CIGARETTE CITY: RUDE AWAKENINGS is an upcoming 12-page short comic written by myself and drawn by Gabriel Fobert (@crypt_crow), one of the artists on Project Gloom. Frank, a mild-mannered fax machine salesman, wakes in a taxi cab and exchanges small talk with the driver through a series of disasters. After each event, FRANK reawakens as if from a dream, until the next disaster hits.
CIGARETTE CITY began as a feature film concept I brainstormed with writer Scot Langland, essentially putting our own spin on the gritty tone that Frank Miller popularized in his works like DARK KNIGHT RETURNS and SIN CITY, as well as a few nods to Alan Moore’s WATCHMEN. This dark noir world of crime and mystery became like something from a 1980s dystopian city where every potential nook and cranny might reveal some insight into humanity’s inner conflict of good versus evil.
I began to explore the far corners of CIGARETTE CITY by writing various short stories set in this universe. RUDE AWAKENINGS was a rewrite of a short story I wrote while studying at UNC Asheville’s Creative Writing program. There was originally another artist onboard this comic, and we developed the idea for a few months, but he dropped out to pursue other opportunities. I generated the following panel layout scheme to assist in the comic’s construction as the story heavily involves a series of repeating panels to illustrate the character’s looping events.
Image by Ted Kendrick
CIGARETTE CITY: RUDE AWAKENINGS will be self-published in a limited run and available for purchase later this year. Should it be well received, there is plenty of potential for more stories set in the CIGARETTE CITY universe.