Indie Spotlight: EL GRANDE Graphic Novel – Volume 1: “The Worm” from Joseph Karg and Elio Guevara

     May 24, 2014


While the writing may be on the wall as big studios continue to meddle in their comic book property adaptations, the good news is that independent artists and authors are still supporting the paperback medium.  Today’s Indie Spotlight highlights one such project, the first volume of writer Joseph Karg and author Elio Guevara’s graphic novel, El Grande.  They’re currently hard at work on “The Worm”, the first part of a six-part series that transcends genres to feature “tales of addiction, humor, love, and redemption in a drug-altered and chaos-fueled future that is already too close for comfort.”  It’s a beautiful start to an ambitious goal, but they need your help to secure printing and distribution in order to get copies of their work into the hands of their growing fanbase.  Hit the jump for much more, including how you can donate to the project and get some swag in return.

Take a look at the video for El Grande from Karg and Guevara below, and be sure to head over to their Kickstarter page to donate.  If you like what you see and hear, then following along with the project on their Facebook page, the official site for the graphic novel, as well as their Twitter and Tumblr accounts.

el-grande-graphic-novel“El Grande” is a graphic-novel meditation on mortality from Joseph Karg (Archer, Chozen) and Elio Guevara (Spectrum) that speaks with a skeptical voice about the future of our most closely held beliefs, our destiny as people, and our planet.

“El Grande Volume 1: The Worm” is the first installment of a six-part, genre-bending series set to feature tales of addiction, humor, love, and redemption in a drug-altered and chaos-fueled future that is already too close for comfort. At its heart is a mix of late-19th-century imagery and contemporary cutting-edge artwork by Elio Guevara giving form to a critical and comedic story by Joseph Karg.

An ominous figure has cast a shadow on Earth’s lone remaining city, Bramacas: El Grande is a god prophesied to return and wipe the planet clean of all life. Although there are many religious zealots who terrorize the city’s occupants in the name of El Grande, not everyone lives in fear, but will the only man standing in the face of terror be around long enough to save us? Aiming to capture the balance of order and chaos that could be experienced in a contemporary South American city like Caracas, Venezuela (the home town of El Grande illustrator Elio Guevara), this book portrays life in a potently imagined world that resonates with the one we live in today.

el-grande-elio-guevaraWe follow the life of a man calling himself El Gusano—The Worm. He lives on the verge of suicide, though not by his choice—he’s trying his best to kill himself. Aided by a motley crew of futuristic eco-engineers, our hero finds himself at the center of a potentially world-ending event.

Created in the spirit of David Lynch and Jean “Moebius” Giraud, El Grande portrays a drug-fueled supernatural tomorrow that falls somewhere between Leaving Las Vegas and Groundhog Day. According to writer Joseph Karg, “This story is as much about an exploration of character as it is of shifting tone. Science fictional and supernatural events serve as our pathways into other genres and moods that we’re interested in investigating through the unique visual methods and worlds we’ve developed.”


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  • MJ

    The story sounds weak? A guy needs to find creative ways to commit suicide? That’s the story? Huh? Perhaps they’d be better off just selling the art and dropping this kind of lame story idea?

    The art looks cool and colorful, but its impact is lessened by being way too busy. The artist could exercise more discipline and restraint…too much of a “doodling gone wild” look to it.

    This makes me want to start doodling, make a professional looking marketing type video of me doodling some cool and colorful scifi stuff, and mention in the video what I know could be a better story idea than this…and then raise $10K on Kickstarter by posting the video. Seriously, this makes it look really easy to get money on Kickstarter.

    • DanGerDiabolik

      from what i gather, that is just the beginning of a much larger story. and the art to me is quite beautiful. i think you talk too much and you kind of come across as a jerk. i’m going to donate to this project just because of your stupid post.

      • joekarg

        DanGerDiabolik – Thank you so much for coming to our defense and contributing to the project. My hero! I haven’t experienced much in the world of negative internet feedback, but I guess it’s good that we are starting strong with MJ. I would love to address some of his comments.

        MJ – Of course you’re entitled to your opinions, but I would like to defend myself by saying that I don’t think finding creative ways to kill yourself is a weak idea. That’s one of the most compelling aspects of two of my all time favorite films Groundhog Day and Leaving Los Vegas. Also, the story explores other aspects of our characters and world, but that was the hook I chose to help our project stand out in the short amount of time we had to speak about it in our video. If you read any of the text below, you will discover further details about our world that I think you may find intriguing. Perhaps you won’t and that’s ok too, but I encourage you to investigate further.

        As far as Elio’s work is concerned, you may find it interesting to know that he comes from a classical painting tradition in the styles of Peter Paul Rubens and Eugène Delacroix. When he came to America, he began to explore a departure from that artistic direction toward a path traveled by comic creators like Moebius, Kent Williams and Juan Gimenez. As a new artist, it is imperative to stand out among all the others, and this often leads the bolder souls down a path of unorthodox approaches to image making. What Elio is doing in the pages of El Grande is a choice and not an accident or laziness. In my humble opinion, it is artistry at its finest.

        Of course choices like these can often be divisive. If they do not fall within your taste, then they can be alienating to certain audiences, but I hope that we can, like many others that came before us, be seen and appreciated by an audience that is looking for something new.

        You mentioned doodling some “cool and colorful scifi stuff” yourself and starting your own project. I highly encourage you to do so. You think you’ve got a better idea for a story? I have no doubt that you may. Write it and share it with the world. Nothing is stopping you. In fact, I hope you reach out to me when you do, and I will be more than happy to help you spread the word about your project. We are a community that needs to support one another and not spit this vitriol. The world benefits by new and creative ideas and perspectives. I will keep an eye out for you. Good luck.

      • MJ

        I really appreciate the response. Thanks for clarifying things. I don’t think my post was vitriolic; you guys are coming out to the public and requesting that we directly fund your enterprise, so you need to have thick skins on the internet. This is a Collider discussion board with primarily anonymous posters, not a meeting with friends at a Starbucks.

        To show my appreciation for your detailed response of my critiques, I am going to make a small donation to your Kickstarter fund.

        I wish you best success in the future. Your graphic novel may not be my cup of tea, but obviously you guys are busting your asses, are very creative, and have a vision. I admire that!

  • Cog

    Pass. The art work does not appeal to me.