The Man Who Wasn't There (MWWT) is a comic book about Geoffrey Mearn and his world. In Mearn's world history had run nearly parallel with our own until the 20th century, when a gap began to widen. In Mearn's world...
Grim-faced heroes battled on the pages of newspapers instead of in pulp magazines throughout the 1930's.
A transformed Soviet Union still menaces the west today.
U.S. astronauts stand on the verge of interplanetary exploration.
Extraterrestrials monitor the movement of a select few they believe will have critical roles in Earth's near future.
A monastic order maintains watch posts across the globe, waiting for a Heretic they must oppose and a hero to save the world.
Diverse secret organizations use government and corporate interests to further their power, even as they use them to ensure their continued concealment.
The public premier of MWWT is a free web comic currently being posted on Drunk Duck . The first issue of a two-issue MWWT: Spaceman arc is being serialized there (here) at one page every four days. The first eight pages are up as I write this.
Spaceman is a character-oriented prelude to the core MWWT story. It's set primarily in 1989 and provides an introduction to a major character we'll see more of in the (we hope) paper-and-ink title.
Once Spaceman is published, we'll be assembling a submissions package for Image Comics and other publishers. We believe MWWT is a good product, so Spaceman #1 is free for anyone to read. Our goal is to establish fan interest BEFORE we start selling the series to paper-and-ink publishers (where, if we don't make ourselves stand out somehow, we believe we'll run some risk of being simply stuck in a folder and forgotten on a busy day at the office).
What Makes MWWT Different? I try to do several things that are not normally done in periodical fiction like comics and television -- things that are usually only done in novels or on film.
Detail: MWWT is scripted far in advance to allow complex storylines. The plot has been outlined beginning to end, and at present twelve issues are complete in script form. I'll be making an effort to stay six months to a year ahead of the published story.
Environment: Mearn's world is a rich, complete world. Probable consequences of changes to the Soviet Union's history in the late 80's have been worked out. MWWT's shadowy secret agencies have worldwide influence, the effect of which is taken into account. Nothing exists in a vacuum -- everything in Mearn's world is connected in ways that make sense, and most actions in the story have lasting consequences.
Characters: MWWT has a realistic cast. Characters have backgrounds and make sense as a product of their respective environments. They react to their world according to temperament. They grow.
Logic: MWWT doesn't insult the reader's intelligence. The plot leads reasonably from point to point. Events overlap and have "memory." Things domino -- logical ripples are never just ignored.
Science and sci-fi are handled reasonably. Unnaturally physically strong characters don't get stronger or weaker to suit author convenience. Bullets operate according to real-world physics. Sci-fi such as telepathy is handled in a consistent manner.
Is MWWT trying to do everything?
A solid story needs dramatic development -- it can't be plot twist piled on plot twist or explosion after gunfight after explosion, with nothing for the reader to feel except tension and excitement.
MWWT is paced more like a novel than like a typical run of Thor or JLA. It takes the action-oriented pulp adventure genre of Doc Savage and The Shadow -- adds 50's-80's space opera, with its aliens, exotic weapons, and psychic powers -- injects a strong dose of modern cynicism and dark humor -- and, finally, turns most of its sensationalist source material on its ear in order to use it as a foundation for serious storytelling.
Some MWWT stories are slower-paced, some are more action-oriented. The end result is, I hope, a reliable balance that I believe you'll enjoy.
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