In honor of it being Harry Houdini's birthday today, I though it was the perfect time to repost one of my old comic pitches I threw up over at Thought Balloons. The character prompt was Ash from Evil Dead and Army of Darkness fame. I hope you enjoy it!
First issue of a brand new series. The first five pages depict a stage show from 1905. It’s Harry Houdini performing an escape trick upside down, under water, and in a strait jacket. The view goes back and forth between the stage, audience, and a certain Mr. Ashley Williams in a period-appropriate suit with a leather glove over his right hand, clearly indicating this is post-Army of Darkness.
Handcuffs - Page 6
Panel 1 - Houdini is backstage in his dressing room after the show getting ready to go greet his adoring audience The SFX is on the dressing room door.
SFX: KNOCK KNOCK
Panel 2 - Houdini opens the door and over his shoulder we see Ash is waiting in the hallway, adjusting his tie.
Ash: Helluva show Harry! So, whaddya say? You in?
Houdini: It’s quite the offer Mr. Williams. I’m still not sure why you chose me. What do I have to contribute?
Panel 3 - Ash is now in the room pouring himself a drink while Houdini grabs his coat from the coat rack.
Ash: You believe in ghosts Harry?
Ash: See? I need you - you’re my ghosts man.
Panel 4 - Houdini adjusts his collar as he’s getting ready to give Ash the bad news. He has a look of regret on his face as though he’d love to take Ash’s offer but just can’t find the right excuse.
Houdini: Mr. Williams, I’m afraid -
SFX: AHHHHHHHHH (a woman is screaming off in the distance)
SFX: ROOOOOOAAAAR (a wild beast lets out a might roar by the location of the scream)
Panel 5 - Ash has drawn a particularly-large revolver from a holster beneath his coat. He has a slight smile on his face. Houdini has gone white, mouth left open. They’re both looking towards the door.
Ash: That would be the Ánt’įįhnii. Yeah, I’d be afraid too.
Houdini: Aunt Jeanne?
Ash: No, Ánt’įįhnii. Ancient Navajo witch skinwalker. Senior Manuelito’s gonna have his hands full. In or out Harry?
The next page would be the title page with Harry answering with an unequivocal “In!” as the two characters rush off towards the noise - the theater, empty but for Manuelito battling the skinwalker.
The concept here is that Ash, using the Necronomicon and other dark artifacts he shouldn't be using, and under the guidance of a mysterious benefactor/guide, is tasked with collecting a team through time and space to fight off deadites and other evil dead things. The team is comprised of historical people or public domain characters, and each is chosen for a specific role (Houdini to deal with ghosts, Manuelito to deal with skinwalkers, etc.). Ash would jokingly call his team the “Anachronauts” although I’m not sure what the name of the team (or book) would actually be. It’d be a little like the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. Over time it would be revealed that the team is actually just a counter-part to a team comprised solely of evil versions of themselves, much like Evil Ash from Army of Darkness. In fact Evil Ash is the mysterious benefactor, and through Good Ash’s actions, all of the team gets exposed to the forces/taint which makes it possible for the evil versions to be spawned in the first place (forming Evil Ash’s team). It would very much draw upon Ash's ability to do accidentally do the wrong thing while he thinks he's doing the right thing. I want to write this, badly.