Derek W. Lipscomb And His Comic Series The Maroon
Article by Anthony Cleveland
Though Viddy Well is primarily a film blog, Derek W. Lipscomb (writer/illustrator) approached us to discuss his comic book series: The Maroon. We gave it a crack and discovered a fantastic series with genre combinations that have yet to be explored on screen. The Maroon combines Leone’s Man with No Name trilogy with the fantastic mythology of American legends and history, all while never once pulling a single punch or tomahawk throw.
"The world I have The Maroon inhabit is a crazy mix of folklore fantasy with horror inspired from Le Pacte de Loups (Brotherhood of the Wolf),” Derek began. “I love how that film blends lore from history and fabricates it's own clever take on the legend of The Beast of Gévaudan. I liked the idea that in the nooks and crannies of 1850 American history, there were mythical creatures and supernatural dealings that permeated the fringes of a growing civilization.”
Derek pitched his comic to us as a simmering campfire cauldron mixed with western films, anime features, and spiced generously with Native American mythology. If I could add to Derek’s pitch, I would say this is very much like a Conan the Barbarian story taking place in the 1800s American south. Like the Conan films, they begin grounded and later introduce the more fantastical elements, but at the same time we are constantly reminded how savage the world these characters inhabit truly is.
The stand out issues were #1 and #3. In each of these issues the strengths of the series are on full display. With issue one, we are introduced to a father and son, who we are led to believe will be the main focus of the arc. A few pages later we meet The Maroon (real name unknown), who is on the run and is being pursued by a posse. As the issue comes to a close, the three are confronted by the posse and #1 concludes with a tragic climax that sets the tone for the rest of the series.
“hile The Maroon is a blending of history with the fantastic, what I really hope comes from this experience is the further exposure to a pocket of American-created people that are often blindsided by ‘grander events that pushed American History forward,’ ” Derek added.
Derek’s research into his settings must be applauded as well. Throughout he uses specific historical events as backdrops to his character’s stories. He also goes on to describe specific Native American tribe culture and incorporates their mythology into his story arcs. This shows through best in Issue #3.
By this issue Derek fully immerses the reader with the fantasy elements of his story. #3 also sheds more light on our main character’s backstory through a brutal hallucinatory dream sequence that bleeds into reality when he comes face to face with a half-owl, half-woman beast. The fight between the two is raw, bloody, and intense. These 10 pages were the highlight of the series for me.
Another high point of the issue was when tidbits of The Maroon’s backstory is revealed and he’s forced to come meet his past face to face. We learn that he was once in love with a woman above his social class and was tricked by a witch to drink a potion that was promised to make her fall in love with him. The potion instead curses him for life. This was the first time we are offered a look back at who The Maroon is and my only real critique of the book would be to have more moments like this where we can explore that character’s history. Additional issues are on the rise and I’m sure Derek does have more in store for that.
The Marron gets the Viddy Well seal of approval and is currently available on Comixology!
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