Blank - The Graphic Novel

by R27 CREATIVELAB on Monday, 15 June 2009

Death is food.
Food is energy.
Energy is power.
Power is focus.
Focus is completion.
Completion is death.

BLANK - John Blank Must Die is an online comic with keeps many readers up-to-date via its twitter feed. But who are the guys behind the artwork and storyline and why must John Blank die?

The first issue of Wired magazine that we can remember had the headline: "Privacy. Get Over It." We might restate that as: "Access and Transparency. Get With It!"

Name of Studio: The Brothers of the Silence

Who are the main faces behind John Blank Must Die?

Don Richmond and Ian LeWinter. We are the Brothers of the Silence, creators of Blank - The Graphic Novel, part one of the trilogy. Ian is the writer and creative strategist. Don is the writer/illustrator and creative strategist. We come from a visual media background. We met and 2006 and decided to launch Blank in May 2009 as the first graphic novel in history to launch on Facebook and Twitter with individual network specific content.

Blank is a literary franchise that defies genre. It is a McLuhan hot and cool media experience; which is to say, an experience that vacillates between passive, singular visual media and active, multiple-sense media requiring abstract thought and deep pattern recognition. The namesake hero, John Blank, has what psychologists term a compromised ego integrity -- one that is continually fragmented and redefined, possessing no reliable sense of self apart from his unique capability to kill. The antagonist, Ouranos Gaia, has a psychopathic megalomania that stems from a mythic iconography which has been nurtured by his family for generations. The child-ghost Angel is a goddess and foundational soul for all humanity and for all of the trilogy.

The Blank trilogy is being launched on several social media platforms with a new 2-page spread viewable every other day. The pages are always viewable free on the website: Before the project is over, for us to accomplish our goals, we will have published a three-part graphic novel series, negotiated a motion picture deal and produced spin-off books.

How long have you been doing this?
Book One of Blank, is our first novel, which launched May 1 of 2009. But we've been creating art pretty much since kindergarten. No one becomes an artist by choice. We consider ourselves already dead, with a last-second chance to live one more day to tell our story. We exploit everything about that day. Our motto is "I am not here." That defines our outlook and is the reason we can focus on our single-minded purpose of telling the earth about Blank.

What got you involved?
Don said, "Hey, let's do a graphic novel." Ian said, "I've been working on a story since I was fourteen. It goes like this..."

Individual background?
We come from visual media background. Both of us individually owned successful design studios. We decided to form the Brothers of the Silence and to create the first graphic novel in history to launch on Facebook and Twitter, and to be the first to truly leverage the power of social media.

Funny stories?
Spell check before posting. John Blank was not the victim of a hate crime because of sexual orientation (homocide), he was a murder victim (homicide). Oh well, thank God for the fastidious -- and forgiving -- fans.

For writers, there are three hotspots of great creative energy right now: graphic novels, graphic novels and graphic novels. This genre is coming into its silver age, a time of limitless creativity and boundless depth. Look for great work here for the next half a century.

Our advice to anyone is stay true to your vision. Learn the fundamentals, then throw them away. Pay attention to what moves you -- and we mean really moves you. If you want the who earth to perish, then so be it. If you want to have a character talk in an archaic, biblical fashion, then go for it. If you want your 12-year-old heroine to have skeletal hands, right on. Dozens of people may offer advice on what they would do instead. Thank them for their wonderful input and then go write YOUR story. If you stay true to your vision, then there isn't any reason that your project can ever be anything but a success.

Don: I hope Ian doesn't figure out he's already dead before we are finished. But, then again, he can't be trusted.

Ian: I hope I don't die before we are finished. But, then again, I can't be trusted.

Future works?
Books 2 and 3 of the Blank series. Then, on to a new franchise.

Do you have any exhibitions planned?
Yes. Every other day you can see a new full-page spread on That's a new page every day, posted as a new two-page spread every other day. Social media is affording an unparalleled access and transparency. Writers are just now realizing that they can communicate with millions of people with little capital investment. The first issue of Wired magazine that we can remember had the headline: "Privacy. Get Over It." We might restate that as: "Access and Transparency. Get With It!" We made up our minds never to be hidden or unavailable.

If you want to contact the guys directly then feel free, they would be more than happy to talk...

Twitter: @BlankMustDie

Linkedin: Ian LeWinter | Don Richmond
Facebook: Blank - The Graphic Novel Fan Page

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Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment. Best Regards Rajesh