Last week I professed my affinity for Acclaim Comics and simultaneously lost half my readership. (link to The Great Acclaim Confession here) This time, as promised, I present three proposals that I drafted in the attempts of breaking into this crazy industry as a writer for the aforementioned company. Yes, my attempts were a little heavy-handed but I couldn’t let statistics and the possibilities of success stop me. I had stories to tell dammit, and I chose Acclaim’s three biggest guns to tell them with. Following the small section of background information is a pitch supported by commentary from yours truly (in bold), explaining some of the thought process that went into each proposal.
Turok, Son of Stone.
Joshua Fireseed, top college baseball prospect and all-around stud, loved his life of adulation and debauchery until he learned the truth behind his family heritage. The eldest born male is entrusted with the task of taking the mantle of Turok, Son of Stone, protector of the Lost Land.
The Lost Land is an interdimensional toilet that serves as a dumping ground for the universe’s detritus. The expansive world contains dinosaurs and other manners of creatures that the universe would rather keep sequestered. One of Josh’s ancestors unwittingly allowed the things that dwell there access to our world. As penance, it falls to the latest in the Fireseed lineage to ensure that Earth doesn’t perish as a result, no matter the impact this has on Josh’s sex life or his baseball career. Aided by the Light Burden, a satchel that doubles as a dimensional portal, from which Turok can remove nearly any weapon imaginable, and best friend and resident geek Barry Hackowitz, Josh is forced to wage a one-man war on anything resourceful enough to enter our world.
A rash of mysterious murders are occurring on the OC2 campus, and Josh’s baseball teammates number many of the victims, including Coach Atkins, the one confidant Turok had left. What appears as a targeting of athletes is later made abundantly clear when Barry Hackowitz, Josh’s roommate, is almost killed. Only the appearance of Turok prevents Barry from becoming the killer’s next victim, and the Son of Stone barely escapes with his own life after making the discovery that the murderer cannot be seen.
After visiting the Lost Land and conferring with Tal’Set, Josh learns that the creature is known as the Wraith, a legendary enemy of the Turok lineage. Josh lures the monster back to the Lost Land, where he is quite visible, and an intense battle ensues. For five days and four nights, Josh clashes with the villain from one end of the Land to the other, with the conflict climaxing on the rim of a volcano. (Think Episode I, Darth Maul vs. Qui-Gon Jinn & Kenobi, only longer, on paper, and taking place on the back of a brontosaurus, inside a raptor nest, and in the arctic.)
Meanwhile, Barry spots a pair of raptors loitering behind the neighborhood 7-Eleven!!
Issues Four to Six- “Displacement”
Upon returning home after his victory over the Wraith, Josh was too exhausted to hear Barry’s story concerning errant raptors and convenience stores, but when he and his roommate awaken in the Lost Land, Turok wishes his consciousness had not so easily failed him the night before. He soon discovers that he’s not the only displaced resident of Earth, when he’s forced to prevent the Land’s largest dinosaurs from making a meal out of hundreds of fellow humans. Finally taking a break after hours of peacekeeping, he crosses dimensional boundaries and finds himself….back on an Earth populated by dinosoids!!!
Barry becomes a valuable ally, as the entire world is on the lookout for Turok, at the behest of the Campaigner. For unknown reasons, the conqueror fears for the survival of the Lost Land, and through the use of a strange device, has evacuated most of its residents to the relative safety of Earth. But what does he fear and why won’t he allow Turok to help him??
Issues Seven and Eight- “Dead On Arrival”
The Earth and the Lost Land have been returned to their proper states, and the new Turok has scored another major victory. However, he discovers just how much his friend Barry Hackowitz matters to him when Barry is kidnapped by the government agency known as the D.O.A. Months ago, the clandestine organization sent a research team into the Lost Land, but due to the Campaigner’s machinations, the five scientists are lost, and the D.O.A.’s path into the Lost Land has been destroyed.
Enter Turok, who can traverse dimensional barriers with ease, and will do anything to protect a friend, even entering the Lost Land in search of the team, and the mysterious Isotope M they’ve created. The trail leads Josh to a strange underwater city and a deadly new villain. But what happens when Josh’s 24 hours are up? Will the D.O.A. really kill Barry? And why does the D.O.A. seem much more interested in recovering Isotope M?
And why are there dinosoids rummaging through a house in Davenport, Iowa?
