AND SO THERE I WAS….
I certainly do apologize for my prolonged length of absence – for those who may or may not have subscribed. Originally when I first started the idea for this blog, it was going to be a different change of pace from my previous two blog outings: http://www.purplepinupguru.blogspot.com and my myspace page – which faithfully, WITHOUT fail was constantly updated with long-winded 3000 word plus blogs about comics, progressive rock, sticking my dick into porn actresses where it didn’t belong, and the grinding wheels of everyday life EVERY THURSDAY for five grueling years.
BUT then I decided to take a coffee break. A really long fucking coffee break.
After break was over, I decided I didn’t really have the passion to be blogging anymore. When I ended the myspace blog – everything, its’ contents, vanished in a heap of puffing smoke just as the music hipsters were taking it over and soon after I handed the complete reins of the BlogSpot over to my contributing editing partner Sparky Santos. Still, even after all that I wanted to do a different kind of blog that would appeal to the business machinations of what knowledge I learned in the entertainment industry and perhaps embark on sharing some of that wisdom with others trying to break in.
But guess what – even though I fulfilled some positions in the legal department of Universal Pictures, being taught a crash course in royalties at Universal Music and served in other residual and foreign levy involving stints with both SAG and the DGA respectfully (and only if the WGA could step in to make it the perfect trifecta) – I JUST BECAME PLAIN FAT AND FUCKING LAZY to maintain the crazy lifestyle of HIGH BLOG MAINTENANCE.
You remember the great philosophy once espoused by the great actor Al Pacino in Godfather Part III (I know some of you aren’t brave to admit it – but I know some of you in the universe liked it somewhere in this part of the globe. C’mon, it launched the famous careers of both Andy Garcia and Sofia Ford Coppola – so how can it be totally bad?) – “just when I thought I was out, THEY PULL ME BACK IN??”
In other words – there have been some devastating turn of events in my life that can’t be left undocumented and I feel that they should be chronicled for all prosperity because you never know what future cyber caveman will discover on the internet for thousands and thousands of years to come.
And I thought 2014 started off so well.
Those who truly know the name of Cary Coatney is that it’s a very well-known fact that my talents have been linked closely to the comic book industry – it’s where I made my bones through personal and professional writings in such publications as the now defunct weekly Comics Buyer’s Guide, fanzine Comics Effect, and the self published ten issue comic book mini-series, The Deposit Man of which its’ last two issues have been residing in the better lower part of limbo for the past five years. Just haven’t had the proper funds to resume publication, I’m afraid. I’ve also held business and management positions such as assistant manager at a store called Rookies and Allstars in North Hollywood, running the small press department at San Diego Comic Con International and programming and sponsoring a series of TEEN AGE COMIC BOOK FESTIVALS for the Los Angeles County Public Libraries. It was from my volunteer and take charge kind of involvement with Comic Con International that led me to positions with studios such as Warner Bros, Fox, Sony, and Universal Studios. However, due to economic strife, the world of finishing what I started has probably been inactive for the course of the past five years so the only thing I am capable of doing is just consulting and pitching other projects usually in the company of good friends at monthly meet up dinners.
While I was under the impression that a Residual Processing position under the auspices of SAG–AFTRA was going to be my good luck charm in reclaiming my nine to five birthright, I thought rather than immediately jump in with resuming with publication of The Deposit Man – I thought I’d pour money into taking a shot of fulfilling something I’ve had in the back of my mind for the course of a decade or so – tackling the graphic novel or mini-series adaptation of the classic progressive rock concept album entitled “THE LAMB LIES DOWN ON BROADWAY” written and performed entirely by Genesis when original singer Peter Gabriel was still in the group. Sadly, it was the last album Peter Gabriel recorded with the band before he departed for a solo career due to personal reasons of feeling that being in Genesis was stifling his career and the need to branch out on his own as a solo act.
