Saturday, September 12, 2009

The Copper Age

While still in the giddy Renaissance mood of new creativity, let me shamelessly plug a darkly wonderful, new artistic endeavor. 

Earlier this summer, an dear internet friend, Brynneth Colvin, invited us to read a short novel she had written and published – doled out chapter by chapter on {Short} Fiction, an internet site devoted to independent authors of short fiction. The story was “Annamarie”, chapters one through eight. Only eight chapters.    … sigh.

I read the first two chapters and immediately found myself in a somewhat familiar landscape. I know that I’ve never actually ever been to Hopeless, Maine , but I am positive that I’ve been in a close literary neighborhood, as a guest of my all-time favorite author, Neil Gaiman. As a matter of fact, the feeling of deja vous was so eerily real, that I found myself wanting artwork to go along with the words that I was reading – a part of the reading experience that I enjoy with Gaiman’s work. Sure, I’m a big girl and I have a vivid imagination. I can use that imagination to dream up my own artwork, and yes, I know that “the book is always better than the movie” because one’s one imagination is always better, blah blah blah – I’m pretty sure that I am legally the co-author of that cliche. However, there are exceptions. I fell in love with Gaiman for his Sandman stories. Once upon a time, approximately 1989, I accidently bought the first couple of issues of this interesting new graphic novel series and followed the story through its 75-issue run. I’m not here to talk up Neil Gaiman (much), only to try and convince those who dismiss stories written as graphic novels as ‘just a comic’ that sometimes you are truly missing out. Sandman managed to snag a World Fantasy Award in 1991, and the true magic of its success, in my opinion, was the meshing of the words and the art - which brings me back to Hopeless.

I finished all of the chapters Bryn posted… it took me awhile, even though it is a short story and I generally read too fast. We were busy and I didn’t want to rush through it. When I finally had a bit of uninterrupted time, I collected the chapters together, and read the story as a whole. I read it. I savored the words, characters, and story, but… I wanted the art. Not my head pictures, no, I wanted the art that was supposed to go with the story. Don’t get me wrong, the words by themselves are very good; as is the art. Strawberries and dark chocolate are also fine as separate entities, but when the flavors are blended, well, suddenly the nuances of candle light, champagne, and soft music appear. That’s what I’m getting at. Same magic.

Thankfully, Bryn, (she’s so thoughtful!) has this artist friend Tom Brown. Tom has the art, no, I actually mean that Tom has THE art, to go with the story. It’s dark, it’s eerie, it’s beautiful, and it will especially hit you with its haunting whimsicality. Perfect! The words, the art, the creativity – they’ve come together precisely the way that I wanted them to! And, while I can pretend  to be flattered that Bryn and Tom would go to all of this effort just for me, I must be realistic and accept that they are more generous than that. They are sharing with all. This weekend the Copper Age commences, and you are invited.

Oh. Wait a minute. What is this Copper Age? In the words of my favorite specialists on the subject: “The Copper Age is a creative enterprise focused on comics but also producing art, stories, music, video, and pretty much anything else that seems like a good idea at the time. The Copper Age, historically speaking, came before the Iron Age we now live in. Copper is not as good a metal for killing people as iron, but you can make nice body decorations out of it. So that’s Copper Age - Awen touched, tree hugging, in love with folklore and mythology, and far too fond of tentacles to be healthy.” 

I am looking forward to this launch and invite you to come along as well, here’s your passport: Copper Age webcomic and, you are also invited to sign up for the weekly newsletter (with Yahoo Groups) so that you can keep up with the latest events: Copper Age newsletter


And, one more thing… even if webcomics, or goth, manga, dark humor, etc. are not quite your ‘thing’, why not take a moment to stop by anyway? I am thrilled with the work that Bryn and Tom have already accomplished to launch their new creation. Drop by, look around at the shiny new web-things, the pretty artwork, and perhaps take a moment to read a bit. If you leave un-converted, that’s ok, but do it anyway – supporting and encouraging independent artists is good for your soul/kharma/warm fuzzies/etc., and who knows, you might even change your mind and decide to hang around a while. See you there!

Good Luck Brynneth and Tom!


Bryn Colvin said...

I have gone a distinct shade of crimson reading this! (In a good way). Neil Gaiman is my hero.

Tanya said...

Wow very cool. I shared it with Mac and he is now sharing it with his friends. Beautiful artwork -both words and illustrations. Thanks for the link!

Connie said...

Bryn, Gaiman is also my hero, and I was pleased to be drawn into the Copper Age's similar universe :) Good luck!

Connie said...

Tanya, glad you liked it! I have enjoyed the story and art very much and cannot wait for what comes next. Thanks for sharing it too.

LiLu said...

Oh, I bet B would LOVE this!