Ron Carnage: the Anti-novel?

Ron Carnage: the Anti-novel?

Lack of obvious plot seems a little harsh, but isn’t quite unjustified for this story, especially during the first half. I don’t necessarily agree that there’s a lack of character development in the story as a whole, but the dialogue driven story that flows in and out of self-aware rhyming and poetic structure definitely sets itself apart from most other mainstream, classically written novels.

The Town of Leon

Town of Leon map illustrated by Jessica Khoury

As soon as we started writing about the town of Leon, we knew we’d need a map. An adventure novel without a map on the first page is bullshit. So we did what anyone in the modern age would do, search the hashtag #fantasymap on Instagram and find something that moves you.

After a bit of scrolling we found 2 things. A great example of what we were looking for, and an artist whose work stood out from the rest.

We quickly reached out to @authorjess not knowing what to expect from a random illustrator we found on Instagram. This project has been plagued by scammy illustrators who have tried to us sell other people’s art (and embarrassingly enough have done so successfully), and poorly rendered piles of trash that looked nothing like the “artists” examples in their portfolio. We’ve been sold mountains that look like phalluses, and caves that look like a tent from a budget rental company, so needless to say, we were hesitant.

Needless to say, Jessica KILLED IT!!! The sleepy river town of Leon has truly come to life, and the map has awoken in us a desire to comb back through the story and incorporate more elements from the map that Jessica included.

When the novel is finally published and available for purchase, we hope you all will escape into the town of Leon and the surrounding areas.

Meet Gene the Nerdy Octopus!

Gene the Nerdy Octopus illustration by Cameron McCafferty

At some point we came across Cameron McCafferty on Twitter as he was displaying some very impressive illustration of Dungeons & Dragons characters, and knew he had to create something for us.

Gene the Nerdy Octopus was added to our story by the recommendation of a friend. She said every good fantasy novel a lovable animal sidekick, so in the story, things got real meta as characters in a parallel universe auditioned for acting roles in the novel. Gene’s character quickly became more important to the story than we ever could have imagined, especially for being a drunken, chain smoking, starving actor just trying to make a name for himself in the greater LA area.

Cameron knocked this illustration out of the park, and really captured the desperation but never-ending optimism that flows through the alcohol soaked veins. You can find his work on Twitter, or framed in the author’s house.

How It All Began

Ron Carnage was a throw away joke that started on the Reminiscent podcast. The host Pat asked his cohost Tom, in a moment where the conversation was lacking, if he played a role in someone else’s adventure, who would he be. Almost as if it was planned (it wasn’t), Tom proclaimed, “Probably something like Don Carnage, but I’d be terrified of conflict” (paraphrasing, it was forever ago, gimme a break).

This really tickled Pat, and the guys just kept talking about this character Don Carnage. A couple of days went by before a google search destroyed everything they came to love. Don Karnage was a B list character on Duck Tales or some shit, so after much discussion, the guys changed his name to Ron.

A couple days later, Tom mentioned it would be funny to do a movie trailer about Ron Carnage: The Thinker Boy, and mere hours after a string of drunken texts from Pat, Tom, the audio producing son of a bitch that he is actually made a damn movie trailer, which can be heard above.

The episode where Ron was created can be found streamed and downloaded below!