It’s here…Issue #1 of NOCTUA is now available for download on Comixology! Comixology allows you to read on your computer, phone, or tablet. (And once you purchase a copy you can read it on all of your devices.) Please check it out and if you like it, rate it 5 stars!
Tomorrow is the big day! Issue #1 of NOCTUA hits Comixology Wed. morning! And in lieu of our release, please check out this exclusive trailer!
Some early reviews from NOCTUA Issue #1…
“Andrew Henderson’s Noctua #1 to me was an enjoyable horror comic that when I finished it, left me wanting more. Someone that actually gets me to sympathize with the unholy creatures of the night is an accomplishment in itself. I can’t wait to sink my teeth into Noctua issue #2 and I suggest you do the same.” – Mike Peluso, comicmonsters.com
“I can’t recommend this book enough. Not only does it have trace elements of a super hero book and a crime drama mixed together it also seems to want to explore the issue of race within this world. If you’re looking for an interesting take on the vampire mythos then you should check out this book.” – Jose Sagastume, bagandbored.net
“Noctua comes out of the gate swinging, introducing many different plot points…this could definitely be one to watch this year.” – Sean Robinson, comicsherald.com
“There is a lot to like about this comic. The story definitely explores some interesting nooks and crannies in vampire lore. There is also some fun tension between the vampires that want to go straight (or at least appear to) and the vampires give in to their natures. There were some cool, little character moments and some interesting plot details. The art has an energy that I found refreshing. There is a looseness and excitement that doesn’t feel like another copy of Hellboy or 30 Days of Night. There is some loss of detail in this, but that isn’t really a big deal. The overall effect is of a fast paced and dirty city brimming with corruption and the undead.” – Ben Rhodes, fanboycomics.net
I know, I know…I said I wasn’t going to be a Tess Hatfield. It’s been awhile since I made an update (before today)…but sometimes life gets in the way. And by, “life” I more or less mean, “Game of Thrones.” Anyway, to update you a bit on my work, I’ve got a new comic called NOCTUA coming out with New York Times Best-Selling Publisher Alterna Comics.
NOCTUA is going to be an ongoing, full-color series, released bi-monthly. Right now the comic is just going to be released digitally (starting May 8th on Comixology – http://www.comixology.com/Alterna-Comics/comics-publisher/22-0). However, once enough issues are released, I’m going to compile them for a Graphic Novel print run (with a different publisher, most likely).
NOCTUA is a Vampire book…but I’m reluctant to call it that, as it’s only Vampire in the vaguest sense of the word. In fact, the politically correct term for these creatures is, “Transhuman.” Think, “Blade” meets, “Daybreakers.” Here’s the synopsis:
The year is 2051. A new strain of virus has mutated 5% of the Earth’s population into creatures of the night. “Vampires,” as they’re called by their detractors, tentatively co-exist alongside humans thanks to Aeternus Eternus, a synthetic form of sustenance created by Biotech giant Imago Labs. But for some, nothing can truly replace the taste of fresh blood…fresh human blood. As the illegal blood trade rises, a new predator takes to the streets. One which even the Vampires themselves fear. Those who have seen him and lived to tell about it can only utter one word to describe the winged avenger, hell-bent on ridding the world of their people. “NOCTUA.”
I’m constantly providing updates on the book, new reviews, and new pieces of art on the NOCTUA facebook page, and soon I’ll be running a promotion/contest to win free signed pieces of original art from IDW published artist, Orlando Baez. So please like it!
Here’s another great review for my new comic, NOCTUA, from Horror Comic Book News. Issue #1 drops on May 8th on Comixology.
Review by: Mike Peluso
Writer: Andrew M. Henderson
Artist: Orlando Baez
Publisher: Alterna Comics
Release Date: May 8th 2013
Synopsis: The year is 2051. A new strain of virus has mutated 5% of the Earth’s population into creatures of the night. “Vampires,” as they’re called by their detractors, tentatively co-exist alongside humans thanks to Aeternus Eternus, a synthetic form of sustenance created by Biotech giant Imago Labs. But for some, nothing can truly replace the taste of fresh blood…fresh human blood. As the illegal blood trade rises, a new predator takes to the streets. One which even the Vampires themselves fear. Those who have seen him and lived to tell about it can only utter one word to describe the winged avenger, hell-bent on ridding the world of their people. “NOCTUA”.
