Transdimensional is a new four-issue science fiction and horror comic book from UK publisher TPub Comics and up-and-coming writer Michael Gordon. TPub features a catalog of thriller, horror, noir stories told in a gritty, realistic style. You won’t find spandex in a TPub book unless it’s a deranged psycho who likes the feel of it against his skin while he or she torment victims. Titles like Twisted Dark and Theatrics make it clear what TPub aims to do as a publisher focused on telling stories like those found in Twilight Zone or Black Mirror. Transdimensional continues this trend by offering a mix of Alien, The Abyss, and the dangers of the multiverse.
As the story goes, underwater archeologist Deacon Price is seeking to fund a journey down to a sunken sub. Meanwhile, Deacon is haunted by nightmares regarding his estranged wife, Grace, and disabled daughter, Evie. Deacon receives his funding, and his pal Coop is along for the ride down below the sea. Also on the team is Grace who adds several dimensions of real word tension to this genre story.
In issue one, Michael Gordon packs a lot of character development and set ups. Monkeys Fighting Robots caught up with the writer to ask him more about Transdimensional as the Kickstarter campaign for Issue #2 comes to a close.
We started with a basic question regarding the influences behind Transdimensional.
“The main influence and initial inspiration for Transdimensional are actually pretty predictable; I wanted to write my own version of Alien. But, considering that in the last four decades, imitations of Alien or stories that are inspired by Alien have become pretty damn commonplace, it was a stroke of genius that my lovely wife actually suggested setting the story underwater, as opposed to space!”
Reading through issue one, the influence of The Abyss is evident. Gordon also mentions the 1998 horror feature Sphere. “I love how those stories, if they’re told well, build and build in suspense and tension until it’s almost unbearable for the reader/audience.”
Issue one also doesn’t start off with a bang. Transdimensional is patient, and it builds a lot of character throughout the first chapter. Pub and Gordon both share a love for character. “Characters are the most important element of any story. You could have the coolest plot, with the most badass action and the best production values in the world, but without characters that people genuinely connect with, it will just feel hollow and forgettable. In fact, interesting and compelling character work should make all those other elements even better, as the readers will care about what happens to the characters they like, or love, or love to hate. “
The Kickstarter for Transdimensional #1 ended in April fully-funded. Gordon received plenty of feedback from readers. Asked about the comments effect on the scripts moving forward, Gordan says “I do like the idea of being able to adjust some things here and there due to reader feedback if the ideas make the story better. It’s certainly not something I’d be against, so I welcome readers telling me exactly what they think!”
The scale of the story begins small, focused on several characters and this one job. However, Gordon alludes to a bigger story. I compared it to the difference between The Abyss’ theatrical release versus the much grander ending of the Special Edition. “There’s an escalation of tension and scale in each issue, which is how I feel a good horror story should be structured. Start small and intimate, draw the reader into the lives of the characters; that way whenever everything goes to hell in the final act, the reader is attached to the characters and is more accepting of some of the more heightened story elements.” And Gordon is happy to say “the ending is closer to the scale of The Abyss’ special edition.”
We here at MFR are no strangers to science, and Transdimensional makes use of theoretical ideas such as the multiverse. Both Gordon and Neil Gibson, TPub’s Editor, wanted to use as much inspiration from real-world science as possible. “The title is definitely a hint at the direction the story will go. I’d say it gets pretty sci-fi as it develops, but there is always a very strong horror vibe as well. Think along the lines of Event Horizon, which was a sci-fi movie through and through…but a gory, terrifying one!”
All good stories extend from a core truth in the writer’s soul. For Gordon, “…the idea of actually going deep beneath the waves gives me the willies.” However, Gordon’s own daughter is disabled and inspired parts of the story regarding Deacon and Evie.
As the Kickstarter comes to a close, the plan is “#3 could then see print in December, and #4 in February 2018.” Later, a graphic novel from TPub will collect the whole story in one edition.
Gordon isn’t done telling stories, particularly with TPub “There IS another story in the works through TPub, as a matter of fact. I can’t say too much, other than that it’s a mystery thriller.” Transdimensional is just the start, Gordon hopes, “I’d love to forge a career where I can split my time between my own projects and working with established characters and properties.” If Transdimensional is a sign of stories to come, Gordon will get his wish and the comic book industry will gain a new, solid storyteller.