In 1987 I embarked upon an ambitious project that pushed my fledgling abilities to the breaking point and tested the limits of my reader's patience. Bloodlines told the epic story of Deborah Judges, a young woman caught in a contemporary war between light and darkness contested on the streets of a modern urban city. Modeled on Mahler's Second symphony, Bloodlines was heavily theological and featured graphic violence and a frank depiction of life on the streets. At the heart of the series was the quote from Process theologian Charles Hartshorne: "To do anything is to do something for god. To decide anything is to decide something divine." The non-linear storytelling was unconventional and confusing for readers who put little trust in an unknown artist-writer. Publishers too, lacked support and courage for the project. Aircel abandoned it after three issues due to its controversial material. Vortex canceled the series after issue #7 precipitated by my experimental and disastrously printed fifth issue. Ironically (or not), Frank Miller would achieve lasting success using the same stark black and white visuals in Sin City. During the late 1990s some effort was made to turn Bloodlines into a movie at Miramax, but the reader couldn't understand why Deborah would fight with a sword and not a gun. Seriously. I guess he or she never saw Buffy which Bloodlines anticipated as it did the entire resurgence of sword and sorcery. Looking back on the artwork, I am sorry no publisher saw fit to stick with me. My art is not without its obvious shortcomings, but the pages reflect some inventive design work for the late 1980s that was nicely evolving from issue to issue. The pages and covers are samples taken from the seven published issues. The cover of issue #7 was painted by Rick Taylor. Figures 2-5 were done in 2011, experimenting with Manga Studio. The first act of the Bloodlines screenplay is available as a PDF from my website.
|My original outline for the complete saga.|