Our Thoughts: These days everywhere you look, there lurks Nosferatu. Whether it is day or night, on TV or the big screen, those demonic blood suckers have their fangs stuck in almost every form of pop culture. They are especially prominent in horror comics. So, for me, it takes something truly fresh and dynamic to hold my interest when it comes to tales involving the thirstiest of the undead. And for me, Noctua #1 was that something.
Andrew Henderson’s depiction of Vampires as an oppressed minority was a great angle that really pulled me in. There are some “Transhumans” (the non-insulting, politically correct word for Vampire) in society who fight the oppression and bigotry legally and try to peacefully co-exist with humans. Then there are the others who live up to their masochistic lore and illegally traffic fresh human blood to feed their primal hunger. These dynamics really add intrigue to Henderson’s diverse vamperic world.
Orlando Baez’s artwork is stellar. I do feel the style he brings to the series is a little too light hearted and cartoony for the intense nature that Noctua’s story holds. I can’t say whether or not it truly doesn’t fit from just the sample size of one issue though.
Andrew Henderson’s Noctua #1 to me was an enjoyable horror comic that when I finished it, left me wanting more. Someone that actually gets me to sympathize with the unholy creatures of the night is an accomplishment in itself. I can’t wait to sink my teeth into Noctua issue #2 and I suggest you do the same.
Great review for my upcoming comic, NOCTUA Issue #1!
(Alterna Comics, 2013)
Review by Jose Sagastume
WRITTEN BY: Andrew M. Henderson
ARTWORK BY: Orlando Baez
COLOR ARTWORK BY: Eagle Gosselin
LETTERING BY: David Paul
In issue one of Noctua writer Andrew Henderson introduces to a universe where vampires, known as transhumans, co-exist with humans. Instead of running with a very supernatural setting the story takes place in the year 2051 after a virus has mutated 5% of Earth’s population into transhumans.
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Uh oh…it was starting to look like I had become the monster of which I decried in my first blog post. After a fifteen day hiatus (almost twice as long as our dear fruit fly’s tenure as “The Angry Writer”), I’ve finally gotten around to making my second blog post. And all of three people rejoiced! I know I said I wasn’t into posting my writing writing here (not a typo…I mean my work writing), but I’ve decided to write a novel on the side. It’s a major Sci-Fi Epic which would never get sold as a spec script (at least until I start blowing up as much stuff as Michael Bay) so I figured I’d go the novel route. Here’s the first 5 pages of “Exogenesis.” (The subsequent 250-300 will be quite different).
Prologue – The Discovery
Chicxulub Crater, Mexico. 2012.
Professor Hubert Farnsworth bent over in the massive digging well as he picked up a shrapnel sized piece of quartz. His dignified silver beard glimmered in the basking apricot sunlight as it reflected off of the pre-historic sliver of stone. Hubert turned the rock over in his fingers, as one does a prized possession. He studiously examined the piece of ancient history with great intrigue. Graham looked over dismissively at the elder statesman of the group as he wiped beads of sweat from the short blonde hair matted to his sticky brow.
“I’m telling you Hubert, you’re stubborn as a mule. It was the volcanoes all along. The Deccan Traps deposits occurred over the course of several decades each. And the entire sequence erupted in less than ten thousand years. That alone would have placed ten times more climate-changing emissions into the atmosphere than this blasted asteroid ever could have.”
Paying his dissentious young pupil no mind, Hubert continued to inspect the piece of quartz in his hand. Without even looking at Graham, he shook his head dismissively. Hubert knew kids like Graham. Kids that thought the only real fossils out there were him. Forty years as the Smithsonian’s lead archaeologist and this is how they treated him? Kids today, Hubert thought.
“No…no, you’re wrong, Graham. Alvarez had it right all along. You baby scientists today come along with this volcano nonsense to try and make a quick name for yourself.”
