Vræyda Literary

is seeking artists & designers to work on Ithavoll's visual design. 

To apply to the comic series, please send your CV, Cover Letter and portfolio to Vræyda Literary.

 "Kill a god, Be a hero, End the world."

In 2075, former RAF Captain Olivia Maddox discovered her bosses are the Sons of Thor, Norse God of Thunder. An explosion rocks London. Thrown into Hel, Liv sets Loki the Trickster God free and starts the end of days.

Will Liv, the Einridsen Brothers and their band of warriors, saints and sinners be able to stop the Ragnarok? What happens when the only thing to look forward to is a new world?  

From the minds which brought you Blood Lost & MacroMicroCosm, Ithavoll is a graphic novel experience bathed in tradition and forcibly shoved into the new world. It remains in pre-production and is scheduled to hit shelves in 2016.

Ithavoll Rising

In 2075 former RAF Captain Liv Maddox discovers her bosses are Sons of Thor, Norse God of Thunder. Liv inadvertantly sets Loki, Trickster God free. . . and starts the end of the world. Will Liv, the brothers and their band of warriors, saints and sinners be able to stop the Ragnarok? What happens when the only thing to look forward to is a new world?

Dusting Off & Smoothing Out

The problem with graphic novels is finding the time to be fantastic. Finding the time to craft magic and a futurist’s glance at the world we have now. Do we, as writers, go so far off current human experience that the reader is shocked in an ice bucket running for the comprehension train? Do we spoon long expositions into the gap, overstuffing the reader but filling their mind with the contextual world? Or do we trust that the intelligence of human kind is enough that they’ll pick it up as they go along?

Myth, legend and believability seem strange bedfellows in a comic book about norse gods in the future.

Posted 139 weeks ago
<p>A character sketch. Potential Odin#1</p>

A character sketch. Potential Odin#1

Posted 191 weeks ago
<p>A very special work in progress:</p>
<p>Liv Maddox, Captain, Godslayer, savior of Loki. </p>

A very special work in progress:

Liv Maddox, Captain, Godslayer, savior of Loki.

Posted 229 weeks ago

Character Study: After Asgard - Ray, Liv, Isaak, Galena & Tycho

They barely said a word on the excursion back, the vortex of colour far too potent a place for bare, idle conversation. Raynar held her hand out of habit, feeling the inner texture of her fingers as they trembled lightly with the inner vibrations of the tunneling rainbow. The vibrations seemed to become her fingers, building upon atomic particles like choristers in a grand opera. She carried them with her, orchestrator without rhythm for time meant little more than the span between breaths.

Raynar heard the muttering of astonished atheists pattering on in mother russian as the unbelievable became the fact of the hour. A smirk pulled at Raynar’s lips and he walked on. Liv struck his hand with both of hers, stunned cerulean gaze staring down the Rainbow Road into the tree roots between worlds.

The tunnel lead them to a square in Oslo, where an elderly violinist played on despite the biting winter snow. Not yet yule, the city held a cloistered reservation around the thought that sometime in the foreseeable future there would be reason, once again, to celebrate carelessly in the artificial lights of the Christmas Season.

Isaak clenched his jaw and shouldered his firearm, Galena sat on the nearest bench to the elderly man’s viola song astonishment playing in the drop of her frost-kissed lips.

“Impossible. Are we dreaming? Is this drugs? Where are we?” she asked in Russian, as her husband scanned around, hand on her shoulder. It was the most tender the man would get with Isaak around. He wouldn’t dare anything so fleeting as affection.

“Oslo.” Liv chimed, feet hitting the ground as the last of the vibrations thundered through them to the earth, a gift for their over-patient mother. The smells of sea breeze and coffee houses collided with the bundled up nature of Norwegian wools and a cascade of people walking the streets by the light of the hanging lamps. Raynar watched her skitter a few steps toward the elderly violinist and dig into her pocket for something to give. The green dress hadn’t a thing within its folds, and Liv seemed to recall a far off memory of cascading glens and fjords named for the deities who built farmhouses and kept cattle and sheep within them.

“Why the hell are we in Norway?” Isaak spattered, hand in one pocket as if a slim file within it would save him from all harm. Liv wandered the pedestrian street, instinct leading her to greener pastures.

“Salad. Asgardians have nothing on salad. Can we get a salad, please? Can we stop and get a decent meal? Coffee? Real coffee and salad. Just saying.” the pink haired woman pointed at an entire list of salads with goat cheeses, seeds, nuts, fruit, salmon and dressings.

 “What say you fine Ruskies? Dinner? On me.” Raynar quipped, hands firmly in his pockets. Anything to keep the smile on the killer Liv Maddox’s face. Anything to send a shiv down Isaak’s two-faced spine.

Galena’s mouth hung open as bits of words came burbling out, eyes flying around the scattered people milling about the city. Tycho blinked, eyes straining out to see the sea a breath away as Isaak pulled his anorak around his chest and pretended not to feel the cold.

“Ooh! Buffalo!” Liv said, pointing at another restaurant’s outdoor menu.

