In September 2010 I decided to make a graphic novel and by late October I started this website to track my progress and publish the work that I produced online. Since then the story has grown considerably. This is the ON THE VERGE PROJECT.
In a world of mystery, the truth as they say is out there to be discovered. Welcome to the world of On the Verge, a paranormal/sci-fi thriller. The story of On the Verge takes place in present day North America but unlike our own reality, it’s a world where “unknown phenomena” are commonplace and a part of people’s daily existence. Tired of the lack of information about these unexplained events – and his own “abduction by aliens” – billionaire internet mogul Agnosto Mercury formed the think tank Edge, Inc. to investigate them. Almost 10 years and countless cases later, Edge is a world renowned institution that continues its pursuit for the truth.
As the world’s preeminent investigator of supernatural phenomena, Edge is a world leader in cutting edge sciences. But the team is pushed to their limit by a series robberies by the mysterious Shadow Gang and the ongoing protests of edge science that continue to grip the city. Things finally reach a breaking point when two new unexplained Incidents occur, leaving dozens either missing or dead. Meanwhile, Jeremy, one of Edge’s top minds, gets kidnapped. Enter Hannah Fox, a rookie researcher at Edge, who has to put the shock of everything aside and team up with Jeremy’s longtime collaborator Lucas, to investigate. The more they learn about the events, the more they’re lead back to Jeremy’s kidnapping and it’s a race against time to find out what’s really going on, who is really behind this string of events and just what happened to Jeremy.
On the Verge started its life as a graphic novel and the first pages were posted online on February 1, 2011. Since that time, the story has grown to be a much larger tale. I am now working towards two graphic novels: the full length story that started the project and a collected edition of all the other work that gets produced. The first three years work that has been posted consists of around 160 comic pages, 1 newspaper article, 1 magazine article, 1 transcript and 1 illustrated short story. The stories are designed so that they can be read independently of each other (i.e. stand alone stories) or together as part of a larger story arc.
The ON THE VERGE PROJECT is a series of stories written and illustrated by me, Jason Smith.
I am an illustrator and graphic designer living in Guelph, Ontario, Canada. After graduating from Sheridan College’s Illustration program, I worked for a year as the head designer for the retail and commercial design firm Prescription for Retail. I followed this with a stint of freelance work before landing at The Co-operators in-house design agency. I am currently still with The Co-operators where I work as a Senior Graphic Designer and also run a successful freelance graphic design and illustration business for a variety of clients.
I grew up reading comics and dreamed of one day publishing my own. After college and several years of professional work, I was looking for a constant outlet for my illustration work and rediscovered comics and graphic novels. On the Verge is my first comics work.
“It’s great to by working on my own comic and only really have to answer to myself and the readers. My favourite thing is to get feedback from people and have that personal contact and discussions. It’s really rewarding to see people get involved with and actually care about something that I’m so close to. All of this is really because I just love doing it.”
This is a work in progress. The whole point of this website is to track the development of the work, allow for a behind-the-scenes look at things and keep the project on track until competed. Since the beginning of the project, the story has twisted and turned as work has progressed. The first story elements posted turned out to have not necessarily been the start of the story as more work was completed. This will probably continue to happen as things develop further. For a clear idea of how the story should be read, please check out the archive where things are listed in the proper reading order.
New work is constantly in development and a new story element is posted every Tuesday. What that consists of is part of the fun… Over the course of the project, there have been constant experiments with the type of work that has been posted, ranging from full comic pages once a week, to weekly strips, daily posts, as well as magazine and newspaper articles and a short story. Each type of these formats is an attempt to tell an engaging story and find new ways to work and entertain the audience.
The artwork is a mixture of traditionally hand drawn art fused with a combination of paint and digital effects.
Above, various work-in-progress shots. If you’ve interested, check more out on Instagram.
The ultimate goal is to publish a graphic novel that collects the On the Verge story in printed form when the story is completed. What that ultimately looks like and includes is still to be decided.
I initially published a collection of stories in a 32 page book titled ON THE VERGE: THE BEGINNING, but is now sold out.
I am currently exploring other publishing options both in print and digital but have released two stories – SHADOWS and THE JUMPER – via Comixology and I intend to release more books this way.
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