The genesis of the idea (if you’d pardon the proverbial pun) came to me when I used to be in constant communication with once then Revolutionary Press and then later Revisionary Press publisher and friend, Jay Allen Sanford. For the uninitiated between the two R’s – Revolutionary Press was the publication of rock star biography comic books of whose line Jay took over from the tragically murdered Todd Loren, and when that line basically ran out of steam, it was later rechristened Revisionary Press – which shifted its main focus on the seminal autobiographies and fantasies of popular adult stars – of which JAY made a killer profit on. It’s how I was introduced to my collaborator on The Deposit Man, Larry Nadolsky – which was through Jay’s recommendation that Larry was looking for an offbeat type of book to work on. In addition, talks with Jay concerning future ideas of Revolutionary Press down the line, I suggested the thought of adapting certain concept album titles and it’s content based on the actual storylines conceived by the band members themselves translated into comic book form, and one such suggestion I made was the Lamb. He didn’t think it was a good idea – AND at the same time didn’t think it was a bad idea either, but he just didn’t have the money to back up that kind of project and it was getting time for him to throw in the towel on publishing altogether citing one reason that all the porn stars he wanted to publish future issues on all seem to want the same thing in their fantasy stories –THEY ALL WANTED TO BE VAMPIRES.
Still with that line of avenue unfortunately dissolved I never abandoned hope of adapting the Lamb – but I never had the time to muster up the courage to finally sit down and chart my epic adaptation until last summer when it dawned on me that the album was rapidly approaching its fortieth anniversary and possessing some scintillate of knowledge about the publishing biz, I know how far in advance these anniversary projects should take to conceptualize. For research and jotting down ideas, I mainly utilized two sources to craft the story of the Lamb. For one: if you haven’t seen it, I recommend hunting down the DVD–A version of The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway which was included as part of this box set:
What makes the DVD-A so unique as a valuable researching tool is that the dts 5.1 surround mix of the Lamb Lies Down on Broadway includes the original slide show that was projected on the stage behind the band on the initial tour with Peter Gabriel as you play the music on the disc. I drew inspirations from the slide show to incorporate the atmosphere into certain areas of plotting and rough draft of the first issue, particularly in the portions of how I interpreted songs “In the Cage” “The Waiting Room“, “Riding the Scree” and then came up with the visuals of characters such as “The Supernatural Anaesthetist” which as you can see here is wonderfully rendered by local Venice Beach caricaturist, Walt Davis.
I was taken by surprise while watching the slide show unveiled before my eyes, because the only visuals I ever had of the story were either depicted in the muddled text story that Peter Gabriel had provided in the inside album sleeve (which if I’m not mistaken, once caught the attention of famous director William Friedkin) or whatever distorted visions that erupted in my head while reading the lyrics along to the music back when I was in high school. I originally perceived the Supernatural Anaesthetist as some kind of Nazi doctor waiting in the wings to administer you a lethal syringe full of fatal sleepytime bugjuice, not revealed in a picture slide show as an urban area black drug dealer bouncing up and down on a pogo stick wanting to sell you up and down poppers. There were other surprises waiting in store – and like I mentioned earlier, it was a very muddled text story and I felt a lot of it needed some kind of clarification. After all, the entire work was written and performed by a British quintet of musicians writing about a strange underground adventure taking place in a subterranean city under an American city filled with many multiethnic characters.
A couple of things had to be corrected in translating the text to better suit the American format. A couple of British cultural colloquialisms managed to slip through the cracks in the lyrics and might appear to be confusing to some American readers. Here’s an example I’m borrowing from the Annotated Lamb website, (of which the link is offered in a couple of paragraphs below) that would need deciphering:
“The last great adventure left to mankind” — Screams a drooping lady offering her dreamdolls at less than extortionate prices, and as the notes and coins are taken out
[This seems to be a case of Genesis (or Peter) tripping over the British language heritage they were trying to submerse into the background on The Lamb. Rael, the street punk in New York City (even a reconstruction) would not refer to money as “notes and coins” — since “notes” is a British term (“pound note”). Rael would use words like dollars, bills, or more likely pesos. “Coin” is formal for American English usage, he’d more likely say “change” if he was not referring to specific denominations of money and later in the Lamb “progressive” for “liberal”. Both are out of character for the mood they are trying to convey.] ”
See what I mean?