“Buffalo, for real?” Tycho quipped, trotting over to Liv and the menu. “Galena, buffalo!” He pointed back to his astonished wife. Raynar and Galena burst out laughing at the pair of impromptu foodies, as Isaak hefted his rifle into a trash bin and soldiered over to the restaurant.

“We need to get off the street.” Russian military uniforms and rifles in the middle of Norway’s capital was bound to garner more attention than an old man with a violin.

The restaurant was half-scattered with patrons nestled at tables and one lonely aging swinger at the bar. Crow’s feet and grey streaks had replaced the carefree whimsy of earlier times womanizing in ultra lounges. He drank claret instead of tequila and ate from a grazer’s plate of meat and bread, arranged with the correct amount of untouched vegetable foliage. Liv didn’t know why but the sight of him was sad until a formerly virile woman plodded in like an aging show horse tacked to the nines with last year’s saddle. She sat a seat away and ordered a vodka tonic in memory of thudding beats and gyrating dance floor conquests. The Crow’s Feet man leaned back in his seat and wiped his mouth on a cloth napkin.

“Du har en pen stemme” he drawled in neat, modern Norwegian. 

“Takk. . tusen takk.” She blushed behind coiffed blonde hair, hiding grey roots behind hairspray and volumizers. The man slided over, tapping his glass to hers and keeping once frisky hands on the bartop.

“Are you from Oslo, or visiting?” He said as Liv and the others walked by to the back tables. Crow’s Feet man didn’t notice the odd bunch at all.

“Visiting” she said, glancing worriedly at three pairs of dirty combat boots and Liv’s bright pink hair.

“Where will we lose you to when your visit is done?”

“Trondheim.”

“Beautiful countryside up north. I’m fond of the Nidaros Organ.”

“You know it! You should visit then, I’m a music teacher at the college.” She smiled, draping her finger over the edge of her drink and waving over the bartender with a menu.

So the aging club people bonded, maybe for a night or two of coffees and huddling comfortably on a hotel chesterfield, wild trysts far gone in these demure days. There lied a dignity to the simple connection, a pursuance of personhood over gyrating bodies. Liv pictured them on the woman’s last day curled in a bed of hand-smoothed sheets as the Crow’s Feet man pulled the covers to her speckled shoulder and kissing the freckles he found there, wondered if by chance he could deign a trip to Trondheim.

Whispering a prayer on her lips, Liv sat in the booth and let Raynar hem her in, for once not yet back in her bodyguard state of elicit alert. Tycho put his arm around Galena as she doffed her tactical scarf and overcoat, ordering a hot coffee and cream-liqueur to dunk in. Isaak sat uneasily.

“Coffee and salad. Big salad. Any big salad. A huge, monumental salad with buffalo and seeds and green. Plenty of green.” Liv piped up to the casually interested waiter, who poured flat water into glasses from a carafe. Raynar flipped through the menu and ordered another salad and bottle of French Bordeaux with five glasses.

“How will we get back to London?” he lamented their lack of passports and wallets, having need for neither in the bowels of Helheimr. Vodka however was far more accessible, and he ordered a liberal supply.

A victorious smirk swelled on Liv’s face as she watched the devilish man stew. “We eat dinner. Then order dessert. Then after dinner drinks, and then…” the woman shrugged, sliding her finger around her coffee mug and plunking in a deep brown sugar cube, watching it dissolve in the bottom of the white porcelain.

“Daddy.”

Checkmate was wordlessly declared at the toss of Isaak’s sullen eyebrows. The elder Maddox sent chills down his spine. Was his gun still in the trash bin? Could he dig through wrappers and old shit to find his potential resurrection? Surely Isaak would be struck dead at the clink of the maimed hero’s cane. After all, a father always protected his little girl, and Isaak knew Caleb Maddox would, out of anyone involved, have not only discovered Isaak was the mastermind of the explosion that started this mess, but would have already eviscerated the bomb maker he’d hired.

Raynar pushed a glass of red wine in Isaak’s purview. “Drink up, Alimovich. Tomorrow we die.”

The Norse god grinned and swirled his glass, hand secretly brushing against Liv’s knee under the table.

Posted 241 weeks ago

Why Ithavoll?

A few standard questions pop up consistently when asked about the body of work in which I am fervently producing. The most important, and if I’m honest the most hurtful one is simple:

Why? Why would anyone read this?

For an author giving manuscripts or pitch ideas for novels, stories, films and shows can be such a personal endeavor linked no lesser to the overarching creative ego than the Crown Jewels to the Queen. It’s the spirit of the child who runs unabashedly to her parent with a picture that to us may look like the cross between a Picasso and something trod on by a frog, but the child considers epically beautiful. As we grow as artists, writers go through workshop processes of wild, uncoordinated critique suffused in the middle of a group of fellow writers often knit picking the very smallest grammatical mistake. They ask questions of understanding, ask questions of symbology and turn up their lips to discuss the merits of characters, yet most of all in my experience the question of why is the standard abode of most.

Why? Why read it? Why make that choice, when you could have made others? Why?

