It is the story of a post-apocalyptic world struggling back to its feet without electricity or machines.
The story centers around a town that has been built up beside a rare find of tillable soil where they grow wheat.
Mutant rats threaten the harvest and the townspeople, in desperation put out ‘ratcatcher wanted’ posters.
The Piper arrives to deal with the rats. His sound device drives the rats into the open and his vicious dogs herd them to a corral where the townspeople shoot them.
When the Piper finds out he was tricked into accepting a low fee he leaves town in a rage.
Later, he returns and sets fires to several buildings, then he and his dogs go to the school while the others are busy fighting fires. He takes the children on a forced march to his ship.
Only 5 mounted rescuers can be spared, and only 2 remain, after an ambush. A widower determined to save his estranged son, and the village midwife intent on saving them all.
A darkly twisted re-rendering of the Pied Piper legend.
This story began as a screenplay. The idea for a graphic novel version was to visualize that screenplay in order to put the story out there.
It was a way for the story to find its audience first before incurring the costs of production. A creative artist can take us anywhere with a few brush strokes. I could turn the screenplay into a graphic novel, except I can’t draw a circle. I had to find someone who could, and would, be willing to tell my story.
It took a while and as my search widened I met Paul Schultz. We hit it off right away.
Paul read the screenplay and saw the images. He began in rough pencil as we refined story points and characterizations until the final drawings.
A graphic novel is like a puzzle. The reader looks at the words and the pictures to inspire the story in their mind.
In the corporate model of filmmaking the drawings stage would be the storyboard process. A process that is used to plan out difficult moments in films but is rarely a coherent look at the story and is often simply a series of images showing how the camera moves.
A graphic novel lays the story out in master shots.
Transferring a screenplay into a coherent fast paced graphic novel, is what films do, tell stories with pictures.
Paul is an amazing artist whose visual interpretations of the script show off the story in its best light.