Graham scoffed as he kicked back the top of his flask and took a long swig of bourbon. It was 104 degrees in that sweltering hell-hole of a pit, and the grating tone of Farnsworth’s lectures wasn’t doing his head any favors. Neither was his hangover.
“You think that just because you received a fancy piece of paper from Harvard and read the latest Jared Diamond book that you’re suddenly an expert and can refute decade’s old research at the drop of a hackeysack,” Professor Farnsworth chortled.
Oblivious to the squabbling argument between his two co-workers, the last member of their trio, Gerald, chipped away expeditiously at a piece of rock blanketed in recalcitrant, hard red clay.
“Explain the iridium spike. Massive spikes of iridium in clay layers all around the world from the K-Pg extinction. There’s hardly any iridium in the Earth’s crust. But asteroid…asteroids are teeming with it.”
Graham took another long swig of bourbon before acknowledging Farnsworth’s bullheaded refusal to get onboard with the 21st Century.
“No one plays hackeysack anymore, Farnsworth. You and your outdated theories are what’s holding science back.”
Gerald’s long hippy locks continued to bob up and down in a fervor with his apparent mission to dig a hole straight to China.
“So why did the dinosaurs in India survive right up until the final volcanic onslaught? The sulfur produced by those volcanoes was far more potent than what any asteroid collision could have ever generated,” Graham said.
He gestured toward the sky to drive home his ensuing point.
“Even without that big SOB, Dink truly was the last dinosaur. And not a whole lot more. Only difference is, we might be working on a tropical island, examining Blue Holes in the Bahamas, instead of digging in a God forsaken sweltering pit in the middle of nowhere, Mexico.”
Truth was, Graham had a friend who was doing exactly that. All the Piña Coladas he could drink and all the beautiful women he could drink in. Lucky son of a bitch, Graham thought. And here he was with a cantankerous old mule and a dirty hippy who thinks that aliens built the pyramids.
Professor Farnsworth stared at Graham with incredulity. Never in his life had he heard such utterance of disrespect toward a scientific behemoth such as the Chicxulub Crater.
“Nowhere, Mexico? You’re serious?”
Graham nodded his head slowly. Smarmy smirk plastered across his smug young face. Kids today…
“Serious as the heart attack you’re destined to have by sixty-five. Nowhere, Mexico.”
Hubert shook his head with nothing but disdain for his disrespectful young peer.
“You impetuous little boy,” he scoffed.
Professor Farnsworth threw his hands into the air as he spun about in a circle. Arms spread wide into the sky. Andy Dufresne imitation at its finest.
“This is the Chicxulub Crater. This is the birthplace of life.” Words spewing from his mouth with more than a hint of vexation.
“Sorry pops, I guess you fell asleep on the ride over. We’re in Mexico, not in Ethiopia,” Graham retorted sarcastically.
Professor Farnsworth picked up a lump of clay as he watched it crumble between his fingers.
“Without the extinction of the dinosaurs, no humans. Without the asteroid, no extreme climate change. So yes, this is the birthplace of life…” Hubert eyed Graham up and down with contempt. “Which, at times, is truly quite regrettable.”
Graham watched as Gerald’s head continued to bob up and down like a dipping bird as he chiseled away at the stubborn clay. Almost as stubborn as Professor Farnsworth, Graham thought to himself. Before the argument of old versus new school scientific theory could go any further, Gerald at last spoke. His voice slow and methodical like the enlightened savant he fancied himself, or at least how Graham thought Gerald fancied himself.
“Man, you guys both don’t have a clue. You wanna know how this shit really went down?”
Graham and Hubert exchanged a knowing look as they both donned sheepish grins. They knew all too well what was to come next. “Oh boy, here we go again,” Graham uttered with great chagrin. Hubert echoed the sentiments of his previously argumentative colleague in a rare show of agreement. If there’s one thing the squabbling pair could concur on, it was the unwavering outright dismissal of Gerald’s asinine beliefs in pseudo-scientific nonsense. “Not this again, Gerald. E.T. did not build the pyramids.”
Gerald did not raise his head from his fastidious task as he responded to his dismissive comrades. He knew what they thought of his purportedly outlandish theories, and quite frankly, he didn’t care. He knew that he would prove them wrong one day. That was, after all, why he became an archaeologist.
