Observer Effect

This cover was produced during the first full week of November 2013 in order to spruce up what would otherwise be a blemish in the information design of version 11 of the ATC website. The cover has been back-dated into position in order to minimize hiccups in comic archive listings, as it will be some number of weeks between the launch of the ATC v11 website and the resumption of work on Transitional Voices.

Observer Effect is a ten page introduction to and overview of Among the Chosen. Produced in late 2012 after the conclusion of Dead City Radio, Observer Effect portrays a series of events that are key to the story – events that as of November of 2013 have yet to be meaningfully addressed elsewhere in the narrative. Observer Effect is an in media res “About,” a FAQ-that’s-a-story, and a clear portrait of the conceptual foundations that Among the Chosen is built on – foundations I finally realized I kinda forgot to lay down for anyone else.

This addresses that, and hopefully helps cushion the blow – Observer Effect connects directly to Dead City Radio, and the production values of the first chapter of DCR don’t bear much resemblance to the rest of the work.

Comic covers aren’t necessarily canon, especially in this case. As a sequential artist my goal with the cover of an ATC installment is to summarize key points of the chapter or to otherwise attempt to invoke the intended tone or atmosphere. While this scene does not actually occur in the comic I feel it’s an adequate summary of Observer Effect as a concept, as well as an effective summary of the prologue as a story.

Longitudinal left-to-right:

  1. Beef Knuckleback – Genetically engineered commando with a chronic life allergy.
  2. Aeon – The astral form of a 20,000 year old starship.
  3. Thaddeus Gallahad – Paranoid, slightly crazy, not all that good at chess and the protagonist of The Dualist.
  4. Raven Lockheart – A Templar field psychologist with poor impulse control.
  5. John West – A Navigator and captain of the Daedalus.
  6. Emily Ashton – The youngest Templar field agent on earth! And a bit of an odd duck – she’s doesn’t appear in Observer Effect outside of the cover.
  7. Tantek Cestric – Former United States Army Ranger and a quick study at this “secret society” thing.
  8. Jason Whitehouse – Failing art student, amateur social engineer, and electronic music enthusiast. Vastly better than Thad at chess and the protagonist of Dead City Radio.
  9. Greymalkin – Former Red Army advisor to the NVA, co-founder of Thule Garrison and Defender of the Earth.

Pawn to king four.