Pullbox Previews Kings & Canvas- a Collected Edition of a series we loved!

Years ago, a boxing champion named Mammoth was exiled and imprisoned…

Now, a decade later, he punches his way out of prison, ready to return to the family, title and country he’d left behind. It’s a land in which man, beast, dragon and champion stride a battlefield and either raise gloves in triumph…or taste canvas in defeat. Journeying across this changed America, Mammoth must train a grassroots army of pirate champions, irritable sea dwarves and talking, boxing polar bears to dethrone an unjust king and the evil councilor who’d exiled him years before.

Live on Kickstarter!

What would the world look like if Carla McNeil’s FINDER had a baby with Jack Kirby’s KAMANDI and any dynastic medieval fantasy book. Neil had a visual of our lead, beaten and brawny in a tank top and stolen chainmail, walking with his back to the camera through a field of wheat under a blue sky. He passes a jumble of villages, a pair of weathered boxing gloves hanging from his right hand. Sweeping vistas, intricate cities, quaint villages and well-worn boxing rings.

With any project, Neil starts with the idea — whether large or small, a hook or place or line or in this case, a visual that inspires. For Kings and Canvas it was a theme—“how far would a man go to find purpose and attain change after discovering his life and profession have passed him by?”—and a visual.  Someone, somewhere on our wonderful world wide web tossed out two subjects in tangential relation to one another: “Frank Miller” and  “dinosaur.” It may have been in discussion of The Dark Knight Strikes Again,  the graphic novel in which the Atom fights a dinosaur. Those two phrases made Neil think of “Frank Miller’s Dinosaur,” as a story concept which immediately put him in the mind of an aging brawler, past his prime, bandaged and bruised with hands like cinder-blocks and lonely,  wounded eyes. That was the first-ever picture of Mammoth, our lead, and simply typing out a character description led to Neil winding an entire world and history around Mammoth’s desperate, despairing, yet-to-be-molded form.

Mammoth’s world is our world. Years have passed, nations have fallen and history evolved into rumor. Cities returned to dust; fields and forests retook the land, giving way to wilderness and frontier, allowing a new age to dawn on more idyllic times. Kingdoms grew and wonder returned, allowing the promise of magic and myth to spread across the countryside. Weapons,  laid aside, seemed less chivalrous in post-industrial times, and with the abandonment of guns and bombs for dirks and daggers came new ways to gain honor…an embracing of sweeter sciences than those that destroyed a world, the nobility in vanquishing enemies with nothing more than one’s own fists. And so America found rebirth after desolation, healing itself and giving rise to champions with the will and strength to protect and rule a nation learning how to once again provide for itself.

Thirty years have passed from the establishment of the Western Kingdoms and creation of Queensbury’s Golden Ring. Men have lived and died for it, fighting for the right to rule, to vie for superiority between the Ring’s silken ropes or across the kingdom its Champion controls. This country’s inhabitants train in tournament towns, plan in the nation’s ports,  devote their lives to honing minds and bodies so that they too may earn the name of ‘champion’ and serve the Ring of Kingdoms. But in those towns, around ports and across the nation, others scheme to attain glory by less honorable means… gathering allies, sharpening swords and biding the time it takes to dethrone a champion and take the  nation themselves. This, then, is the new age of America. An age in which kings and champions grace the canvas of battle and either triumph…or die.

Please follow and like us:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

ThePullbox.com is a part of ThePullbox LLC © 2007-2024