Creators collaborated under ultra-violet light. Writers, artists, designers composed the mythic City, created the New Literature of The Nation. Comix, graphic novels, network animations.
Product distributed at news stands or by subscription. Big company, Comikosis. Started as tiny underground enterprise by the young A.T. Rotious, artist/author, of Epics of the Deep, the graphic novel basis for the movie. Big Media changed much of his work for the film. The original was more radical, less romantic. The Mad Cetologist never got The Missing Girl. She went out into The Nation, disappeared. Never to return. At least not to The Mad Cetologist, whose Viking Funeral she witnessed from ashore.
Rotious’ newest creation was based on the further fictional adventures of The Missing Girl, who thanks to Big Media, was reappearing on The Nation’s magazine covers wearing the face of Starlette Nova. A.T. Rotious had been one of The Missing Young. He’d never met The Missing Girl. Imagination was enough to keep the flames alive. His muse, his reason to be. Comikosis. Most successful publisher of underground “graphic texts” in The Nation. His work, his vision.
The company began in his small downtown apartment ten years before. Now dozens of writers and artists worked in its luxury office suite in a mid-town tower of business. Revenues, advertisers, subscribers. A.T. Rotious, wealthy, hadn’t lost his edge. The writers and artists too were well-paid, but inspired, or at the very least, ambitious.
Big Media destroyed Epics of the Deep, according to Rotious. Dulled its edge. But the massive box office receipts meant more money for A.T. Rotious, still haunted by The Missing Girl. If comic books made fame of myth, “superheroes” of genuine archetypes, perhaps the truth of The Missing Girl would come to him as flesh. Real, unedited, living, blemished, redolent flesh.
The Comikosis office phone number and address marked the frontispiece of every publication for “just in case.” Perhaps his money would translate into power to attract her. Unlike the dreaming kid of a decade ago, he now had the means to care for her when she arrived.
“Plantman!” cried A.T. Rotious as Plantman entered the office to tend Deifenbachia and Ficus. “You are the subject of a magnificent new Comikosis project: The Adventures of Plantman.”
Plantman bowed, humbly honored.
“The first issue will deal with the adventures of Plantman in The City. Then, we will have Plantman go out to The Nation in search of The Missing Girl. The third issue of this trilogy will make history. Plantman will find The Missing Girl, and together they will tend the neglected indoor flora of The Nation. They will fall in love. Action, adventure, romance — we’ll have it all. The two great icons of our time together in one issue, titled, appropriately, “Plantman Meets The Missing Girl.” I see millions of copies sold. I see a movie, bigger than EPICS OF THE DEEP. I see Plantman and The Missing Girl — green necromancers of The Nation’s rising. Together they are unstoppable,” A.T. Rotious stood on his desk, arms raised triumphant.
“Thank you,” Plantman answered. “I look forward to reading of my adventures.”
“Plantman meets The Missing Girl. The Necessary Fiction of our Time…“ said A.T. Rotious. “My best writers, illustrators and designers are working round the clock. Under my direct supervision, of course. Soon, Plantman. Soon your story will be told. In color, no less!”