“Ancient aliens are no joke. They’re a scientific reality. Look at the evidence, man.”
Gerald’s chiseling became increasingly expeditious, as though synchronous with the increasing animation of which he spoke.
“9620 BCE, an abrupt and major change to the climate occurs worldwide. Fact. A large trace of volcanic debris in the Greenland ice cores exists. Fact. A sudden two meter drop in sea levels worldwide. Fact. All occurring at the same time. Plato knew it. He was way ahead of his time. People love to embrace Plato’s thoughts on philosophy, yet flat out ignore his dissertations on advanced civilizations. It’s cherry picking, man. And you’re all guilty of it.”
Hubert rolled his eyes dismissively.
“You’ve been reading too many books by that charlatan Erich Von Daniken. The man was a hotel mogul, not a scientist!”
Graham raised his eyebrows as he mimicked inhaling of joint.
“He’s been doing too much of something, all right…”
Gerald shook his head with a subdued chuckle. He knew nothing that he said could possibly convince these men, so entrenched in their preconceived notions and beliefs.
“You guys are so close-minded, you know? The Piri Reis Map, the Antikythera mechanism, the pyramids at Ankor wat. The proof for the existence of an advanced alien race on this Earth is overwhelming.”
Just as he finished his sentence, a heavy clank resonated from the ground. The familiar sound of metal upon metal. Gerald stopped digging. He cocked his head in puzzlement.
“The only thing overwhelming is your psychosis. This is what happens when you consume copious amounts of salvia while reading Carlos Castaneda,” Professor Farnsworth smirked with satisfaction at his quick-witted quip. Not bad, for an old man, he thought.
Graham walked up behind a statuesque Gerald and playfully tugged on his ponytail. For all of his jabs and jokes, he still liked Gerald, and seeing as he often took his side in debates with Professor Farnsworth, he could ill-afford to risk alienating his similarly aged cohort.
“C’mon buddy, we’re just messing with you,” Graham pleaded innocently.
Gerald did not budge. His face transfixed upon something. His eyes frozen wide like saucers, as though he gazed upon Medusa herself. Hubert joined Graham as the two peered over their entranced friend’s shoulder.
“What do you have there?” Professor Farnsworth inquired with an inquisitive frown.
Gerald held an oddly shaped black metallic box in his hands. The box looked like nothing of this Earth. The metal unidentifiable. It was roughly two feet long and one foot wide. Cold to the touch. It appeared heavy, yet felt light in Gerald’s clay stained palms. The metal shimmered beneath the gleaming Mexican sun, absorbing the light as though it were some sort of element in and of itself. A conduit of some unseen gods in the sky. All three men stared at the box in sheer and utter incredulity. Shivers ran down Professor Farnsworth’s spine. Not because the box was unlike anything he had ever seen in his forty-five years in the field, that much was true, but rather for the single word which flung from Gerald’s mouth like a dagger to everything he believed in.
