They Walk Among Us: A Descendant Godling

Writers are essentially gods.


Not to get all goofy or crazy or anything, but it's true. Writers create worlds, universes, multiverses, all inhabited by countless denizens, each with their own potential story to be told. Writers create, instruct, define, fine-tune, manipulate, set loose, and destroy entire realities with the stroke of a pen (or clack of the keys). If that is not god-like, I don't know what is.

But not all gods are great. Some falter, their words shoddy, their implementation wanting. Others lack the confidence to stray beyond the boundaries of established norms, instead choosing to merely recreate that which has come before. Still others are granted little chance to shine, instead forced to maintain the creations of others instead of producing magnificent works of their own hands. The craft and toil of a god is their pride, their joy, and whatever it is they produce, it is only truly made manifest when consumed and enjoyed by another.

The title for A Descendant Godling was a tricky one. Initially, I had intended to call it, A Godling, Descendant, but that presented the problem that it might be translated as the offspring of a godling, when the intended interpretation of “descendant” is in relation to elevation and position rather than relation. Other possible words used in place of Descendant simply did not possess the intended regal air. Yet a simple reorganizing of the words was enough to have the intended effect – one hopes – granting a glimpse at the nature of the story.

I knew supplying illustrations would be a daunting task for the piece, as it is relatively abstract, allowing the prose to do the majority of the talking. In a traditional comic piece, the words would be stripped away, allowing the imagery to tell at least as much of the story, but here the challenge was in providing imagery that both complemented and supplemented the provided prose. Imagery I came up with on my own would suffice, but certainly felt wanting. Thankfully, Michael Conrad was more than up to the task.

After some discussion about how I viewed the godling, Michael wrestled with creating artwork that would be right for the piece. I worried that we might have to settle for my lackluster solution, but then Michael came back with two amazing pieces that perfectly complement the story, both bringing to life the character and adding substance, adding gravitas in a way the words on their own could not manage. The piece is unquestionably better with Michael Conrad's art accompanying; he truly makes this godling sing.

A Descendant Godling appears in See Sharp Knives, available in the summer of 2016. The collection is the second anthology comic by Mystery School Comics Group, the first being A Minor Spell, available for purchase on our website and select locations. A saddle bound, booklet format minicomic; A Minor Spell is a 40 page collection of 10 stories and supplemental artwork.

See Sharp Knives is Mystery School Comics Group’s first standard format, perfect bound publication. The collection includes more than 50 pages and a dozen stories. The book reflects the group’s delight in surprise by containing stories read in standard format, horizontally, and in one manga-style story backwards.

Our comics commitment to you and to ourselves is to continue to provide crazy comics faster, better, and in greater quantity with each collection. To that end, the group hopes to produce their next collection Be Flat Broke in December, 2016.