This blog was created as a tie in to my graphic novel(la) series Threshold, an ongoing project first initiated in the final year of my BFA. This series, and contextual material surrounding it, is currently forming the bulk of my MA practice. Central to the series is the city of Threshold: a topographically unstable and ever-shifting morass of in-between and tranistory spaces that silts into existence at narrative peripheries.

The intent is to create a space where the city of Threshold, and the conceptual basis behind it, can be fleshed out in greater detail than is possible in the graphic novel format, and to tie in some of the other projects involving the city that are only alluded to elsewhere.

All completed installments of the series can be viewed on this blog, while printed copies are available at or through APE Games at

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Factions: The Technophiles

Design Notes:

The Technophiles are first encountered in Threshold no.2, intercepting Agathe's train at the station. From a conceptual standpoint, their design was primarily inspired by historical beast cults. Following Sir James Frazer's line of reasoning in The Golden Bough, one possible reason for the veneration of sacred animals lies in the animal's possession of desirable characteristics that the worshippers wish to emulate. When I was first conceiving of Threshold's trains as semi-sentient autonomous feral creatures, it naturally followed that they would gather worshippers due to their size, power, and most importantly, status as conveyances. In a city with a population of lost souls unable or unwilling to move forward, the notion of a vehicle that could convey one out of this environment with no effort on behalf of the passenger becomes quite compelling. However, in venerating the trains as deliverers from the purgatorial aspects of Threshold, the Technophiles abandon their efforts to leave Threshold under their own power: they seek deliverance from without, rather than from within. Therefore, many other denizens of the city view them with scorn, seeing them as having given up hope in their own abilities to confront directly what has brought them there.

To further the efficacy of their devotions, the Technophiles amalgamate items taken from or evocative of the trains into their own bodies, to varying degrees of success. They have developed a ritual language composed of machine sounds and onomatopoeia. As they strive to further emulate mechanical entities, their individual identities begin to become linked into assemblies; not eroded so much as conjoined or interconnected. One extreme sub-sect extends the reasoning behind Frazer's Law of Contagion to the eating of components torn from the trains themselves, in the belief that this will convey the trains' powers of transportation.

In terms of visual influence, primary source material for the Technophiles includes China Mieville's descriptions of the Remade in his Bas-Lag novels, the Adeptus Mechanicus of Games Workshop's Warhammer 40 000 universe, and elements of Catholic monastic and ritual costume, such as the Spanish capriote.

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