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SKULLS – Ch. 11 – Conclusion!

Tuesday, March 16th, 2010 | Posted by John R. Fultz

ch11-cover
For best viewing:

– Scroll to the right to see the entire comic page

– Hit your F11 key to maximize your viewing area

– Scroll down to read from page to page

To read earlier chapters:

– Type SKULLS into the search field at the left and the earlier chapters will pop up. Enjoy…

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10 Comments »

  1. John,

    That was amazing. I wasn’t sure I was going to like this since I’m not a big fan of necromancers or stories of that ilk, but I thoroughly enjoyed your story. I found myself checking in earlier and earlier every Wednesday, (and then Tuesday evening), to see if you had posted a new installment. I’m guessing I’ll experiencing some Skulls withdrawals beginning next week.

    So, do you have any more “stories to pry from your vault” to remaster for Black Gate?

    Many thanks,

    Zachary

    Comment by zgrant - March 17, 2010 1:20 am

  2. Hey, thanks, Zachary!

    Sorry, no more webcomics right now, but you can still order all three issues of my PRIMORDIA comic at your favorite online comics shop (I recommending milehighcomics.com ).

    Starting next week in this space I’ll be running essays and interviews about fantasy-related topics…more akin to the other blogs on the site. I’m looking forward to exploring whatever topics I feel like from week to week.

    Cheers!
    John

    Comment by John R. Fultz - March 17, 2010 1:28 am

  3. Bravo!

    A story worthy of C.A.S.!

    Thanks for making it:-)

    Comment by GreenGestalt - March 24, 2010 12:43 am

  4. Thanks, GreenGestalt…that’s about the highest compliment I could hope for. Clark Ashton Smith was the MAN. Or, I should say, the Emperor of Dreams. And his work was definitely a HUGE influence on SKULLS…

    Comment by John R. Fultz - March 24, 2010 12:49 am

  5. I believe I detect the influence of Brian McNaughton as well as old CAS.
    When did you first put the strip together, John? It’s like a blast of the most morbid and deathly old school fantasy run through the eye of early 1970’s underground comics. Made me wanna eat some Black Lotus under a black light.

    Comment by John Hocking - March 24, 2010 9:14 pm

  6. Hey, John! Yes, I am a huge fan of Brian McNaughton’s THRONE OF BONES. Brian himself was a huge Clark Ashton Smith fan. In fact, the next prose story of mine that will be appearing in BLACK GATE is called “The Vintages of Dream”–it’s a story that Brian McNaughton championed several years back. I’ve dedicated the tale to his memory. (By the way, I hear there’s a Seelura novel that Brian wrote that has never been published…I hope it sees the light of day eventually. Seelura is one of fantasy’s greatest dark fantasy settings.)

    I first started worked on SKULLS back in 1999…and I finished it in early 2002. Back then I was calling it “Necromancy: A Dark Romance” and I self-published it in a series of four issues on a VERY limited run. When it was all done, I collected it into a 96-page graphic novel and again self-published as a very limited run. All the copies I made back then went to editors and publishers at the San Diego Comicon, or to friends in and out of the comics industry. I got a lot of great feedback on the completed version–from Brian McNaughton, Kelley Jones, and Darrell Schweitzer, among others. But what I discovered by doing my own artwork for over two years was that I am a much better Writer than Artist. So for future comics projects I worked with professional artists. The next project that came to light was my PRIMORDIA comic with artist extraordinaire Roel Wielinga (all three issues still available from milehighcomics.com ). Archaia is supposed to be releasing a hardcover collected “ultimate” edition of PRIMORDIA later this year.

    I was extremely influences by the 70s comics–Richard Corben’s DEN, Jack Katz’ FIRST KINGDOM, Barry Windsor-Smith’s CONAN THE BARBARIAN, and tons of other stuff. People have told me they can see a bit of Kelly Jones and Richard Corben in the artwork for SKULLS…but I know I can’t hold a candle to those guys artistically. I did learn some important lessons from their work though.

    When I revived the strip for the web, I decided to rename it SKULLS, and I went through each page breaking down the “portrait” layouts into “landscape” layouts, and dividing the whole thing into “screens” instead of pages. It was a demaning yet extremely fun experience. “Necromancy” only had a few dozen readers at the most. I’m really glad SKULLS finally got the audience it deserves.

    Thanks for the kind words–glad you dug it!

    Comment by John R. Fultz - March 24, 2010 10:01 pm

  7. Finally caught up with all of these, great stuff John — and I echo the CAS and McNaughton comparisons. Definitely in that vein.

    Really like how you played with the blacks and whites in this, negative space and that — I think having the BG site with a black background was a very good thing for this comic.

    Great stuff, man.

    Comment by Bill Ward - March 25, 2010 11:11 pm

  8. Thanks, Bill! I think that black-and-white was definitely a good choice for this story. A friend of mine called it “Sword-n-Sorcery Noir”…

    Comment by John R. Fultz - March 25, 2010 11:46 pm

  9. Okay, I discovered this late (7yrs!) but unearthing arcana is rewarding journey. Loved finding SKULLS. Very Zothique! Just interviewed John R Fultz on the topic of Beauty in Weird Fiction, where art and horror fiction blend–and have links to all chapters. Thanks to Blackgate for hosting and sharing great content for so long.
    http://www.selindberg.com/2017/09/john-fultz-interview-by-se-lindberg.html

    Comment by SELindberg - September 23, 2017 9:47 am

  10. Seth,

    Better late than never! :)

    Thanks for the great interview with John, and for showcasing SKULLS after all these years. You’re doing great work yourself. Keep it up!

    Comment by John ONeill - September 23, 2017 1:34 pm


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