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Myths of the 21st Century

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Early on at Madefire, just as the first stories and pieces of art started to come in, and the medium we were involved in progressing really started to look like it was progressing, one of our key investors noted that it was here that ‘the myths of the 21st century would be created.’

It was a pretty bold statement!

This week we launch a book that can legitimately lay claim to that – ‘War in Heaven’ by Ricardo Pinto and Adrian Smith.

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Ricardo Pinto is the writer of one of the most epic, brutal, and pioneering trilogies of the last fifteen years. The Stone Dance of the Chameleon is told over three huge volumes, and features a world of astonishing lucidity. Ricardo built models which he lit with a false electric sun so he could chart the lengthening of shadows across the terrain. The astonishingly cruel caste system of his native culture is exposed in every facet; beautiful and barbaric. At times it reads like an anthropological study, at other times it’s a psychological nightmare. The ghost of Jung embeds his icons in the intricate structures of both the story and the plot. It’s exhaustive and exhausting, and utterly riveting.

Adrian Smith is one of the most highly respected dark fantasy gaming artists in the world. His battle scenes are choreographed with a general’s eye, the thuggish intent of the protagonists unquestioned. He makes preposterous, insanely ornate, over-sized armour seem logical and practical. There’s no cutting corners here – he paints everything! I’ve studied his work and can’t figure out how he does it without an army of clones, or some sort of time-retarding device. There aren’t enough hours in any given day to accommodate his output, so I have come to trust that he is in league with demonic and arcane individuals, that some satanic pact has been enacted. It’s scary!

‘War in Heaven’ is their first Motion Book. Loosely based on Milton’s Paradise Lost it wastes no time at all getting going, and Pinto doesn’t over-burden Smith’s art with exposition or dialogue. It’s sparse, lyrical – indeed the words fit the art more like the lyrics of a concept album than anything else. This is post-rock-art, epic and unapologetic. And it really is epic! Not since Philippe Druillet gave us Yragail/Urm have I seen such scale in a work of narrative art. It’s mind-blowing, and it’s aided by some of our best soundscapes to date.

On Thursday, which fittingly happens to be Hallowe’en, we’re releasing all six issues at once. Dive in. Be transported.

21st Century mythology?

Absolutely, in every monochromatic chamber of it’s dark, elegiac heart.

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