Also, there are interviews with all members of the band both past and present and specifically in the Tony Banks portion, there’s Tony Banks admitting that he himself had become a big fan of graphic novels and wouldn’t mind seeing The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway adapted into a graphic novel format. So who was I not to accommodate?
Someone out there in the great wide world of the internet was kind and gracious enough to tackle the enormous task dissecting every word and line and treating it like as it were some kind of college thesis in this well thought out researched website of which a portion I copied and pasted above: http://www.bloovis.com/music/lamb.html
So there were essentially the elements I used to craft my version of the Lamb Lies Down on Broadway
Also I darted back and forth between Peter Gabriel’s text story, here and there for sections of the Lamia (and you should read what the Annotated Lamb website’s comprehensive research into its’ mythology has to say – it all based on a 1820 English poem composed by John Keats and nearly all 390 verses of it is reprinted for your own enjoyment ) and sections of side three which by comparison could have in turn have been inspired by the horror movie “Phantasm” which I sort of incorporated in my version (the two hovering golden globes that fill into the room mentioned at the ending lyric of “Lilywhite Lilth“? Think about it)- that is, IF I was allowed to had scripted the series that far in advance.
So there were all my cards on the table. The mission: take all these elements and try to mesh it all together into one cohesive flowing narrative. But as for pitching it down into easy to read bite size pieces goes – it had to be condensed to an entire page and nothing more. That advice as according to fellow comic book writer colleague Micah Ian Wright and he should know, because he’s been more successful at the process than I ever could be.
But did I take his advice? Sort of. Well, not really. I mean, if the whole thing went past stage one, it’s the advice I would have followed IF it came to actually came around to pitching it to publishers (IDW Publishing and BOOM! Entertainment were the ones I had my sights set on). I didn’t take Micah’s advice because my pitch was going to acquire pitching it to a different sort of animal:
First, going for the jugular upon the throats of the original band members of Genesis who performed on the album: keyboardist Tony Banks, drummer and back up vocalist Phil Collins, original vocalist and lyricist Peter Gabriel, ex-lead guitarist Steve Hackett, and bassist Michael Rutherford at the core, only to be followed by their current manager Tony Smith (not to be confused with their previous deceased manager Tony Stratton–Smith).
Unlike Jay Sanford’s line of unauthorized Rock n’ Roll biography comic books he used to put out, I wanted to do things by the book and approach the actual band managers and plead with them to give me permission rather than await down the wrong barrel end of a lawsuit cannonading into my face.
So once I had it perfected to a T, how was I going to get this contender of a masterpiece into the hands of all parties that needed to be involved?
Well, first I had to hire a couple of artists to realize my vision of what I perceived the characters to look like – and I wasn’t looking for a Marvel or a DC look, I wanted something to appeal to a broader base (even though the book would have been riddled with adult themes amid constraints than what I’m used to working with), so I was looking towards something that wouldn’t look out of place either in a Warner Bros or Disney DVD feature. Luckily I live in Los Angeles so there’s no shortage in finding an artist in that particular area of expertise.
So I enlisted the aid of good friends Rafael Navarro and caricaturist Walt Davis.
Rafael and I go back a-ways since my days volunteering for Comic Con International, I’ve always known he’s done some animation for classic Warner Bros shows such as Rugrats and Batman: The Animated Series. When I started self publishing my books out here in LA rather than having them produced in New York, Rafael was the first LA area artist I approached to contributing a pin-up or a cover to my creator owned series, The Deposit Man. I also knew he was a big fan of this album – so, I would retain Rafael’s services in rendering the exotic creatures and mythical beasts running rampant throughout the course of the series. Walt, a caricaturist I’ve known for many years usually found sketching away on the Venice Beach “Boardwalk” or at the Santa Monica Promenade would be the one I would employ as the developer of the more urban and streetwise characters. Walt, hadn’t really heard of the album before and took to designing the characters without knowing where they originated from, only by what I e-mailed to him in written out descriptions. In my opinion, he got three out of four right – which wasn’t bad at all, considering I’m the type that usually excels in over-exemplification.
