I’m super excited to announce that issue #2 of Shutter will be released at the Emerald City Comic Con on March 28, 2014!
With all the excitement about issue #2, I thought it’d be fun to talk a little about where the inspiration for Shutter came from and what makes this book so special. The first ideas for Shutter were conceived back in 2008, over a long Christmas holiday break in which I found a sudden and voracious interest in all things American West.
Frank Gunn Roberts
The real spark came from something so simple. My great grandfather was Cherokee Indian (you’d never know it from looking at me) and his name was one of the most perfect “western” names ever: Frank Gunn Roberts. That name alone caused my mind to explode with ideas that developed into the character “Frank” that is the focal point of Shutter’s story arc.
I snuck down to the library and checked out nearly every book I could find on the subject. Yes, real, paper, physical, old, books. I was mesmerized by the stories of the old west, the outlaws, the gold fever, people living on the edge of civilization, battling nature on a daily basis. By the end of the vacation, I’d read over 30 books on the subject and could quote chapter and verse on western lore. I was particularly interested in the period right after the Civil War (late 1860’s) when many, disillusioned by the war, headed west for a new life.
Though I wrote the Shutter script, the story credit can definitely be shared with two of my brothers. We work as a story team on many of our comics, bouncing ideas off of each other and laughing at the crazy things we come up with. Shutter’s colorful characters and perilous situations owe much to these collaborative sessions, the first of which took place on that very same Christmas break several years ago.
Along the way, I read about Louie Daguerre, the inventor of the Daguerreotype Camera. His death was surrounded by rumors and mystery. So I asked myself, what if Louie had invented a new camera at the end of his life, a camera that could take someone’s soul? What if he used it on himself to test it? That was the question that turned Shutter from a straight Western into a Western / Horror mash-up.
That became Shutter’s set up, a Western / Horror story set against the backdrop of the 1860’s American West with a camera that can take men’s souls and Frank, the only man that can stop it. I got so inspired by this era that my first novel, Tales of the Macabre West is set in the same time period.
I will share some more tidbits about Shutter #2 as we get closer to the release and also a cover reveal with some first-look pages along the way.
You can get the first issue of Shutter here: Shutter Issue #1