Hello everyone, and Happy New Year! Welcome back those of you who've visited before, and for those reading for the first time, thank you. This is "Welcome to Eternity by RDII," a bi-weekly newsletter by Robert Deshaies II.
It was a wonderful two weeks away from the working world. I took the time to spend it with family, eat more than my fair share of food, sneak in a bit of writing, and decimate my increasing "to read" pile. It was a blast, and I hope you have been treating yourself wonderfully the same.
Anyway, let us get to the "it-factor!"
Well, not much has been going on. To acknowledge the previous newsletters' happenings, Rogue Comix Presents: Three//Shorts is still on track for its release this coming week on roguecomix.com. The story will contain 30 art pages and will be available for a digital download this week! Visitors of the website will get it first and the month following to the masses on Comixology.
I'm very excited to show these stories off. They may be short, but they are full of heart and some dazzling scenes from even more spectacular artists.
In other comic news, Adam & Eternity Issue Four has unfortunately experienced some halting to proceedings. Our original release date, January 6th, will not be met. Due to story revisions and the time accounting for the holidays, our new release date will be January 20th, 2020. I apologize to the fans and readers of our spectacular cult-hit. I must take full responsibility for our lateness. Per your support, I wanted to let you know we will be stuffing the oversized finale with a little extra bang for your buck for the extended wait.
Here's a quick preview of textless pages 1-5.
Thank you for your understanding. My team and I are hard at work to get you loving Eternities, our final chapter. You've been welcomed into the halls of our beautiful little creation, and I'm more than grateful for the opportunity.
The Streets Ran Red has finally been delivered into my hands, and now that I've approved the book for distribution, it will be available for purchase in the coming weeks. There will be updates on purchasing and availability via my socials and the next installment of this newsletter. In the meantime, here's a photo of me holding the printed copy with inexplicable joy!
My novels and comic projects for 2021 are still on track with their established dates in other news. I took a couple of days this week to switch up the gears from comic scripting to prose writing, and it was a pure delight. I know fans of Anthology & The Streets Ran Red will enjoy my forthcoming works. Also, of the previously mentioned comic projects, David Strahan's and I, Project 4, is almost at its "pitch moment." We will be delivering those story pages and pitch material to our dream publisher, so wish us all the best!
Now, I believe that wraps the news. Onto the shorts!
Over the next six, and possibly more, newsletter installments, I will be experimenting with serial storytelling. This first chapter will be the beginning of something I’ve never tried before, and I look forward to sharing it with you. Now, let us begin:
And so begins, The New Odyssey.
The year is 3362. Humanity doesn’t exist in the way we once knew it.
We have evolved, and the stars have given us more than we could have ever asked for.
A new light shines as a nova prepares to burst.
A new galaxy is about to be born.
“Our starboard sensors are reading an incoming warp ship.”
“Your point, corporeal?”
“According to the council’s logs, we’re supposed to be the only registered survey vessel in the sector.”
Fleet Captain Rahne looked through his starboard holo-lens to see the forewarned ship exiting its warp maneuver. A red teardrop adorned its left wing as quantum ionic particles dissipated in the abyss. The Far State had come to observe the local phenomenon as well.
“Captain Rahne? How would you like me to proceed?"
Rahne paused and observed the ship floating without intent. He noticed their flare engines halt as tiny waste particles of coagulated water and gas exited their cylinders. He then turned to his first lieutenant.
"Would you like me to hail them, captain? Their frequency is unjammed and open to communication.”
“No. That’ll be all corporeal. Lieutenant Salam? Prepare a welcoming party. We are inviting their crew onboard."
Outraged, Lieutenant Salam interjected, "But, sir, that is against N.O.W.s protocol."
Rahne looked to his lieutenant and grinned. "This is a historic moment for humanity, Salam. An InState and N.O.W. vessel haven't been in those close of peaceful proximity since the great divide. Despite the ongoing war in the southern rim, I sense no harm. They are here for the same reason we are--enlightenment.”
Begrudgingly, Salam acknowledged his captain's wishes. “Aye, captain.”
Corporeal Gundy, the ship's assessor, turned from the captain, letting out a short sigh. Rahne approached like a phantom, placing his hand over the boy’s shoulder.
“This is your first time in a NOW fleet, Gundy?”
