A Graphic Novel
by Stephen A. Schrum
Copyright 2016 Stephen A. Schrum
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Table of Contents
I came up with the concept for HellWish as just one of those crazy ideas I have (“Woman in coma is a conduit to Hell!”), and thought it would work best as a graphic novel. Originally, I planned to have the left hand pages as a series of panels that would then culminate into large splash-screen paintings on the right. I had in mind an artist who I thought could handle this very well, but he became too busy to pursue the project.
I then decided to do the pictures as a series of photos in the 3D virtual environment of Second Life^®^ (SL). I contacted a designer with whom I had worked in the past, and she agreed to create some sets for me. And then I never heard back from her.
So everything here is pretty much my work, except for many of the costumes, props, and avatars that I bought on SL Marketplace. I also decided to blend in real photos (First Life!) whenever possible, so I didn’t have to show off my mediocre building skills. I also solicited assistance from other avatars for various scenes, so my alts didn’t have to appear in too many scenes together (although I did a lot of green screen work in Photoshop). I also changed the initial idea of the page layouts simply to save space (though you can still see vestiges of this throughout).
So here is HellWish, my first completed graphic novel, serving as a proof-of-concept for using SL as an environment for creating a work of this nature. Having completed it, I would like to thank the following for their assistance:
And for volunteering their locations:
Marty Jacobus of Voodoo Bayou
Enola (em) vaher of The Virtual Chelsea Hotel
HellWish was assembled with ComicLife from .
Stephen A. Schrum, PhD, is a performance poet, playwright and theatre director in both the real world and in the virtual world of Second Life. Notable past RL (real life) productions include: Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night (set in 1995) and Macbeth (performed in a cyberpunk style); Moliere’s The Miser (done in period costume) and The Misanthrope (set in the era of Disco); Sarah Kane’s 4:48 Psychosis (utilizing both the Japanese dance-drama form Butoh and hallucinatory soundscapes that Schrum created). While his current research area is involved with Transhumanism in Performance, he previously worked on “The Perception of Presence in Virtual Performance,” and he has directed virtual productions of The Bacchae and Prometheus Bound in Second Life (SL). He began teaching with technology in 1993, and since then has been writing and presenting on the topic, including editing the book, Theatre in Cyberspace: Issues of Teaching, Acting and Directing (2000). A recent scholarly publication can be found in the journal Metaverse Creativity (Vol. 2, No. 2: Dec 2012); the article, co-authored with former student Elliot Sheedy, is entitled “Building A Virtual Reality Model of Artaud’s Theatre of Cruelty.” More recently, he uploaded [+ “Digital Alchemy: On Transhuman Performance,”+] to academia.edu. Stephen is also interested digital filmmaking; check out his work on his youtube channel.
Contacting the Author
Twitter: @phoracropolis and @DawnWatchers
Also Available on Shakespir:
(Short story collection)
“O for a Muse of fire, that would ascend the brightest heaven of invention.”
"Be careful what you wish for," they say—and be even more careful if Hell is listening in…. In a small town, a comatose patient is believed to be a conduit to the afterlife. When someone visits her, talks to her, and makes some kind of wish or prayer, the wish comes true. Word gets out and people start lining up with cash in hand to make their wishes—until things start to go awry as Hell begins to pave its way to the town with a portal and an occupying demon force. Who can stop them? Martin Lightborn, demon hunter. He left the priesthood after he was ordained, but he never left the service of God. HellWish is a graphic novel that serves as a proof-of-concept for using Second Life, a 3D virtual world, as an environment for creating a work of this nature.