Just as the millennium was ending, I embarked on a major project: a graphic novel starring my techno-wizard character, Enlil. This epic would tell the story of how Enlil, using his powers over the earth, saved a city from obliteration by the outpouring lava and ash from Mount Aitna, which we know as Mount Etna in Sicily. I was inspired by live video views of Etna eruptions as well as Latin and Greek texts about Mount Etna from thousands of years ago.
This project proved to be as big as the mountain itself and after 44 pages and more than 10 years I am still in the middle of it. I have not been able to do steady work on it for years and it is frustrating to me and possibly even to some of my friends who like the tale and its characters and pictures. My friends encouraged me, even urged me to continue on the volcano epic.
Just recently the pictures and videos of a much smaller lava flow threatening a village in Hawaii brought me back to my stalled graphics project. Originally called THE FLAMING RAMPARTS, it is now re-named THE FIERY GARDEN. The original art pages for it are still in my studio and I am pulling them out of their obscurity hoping to continue on the project.
This small piece is a test panel for the graphic story, depicting Aitna by day. I was exploring graphic styles and I am heavily influenced by the European comic book style of "clear line," which is now out of fashion but I love it.
Ink and watercolor on illustration board, 5" x 4", 1999.