Comics with a Conscience

“The road to Hell is paved with good intentions.” — St. Bernard of Clairvaux (paraphrase, 1150 CE)

I want all the stories I tell to advocate for social justice in some form.

Fiction oftentimes is more powerful than nonfiction in advocating for real causes, in part because people generally view it as more entertaining, and it’s certainly more narratively satisfying. The number of characters is kept to a minimum, they grow and change, and all of them are there for the beginning, the end, and the middle of the story. Look at Planet of the Apes,To Kill a Mockingbird, even The Odyssey. These are tales that are there to teach us a lesson, but how we interpret that lesson is up to us.

I don’t want to be preachy or one-sided, though. What I especially find fascinating is people or groups who start off well-meaning, but through their tactics become just as monstrous as their adversaries. I want to portray complex characters who are as heartless and cruel to their enemies as they are warm and kind to their allies, all on the same day. Exploring good’s motivation to do evil is particularly interesting.

The first project I’m working on is a 30-page Victorian Gothic horror one-shot and it answers the age-old question as to why the villain’s henchmen act the way they do. We know a ton about Gothic villains; in many cases, they’re the stars of the show. But why would anyone follow someone so obviously depraved?

If you’re interested in contributing art to the project (either pencils, inks, colors, or lettering), please contact me at heresystudiosllc@gmail.com.

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