"45" Graphic Novel Excerpt

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SYNOPSIS
Journalist, James Stanley, is faced with the imminent birth of his child. Having decided to forego the test that would determine whether his child is carrying the all-important “Super-S” gene, which differentiates the genetic makeup of a superhero from that of a normal person, James sets out on a quest to interview forty-five super-powered individuals in the hope that their experiences may better prepare him for the birth of a child that is potentially gifted with extraordinary abilities. On his journey, he encounters characters from all walks of life; from single mothers struggling to raise gifted children, to rebellious super-teenagers, all the way through to those reaching the end of their lives. But what starts as a voyage of personal discovery becomes something far more ominous when he crosses paths with an organization known as XoDOS.

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I’m watching the world go by from my table in a quieter part of Soho, London. It’s not often I find myself nervous before an interview; years of journalism prepares you for most things. But this time, I’m the one who’s being interviewed.

I turn back to look at the young woman sitting at my table. Her name is Angela Dace; she smiles politely, tapping her pen on her writing pad. She takes a sip from her americano before writing my name on the top of the page followed by a number: James Stanley. 45.

JS: I’m not that old!

AD: Excuse me? Oh, yes! Funny. Thanks for agreeing to the interview today. To be honest, I wasn’t sure you’d be up for it, it’s strange for me to be interviewing a fellow-journalist.

She shifts uncomfortably on her chair, brushing the hair from her face. How old is she? Twenty-two? Twenty-three? I suddenly feel quite old.

AD: Okay, let’s start at the beginning; can you tell me about yourself and the nature of this “45” project?

JS: I’m James Stanley, a freelance journalist, who isn’t 45 yet. I’ve been a fan of superheroes for as long as I can remember. It’s my interest in their world that has brought me to where I am today. “45” will be a series of forty-five interviews with those individuals that have been gifted with the Super-S gene or those that have developed a super-power later in life – what’s called a 2nd Degree. I assume you’ve done your research and know already that my wife is expecting our first child?

AD: Yes, congratulations to you both. Was it her pregnancy that inspired the idea of the forty-five interviews?

JS: In part, yes. But it was really after we declined the “Super-S” test that the idea really began to take shape.


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