“I want to make a comic that’s a cross between Lord of the Rings and Mad Max.” That’s how David Powell originally pitched Age of Savagery to us. He’d been working on the fourth issue of his post-apocalyptic robot adventure comic New Wasteland Fairy Tales for a while and progress had stalled because he had too many ideas but they didn’t fit the storyline he’d already established. His solution was simple: start a new project.
Developing The World of Genodd
It was March 2017 and David had been doodling in his sketchbook drawing fantasy barbarians, beasts and gigantic monuments instead of rampaging robots and gladiator battles. For a long time player of Warhammer and War Machine, fascinated by the close-up gritty skirmish games that revolved around characterful stories and explosive escapades, a fantasy world made sense. It was the break he needed that would clear his palette and allow him to return to New Wasteland Fairy Tales with a new focus.
We sat down with him and discussed the world he was designing. Looking over the concept art he’d produced we tried to work out what Deadstar Publishing could bring to the table to help him. He had a solid design for the world, and one that we wanted to see brought to life but producing a graphic novel on his own was a daunting task. Working alone, he could expect to spend a year or two on it at least. Or longer. At that point, the task would be far more than a diversion.
Around that time, we had been considering reviving our Rising Stars compendium. Back in 2010 we released it as our first graphic novel and it started the careers of several creators (including David) and we’d always called it Volume 1 with the intention of producing a second and third volume etc. After a lot of back and fore we agreed that it would be impractical for David to complete a book based in Genodd on his own… but the concept lent itself well to a shared universe populated by many creators. So, we reached out. We produced a submissions document and from that solicited stories set in David’s new world. Twenty two creators came together to share their stories set in David’s world and we launched the book in May 2018. To date it has been one of our most popular graphic novels.
Doing it again
Ten months on, we’ve sold most of the first print run of Age of Savagery. We’ve had readers come back and tell us that they enjoyed the representation of a variety of characters in the stories, that they loved the art, and even a few people telling us how it had been useful to them as a sourcebook for role playing games. We’ve also had creators messaging us to ask if they could do more with their characters as they’d had more ideas for stories since the book was published.
In the last year, David has been working on New Wasteland Fairy Tales again (we’ll have a blog on that sometime in the future) but also feels drawn to return to Genodd so we’re now opening a submission call for a second volume.
Age of Savagery: Mystics and Monsters
The first volume really established the world, setting up the clans living in Genodd and their views on the world. It also showed off the prevalence and significance of the Monuments. For volume 2, which we’ve called Mystics and Monsters, we want to look deeper. In this volume we want to focus on secret societies and mythical beasts. Who are the powers at work behind the scenes? What mysteries do they protect? Will the creature that stalks the woods return or have we driven it away? What was it in the first place? If you’ve got ideas from that and you want to learn more download the submissions guidelines. We’re looking for short comics, prose stories and spot illustrations so all types of talent are needed.
You can find the submissions guidelines here. And you can email firstname.lastname@example.org if you’ve got any questions about the project.