Issue Nine- “Fires of Time”
In recent weeks, Barry has stared death in the face almost as much as Turok has. Josh, tired of putting his best friend in constant danger has come up with a solution….train Barry as his partner!! Before they can get started however, they must attend the reading of Coach Atkins’ will. He bequeaths to Josh a strange item that will play a message only for him. It asks Josh to safeguard Atkins’ niece, who possesses a necklace that is much more than it appears. But what starts as a peaceful trip to Davenport, IA, evolves into something much more as a group of dinosoids get involved. And just what secret does the pendent hold?
Issue Ten- “Ulterior Motives”
Before officially beginning the training of Barry, Josh travels to the Lost Land to consult with Tal’Set about his decision. He learns that no Turok ever before has taken on a protégé. They later become embroiled in a fierce adventure and Josh is forced to confront the real reasons he’s willing to take on a partner.
Issue Eleven- “The Ropes”
Josh begins training Barry, and comes to the conclusion that it will be a much harder task than he originally suspected after the two take a trip to their neighborhood weight room, and Barry almost kills himself. But this doesn’t deter Josh who is determined to make his own mark on the Turok lineage by successfully training a partner, and proving the naysayers wrong. Following the light workout, the two are on the way to a local cafe when they spot a young child on the wrong end of a semi. Without hesitation, Barry leaps into the street and removes the child from harm’s way, dislocating his shoulder in the process. Josh pops it back into place, and believes with this setback, Barry will immediately end his pursuit of becoming Josh’s apprentice, but unexpectedly, this steals his previously shaky resolve.
Issue Twelve- “Oblivion”
The threat that prompted the Campaigner to attempt the evacuation of the Lost Land rears its ugly head and becomes the first major test for the duo of Josh and Barry that have grown more effective as a team over the course of two months. Oh, and Barry grew his first muscle!! The two are walking a tightrope across Niagara Falls at the beginning of the issue, when Barry stumbles and falls into the chasm. Josh dives after him and opens a portal that deposits the both of them on their school’s football field. They decide to postpone the activity for the time being.
While taking a jog, someone begins following them. The two lead the figure into a dead end, and attack him, learning that the man is secretly the Campaigner, taking Josh up on the offer he made in issue #6 to aid the conqueror in protecting the Lost Land. The creature known as Oblivion has resurfaced, and only by working together can the Land be saved. Josh requests that Barry stay home but he refuses, which later proves to be a near-fatal mistake when Oblivion strikes him down in battle. But, after believing that he witnessed his best friend murdered, Josh heads off on a revenge-crazed mission that may mean the death of him.
Turok Commentary: These plots were actually written before Shadowman: Genesis and Armorines: Harsh Realm, and were my first attempt at preparing something for Acclaim. That’s why the format is slightly different.
I proposed a year’s worth of stories with the over-arcing theme that addresses the sense of loneliness that Joshua Fireseed experiences as a result of serving as the Son of Stone. Those familiar with the monthly title may remember that before Acclaim’s second close, Josh suffered a serious betrayal at the hands of elements within his own family and a covert government agency that plotted to kill millions to avert a cataclysm that wouldn’t have occurred for another fifty years.
I took this point and expanded on its possible effects that leave Josh feeling that he can trust no one. Killing Coach Atkins in my first arc serves to leave Turok in nearly complete isolation save for Barry Hackowitz, who becomes an important factor in the reluctant hero’s life. Barry is Josh’s only friend, and young Fireseed realizes that Barry’s proximity to him puts the computer geek in serious danger on a regular basis. The obvious solution…make Barry his partner. Ignoring the fact that no Son of Stone has ever taken an apprentice, and rebelling against any and all objections presented by family members and predecessors, Josh embarks on a path that will forever change the Turok legacy. Through this venture, Josh sees his solitude quelled and replaced by the burgeoning brotherhood between himself and Barry.
I wanted to make this book about the friendship between two young men. Strip away the threats to human life and the prospect of complete destruction, and the book is about two friends making their way through the world, supporting and strengthening each other. Most mentor-partner relationships are between two characters separated by age and life experiences, but I wanted to make this one equal in scope. People need friends in order to grow, and I wanted to force Josh into accepting his role as a protector by giving him someone else to care about. Besides…we need more books out there depicting friendship in its most powerful form. The question for my second year of stories was this…what does Josh think about Barry becoming an even better Turok than him? Maybe one day I’ll get to answer these and other burning questions.