Ultimately writing is about making choices and living through each one. It’s an art form which pastes dots and dashes on plain backgrounds in an effort to convey story, psychology and personal truths. Perhaps the why question is one too frequently asked by the legions of self-appointed editors and the which question is a greater qualifier.

Which choice did you make? Which person are you writing for? Which market? Which character feels the most? Draws the most? Is the most?

Ithavoll is a story of war, it is a story about the end of the world and beginning of another. It is a legend most people had little idea existed and it’s the story my cultural heritage cries out to be remembered. When the line of Norse gods drags past Thor and Odin to others in their midst, why leave them out in favour of thunder and a one-eyed wanderer? And yet as much as Ithavoll is a tale of the Ragnarok (Twilight of the Gods), it is a story about the characters who come to the end of the world and stare its inky blankness in the face.

Some curl and are lost, others expend their last breaths fighting it off with shouts and fire, others cling meekly to their kith and kin. For the glorious dead locked in Valhalla and Folksvangr until the final battle, what was the time spent like?

Every author has to take creative license in order to traipse through events. My choices were to focus on the characters behind the battles, to bring forth the legions of soldiers waiting for one last war, to display the life-shuddering intricacies of the last humans to meet dead gods. Ithavoll is for the adult in us who wonders, it’s for the person who can revel in the knowledge that yes, thank you very much we did our research and that is such-and-such a gun, and this is such-and-such a plane, and this is exactly how you would use them, and it’s also for the person who can suspend the constant realism of today’s artistic world and bask in fantasy again. 

The questions I’ve asked most of myself through this writing process have been more closely oriented to the whats.

What would happen if? What would life be like if? What would her skin feel like in a dress made from god’s silk? What would change if suddenly the world became drastically aware that the gods of the Northern Folk were real? Where would their logic be? Where their religions? How would the world change as the sun grew dim and wolves devoured gods? What was Asgard like after Beauty was dead? What was it like before? What does one do with an unbelieving god?

Questions, upon questions. The choices now are fixed on which questions I answer and which I leave to the imagination of the reader as they trip and traipse through the impending series of Ithavoll.

Posted 265 weeks ago

Re-Naming Characters

Jarek or Rayner?

Which has more interest, more flow, more vivaciousness? I suppose the real question is, if you were a Norse God exiled at birth to Midgard, who with the rise of the Christians forsook his godliness to live among them and their carpenter god, what would you call yourself?

Main characters need names with flow. It’s true that a story can rise and fall on the name of its characters, on how the names flow. Does it change the character to give the God of Anger a different name? Years ago, I met a man named Fifi. This Ghanaian giant was nearly 6'6", broad as a Prius and stronger than the forklifts we were attempting to use to move medical supplies into a much needed container shipment. Fifi was stellar. Did he appear any more or less strong because his name was misunderstood in the differing context of North America?

That’s what I’d like to figure out. Jarek or Rayner. Rayner from Ragnarr, a name whose philology changes with his times, yet sadly fitting for this warrior-turned-playboy. According to Behind the Name, Rayner is an anglicized version of a proto-germanic name “composed of the ragin "advice” and hari “army”“. Jarek is fierce, a slavic diminutive. 

Ultimately, one can think about these things too much and too long. In the grand scheme of Ithavoll one name isn’t the most important thing on my growing To-Do list.

So, fair readers! What do you think? Jarek or Rayner?

Posted 269 weeks ago

Scripts

The time has come for Development to condense from its gaseous form in the ether of my and my colleagues’ minds and solidify into the liquid state of semi-permanence.

What does this mean exactly, fair readers? I need to start scripting. Setting things in stasis to give pock marks of permanence until the first version of the nearly-finished product dashes out for a quick read by a trusted circle. Works of art are being forged from mind’s eye to left handed pen, pastels, chalk, charcoal and ink are being laid down with more expediency and synopses are dashing and dotting the massive spreadsheets where my somewhat analytical artistic mind makes sense of it all. My faithful colleagues continue in their research, their character formation, their eternally opened ears to help me mash my way through the sludge of ‘oh pretty!’ and 'but we could also’ to the pathways of 'this is it. I’m happy with this’.

Characters are forming from tertiary somethings to familiar friends, their faces becoming real to my drafting pencils as their biographies flesh out with a few good meals of text. Ithavoll is coming, folks. It’s drifting miraculously from a small collective hive to a place where Captain Maddox and the Einridsen Brothers discover the fantasy from which they were born.

That’s a melodramatic way of saying they’re getting there. Wherever there is.

The Prologue Script is nigh!

Posted 274 weeks ago
<p>Sketch 1 of <em>Fenrir</em>, the giant fire breathing, god killing wolf.</p>
<p>Welcome to <strong>Ithavoll Rising</strong>, a development blog about <strong>Ithavoll</strong>, my first graphic novel. </p>

Sketch 1 of Fenrir, the giant fire breathing, god killing wolf.

Welcome to Ithavoll Rising, a development blog about Ithavoll, my first graphic novel. 

Posted 280 weeks ago