The third step of the pitching process was then to get legal representation. AND then to procure contacts for that lawyer – so we can get permission to borrow their IP. IP is short for INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY, class. We had to obtain permission from either the band or their legal representative to use their characters EVEN though they’ve never been artistically rendered in any form whatsoever other than photographs of singer Peter Gabriel dressing up in silly costumes. And although, as a golden rule to myself in the band’s safety I was going to assure them that in no way, shape, or form, was I going to use their facial likeness in any part of the story, (other than one lone cameo of Peter Gabriel dressed up in a silly costume) – because this was not a story ABOUT the band, but rather an interpretation of the story that was supposedly behind the title of their album.
By the end of last year, I began negotiations with a lawyer who represented the Jack Kirby estate and he was going to be quite pricey (I think he’d preferred if I kept his name out of it), so I had to hold off on raising the money as I was in the process of changing my living conditions and I had to finish off paying my artists and wait for them to complete their assignments before I could proceed any further. Plus, I had to do a little research of my own. I had to find those contacts. Luckily, digging through the database at SAG–AFTRA proved to be almost effortless (which was a very naughty, naughty thing for me to do). All I had to do was type in to see if Phil Collins was still getting residual checks from any of his long ago acting gigs. Sure enough they still were being delivered to an office in New York City. Sent them an e-mail (through my private account and not through my SAG-AFTRA work account, because I’d be a dead duck at my job if anyone had found out – which turned out didn’t matter anyway since I got sacked because it was a temporary position) inquired if I could find out a contact number or e-mail at Hit & Run Publishing, and before too long I got the contact info on the big manager himself, Tony Smith.
So 2013 ended on a good note.
Walt Davis’s three remaining sketches soon followed:
“Lilywhite Lilith” Which wasn’t really the version I was looking for. As per my e-mail to Walt:
And finally our hero, “Rael“, complete with cuddly porcupine accessory, which was exactly what I was looking for, although he does seem quite young for what PG-13 adult situations and content I originally had in store for him.
With everything assembled, character sketch wise, all my manager Sparky and I had to do was have a sit down with the legal team and prepare a battle plan. To everyone’s satisfaction, a fee was agreed upon (except for the guy who had to raise the money to pay for the fee – guess who?) to draw up the correspondence and send the materials out. I put down a $600 advance payment as a sign of good faith, confident that the rest will soon follow, but in the meantime while I scraped up the remaining balance, manager Sparky suggested on me banging out a first draft for the premiere issue.
I counter-suggested. I’d do a stunt script instead. To elaborate, I’ll just map out in my head what the pace of the story and number of panels on the page should be. Song titles from the side one of the album were broken down on how they should be expanded across the length of forty-eight pages (we were shooting for a prestige four issue series format) along with any other nuances that popped in my head concerning word captions and dialogue balloons. I didn’t have all the mechanics to start dialoging the entire book through, nor did I have the right feel for Rael’s language. For in order for the story to sound reverent, I had to become comfortable with a dialect that would reflect a modern-day Puerto Rican speaking kid roaming the streets of New York causing all sorts of devilish mayhem before accidentally falling into an underground Manhattan wonderland. Would Spanglish work? In selected panels where Rael encounters his future self doppelgänger, Brother John – there were some Spanish words I tried to interspersed, mostly in slang they used to engage with each other, but I was left with a lot of space blank for further reference. Time was of an essence, so I only gave myself a 20 day window to pound this out. Luckily, I was in-between roommates, I used the solitude and serenity to work at pace of plotting, outlining, and scripting at least 3 to 4 pages a night immediately upon getting home from work. The downside of the roommate’s departure was the wi-fi that I had used to siphon off him was kaput, but there was no time or margin for writer’s block – if I came across something too difficult, such as figuring out how the main protagonist should speak, I worked around it by skipping it and later research it in an encyclopedia at the library. The best experience while working on the template I set for myself is how to whittle the time away while filling in the gaps. To illustrate an example, I decided the most area of the first side of the album that needed more development or detailed explanation was the mini eight minute epic “In the Cage”
Spinning my own embellishment about this section turned out to be the most fun for me attempting to write this project. After the events that take place in The Broadway Melody of 1974, Rael wakes up bathed and trussed up in a cocoon. How did Rael wind up in a cocoon in the first place? I sure didn’t cover it in my plot synopsis, but in the midst of writing the script, I started to think of spiders. Spiders spin webs and trap their prey in cocoons, so why not have giant spiders to be used as a metaphor for cages? Their long legs serving as another metaphor for the bars of the cage. Yes, cages to transport the city’s unwittingly denizens of the Manhattan underground across the span of the city to the Dreamdoll Saleslady’s factory floor to turn them into automatons. NOW why didn’t I think of that before? And of course, that made chronicling Rael’s journey from point A to point B a lot denser and easier to explain. That’s the excitement of writing on the fly – there’s always an idea that turns out to be better than the last one when you least expect it. I could hardly contain myself in contacting Rafael to make that idea an artistic reality
Then I realized I reached my allotment of allocating such and such amount of funds for artwork – AND not long after that, without warning, I had been let go from my contract position which I didn’t know was timed to last six months, and no extension to me was rewarded. Immediately after I out cleaned my desk, I only had funds lying around to pay off the artists. My raising the retainer fee for the lawyer had to wait.
