For this year’s Inktober, I’m turning it into a work assignment. I’m going to be working on a graphic novel set in Hell after I finish The Walk. And I wanted to use the month as an opportunity to do some research and character studies on demons. Demons who I’d like to populate my fictional world.
God to some, the Devil to Christianity
What I’m discovering in my deep dive in demonology is that most of the demons were a civilization’s primary God. Which is interesting. The Romans would conquer a civilization and incorporate their new subjects‘ religion into their own. It helped keep everyone happy. Minus the subjugation. But it helped keep their belief systems in place, which helped with the subjugation.
Not Christianity. They turned your gods in to demons.
I recently watched Martin Scorsese’s Silence, which is a tough hang. But it’s beautiful and a testament to faith and ignorance simultaneously. I’ve been thinking about it (and The Mission) a great deal during this exercise. It’s made me reconsider parts of the story.
People have opinions on demons
There are so many resources on demonology and not one of them reach a consensus. But there are a lot of rankings. Like, baseball style rankings. Stats. On base percentage. Number of legions of hell they command. Sometimes the demons don’t seem all that bad? It seems those from Jewish faith that translated to Christianity, kind of help people out? I’m still digging into this.
Side note: Have you watched Demon yet? It’s about a groom possessed by a dybbuk. It is intense. It’s also about Nazi sympathizers.
People have boring imaginations when it comes to horror in the Middle Ages
It seems every demon has an animal head and a human body. This is the worst thing they could think of in “ye olde tymes.” Early on in the month, I was working with it. Now I hate it. I kind of want to land somewhere in the middle of Bojack Horseman and a Slayer album cover. Quaint, but sort of scary.
Funny, but not mean
This new book is going to be a comedy. I’ve written several drafts and it’s been tough to find the right tone. When you are doing something set in hell, it’s easy to go filthy disgusting on it. But that’s not the story I want to tell. It’s been hard not to be “mean/funny,” and trying to steer it into “cute/funny.”
A work in progress
I’m adding my Inktober entries from Instagram below on an ongoing basis. Again, these are character studies and not the final product. But it’s fun to share the process. I’m excited to see the final versions in the eventual book.