After failing to make video games, I considered other entertainment products that I could invest my time with. Something that demanded fewer disciplines to accomplish the goal. Then, I remembered the good times I spend reading comic books and thought: “what if I produce one? it should be easier… right?”, Oh boy, how wrong I was.
It all started when I invited one of my best friends Juan Alvarez. I remember what I said to him: “I want to do a comic book and you are the best person who can help me out with this project. You have worked with scripts before… You might have a story you want to share?” He got onboard. 2 years (and a good amount of money spent) later, we published this:
Yeap… That happened. Juan had this idea of each cover should kill every single character who has owned, used or even mention a time machine (you will know why soon). As you may already notice, Proyecto Diegesis is a time travel story and please — if you happen to visit Comixology and buy issue #1, all I can say to you is considered as a work in progress.
You might be asking yourself why it took 2 years to do only 1 issue. The simple answer is I was naive. Not because a product needs fewer disciplines, it makes it easier or quicker to do. In a nutshell, this was the production life cycle of issue 1:
- MONTH 1 TO 12
Juan and I wrote the foundation for PROYECTO DIEGESIS.
- MONTH #5
Alejandro Gonzalez joins as an artist. Due to some time conflicts, working with him didn’t work out.
- MONTH #7
Juan Roldán and Sandra Posada join as artists.
- MONTH #18
A promo video was launched at NYCC. Bad idea…
- MONTH #24
Issue 1 was published. Ed Dukeshire did the letters.
- A SECOND REVISION was launched when editor Steve Forbes got onboard.
I probably fall into every pitfall of the comic book creation process 😓. It shouldn’t take that long and money should have last for all the intended issues. Anyway, lessons learned let’s move on. I want to tell you the story of what drove me into such a project; it’s fascinating once you realize all the things that need to happen in life in order to find a purpose.
I grew up in Medellín, Colombia in the ’80s. As I grew up, North American shows started screening at my local network. Marvel Spiderman and DC Justice League were weekend morning shows that invade my mind and more than my curiosity they had my full attention (Fan of Django!).
I learned that those characters were books (I used to call them magazines). Finding those books in Medellín was not easy to not say impossible. One day, my older brother found out that in Almacentro 🏫, a place that used to be a shopping mall but now hosts offices, there was a little shop selling these books, but it came with a catch: They were expensive and in English. I wanted them so bad that started saving the money my Mom gave me for buying food at school. Every month I had enough money to buy a comic book.
English was tough for me, but the drawings and sequences were so well made I could understand the basic premise of what was happening. At a young age, I knew about X-MEN, Spawn, The Punisher (Loved the Dolph Lundgren movie), Hell Boy, and others. This is R rated material and there was no parental advisory at that store and my mom was cool with it since it was “cartoons” (better cartoons than porn she probably might though).
I’ve been reading comic books ever since. Growing up I realize that these books were a medium for creators to tell a story that might be impossible to publish in other channels like TV, movies or video games (which nowadays for some stories still true), but it is also one of the best sources for independent original content. What Juan and I set as a goal was to tell a story where the city we grew up is the main protagonist…
When Juan and I saw what Juan Roldán did with the city, based on our vision of how a mafia group would change its landscape just by funding the creation of a time machine (I know what you are thinking… But this story is definitely not Looper); it blew our minds and it became clear that the project had to be completed. I miss working with Juan Roldán (and with every other member of the team); he is a great artist that I personally witness what he has become.
Issue 1 is a mess of a story. It is not a reflection of that year Juan and I invest in creating a universe. I do like the teaser though. It was something we didn’t have to do, but I loved the process of how it became real. Special thanks to Juan Bustamante (motion designer) and the team at Clap Studios (sound) for their awesome work.
Have a look at the teaser; we even put the 🎺 TRAMMMMM from Inception, like any other trailer in 2015.
“So, wait a minute… Manuel is not going to tell us about what this comic book is about?”. Yes, I will…
Marco, the lawyer of one of the largest crime organizations in Colombia, is sentenced to life in prison. He knows his days are numbered; his client will try to kill him. After a week in jail, he receives an unexpected visit from Diana, a hacker he used to hire. She makes Marco the offer of getting him out of prison in exchange for the locations of his client money stashes. When Marco asks how will she get him out of jail, she said with a TIME MACHINE.
In a parallel timeline, Marco successfully privatizes time travel with his company Cronos Corp. Governments around the world tried to regulate the use of such technology, but the corporation established itself in Medellín, Colombia corrupting the political system of the country, creating a barrier that protects its interests from outsiders.
Paranoia grows every day in Marco’s life. He is obsessed with the idea of someone creating a time machine to take all that he has created. With the help of his top advisor Juan, he creates a vigilante program whose mission is to search and destroy all possible timelines where a time machine is conceived. Only Marco’s timeline can have such an invention.
But Marco forgot about Diana. Her intentions will not always play into his favor. In the future, she gives access to the time machine to a foreign government group who operates by the name of War and is backed by the Catholic church. Lead by Emmanuel, War knows that only a single time machine should exist.
Our society starts to suffer due to this conflict. A group of rebels who are not affected by the changes made by time travelers is destined to find a cure for their rare disease, but they know there is only one way to achieve it: find and kill the creator of the time machine.
Proyecto Diegesis is being re-branded to -MEDELLIN 2175- ✊ and I’ll be its official writer. I will need time to put everything together with the hopes of a quality product as a result.
Because of all the buzz Juan did in Medellín, our native city, a Spanish version will be published first.
We discovered that there is a secret fan base (a cult) wandering around the city asking where we are. We were the ones who dare to share a vision of a Medellín in a sci-fi world. They deserve to know how this story unfolds.
who knew! 😅.