Dead by the Pool
Our vengeful nerd fights to the death against a corporate enemy. He dies, then parties in a lustful Purgatory. Surrounded by posers, bouncers and bondage models, will he return to the living?
This one started off as another "vengeful nerd" story, inspired by Frank Miller's "Born Again". In this example, "inspired by" means "shamelessly stolen from". (it was the 1980s.) I simply hijacked Miller's corporate murder setting into my own direction. The office is based on where I worked at the time. The secretary is based on the Taxi-era Marilu Henner.
One difference from the Miller story: my protagonist actually dies. This probably came from the passing of my favorite Aunt and Grandfather. In an abstract sense, I wondered about violent deaths in my childhood neighborhood Springfield MA. Here's something I've never told anyone: As a teenager, I saw a dead wino. It was night, I was walking to the pizza place. Lying in the side doorway, there he was. He looked like he was sleeping, only not moving. He had a blood stain on his forehead that could have been from a gun shot. I did nothing, and regret doing nothing to this day.
The drowning women and ghosts started off as unimportant visual elements. Through more accident than design, they contribute to the fundamental storytelling. Our villian has been killing this way for years. Some of his victims think they're still alive.
So what happens after death? In my story, you go to a nightclub version of Purgatory. It's an abstract portrayal of wreckless fun, in contrast with the protagonist's angry, uptight life. I don't like nightclubs, but the people who do look like they're having a blast.
This story was produced completely digitally, advancing the techniques from "Six-Year-Old Horse Thief". Each page is an Illustrator document holding a compound-path Clipping Mask of the Corel Painter-generated art, with another layer for the word balloons. The inking's a little more free, but still suffers from using the computer "zoom" too much.
Dave M!, hoping you enjoy this story.