Black Sails’ Luke Arnold Co-Writes The Essentials From Lab Press

The new independent comic book company, The Lab Press, is making its debut release with Essentials, a graphic novel co-written by actor/novelist Luke Arnold (“Long” John Silver from the hit TV series, Black Sails) and Chris “Doc” Wyatt, a longtime screenwriter and producer who was recently nominated for an Emmy for his writing on the series, Rocket and Groot, and drawn by an all-star lineup of artists including DaNi (Sandman The Dreaming), Glenn Fabry (Preacher), Jason Howard (Transformers), Vince Locke (A History of Violence), Brendan McCarthy (Spider-Man: Fever), Andrea Mutti (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo), M.K. Perker (Air), with covers by Fabry, Howard, as well as comic book legend, Bill Sienkiewicz. CBR has an exclusive preview for you of Jason Howard’s section of the graphic novel.

The graphic novel launched earlier today on Kickstarter, where there are exclusive editions that can only be found on that site. The Lab Press’ Editor-in-Chief, Dagen Walker, shared in a press release, “At THE LAB PRESS, we search the world for creators, writers, and artists who are looking for a space to be audacious with their wildest ideas, subversive stories and compelling art. We love human moments in unhinged worlds; tales that entertain while illuminating some experiential truth. As our first book to market, ESSENTIALS will capture readers with its wild sci-fi adventure themes and compelling characters.”


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What is Essentials about?

Why are there so many artists on the project?

Essentials is about a mathematician named Harris Pax, who predicted that the world would end, but while he was able to survive, the same couldn’t be said for the rest of the world. He has been living in a bunker, with only his niece’s toys to keep him company, when he makes a shocking discovery. There are other survivors out there, but they have all been trapped in different realities.

Pax (with a mysterious guide) must now try to rescue the other survivors from their alternate realities, but as you can see from the preview images, drawn by the great Jason Howard, there isn’t exactly a handy “How to” guide for rescuing people from alternate realities, and Harris struggles at first with the challenge.

The reason why there are so many artists on the project is because each artist draws a different alternate reality that Harris encounters in the graphic novel, with DaNi and Jason Howard handling the “objective” reality.


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What do the co-writers of Essentials have to say about the project?

Arnold and Wyatt also share some exclusive quotes about the project with CBR

Arnold, who you can see on Netflix starting today, as the streaming service now has all four seasons of Black Sails streaming, and whose debut novel, The Last Smile in Sunder City, was released in 2020 (which has led to a series of novels), noted in a press release that, “ESSENTIALS was born out of impossible questions: what matters most in a well-lived life? Is joy more valuable than truth? Does mortality give meaning to our existence? At what point do our perceptions become our reality? We’ve managed to assemble a staggeringly talented group of artists to explore these ideas with us, creating a story that traverses a post-apocalyptic reality, multiple subjective projections, an interdimensional collective consciousness, and the kaleidoscopic labyrinth of our own minds. We wanted to tell a story that could only be fully realized in this medium, and this incredible team has taken it beyond our wildest dreams.”

Wyatt added in the press release, “We’re proud to be working with THE LAB PRESS, a company that has given us total creative freedom and total support, even when we say things like – ‘our vision is to switch between seven different artists on this book to do the different realities, and you have to coordinate everything.THE LAB PRESS is all in. They make it happen.”

In addition, Arnold and Wyatt had some exclusive quotes for CBR about the project. Wyatt explained, “Luke and I wrote this story together while on different continents, so most of the actual collaboration happened either on Zoom or in virtual reality through a system called “Work Rooms” on the Oculus. There was something very on point about going into a synthetic reality to meet and plot a story about synthetic realities. Luke always wants to push a story, he always wants to find the next level, and that pushing made ESSENTIALS what it is.”

Arnold concluded, “This is truly one of those collaborations where I cannot imagine ESSENTIALS without the two of us working on it together. Doc’s imagination – and his encyclopedic knowledge of comics and pop-culture – meant that we were constantly creating and discarding worlds, cutting the infinite possibilities down to the few that would be the most interesting challenges for our heroes. We’ve also put a lot of our own thoughts, fears, beliefs and struggles into the book, so our story sessions would often detour through conversation about mortality, religion, classic horror films, Qanon, Asimov short stories, current politics, and ancient history as we nailed down exactly what we wanted to explore in each chapter.”

Essentialsis currently live on Kickstarter.

Source: The Lab Press

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