Last year, at Comic Con San Diego 2014, Thrillbent ran a unique contest. I’m happy to say the results far exceeded my expectations in terms of participation and energy generated. For an hour, I listened to pitches from writers, having guaranteed in advance that we’d publish, at our own expense, one and only one: the one that most impressed me and sounded like the best use of digital storytelling techniques. The catch was, writers had to pitch their stories in fifteen seconds or less; comics is a medium of storytelling economy, and these were one-off short tales, so get to the point, said I.
I listened to over 100 pitches that afternoon, rat-a-tat-tat, and I cannot think of a better time I have ever had at a convention, because almost every pitch was clever and workable and all of them were worth hearing. There were several that I especially loved, but one by Paul O’Connor–a crime noir tale with a science-fiction element, about a clairvoyant young woman who can see only heartbeats into the future–stood out to me as the kind of story best told in digital, accomplishing things that cannot be accomplished in print. His story is called 4 SECONDS, and while such an ambitious piece of work took longer to finish than I’d hoped, it was worth waiting for just the right artist: Karl Kesel, who just gets it when it comes to doing digital-first comics and using cutting-edge storytelling techniques. Grace Allison rendered Karl’s art in beautiful color and did a stunning job.
We’re debuting 4 SECONDS on Thrillbent today, presented free for a limited time as a proof-of-concept of what makes our comics unique. If you like it–and I think you will–please tell your friends about it and share the link. Paul, Karl, Grace and I are very proud of it.