Death and the New Year

Tuesday, January 1st, 2008

So it’s 2008. In the midst of a conviction that I need a new snow thrower, I’ve been working on a new hypertext called preliminarily Brimmer and Death, which traces the relationship between Brimmer, a carpenter, and Death, a character based on Neil Gaiman’s Sandman DC comics universe.

This is not a new concept, elaborating on the character of Death in story. She’s appeared in numerous comics, from the Sandman series to spin offs, such as Death: The High Cost of Living, Death: The Time of Your Life, and others, such as Jill Thompson’s manga Death at Death’s Door. What complicates the project, is the fact that Death will be delivered inside the DC universe, which could include a variety of story elements, but Brimmer himself is the focus.

In the story he lives with death in her “realm” for a while and it’s interesting to try and figure out the nature of Death as a character with whom a mortal human could have a relationship (Morpheus can, why not Death?). Part of the concept from the storyline that develops draws from the “Men of Good Fortune” chapter of The Doll’s House in which Morpheus and Death provide for Robert “Hob” Gadling’s life to persist. Morpheus asks Hob to meet with him at the White Horse Tavern in a hundred years time, interested, primarily, as we are, in what happens “if.” In this chapter, while Chaucer discusses English versus French in the background, Hob says to a table-crowd: “The only reason people die, is because everyone does it. You all just go along with it. It’s rubbish, Death. It’s stupid. I don’t want nothing to do with it.” And so Hob resolves to live and his state through the centuries is treated throughout the Sandman series. Thus, the concept is set as are the thematic consequences of such a choice, and, of course, this sets the potential for interesting plot keys, such as Brimmer’s choice or desire to live, a chaining tension, how do the two unify, and what key closes Brimmer’s initial opening in the narrative.

brimmershot.jpg

Hob’s story begins in the 14th Century. Brimmer’s begins in the contemporary. Thus the majority of the hypertext takes place in the future with two important actions, though these will occur only in one out of 7 paths. I will be leaked in every path in some way that Brimmer rides life without dying in 7 settings. Every path may develop a separate and conclusive trail that, with slight variations, pushes Brimmer closer to the principle key.


One response to “Death and the New Year”

  1. gibb says:

    Sounds like a very intrigueing concept, particularly for hypertext. It’s interesting to me how you’ve approached and planned out the stories with the medium in mind.