dark Santana, and a secret organization known only as the Covenant, which is led by Lionel Solomon.

A supernatural war is on the horizon, and only those who have been marked with the Brand can save the world from oblivion. This adventure my friends is just beginning. There is only one person who can tell the story from here on out, and that is Antonio Brice.

To learn more about Brand follow Antonio Brice @Ikaripress on all major social media platforms. Make sure to check out the campaign for Brand on Indiegogo and do your part to prevent the war from ensuing.

 

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While doing research and making preparations to do my regular installment of Indie Comics Showcase, the stories I was reading just inspired me. This unique approach in this edition of ICS was the result of that inspiration. Ultimately I think that is the goal of any literary work – to inspire others to go on and write, to create something. Whether it’s a piece of fan fiction which this ended up being, or your own original stories. I hope that you’ve enjoyed what you have read here and will return next week for the next installment. With all the of the different Indie Comics currently being crowd funded, not even I know what we will cover next. Please do check out the various campaigns I’ve covered today, because I believe that they can inspire you, just as they did me.

 

Till next time, I want to say thank you to all of the amazing creators I covered in this and all of my past installments, and to all of my wonderful readers and followers, both on here and on @indie_comics.

 

And also a very special thanks goes out to my friend Alexander J. McCarty who helped edit this piece. Alex is a phenomenal writer and is gracious enough to help me out whenever I’m in need. Check out Alexander’s anime-style novel series Rise Of The Exps in the link below where you can ask any of his quirky fun characters any question you want.

sphereofcompassion.com 

Sign up on the site for a FREE sample of the first book and get your friends to sign up so you can get the first Ebook absolutely FREE! He’s also holding a sign-up sweepstakes for the month of September!

Facebook & Twitter @alexander_j_mccarty

 

 

John Lemus

I'm a 35 year-old Cuban who works in Hialeah, FL. I'm really into comic books and comic book culture and I have a particular fondness for independent comics. Which is why I started the Indie Comics Showcase. Follow me on Twitter @indie_comics!