So I finally succumbed to the whole “blogging” phenomenon. As a writer, I feel as though it is somehow my sworn obligation that I have some kind of physical outlet where people can see my inane, angry…err…I mean “ornery,” ramblings. And oh, do I ever have inane, ornery ramblings. Upon telling people that I am a writer, the third most often thing I hear (usually after “Oh, what kind of writer?” and “Really, me too!”) is “Do you have a website where I can see your work?” “Well…um…no…but here’s a business card.” I mostly write screenplays and comics/graphic novels. When I say I write comics, people tend to think that I actually draw them too. You know, the fun, cool stuff. No such luck. I write the actual scripts. Believe it or not, comics do have scripts. (Well, at least most of them do. Rob Liefeld’s probably don’t. But then again, his characters also don’t have feet.) I write boring technical, ad, and copyright stuff as a freelancer for various companies and corporations as well. This is all a really long winded way of saying, what kind of writing would I put on a website? Do people really want to read B2B scripts or mock Coca-Cola ads? The fun stuff I can’t post, because you know, a screenplay is not like a painting or a video, which can’t readily be reproduced/stolen. If I were to post screenplays, it would jeopardize the concept and uniqueness of the work, which is kind of a big selling point within the industry. I suppose I could post samples…some people do that, or so I hear. But let’s be candid for a second. The average person does not give two shits about a screenplay. They aren’t fun to read like novels (I don’t even like to read screenplays) and you probably wouldn’t understand/appreciate the layout, formatting, and technical terms. Trust me, they’re not that exciting. “ENT. HOUSE – DAY. TESS HATFIELD (19), types away at her keyboard as she steals a domain name she has no interest in. Her eyes narrow vindictively.” See, you’re bored already. Thus, I do not have a website, nor do I feel particularly compelled to make one at the moment. The only advantage I can see would be to market my work to people within the industry…and that’s what my managers are for. Well, that and shooting down all of my brilliant ideas. (I hope they don’t read this. Just kidding, guys!) No, I’m really not. They shoot down more ideas than the Chinese Government. Where were we? Oh yes, so I have not chosen to start a website, but rather a blog. Why a blog? Because people may not be interested in reading screenplays, but Goddamn if they don’t love .gifs of cats doing stupid things while comparing it to some aspect of their life, which definitely, maybe is not in fact how they act in such a situation. I’m sorry, but I am spurious to the claim that you repeatedly bop your boyfriend in the face like a cat when you’re trying to wake him up. If you did, I would probably see more domestic abuse Facebook statuses. (#whatshouldwecallme…hmm, maybe why you’re unemployed and everyone hates you?) What I lack in .gifs, I promise to make up for in inane, ornery ramblings. Speaking of, the topic of this first rambling. Tess Hatfield. I hate you.
When I first took the leap and logged onto Word Press, after about 76685 (approximately) hours of being overwhelmed by all their themes and technology, I was ready to put in my domain name. “The Angry Writer.” It was perfect, catchy, and laconically sums up my curmudgeon of a persona. Much to my chagrin, I was quickly told that this domain name had already been chosen. Of course it had. Because if things ever went according to plan in my life, then it wouldn’t be my life. Sure, I could have shelled out $18 dollars and claimed “theangrywriter.org,” but Anne Frankly, I’m not paying money for a blog that will be read less than a high school biology textbook at Todd Akin’s house. So out of gross curiosity, I decided to see what jagoff stole my blog name. Surely it would allay my fears somewhat if it were in the hands of a capable, witty, genius. I envisioned perhaps David Mamet or Quentin Tarantino had stolen my blog name, and were using it to the most apropos of its potential. Not so. The blog belongs, or rather more accurately, belonged to “Shiloh Black.” I know what you’re thinking, and I thought it too. Why does a dog have a blog? Shiloh Black? It sounds like a talking Black Labrador that gets lost and must go on a journey with a sassy cat, which Shiloh hates but learns to love, in order to get back home. Actually, I think Andrew Bird is directing that for Pixar. (*Insert “John Carter” joke here.*) Well, as it turns out, “Shiloh Black,” she tells us on her blog, is a pseudonym.
Ahh, how very clever. Generally when one uses a pseudonym, they don’t tell people that they’re doing so…but when in Rome! Also, generally people that don’t matter and who write things no one reads…or cares about…or even knows about…don’t use a pseudonym either. So at this point you must be thinking, “Why does he keep calling her Tess? And how does he even know it’s a her…Shiloh is a boy dog’s pseudonym!” Well, I may not own a tweed jacket or posses the strong, defined cheekbones of Benedict Cumberbatch, but I do fancy myself something of an amateur detective. Less Sherlock Holmes more Boxcar Children (fuck the Hardy boys…sounds like a bunch of kids who got molested in a grimy fast food bathroom). On Shiloh’s blog, she has a link to her deviantArt page. And here, in addition to a series of crudely drawn Thor caricatures, we find that Shiloh Black is none other than Tess Hatfield! A nineteen-year-old girl from Canada. Of course, I suppose it is possible that Tess Hatfield is yet another pseudonym, and this masked vigilante of the internet uses a new pseudonym on every website, stealing clever domain names only to abandon them in a Czar Alexander I-esque scorched-earth policy. But now I think we’re giving Tess too much credit. The problem I have with Miss Tess Hatfield is two-fold:
1. She is, not in fact an “Angry Writer.” 2. She abandoned her blog after all of eight days.
Let’s work backwards and start with #2. Tess started her blog on August 24th, 2009. She proceeded to make four self-indulgent, faux philosophical posts laced with creepy sexual innuendos and an apparent love/hate relationship with the man upstairs. She then stopped posting (leaving more unanswered questions than LOST’s series finale) on September 1st, 2009. Again, eight days. She used her blog for eight fucking days. Let me put this in perspective for you. Fruit flies have a longer life span than Tess’ blog. No, that’s not even hyperbole. Fruit flies have an average lifespan of 30 days. An average fruit fly lives almost four times longer than Tess’s blog. Why would one start a blog with such a clever domain name, only to stop using it barely over a week later? At least delete it so someone else can use the name, you selfish, Tim Horton eating Canuck! I guess the answer to this is the same reason one would start a blog called “The Angry Writer,” when they in fact are not an angry writer. Tess’ second of four entries is entitled “Let’s be Lovers, not Fighters.” Umm…Qu’est-ce que c’est? The very title of that blog is inherently contradictory to her namesake! If she was going to make posts like this, then she should have chosen the domain name “The Complacently Content Canadian Writer.” There is nothing “angry” about any of her posts, and I question the veracity of her claim as a “writer” as well. (I’m still eagerly awaiting the release of “The Potter’s Field.”)
The real question is, just what exactly happened to dear Tess? In a mystery which is sure to go down in the annals of history with the likes of Amelia Earhart, The Bermuda Triangle, and the JFK Assassination, on September 1st, 2009, Tess Hatfield disappeared…well, at least from the blogosphere. She’s still quite active on deviantART. She’ll even draw you a wolf chilling under a beach sunset (don’t wolves live in forests?) for only $5 dollars. If you’re into that kind of special gas station art. But why did Tess stop posting not-so angry posts about her love/hate relationship with God and homosexuals? Was “The Potter’s Field” ever published? The answers may lie in her final blog post entitled “Heartsick Teens Make Horrible Writers…” That they do, Tess. That they do. Here we discover Tess has heard those oh so magical words of “I like you too.” It seems that at the ripe old age of 16 (at the time), our talented young author has fallen under the powerful miasma of true love. A true love so potent that she is no longer able to blog. Perhaps, dare I fathom, this love was so powerful that it even compelled her to shed the not-so angry anger which didn’t really, but she claimed it did, throb within her? But wait…the plot thickens. Is it a young hockey playing Canadian who has captured Tess’ heart, or a higher calling? To quote Tess, “This time, it is all about God. He was the one who mentioned it, but I know that all along I’ve felt the same.” Apparently, it was God who uttered those words “I like you too.” A twist fit to make M. Night Shyamalan himself proud! Over the course of these four blog posts, I’ve had an arduous time discerning just what exactly Tess’ relationship with the G-man is. In one post she mentions discovering that “homosexuality is no longer evil,” but she will “never condone it.” She seems to loathe him at times, only to recant later. I’m under the impression that they have a very on and off again romance. However, in the end, God got the girl. “I like you too, Tess.” Tess leaves us this final striking image.
“I am a madwoman, it was only a (sic) for a few hours that we saw each other, and it has not been yet twenty-four hours since my admission was made, but I feel full of hope that I have not felt in so long and my hands are almost too shaky to write, I am a madwoman.
Powerful stuff. Powerful stuff, indeed. It would seem that Tess’ hands never would recover. Succumbing to a Michael J. Fox state of madwoman love for her creator…or some Canadian kid, I’m still not really sure, she would never be able to blog again. We’ll always have the wolf chilling by the beach to remember her by. R.I.P. Tess “Angry Writer” Hatfield. I hate you.
http://theangrywriter.wordpress.com/ (Here is a link to Tess’ all too short-lived blog. Give it a read and become possibly the 3rd person ever to lay eyes upon her words as she waxes poetically on how writing a gay character made her “squirm”…but in a good way! Maybe.)