I've Seen the Future and It Will Be
I've Seen the Future and It Works
This week was a weird one, huh?
Brian here, looking forward to that first martini after I finally kill the last of my deadlines.
But first, some excellent news for our ever-patient Founders. Look what just arrived on my doorstep from a secret location somewhere in France…
Superstar artist and all-around swell guy Niko Henrichon has finished every last one of your original full-color sketches, and as you can see, they’re mindbogglingly spectacular.
As my kids and I gather your signed comics and Saga #1 scripts to assemble these invaluable prize packages over the next week or so, our faithful intern Genesis the Exploded Giraffe will be reaching out to each of our remaining Founders (in the order that you signed up) to make sure your mailing address is still correct, etc.
While this was the last time we’ll be offering those particular prizes, we may reopen our Founder option with some new prizes in the future, so stay tuned.
And for you non-Founding, monthly or annual paid subscribers in The Tower, you’ll get a much better look at every single one of these glorious pieces of art in one of Niko’s upcoming Artopsy posts. But if you’re heartbroken you missed out on this opportunity to own a Niko original, some more good news…
Turns out we have ONE extra Founder’s Prize Package, which we’ll be giving away to a randomly selected commenter in this weekend’s Tower-only chat thread, so if you’re not already a paid subscriber to Exploding Giraffe, now’s the perfect time to join us and help Niko and me continue to create Spectators, thanks so much again.
This week, I wanted to briefly discuss the future.
In the past, I’ve written about a futuristic Los Angeles (with Marcos Martín in The Private Eye), a futuristic Canada (with Steve Skroce in We Stand On Guard), and even a futuristic France (with, spoiler alert, Pia Guerra at the very end of Y: The Last Man), but I think Spectators is the first time I’ve ever considered the future of New York City, my favorite place in the universe, where I lived for a decade at the turn of the century.
Like most writers of science fiction, I have little interest in trying to predict the actual future, instead using a hypothetical far-flung time to explore different elements of the here and now.
With Spectators, we follow our ghost Val from 2022 into some as-of-yet unspecified year, which I’ll finally reveal to you with this script excerpt:
Pages Forty-two and Forty-three
I think we can now cut behind Val (so that the back of her head—the only element in color—is in the foreground of Page Forty-two), and we’re looking over her shoulder for our epic reveal of what she’s gazing at from her current vantage point a hundred stories up: MANHATTAN IN THE YEAR 2224.
We’re more than 200 years in our future, so I encourage your NYC to be both wildly inventive AND unpredictably retro. Some of the city’s now-ancient skyscrapers remain (like the Empire State Building), but they’re dwarfed by TOWERING NEW STRUCTURES, perhaps with a few lavish indoor/outdoor gardens taking up multiple floors. Either way, it’s night, and there should be lots and lots of LIT-UP WINDOWS, a voyeur’s paradise.
For now, there should be dozens of FUTURISTIC FLOATING VEHICLES zipping in every conceivable direction. There don’t appear to be any controls (or even an engine) inside this strange new form of anti-gravity public transportation.
In the spirit of Arthur C. Clarke’s Third Law (“Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.”), I think these vehicles should look less like flying cars, and more like TRANSPARENT CUBES with pleasantly rounded corners, each containing just ONE TO THREE NYC COMMUTERS, who can sit in one of three orangish seats, like the ones in New York subway cars: https://static.onecms.io/wp-content/uploads/sites/28/2020/01/ny-subway-seats-SUBSEAT0120.jpg
Our future NYC should be neither fully utopian (the city still suffers from homelessness, loneliness, etc.) nor too dystopian (there are no face masks or signs of new pandemics, seemingly no long-term devastation from climate change, etc.). Life has marched on, sometimes in strange new ways, but this brutally beautiful American metropolis remains its recognizable hyper-capitalist self.
As always, Niko, these are just suggestions! All that really matters is that this spread be eye-poppingly beautiful, and instantly convey that Ghost Val is suddenly very, very, very far in her city’s future. Have fun!
To say that Niko absolutely nailed that spread is a bit of an understatement, no?
Anyway, to accompany the script to the first 30 pages of Spectators, I’ll be sharing my full script for pages 31 to 55 right after this paywall, where Tower members will also have a shot to win that aforementioned prize package.
Whether or not you can join us, I hope you have a wonderful weekend, and as always, Niko and I will see you back here on Monday for more free comics.
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