Romulo Royo, Jesus B Vilches y Luis Royo

JESUS VILCHES, CODEX APOCALYPSE, IRKALLA

On the occasion of soon release of the first supplement to the role play game Malefic Time: Plenilunio, Ecos del Irkalla; its creators NoSoloRol Editions wanted to cover a little more of the world than what the graphic novels show of the universe Malefic Time. For this they contacted with the author of the novel Malefic Time: Apocalypse Codex, Jesus B. Vilches who is part of this multidisciplinary project created by Luis Royo and Romulo Royo.

In their article the accomplices from NoSoloRol emphasize the importance of the novel in the development of both the upcoming supplement and the original game of Plenilunio and also leave us with these warm words by Jesus about his encounter with Malefic Time universe and the creation of Códex Apocalypse.

Codex Apocalypse novel coverAfter the end of Malaga Comic Fair of 2009 as the culmination of a few intense days I decided to give Luis Royo the first volume of my epic saga Flower of Jade that I was promoting in that same event and I could not imagine what was really about to happen after this gesture. “You can put it under the leg of a table, if you want , Luis”; I said honestly, “but I am very excited that you would have one”. Months later, in Madrid, we met once more and he would give me a surprise. “I read your book” he assured to me “and you’re exactly the kind of writer I’m looking for my project”. It is obvious, I accepted without hesitation.

In our first official meeting, nearly a year after our first meeting I knew exactly the meaning of those words. Luis and Romulo presented me the ideas of Malefic Time project. A project that was hanging around his head for nearly 20 years. Since 1992 (first appearance of Luz) to 2010 all that world, its ingredients, lights and pencils had been bubbling in their heads. This state was very familiar to me as my own saga had took a similar path. Now Luis and Romulo had a pretty clear idea of what they wanted and how they wanted it done. They would tell a story starring a young anti-heroine in a future apocalyptic context marked by metahuman forces full of mysticism, mystery and recognizable background story in many folklores. To do this, they needed a text media, a narrated story, because the images were not enough and the space for text in a publication of traditional illustration was too short. It was here that they decided it was essential to have a novel (a series of novels, in fact) that would walk hand in hand with the volumes of graphic novels and would become the heart and deep core of the project that aspired to be complemented with other formats such as comics, music …. For this the needed a writer, a writer who had experience in creating a context of complex background, which narrate with details, which would be playful with the reader and deceived with a mock of manichaeism that would then break apart, that would know and would like to give deep nuances both to characters and to the metaplot.

It was a fortune for me to be chosen. The novel therefore was not thought to complement, but to be the essential part, nuclear, to the project. Luis and Romulo are illustrators and think using images. Their job was to create the visual code, the atmosphere and essence, to give a face to the world and the characters. The novel was supposed to give everything else and there was the real challenge.

The story sketched by the Royo’s served them as a curtain for the construction of this body of images, but was not enough to sustain a novel. There were a thousand questions for which they haven’t needed to prepare an answer. They had perfectly clear what clothes Luz wore, but no idea of how she fed or survived in a world whose society had collapsed to the ground. They knew the look and aura that characters like Baal or Marduk (originally without those names) had, but not necessarily where they came from or what their exact nature was. That was what had to be built, or rather complement, refine and define in detail. Thus was born, among other things, the relationship with the old Sumerian gods and the Irkalla, answering one by one to a thousand of questions. All that deep work, all that bobbin lace, all those brushstrokes in detail from the stage to the innermost fiber of the characters must necessarily be narrated, have a body of a novel. Códex Apocalypse, is the first of them, designed to have a follow up (one for each graphic novel) but in it we already have told the foundations to understand characters and the world as Luis and Romulo wanted to tell. The players of Plenilunio are responsible of creating, giving life in their games to this entire world that remains beyond the actions of the great characters of the project Malefic Time, but if you really want to get in tune, to live the full experience its creators had thought for you, it is vital to immerse in the pages of the Códex.

Jesus B Vilches, Luis Royo and Romulo Royo at work

 

 

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