- adult language
- adult situations
- gay characters
- sexual situations
It’s Tuesday, August, 24th 2483. The Earth has been under the power of the NMO (New Moral Order) for hundreds of years. Most of the planet’s surface has been destroyed. Under the strict rule of the NMO, the remaining population either lives in hiding or in fear. The NMO is free to do whatever they wish. The earth’s climate is spiraling out of control in a Venus-like greenhouse effect.
The religious fanatics wait for the end times. Day after day, month after month, year after year, and century after century. Repeated predictions never come to fruition. But the end of days may be coming sooner than they think but from a completely different source.
Ellis Becker is an extractor. A highly trained specialist whose purpose is to extract people, art, literature, and anything of value to the human race, without detection. He is authorized to use any force needed to accomplish this.
A Dream of Mine
About 30 years ago, I started thinking seriously about creating a graphic novel where the main character is gay, strong, and confident. I also wanted to develop a story that wasn’t just about being gay or having those same topics of conversations that is very common with gay comics or graphic novels. I’m also a huge fan of discovery and easter eggs. Within the story holds a ton of applied meanings and subliminal imagery. For example, the one I freely give up because it is so subtle I automatically think no one will notice what the implied meaning. There are three sex scenes in Occultation II.
- The first scene represents control and dominance. Think prison. This isn’t necessarily about being gay but about control and power. It may not even be about the sexual act itself.
- The second scene is denial. Most of us have heard of the “straight guy” who will mess around with a friend but will only do certain acts. Crossing the self-applied lines would mean that they are gay. For example, no kissing or returning of favors.
- The third is acceptance and love. Obviously, this represents the acknowledgment of their homosexuality and have no issues with loving someone of the same sex.
Events, names, places, and images all have a thread connecting everything together. Also, when it was time to write the final dialog I made a choice to not have any expositional dialog or effect bubbles. I wanted the story to slowly guide the reader through these events as if they were just tagging along and discovering threads on their own. It was my hope that people could see some of these connections on their own or even come up with alternate connections.
“If you know the Nostromo, or LV-426. If you’ve considered the plight of the replicant. If you know what “spice” is. Then you probably have an interest in alternative creative fiction focused on future realities. Like many of us, you are fascinated by stories like Blade Runner, Dune, Alien and many others. Consider then the excitement all those years ago when these amazing stories first came to life. What must it have felt like to be part of something so exciting right at the beginning? These treasured characters and worlds we all know and love came to us because of a collaboration between an artist with an amazing vision, and financial supporters who helped render the artist’s vision commercially viable. YOU CAN NOW BE PART OF SOMETHING EXTRAORDINARY! My friend Thom Collins is launching his graphic novel, OCCULTATION, on Kickstarter. His vision is a new take on a future dystopia – one where the characters and issues resonate with people today, YOU. His principal character, Ellis, stands tall with the likes of Ripley and Deckard and ‘David’. Got to his Kickstarter and check it out. Help shape the future of SciFi by making sure tdcollins OCCULTATION comes to life.” In Occultation, tdcollins brings to life a future world riddled with fear and violence, but where gay love will rock hate to its very foundations”
“Occultation is an astonishingly accomplished debut graphic novel by Thom Collins. His facility with the human form is on prominent display through this entire book, his characters’ colliding, crashing, careening, cajoling, conspiring bodies lovingly rendered in exquisite detail. This is a book about space, in both the interplanetary sense and in the distances between characters, their positions in the frame. It is amazing how much Collins communicates non-verbally, how much of his world building exists in the detailed machinery, the wrinkles of the fabric, the furrows in his characters’ chiseled features. The book mostly trusts the audience’s ability to understand the world as it is revealed to them, keeping exposition to the minimum so that our sense of this possible future emerges gradually, clarity emerging slowly as the details become occulted. Collins’ vision of the future is audacious in its premise, terrifying in its plausibility, and absolutely beautiful in its execution.”
Steve MacIsaac – Shirtlifter
“Set in the year 2483, Occultation has the intriguing tag-line: “Ellis (gay male) fights for the freedom from oppression and religious fundamentalism.” Sounds a lot like our world of today, right?
This adult graphic novel will have you engaged from the outset. The mood, setting, imagery and taut storyline at times makes you feel like you are watching a movie like Alien rather than reading a graphic novel. You can tell a lot has gone into the creation of this book. Thom has created a world so complete, it’s obvious that he planned and plotted the backstory out of not only the characters but the world that they inhabit as a whole.
Now I do not want to spoil the story for anyone by giving away plot points or spoilers so for that reason this review is going to be based purely on the way the book looks and reads. And boy you are not going to be disappointed one iota on both those counts.
The style of the artwork is spot on for a project of this nature. It truly compliments the atmosphere and mood of the story throughout. You end up being immersed in this world and can imagine in your mind the sound effects that would be used if this were ever made into a movie (and you Hollywood – yes, you, sitting in your lofty towers – this NEEDS to be made into a movie).
The story has tones of allegory throughout: taking themes of the real world and putting them into the context of a science fiction story to bring across its message. For this reviewer, it stands tall alongside many of the stories told in the classic Star Trek series of the 1960s that was famous for its topical storytelling of the day disguised in the guise of science fiction.
It is very easy with themes like those featured in this book to fall into the clichéd realms of other similar storylines but everything just seemed to fit perfectly together in this. From the opening to the end page, and to the plot and the artwork and the sex scenes – yep, I said sex scenes – (it is, after all, an adult gay graphic novel) are all handled so well.
Designed with a trilogy in mind, the end of part one will want you clamouring impatiently for the second volume, with the hope that questions raised will be answered.
Those of you familiar with class science fiction/fantasy magazine anthologies Heavy Metal Magazine and Omni will feel right at home with this graphic novel. And for those that are not, then you are in for a right treat.
We need more thought-provoking gay graphic novels like this. So if you are a fan of sci-fi, or well-written fiction, trendsetting artwork or Bears, then this is THE project to get behind from the very start and become a part of the beginning of something very special.
You will not be disappointed in supporting this project.
Look out for the January issue of ALL BEAR where we will be chatting to creator/writer/artist Thom Collins about his creation and we will be featuring some art from the world of Occultation in the Bear Art section in the same issue.”
Colin Gunn – All Bear Magazine