When I finally paid off the fee back in the middle of June made through a generous grant from my songwriting friend, Harry Perzigian just as the proverbial Comic Con International was rearing its’ festive head around the corner all it took was one swift weekend for Genesis’ band members and members to inform me through my lawyer’s chain of e-mail correspondence that I was, under polite circumstances, off my flipping nut and gleefully pressed the kill switch on not having their endorsement on it.
I later acrimoniously e-mailed my attorney – ‘well, that was a thousand dollars and then some, well spent.’
Prompting an immediate response from my lawyer: “If you had sent it in yourself to them, you would have never known whether they had read it or not.”
Okay, touché then.
Looking back, it was a rather taxing learning experience and some real expensive itch that really needed scratching – but I knew before going in that it was doomed to failure, but I would’ve been kicking myself if someone else had come up with the exact same idea. if I stood back and did nothing to implement it. There could have been a chance that someone would’ve beaten me to the punch (like a couple of years back when I wanted to approach Dynamite Entertainment about the idea of doing a Defenders of the Earth revival, only to find out that Dynamite Entertainment had already asked graphic novel writer/artist Jeff Parker to come up with one). If you get an idea – YOU BETTER ACT FAST because chances are, ten thousand people across the globe had reached the same conclusion as you already had. Two of the publishers I wanted to approach with this project were those at IDW Publishing, because they had an ongoing KISS series going on and BOOM! Entertainment due to the success they’re currently having with the publication of Clockwork Angels, a mini-series based on the best-selling concept album released by the Canadian power trio Rush a couple of years back.
So that’s what I did over my summer vacation.
And now I leave you with the final wind up and pitch and perhaps we’ll talk again real soon.
THE LAMB LIES DOWN ON BROADWAY
The 40th Anniversary Adventure
Based on music and lyrics written by Tony Banks, Phil Collins, Peter Gabriel, Steve Hackett, and Michael Rutherford
A Four Issue prestige format series adapted and scripted
By Cary Coatney
The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway is a double concept album recorded and released in 1974 by the British rock band Genesis. It was their sixth studio album and the last album by the group to feature the involvement of lead singer Peter Gabriel who left the group at the end of their 1975 world tour in support of this album.
The album tells the surreal story of a half Puerto Rican juvenile delinquent named Rael living in New York City, who is swept underground to an alternative version of his home to face bizarre creatures and nightmarish dangers in pursuit of a strange doppelgänger who claims to be his brother John. Rael would like a chance to get to know his brother a little better, if only he hadn’t ran off into the tunnels and labyrinths with some of his vital organs to be sold off to the black market or to be put in the possession of a would be conquering succubus that may have ties to his past named Lilywhite Lilith. The individual songs or chapters also make satirical allusions to mythology, the sexual revolution, advertising, consumerism and pop culture from the 1970s.
