Saturday, 20 August 2016

I blame the internet and that yoghurt in a tube

Here's one fresh out of my digital binbags - an old comics idea knocking about in my noggin, which I got the idea for donkeys ago when I used to live in South Wembley, as near the sprawling estate where I lived was a huge but rarely-used jumble of criss-crossing train tracks that led underground via several huge brick tunnel arches, and the subject of lost tunnels and abandoned stations on the underground eventually came up in conversation with someone or other and the two clicked together years later while I was playing Metro 2033 on the PS3.

Media seems choked with "secret civilization under London" stories, though, and I don't think I'd have offered much to the genre with Underground beyond what I thought was an amusing inversion of the trope: instead of London having a hidden secret world of terror and wonder beneath its streets, the world of terror and wonder was London itself and the boringly normal world was the one that existed deep beneath the Thames Valley in the subterranean towns and villages built by descendants of the population of a government bunker who had survived the nuclear war that took place in the 1980s (clearly I was subconsciously influenced by War Cars) and eventually expanded from their fallout shelter to settle in caves and caverns far beneath the ruins of the city.  Best not think too hard about The Science on this one, I am thinking.

The characters would travel a mundane-looking underworld of brick walls, collapsed tunnels and flooded sewers in a quest for knowledge, so when I say I wasn't offering anything new I really mean it, with even the mutants - when they eventually appeared - just being humans in bandages and hazmat suits, and the main antagonists being The Vicars - yep, just dudes dressed in black.

Unhelpfully, I have lost all but these few sketches and the original proof of concept pages below, so don't judge the abilities of contemporary me by the on-the-nose dialogue, rough art, and pages occasionally crammed with text.  I shelved it when I had to do something for someone else, then never came back to it as I had other projects on the go by then, but I'm pretty sure the only reason I drew the art pages originally was to try and use Manga Studio's crosshatching brushes, but it wasn't a terribly successful attempt, as I just couldn't figure out a way to get them to do what I wanted.

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