Madefire [RIP]

I guess I can talk about this now, after news broke back in April that digital comics publisher Madefire was shutting down. I did a lot of work for Madefire during a 3-year stretch from 2016 to 2019. I was hired to develop an extensive treatment for a reimaging/modernization of Edgar Allan Poe character C. Auguste Dupin, which is generally considered to be the origin of detective fiction, a precursor that predates even Sherlock Holmes.

I got to work with an artist I’d wanted to work with for a while, Matthew Southworth (Stumptown), and the entire Madefire team, great people like editor Kevin Buckley and principle Liam Sharp (Green Lantern, Wonder Woman). It was a great experience that paid well, where I saw a path not only from motion comics to print, but it even gave me the opportunity to write a video game treatment for the property (something I’d never done before!), and participate in polishing a spec TV script along the way.

I initially outlined three entire arcs of comics, placing C. Auguste Dupin (or “CAD” as we called him) in modern day Baltimore as a sort of psychic/occult consultant for Baltimore PD. It was really fun, part police procedural, part X-Files, and part farcical acid-trip break-from-reality; it spanned a back story involving the French Foreign Legion, to an homage-paying trilogy of tales, including tracking brutal serial killers, to cutting edge cyber-crimes, to fever dream nautical adventures with Lovecraftian horror overtones harkening back to their Victorian origin.

As a large portion of my 5-year attempt at writing comics turned out to be, I got paid really well to do some of my best work, which was never published, and nobody will ever see! What you see up top is a screen grab of the credits sequence from the first arc, The Murders in Ravenstown, with floating crabs feasting on dead bodies in Chesapeake Bay, part of the nightmare visions CAD was able to tap into when reading a crime scene, which ultimately helps him solve some cases.