My plans are to script a long form epic involving characters and situations from the classic album and try to piece together a coherent narrative through very detailed research. Each issue will be broken down into ‘album sides’ i.e.; that the first issue will detail and chronicle events that occur within the span of the title track, and the following songs; Fly on A Windshield, Broadway Melody of 1974, Cuckoo Cocoon, In the Cage, and The Grand Parade of Lifeless Packaging. The following consecutive issues will be formatted in similar fashion with sides two, three, and four. Depending on which publisher decides to finance the project, a collected graphic novel is sure to be a certainty. References would also be made to Peter Gabriel’s original manuscript that is reproduced on the inside packaging or liner notes of the CD packaging itself as well as the stage slide show reproduced on the DVD-A 5.1 surround mix. My sole rule towards writing this treatment is that there will be no likenesses of the band members themselves used whatsoever in the story, other than a cameo of Peter Gabriel in his “Watcher of the Skies” bat outfit that ties into the conclusion.
In the opening of this subterranean odyssey – It’s Manhattan: early morning and it’s filled with a cacophony of commuters, congested traffic, sidewalk steam, and spray gun graffiti. Most of the urban scrawl spells out the interlocking words Rael and Is Rael. An eagle eyed patrolman follows the trail leading to a convenience store and discovers that the culprit is none other than a punk shoplifter on a skateboard observed stealing even more spray paint. The patrolman pursues to chase the punk kid to a Midtown subway platform, Rael nearly tumbles onto the tracks. As certain passengers lend a helping hand, Rael is flabbergasted beyond belief to be staring at amazement at a doppelgänger of him standing on the opposite side of the platform. Frightened, he scurries back up the stairs, having now lost the pursuing patrolman, and in the hustle and bustle of commuter rush hour, he comes across a little lamb lying vulnerable in the middle of a busy traffic roaring street. Rael risks life and limb to rescue the lamb, but in the process is struck by a Mack truck. Once his eyes flutter open again, more strange incidents occur: The city and sky become a vast slide show detailing the history of man, then erupted by a parade of famous figures of the past throwing a ticker tape parade and assembling en mass like a wandering army of automatons. They attack Rael like a pack of zombies and Rael is overpowered and made unconscious. He wakes up to find himself hanging upside down in a dark cavern where he is once again introduced to the double of himself who is introduced as his long-lost brother, John whom he recalls seeing on the subway platform. Before John can explain what has been happening, cages formed of stalagmites and stalactites drop and whisk John away, leaving Rael to figure a way on his own to escape. John has been abducted and taken to a factory where he will be transformed into a walking packaged automaton similar to those who knocked him unconscious. Rael rescues John and stages a revolt against the Dream Doll Lady who orchestrated the whole kidnapping ordeal and find rest in a park where a porcupine leaps upon Rael’s lap for a little impromptu cuddling.
This chapter chronicles the harrowing descent into the parallel underground world of New York City. We pick up with Rael from the last issue not only finding a porcupine nestling in his arms, but looking up to find that there is no longer an existence of a night sky – no stars, no moon – just concrete tunneled walls and ceilings. How it is possible that the entire Big Apple can exist inside a sewer tunneled underground labyrinth? As Rael ponders that query, we retrace parts of Rael’s back story of times when he was institutionalized in a juvenile delinquent center named Pontiac along with other known minor aged violent offenders. Rael snaps out of his trance just in time to see that a whole plethora of escapees from the Grand Parade come barreling toward him and his brother. Rael and John stave them off, but Rael is later bitten by the porcupine that he has befriended and learns that it was all just part of a scheme hatched by his brother to administer an anesthetic so that John can steal and cut out his heart and deliver the organ to a Doctor Sniper located in the secret bowels of the underground city. Rael later wakes up on a lonely park bench and is delirious with drifting memories as he stumbles blindly back to the factory where he encounters a girl whose face reminds him of someone of whom he experienced his first sexual encounter. His sole teaching aid at the time was an open book on the subject of Teen Sexuality called “Erogenous Zones and the Difficulties in Overcoming Them” of which was no effort to find at a public library. The girl he meets helps him retrace those steps and they go through a series of romantic misadventures which leads to traversing through miles and miles of carpets and maze like corridors until accumulating on a spiral staircase where hordes upon hordes of wandering automatons are ascending to absorb their souls. Rael finds solace in one of the corridors that they decide to hide in and it is that the startling revelation of the girl of which he has been romantically linked to is named Lilywhite Lilith and that she herself has been a member of the undead for centuries.
