The Immortal Art A long time ago, in a land far-far away, there was a man, a very tall man, who was very good at making something out of nothing. Now at first, this man never knew he had this particular talent. He only knew that he had a creative itch that needed scratching. Then one day something happened. Something dramatic. And though and behold, Darryl created The Immortal. Here, pal. Its now over to you.

Darryl Knickrehm On Amazon

1) What are your own origins, Darryl?   I was born on a far away planet. When my parents found out about it's imminent destruction, however, they made a special space pod for me and shot me off to... No, wait. That's not me. I'm from sunny old California. Raised on cartoons and video games, it's no wonder that I learned to love art. I spent a lot of time drawing and reading comics as a kid. When I got older, I really got into movies. So much so that I went to film school. After that I spent the next decade making short films and even producing a film festival. Oh yeah, and I moved to Japan. That's where I'm currently living. An appropriate place for someone who likes comics.

The Immortal
2) What inspired you to create, ‘The Immortal?   Even when I was making films, I was drawing comics. In my spare time... wait, as an indie film maker (juggling other jobs as well) I didn't really have spare time, so... when I was supposed to be working, I drew little comics for fun. One was about an English teaching squid named Squid Sensei (as I had to supplement my income with the only job available to foreigners in Japan: teaching English). Another was a Heavy Metal Magazine inspired comic called The Many Deaths of Z. It was a kind of humorous 10 page comic about a guy in the future who died over and over again, doing the same thing (over and over again).

Then the event that made The Immortal happen, happened: my film making hit a wall (creatively speaking). And that was because living in Japan can be a bit of an isolating experience, and isolating experiences aren't the best way to make connections (which are necessary for making films). So I decided to shift my efforts from film making to another type of visual story telling: comics. At the time I did so, I was on a sci-fi kick, and really liked the character and concepts of The Many Deaths of Z. So I expanded it, wrote a script and developed it into a limited series. It was also a great way to flesh out the 'outsider' elements I came across while living in Japan, yet in a universally relatable way.

3) In your own words how would you describe this story?   The Immortal is an anti-odyssey. It's epic (each issue takes place on a different planet), it's fantastical (filled with odd aliens and monsters), and it's about an anti-hero. I find anti-heroes much more interesting than regular heroes. Because normal heroes usually don't grow. They start off as just and pure, and often remain flat characters. But an anti-hero has a problem. Usually a tragedy that affects their world view. It often makes them an abrasive character, sometimes an unlikable character. But it doesn't make them a bad character. And The Immortal is that.

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Because The Immortal, the last human in the universe, has a problem: he can't die. For most, this is a life-long dream, but to Z (that last human in the universe) this ability has turned his life into a nightmare. And that's because most of his life is now missing as a result.

For you see, Z is a bounty hunter. Part of his job is getting shot down on a hunt. Each time that happens, he is brought back to finish that job. But each time that happens, part of his memory is destroyed. He doesn't know why he's the last human. He hardly even knows who he is.

But Z's had enough of this nutty lifestyle. So he's been saving up to get out and start a new life. And that's where his story begins -- with Z's final mission. His last big payday. Unfortunately, it doesn't go as planned. He stumbles onto a vast conspiracy. One that will reveal his past and the truth behind the extinction of mankind.

4) What song would you say best represents this comic book and why?   It's a song you've probably never heard of, unless you're a fan of indie Japanese rock bands. They're called The Hiatus and the song is Insomnia. Ironically, that song is the reason for the The Immortal trailer.

While I was making The Immortal, I came across Insomnia and the chorus was so raw and powerful that it instantly hooked me. The lyrics also echoed a lot of the feelings that were in Z, so for fun I edited up a trailer using that song. It turned out really kick ass. Unfortunately, I couldn't get a hold of the band in order to get the rights to use the song for the official trailer, so I re-edited the whole thing with new music. Funnily enough, I like how that turned out even better.

5) If you could get a celebrity – either living or dead – to promote your wares, who would you choose, and why would you want to choose this particular person?   David Fincher or Trent Reznor. Or both of them. They've both had a huge influence on me, and are both gods in their fields as far as I'm concerned. If The Immortal was made into a movie (and I couldn't direct it myself), I'd want both of them in charge of it.

The Immortal Art
[ The Immortal On Amazon
6) What have you learnt about yourself through this endeavour?   Creating this comic has been extremely fulfilling. I realized how much I really enjoy drawing. I was so busy making films for the past decade and a half that I really had neglected that part of me. Because drawing is very freeing. It is a way to unleash your imagination. And that was something I needed. Film making can be very restrictive, especially when your resources are limited. Because you can only have the resources to make a movie if you have the right connections. You can only have great actors if you know them or have the money to hire them. You can only have cool locations if you have found them already. And you can only make great shots if all of those things line up perfectly while you are aiming your camera at them. All of that is a lot of 'ifs'. But when drawing, The Immortal, I was only limited by my imagination. And on top of that, I loved doing it. Now that's a sign I was heading in the right direction.

7) During your time in this field, what is the one thing that has kept you in good stead?   My wife. She has let me follow this new path and encouraged me along the way. Because being an artist of any kind can be tough. There is tons of rejection that accompanies it. In my experience I've found that if you're successful 10% of the time, you are doing amazingly well. Like while my films got into over 30 film festivals, I had submitted them to, well, you can do the math. Stories, books, and illustration that I've done... so far I'm running much much lower than a 10% success rate. All that rejection can wear anyone down. But my wife has been there for me. And that's made me happier than any acceptance ever could.

8) If ‘The Immortal’ had a motto, what would it be?   Unlike Z, we only get one life. Live it to the fullest.

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And on that note, dear reader, I'd like to thank Darryl for telling us about his comic, The Immortal, before directing you towards his website and twitter pages.