Introduction

INTRODUCTION

 

“Stripped of its bizarre excesses, Cameron’s experiments, building upon Donald O. Hebb’s earlier breakthrough, laid the scientific foundation for the CIA’s two-stage psychological torture method.”

– Alfred Mccoy

 

While it was her anti-sweatshop bestseller No Logo that served as prior inspiration for certain elements of Rx, Naomi Klein’s follow-up The Shock Doctrine devotes an entire section to MKULTRA and Dr. Ewen Cameron, the basis for my antagonist, after I had already created the character and written this book. That is just one example of the dizzying dance between the wildest fruits of my imagination and the documented shenanigans of the Central Intelligence Agency.  While the career of Rx was based on those bizarre excesses, it is the work of Dr. Cameron that the CIA’s manual for torture, otherwise known as Kubark Counterintelligence Interrogation , is based on

As a teenager, I grew very fond of drawing a pale, discolored mutant named Blackjack. Like many comic book writers, I began by drawing superheroes and creating my own. It was Blackjack’s weapons of choice, escrima sticks with retractable blades, that I thought I had invented and was most proud of. In his first appearance, a folded and stapled mini-comic which I colored with markers, he was a mystery  man whose sole clue to his past was a drug that gave him special abilities. The only way I was able to string together the panels to tell the story was to copy scenes from real comics and arrange them in an order I would then add words to. That was more or less the extent of my dalliance with sequential art. It was the beginning of a graphic novel whose creation could only be described as an odyssey.

The book you are holding in your hand took the better part of my life to get there and that is no exaggeration. Let’s see. There is the first chapter’s defining visuals rendered by California’s Russ Platt. That would then be followed by the self-financed trial and error period with Indonesia’s Komikers Studio. After a dark period defined by half a book and zero cash, the project would finally be revived by the beautiful backers of my Kickstarter campaign. That was TWO YEARS AGO. All I can say is that I owe rescue after rescue to Ohio’s Jessica Moorman, Pennsylvania’s Ryan Boltz, Brazil’s Fernando Brazuna and Cary Kelly, currently underwater somewhere off the coast of Egypt.

If I now know anything about writing anything, it is that I will never do it like that again. As my first completed work, however, I could not be more pleased to present it to readers. In my other creative life as a musician, I am a solo artist about to release his first album. As I approach 35, my life story could not be more backwards in the conventional system and I wouldn’t have it any other way. There have been lovers and careers but now it is time to break out those childish things and revel in them! Won’t you join me?