The Comic World

Tales from a Darkly Gothik Future

Frame 137 is a four-page comic that first appeared in issue #61 of the anthology series Dark Horse Presents in 1992. Written and illustrated by James O’Barr, creator of the The Crow, this particular story introduced Jonny Z who was to be the central character of an unpublished series of graphic novels, based on the Wizard of Oz and to be titled Gothik.

Taking place in a bleak, Blade Runner style setting, O’Barr had written several short stories set in this universe including IO and Snake Dance, which introduced the half human, half cyborg character of ‘Blixa’ aka the Tinman.

The Comic series Golgothika from John Bergin, was intended to run as a back up in the pages of Gothik and notably included some of the characters to be featured in Gothik such as Blixa.

However In 1994 Gothik was put on permanent hold due to O’Barr’s press commitments for The Crow, coupled with advice from William Gibson regarding the futility of writing in the Cyberpunk genre due to the exponentially increasing speed of technological development, meaning “future ideas” were often already laughably dated by the time the work was completed. As a result Golgothika was released as a separate series that was never completed.

Taking the Frame 137 universe and Jonny Z as the creative inspiration, the short film adapts the original short story while building on aspects of O’Barr’s world, to highlight his unique perspective on this dark future.

The Original Frame 137 Comic can be viewed with James O’Barr’s permission here

 

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