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To The Death - New comic project from Furman and Senior (Death's Head, Dragon's Claws)


#1

Hi everyone,

I’m assisting Misters Furman and Senior in launching their new online digital comic saga “To The Death” over the next month or so. Basically if you liked Dragon’s Claws, this is for you. If you’ve never heard of Dragon’s Claws, this will still be for you.

It’s Aliens crossed with Unforgiven.

The platform will be a series of 18 episodes available through a subscription online only and there is a reason for this, Geoff Senior has been churning out digital artwork a lot of which uses transitions that only work really well online.

For those that want print, there will be an exclusive prequel HC only available through an upcoming Kickstarter campaign in a couple of weeks.

Geoff hasn’t produced this amount of comic artwork in over 20 years - and it’s really, really good. I hope some of you will join us in what promises to be a brutal epic. I’ll be putting up some updates as the website goes live and the Kickstarter campaign launches. Here’s some artwork for you in the meantime (click on the images for their full glory!):








#2

Do I detect some Senkiew … Senkewic… of Bill’s artistic influence here?


#3

Very cool.


#4

As a brief reminder, this is the team that brought you:


Creating energy in your panels.
#5

sold!


#6

That’s so cool James. I read about this yesterday and bookmarked the page in advance. I can’t wait to see what they’ve done. I’ll definitely be supporting them.


#7

You had me at Death’s Head, Dragon’s Claws.


#8

I think that’ll be true of a lot of us.


#9

Simon is updating our Facebook page with some insights into the world of To The Death, thought I’d drop them in here:

Beyond the story itself, building the ‘world’ of To The Death has been the most challenging and fun, crafting a future that is really a kind of commentary (or forecast) on the world we live in today. Yes, it’s sci-fi, yes there are fantastical elements, but I wanted to ground it in a world that wasn’t unrecognisable. So, anyway, here’s The World of To The Death (part 1):

Earth, 2674: the planet is tapped out, bled dry, its natural mineral reserves and fossil fuels exhausted centuries before. Even its reserves of core Geo-Thermal energy are at an all-time low. Now those things come from afar, mined on worlds once out of reach but now ripe for colonization and exploitation. Any and all resistance is brutally crushed by platoons made up of semi-autonomous elite/special-forces deep space combat units known as Pacifiers.

The Earth itself has been carved up into four Super-Continents (Northern, Southern, Eastern and Western – further subdivided into Districts), with sprawling shanty town settlements clustered around the vast Meta-Processing Plants and Atmosphere-Integrity Generators that maintain humanity’s tenuous grip. The mass of the twelve billion plus population (known collectively, if unofficially as “bottom-feeders”) cling to these industrial hubs like barnacles, while a privileged upper class populate vast Cloudscrapers (cities in the sky), the topmost reaches of which clear the permanent smog layer to bask in the sun.

https://scontent-lhr3-1.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-9/14192637_509538999239022_3271031720021640321_n.jpg?oh=6c9370557412d5198266bedda277aab7&oe=583ABCFC


#10

Haven’t really seen anything online that would get me to subscribe… Until now and this.

Looking very cool.


#11

(part 2)

As governments and nations collapsed in the mid-2300s, so the Corporations took over, and after the monumental bloodletting of the Fifth Corporate War (2401-12) only three remained: a trinity of Multi-Globals, Arms, Energy and Entertainment. This new conjoined entity (The Tri-Corp) controlled everything, meshing their ‘products’ into one seamless self-perpetuating revenue stream. Arms fought the off-world wars and gathered the precious resources, which were utilized by Energy, and the conflicts themselves recycled as live interactive entertainment for the masses (a panacea for the lost and dispossessed). Religion was outlawed and finally eradicated in the last sweeping Religious Pogrom (2612), though in the truth The Tri-Corp had already – from their lofty Mount Olympus, the Hub Cloudscraper – become like a new pantheon of gods, aloof, untouchable and omnipotent.

The people toiled for their food, light, heat and entertainment, but were never allowed to rise above their lowly station or advance beyond their nearest neighbor. A level was found, which fulfilled their basic, primal human needs but crushed ambition and compartmentalized yearning into state-approved products.

https://scontent-lhr3-1.xx.fbcdn.net/t31.0-8/14115457_509874229205499_8662400811263303845_o.jpg


#12

(part 3)

As Earth’s deep space colonies, settlements and mining operations spread to worlds both uninhabited and populated, so the need for protection and, ultimately, suppression in this wildest of frontiers grew. The elite, highly trained Pacifier Units, armed with weapons of truly decimating power, spearheaded the expansion into uncharted solar systems, where other intelligent life existed, and wherever the distinctly one-sided bartering and negotiation failed they would simply bludgeon the dominant native species into submission, in some cases relocating entire races to ‘resettlement camps’ on neighboring moons.

