Inverse Press founder & artist, Amanda Rachels, has completed her second full-length graphic novel! The Book was written by Erik Hendrix and Michael Nelsen and illustrated by Amanda, with Gavin Michelli on colors. The synopsis:
En route to Italy, a group of American tourists learn of a series of DIY travel guides, nicknamed “The Book”. These unofficial guides are collected and updated with first-hand experiences by the travelers themselves. Different “Books” scatter the continent, telling of the best lodging, deals, and “off the grid” adventures from sight seeing to local folklore for anyone clever enough to find them. A local cult, practitioners of Sanctus Letum, the Holy Death, disrupts the American’s plans for adventure when they hide pages from the Dark Book, Shaitan, in one of the travel guides. The friends are lead down a path of secret religion, death, resurrection, and demonology.
What drew Amanda to this dark and innovative project? In her own words: ”Anyone who knows me and how I feel about comics (and movies, books ect.) knows I tend to side with the villain over the hero. No, I’m not wicked or mean-spirited in any way, it’s just that villains are always more interesting! I was hooked on The Book when I saw Krieger’s description…I wanted to be involved with the project even more when I got a load of that lovely skinless fellow gracing the cover. What can I say? How often does a Hellraiser super fan get to put their own spin on a skinless villain? It’s a dream come true, I say!”
Writer, Erik Hendrix also shares his thoughts on the cool, brand new graphic novel (not generally available until later this year): ”The Book was actually a combination of two ideas, one that Michael David Nelsen had and one that I had. Michael’s featured a series of DIY travel guides and I had a story about people killing themselves and using a ritual to bring themselves back from the dead in an attempt to learn religious secrets from the other side. By combining the two ideas, we found the right mixture of characters and back story, which developed into a secret religion with ties to both the bible and religious “mythology”.
“Initially, we had a bit more details on the main characters as well and had developed an alternate history where there were much better incentives for kids to join the military right out of college for a stretch of four years, leading to this group, who had all just gotten out of the service, to travel to Europe to unwind. We decided that adding too many variances to the real world took away from the main story and took us out of reality a bit, so we just take the angle of a group of friends traveling to Europe. If you read The Book, you might notice a few aspects of the characters which could be easily explained by a short stint in the military.
“On the villain side, Krieger was the first to come of our brainstorming, even before the main characters. Our favorite villains are ones who think they’re doing the right thing, even when they’re driven to kill. Krieger, as a former priest, has taken the ultimate fall from grace – one revered and now cast out of God’s graces (at least that’s what the Church would tell him).
“The Book was the first project that Michael and I wrote a complete and detailed synopsis and honed that down to perfection before writing a page of script. With the amount of notes we had, it was really necessary to tighten the details down to a detailed synopsis to make sure it flowed well. From that, I dug into the script and let things flow, using the synopsis as a guide, but allowing the characters and events to stray as needed… It seems that the plot always managed to point back in the right direction.”
The right direction, indeed. The Book is published by Arcana Comics, and you can get your hands on a copy NOW for $15 + shipping by simply emailing firstname.lastname@example.org!