“It’s brewing to be one hell of a first mission they commissioned you on then. Enjoy it. Don’t worry about protocol.”
“B-but sir… the academy… I…”
“Son, if I dictated what the academy spewed in my face during my tenure there, my crew would be floating next to the nearest dead zone. I've led a fleet of the best scout ships in six systems. Don’t throw textbook analysis at me, please. This is the stars. You take it as it comes.”
Corporeal Gundy paused momentarily. He, too, glanced to his right to see the docking bridges of two ships lock into another. In the cylindrical glass shafts, Lieutenant Salam and a security crew waited. This was a historical moment of peace. No matter how small. This was a moment to take as is.
“Yes, Captain Raine.”
Captain Rahne acknowledged, then hailed his crew.
"Lieutenant Salam will be arriving soon with the welcome party. Tidy yourselves, treat our guests with regard, for today we're peacekeepers and explorers."
Captain Rahne looked out into the endless black ocean of gleaming light. A grin grew across his face, and the nova waiting to burst across the horizon line of infinite black swelled. This was the home Rahne loved, and he watched all its stunning glory. In view, the star was approaching its max. The ship's density calculator identified in zed-trillions, and despite being along the galaxy's edge, the captain and his crew could feel the gravity. A sheer gigantic mass grew bigger in the farthest reaches of existence, yet to understand its immense beauty, you'd need to observe at the molecular level.
For it is there, the real building blocks of destruction and creation form.
No one registered it when it happened either. A brilliant light erupted across the sky. No color could escape to man's eye at that moment. A tidal wave of white raged across the stars, in picoseconds, reaching farther than anticipated. Captain Rahne didn't expect the readings as the ship's system reconfigured from the totality. His gaze turned to the docking bridge, as it, now, floated directly into view. Shrapnel and specks of flash-warped crystals made it easily identified for captain Rahne. Lieutenant Salam'ss badge floated in the emptiness, glistening, frozen, in dazzling atom particles. But there was only a second to admire...
Before the alarms began to ring, and the hull had been breached.
To be continued...
My little vacation heralded quite the pile of books read. Here are the most notable:
Heartbeat by Maria Llovet - With a ferocious delicacy, Heartbeat pumps intrigue and terror through its readers with appalling ease. Maria is one of the most important cartoonists today. In the vein of Paul Pope, she delivers stories full of exotic pleasures, unforgettable trauma, and breathtaking scenery, and defining characters. A must for fans of Faithless, Loud!, and Paul Pope's bibliography (see: 100%).
The New York Four by Brian Wood & Ryan Kelly - A coming-of-age tale in the 2000s New York centering four friends in their first semester at NYU. Brian and Ryan manage to deliver unique voices to all its characters, profound learning experiences, life-lessons, and an industrial city's undeniable beauty.
Stumptown by Greg Rucka & Matthew Southworth - An all-around great crime-drama with moments of laughter and memorable characters. Rucka's incredible talent for conversational dialogue, mixed with Southworth's brilliant atmosphere, is a combo you won't find anywhere else.
Wonder Woman by G. Willow Wilson (Volumes 1-3) - It's hard to write Wonder Woman. She's the paradoxical loving warrior, but Willow manages to bring both to head with stunning ease. Through a series of intertwining greek myths, modern-day war efforts, nationalist pride, and Diana's inner conflict, Wilson and co. generate a more than memorable run for our favorite warrior-princess. Check it out for both the story and slew of fantastic artists! (see: Jesus Merino, Xermanico, Cary Nord)
Faker by Mike Carey & Jock - Like the aforementioned NYFour, Faker stories the drama of five college roommates during a blackout night partying, when they become infused with an experimental drug. One that harnesses an individual's deepest fears and desires. It's a modern tale of drowning in the world's noise and the voices around you. Mike and Jock do an excellent job of squeezing what, on paper, would be a novel story, but instill a genuinely memorable tale of loss, love, and acceptance.
Essex County by Jeff Lemire
The Incal by Alejandro Jodorowsky & Moebius
Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut
And that wraps it for 2021's first installment of "Welcome to Eternity!" I'll see you guys in two weeks and hope your year is off to a more than fabulous start. Drink more water, spend time with loved ones, work on yourself, write a little, and read a lot.