Indie Creator Spotlight on Dragon Variation, by T. Aaron Cisco

  • Dragon Variation
  • Created & Written by T. Aaron Cisco
  • Illustrated by To Be Determined…

Her gifts made her a savior.
Her loyalty made her a slave.
Her escape made her a threat.

In this dystopian epic, a captive with astonishing gifts escapes her tormentors and embarks on a treacherous journey of freedom and revenge. A powerfully equipped soldier, raised from birth to blindly follow any order down to the utmost, fatal detail is assigned to stop her at all cost, or face a gruesome execution by his fellow brothers in arms. What happens when an unstoppable force meets an unmovable object?

I’ve always been that kid who had to peek behind the curtain. It started with Star Wars. I devoured all of the documentaries, every magazine & TV special that gave fans behind the scenes info on how things were done. Likewise, I love seeing process shots, WIPs, anything giving insight into how a creative mind pulls things together and what inspires them to move in different directions.

Through a mutual contact (thanks, Susan), I was put into contact with T. Aaron Cisco… writer, television producer, and according to his Amazon bio an “incorrigible nerd”. As it turns out, Cisco is looking to add comicbook creator/writer to his resume’, and he’d like to start out with an adaptation of his sci fi action book Dragon Variation (interested parties can find the book in print & digital format).

I asked him a little about that, and wound up having a great conversation with him… Here’s a little bit of that conversation.

T. Aaron Cisco: Short version- at local/indie author events, I heard from more than a few folks how some of my work would translate well to a graphic and/or animated medium. As a lifelong comic book fan, I was really interested. I chose my second book, Dragon Variation, because it has the most straightforward narrative, and tried finding artists and experienced folks to collaborate with, but was unsuccessful. So even though I can’t draw for sh*t, spent a few months learning about formatting, and figured out a technique to use the skills and tools I do have (Adobe suite, mostly) to pull together a single, short issue. Kind of a proof of concept.

thePullbox: So I read the short sample comic, and thought it was a really cool concept for a great sci fi action comic.

Cisco: Thanks for taking the time to check it out. I knew enough to know that I didn’t know enough to do a full project launch. The whole endeavor started because a) I’m a lifelong comic fan who has always wanted to do an original series (if Image gave me a call to publish, I’d probably pass all the way out), and b) lots of conversations with folks who’d read my books, and said they’d make for really cool comics.

thePullbox: You said that you’re working off of Adobe to put this all together yourself? That’s a huge bite to work with, so respect to you for the gumption that takes.

Cisco: Using a handful of Adobe tools (mostly Photoshop) I gave it go, using other comics as a sort of guide (i.e., guessing), doing a page at a time, working from a outline (as opposed to an actual proper script), and…yeah.

thePullbox: What do you think would be most helpful in getting your project moving? Are you looking to build on this preview?

Cisco: I think, a “seeking collaboration” angle would make the most sense. Sort of like a TV pilot. Not looking to duplicate what I did, but more polished, but rather take the “test” issue, and use as a jumping off point and/or framework to develop a fully fleshed out work.

thePullbox: If it gives you any kind of boost, your comic had me wanting to take a look at the book. (Note: since we had this discussion, I’ve ordered a print copy of Dragon Variation, & a digital copy of Big Ass Aliens from T. Aaron Cisco’s list of published books on Amazon)

Cisco: And again, thank you!

thePullbox: Don’t thank me now… I haven’t done anything het but drink some coffee this morning.

Cisco: Drank coffee….and took time to read an old nerd’s attempt at fulfilling a childhood dream

So if there are among my tens of readers, any indie-leaning publishers or artists out there who might be interested in looking into Cisco’s ideas, hit us up so we can make this thing happen. Us old nerds need to stick together.

And now, because I’ve talked plenty, here’s a few pages from T. Aaron Cisco’s “proof of concept” work for Dragon Variation

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