This chapter details most of Rael’s journey and listless pursuit of his brother John throughout the labyrinth of the underground caverns of New York City and all the strange antagonists he encounters along the way led by a succubus who masquerades as a lover from Rael’s past. Lilywhite Lilith, as she now refers herself, aids him from the onslaught of a pack of wandering stray Lifeless Packaging automatons who are overcrowding the Chamber of 32 Doors, but then turns around and tries to subjugate Rael for herself by setting him up for a trap for a personal meeting with death itself. We soon learn that Lilith’s true motive is to seek a mate as undead as herself to secretly rule the throne of the secret underworld beside her rather than to assist Rael find his vital organ stealing brother John. Left alone in a phantasmagoric booby-trapped room, Rael faces multiple death traps including those of two deadly glowing globes to render him asunder. The room actually serves as a catalyst between the past, present, and future all existing simultaneously and it’s the grip of a hand from Rael’s future self that materializes out of nowhere that thwarts the hovering tiny assassins. Rael is grateful that he has been aided in escaping from the waiting room traps. As the darkened labyrinth search for his treacherous brother resumes, a very odd-looking African-American fellow garbed in a silvery spacesuit fast approaches him hopping on a pogo stick. The stranger introduces himself as the Supernatural Anesthetist and blows an aphrodisiac powder in his face that paralyzes Rael, thus allowing him to be captured by Lilywhite Lilith in her true succubus vermillion snake form of the Lamia. Rael is lead to a glowing water pool, where he overloads on Lilywhite Lilith’s hypnotic power, and turns it against her in a climatic erotic snake twisting battle and then ends up eating her before jumping into the depths of the glowing water pool, whereas he finds himself caught in a riptide, its’ mysterious current leading out to a mysterious where the tides washes him ashore to a lost island where he is greeted by a very hostile tribe of spear welding warriors whose entire physical genetic make-up resembles millions upon millions of human genitals mashed together
To recap: Rael escaped from the Lamia and risked drowning by swimming blindly though a perilous sea until he found himself washed ashore on a strange island occupied by a tribe of repulsive natives with overgrown genitalia whose only word they can utter to him is ‘hellay’. Real deduces that all these creatures are clones of his brother, John. The leader, John, tells Rael through telepathy that he and his tribe of Slippermen have too tasted love and this tragic transformation is the result of rejection by the Lamia. The only way to reverse this spell is locate the one who had secretly ordered the castration of both John’s manhood and the abduction of Rael’s heart: the notorious black market organ swindler, Doktor Dyper. John and Rael set out on a trek through desert wastelands to Dyper’s isolated clinic near the ravine, unsuspecting that they are already being spied upon by a circling raven. A bargain is struck. Rael’s heart in exchange for what remains left of the Lamia inside Rael’s stomach. It is revealed that The Lamia was once the doktor’s only one true love for which he was spurned. In the operating room, the doktor unseals two glowing tubes: One is Rael’s heart and the other is John’s ‘member’ and as anesthetic is about to be applied – chaos erupts with the crashing of glass in the waiting room as the spying raven, revealed to be an agent of Lilywhite Lilith, snatches John’s tube from the table with its’ razor sharp talons and flies out towards the ravine with Rael in hot pursuit on his skateboard. Rael is just about to lose the chase, until Brother John, now back in his natural form, intercepts the raven and both go tumbling into the rapids of the ravine. Rael fights his way through the rapids and attempts to drag his Brother John clinging feverishly to their ‘bits in a tube’ onto the jagged rock shore. The mysterious hand last seen from issue three appears once again to pull both brothers out of the water. It is now revealed that Rael, Brother John, and It find themselves to be the exact same person. All three merge themselves together as a whole what Rael now realizes what he has experienced is his own soul departing his body, from its’ original host that now lies as a poor discarded broken boned victim of a tragic hit and run accident to become a watcher of the skies. It is over.