AION is my forthcoming OGN (original graphic novel). It’s a 100(ish) page comic book released as one book, hence OGN.
The book is my attempt to both exorcise the past and reposition my relationship with the future. It’s a semi-autobiographical work, my first such book, which I’ve been toying with in my head for a couple of years. The second draft of the script is almost finished and I’m about to embark on the art (see Timeline).
AION is the story of a man trapped in a psychologically abusive relationship. Unhappy with the present, feeling like he’s been shortchanged with life, he begins to have violent visions of past that, until now, he hadn’t remembered. As he struggles to reconcile what he’s seeing, he also has glimpses of a bleak future.
As Time presses in on him from both angles, he is also trying to cope with living with his partner; a jealous narcissist who insists on controlling him. With no escape from any direction of Time, he begins to unravel and, in so doing, pulls the threads of the reality of his past – one that is filled with bright, neon superheroes and an imminent cataclysm – and has to learn harsh truths from a future bereft of lies.
My aim with the book is to tell the story of an abusive queer relationship, something that is rarely talked about in fiction. As a community, we concern ourselves with the need for positive representation and portrayals, but successive generational breaks in queer temporality means that it can be difficult to learn from previous generations. I aim to tell my story, though loosely autobiographical, because I believe it’s important that (particularly young) queer people have fiction that helps them to recognise the warning signs and realise that they don’t have to accept such relationships, built as they often are on crippling lack of self-esteem.
In using genre fiction tropes (a past filled with superheroes and a Burroughs-esque future), I’m attempting to also interrogate our relationship with Time. Is the past worth saving? Can we ever really go back? Or do we have to forge ahead, accepting the decisions we’ve already made, even when the burden of those choices seems to heavy to carry at times?
The book is a work of magical/psychotherapeutic ritual: in creating the work, my goal is to transmute my own past, one that I’ve worked hard to reconcile over the years, into something positive. Above all else, though, I’m aiming to create an exciting work of fiction that stands on its own, without necessary relative positioning to the author.
Over the course of early 2018, I’ll be completing my Masters degree in Comic Studies and will be folding the creation of AION into my academic studies. Through the next year, I’ll be working steadily on the art for AION too, with the aim of completing it in late 2018. I’ll use this website as a way to record my progress, with updates for anyone who’s interested in seeing the book come together.
I’ll also be building up my Patreon page, with Patreon-only updates, as I attempt to build a base of followers who are willing to contribute something to the completion of the work.
I’d be excited if you’d join me in the creation of AION, so check back for regular updates and sign up for email updates or my newsletter to keep up to date!