Monday, May 25, 2009

1981 Nautilus Dreams The Sorcerer Graphic Novel Ad

In 1980, after their acclaimed run on Iron Man, David Michelinie and Bob Layton decided to turn their attentions toward a creator-owned work. However, this was in the early days of the "graphic novel." Coming from Marvel Comics as they did, the creators' interpretation of the term was less Will Eisner and more "overlong super-hero comic book with profanity and excessive violence." The basic premise was "The Spectre meets the Executioner by way of Mandrake the Magician." As Layton himself would more charitably put it, "Our concept revolved around the story of Seneca St. Synn, a stage magician who had been disfigured by the Mob, after refusing to knuckle under to their demands. What was born of that botched assassination became the hooded and black garbed creature of the night called-The Sorcerer. The Sorcerer, using the magics taught to him by his Native American Grandfather, began a trail of vengeance against the mob that was ghastly, even by today's more accepting standards."

The intended publisher, Nautilus Dreams, fell apart before the graphic novel actually saw print. The creators shopped the property around for years unsuccessfully. I imagine it would have been right at home amidst the second wave of Image Comics like Trencher and Shaman's Tears, were the creators not themselves entrenched at Valiant Comics at the time. Eventually, Layton and company began a short-lived company of their own called Future Comics, where they reworked the Sorcerer into Deathmask.

Anyway, Layton presented the complete unpublished graphic novel on his web site a few years ago. The story itself is juvenile, featuring dialogue no human being would ever speak. The characters were all types, stereotypes or both: the grim "Indian" with Shamanistic powers, the flamboyantly gay master criminal, the driven investigator filled with personal integrity, the two Mex-i-cans with accents thicker than their mustaches, and so on. If you like your action extravaganzas heavily flavored with Gouda and not weighed down by reason, you could do worse than the Sorcerer. If you're averse to topless whores getting their faces blown off at close range, then maybe you should reconsider following the below links to the free content...

  • Unpublished Sorcerer #1 Wraparound Cover

  • Bob's The Sorcerer Archive Part One (Pages 1-12)

  • Bob's The Sorcerer Archive Part Two (Pages 13-24)

  • Bob's The Sorcerer Archive Part Three (Pages 25-36)
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