These off-world wars quickly were swiftly repackaged into a marketable commodity; live combat turned into interactive, immersive mass entertainment, a place to put any pent-up frustration or aggression. Hugely addictive, the Worlds at War game became an opiate for a desensitized, punch-drunk population, one that kept them rooted to their seats whenever they weren’t toiling in the Meta-Processing plants. The need for sleep had been eliminated three centuries before, and with wars being fought on multiple fronts, almost continuously, it was round-the-clock entertainment. Pacifiers were plentiful, another mass-produced commodity with a distinct expiration date. Average life expectancy was one-to-two tours (approx. four years), and while non-combatants (as WaW players were known) followed their favourite Pacifiers (each trooper given their own distinct WaW-user Campaign Tag, such as “Komodo”), loyalties and allegiances were short-lived, as that individual’s sudden death was inevitable.

https://scontent-lhr3-1.xx.fbcdn.net/t31.0-8/14207694_510243482501907_5753541558036836058_o.jpg


#13

!? A serious amount of work has gone into this.


#14

Oh yes, and this is just scene setting really, lots more to come. Think you might like this final image, Ben. Click to enbiggenfy!

(part 4)

Final part of our world building stuff on To The Death. More TTD goodness to come next week as we countdown to launch:

Military operations were orchestrated by a sophisticated computer intelligence dubbed The Echelon, a living consciousness and extension of the Tri-Corp. Regional operational Command Hubs served as barracks and bases for the regularly rotated units. Through the 25th century and into the 26th, the expansion spread into The Borderlands, a dark and dangerous region sandwiched between two vast star systems. Here, the Tri-Corp uncovered new variations of life, and energy sources (and ultimately weaponry) that fell outside conventional physics and chemistry. Pacifier casualties soared, but the potential rewards made the sacrifice both worthwhile and acceptable in the eyes of the Tri-Corp. Less so to those actually on the ground, fighting and dying for a cause they no longer recognized.

Not everyone, by any means, simply accepted their new Pavlovian desensitized state. But any undercurrent of discord or disaffection, every attempt to challenge the new world order, was stamped on mercilessly and vigorously, nascent rebellions crushed in embryo. Countless hundreds and thousands… simply disappeared, and in the end the voices of dissent grew quiet and stopped… at least until 2670, when the Tri-Corp became aware, albeit peripherally, of a new threat, a subversive and shadowy (and extremely well organized, prolific and invasive) organization that called itself White Noise.

With a structure so dense and yet compartmentalized, the Tri-Corp’s efforts to penetrate and break White Noise failed, and — for the first time — significant inroads began to be made into the status quo, with targeted strikes and sudden significant uprisings that suggested, to them, a degree of insider knowledge. But all efforts to uncover White Noise’s mysterious benefactor or root out their ‘mole’ failed, and – emboldened – White Noise began to shake some elements of society out of its stupor. It made the Tri-Corp extremely paranoid, and extra vigilant, as it tried to anticipate White Noise’s next move and act preemptively.

https://scontent-lhr3-1.xx.fbcdn.net/t31.0-8/14196009_510659859126936_5958021096935509036_o.jpg


#15

That is gloriously nuts.


#16

Time to start introducing our cast. And we begin with our chief protagonist Aleksey Dryagin (aka Komodo), Commander of the “Scourge” Pacifier Unit.

With nothing but his wits to live on, Aleksy Dryagin scrapped and struggled from virtually day one. His mother and father died while he was still an infant, and from then on Dryagin was a child and then a youth of the streets in one of the roughest resettlement camps. It was the school of hard knocks and then some, but Dryagin had inherited, from somewhere, a streak of pure stubborn grit and a survival sixth sense – giving him an edge that often made the difference between life and death. Other kids were drawn to him, and the Pacifier recruiters knew a born leader when they saw it. By the age of fifteen, Dryagin was excelling in training, outstripping his fellow recruits in every category. By nineteen he in an off-world logistical support platoon, by twenty a full Pacifier, and by twenty-two a Unit Commander. To say his rise through the ranks was meteoric is selling it very short indeed.

Now, with another gruelling tour of off-world duty under his belt, Dryagin is coming home, to something of a hero’s welcome. Against all the odds, he’s survived well beyond the average life expectancy of a Pacifier, but living legends (and potential figureheads) are the last thing the Triumvirate (the joint heads of the ruling Tri-Corp) are prepared to tolerate, and suddenly Aleksy Dryagin is a dead man walking…

https://scontent-lhr3-1.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-0/s526x395/14238190_511454105714178_5513111158334610302_n.png?oh=b5fea9a6f3b61fbef0f5a1af8aa8d32e&oe=5844783C


#17

The Kickstarter that I’m helping Simon Furman and Geoff Senior with has just gone live!

It’s for a print-only copy of their To The Death prequel. I’ve seen the whole thing and it’s great fun

(we’ll hopefully have a video up soon)


#18

And backed!


#19

Thanks Lorcan!


#20

Twenty quid to anywhere in the world is going to lose them money. It’s the most repeated moan from Kickstarter, the shipping costs when stuff is sent individually. I signed up for one successful hardcover for $30 and the author came back and said she would honour them all but put a begging letter in for a donation as they were running those at a loss.

I would add a digital option for those around the world.