Shifters is the story of a young woman and her friends who discover they share a unique fate.
Set in the not-so-far future of an alternate earth, there are two worlds. The Waking World that people know, and the world of the Veil, which lies hidden in the shadows. The secret world of the Veil, harbors the monsters thought lost to time, secretly alive and well in the dark places of the isolated Shade City. The conspiracy to keep the knowledge of their existence secret, the Veil itself, has been kept, by force , for centuries under the careful watch of the races that form it. Silent wars of the Veil races have raged right under humanities nose, and continue to simmer on and under the streets of Shade City. Currently the New Gen Vampires and Shifters have been silently escalating their long standing war, and the vampires have come up with a plan to win. But what they didn’t count on was the re-appearance of an ancient horror so powerful and terrible that it is only spoken of with whispered hatred, its name cursed.
Ferrah, a normal teen of this future world, never could have imagined that the night she was bitten by a vampire was the night she would become a monster. Neither vampire, nor shifter, but an unholy creature made of both, a beast of chaos and order unleashed again after 500 years.
Fate’s wheel begins to turn, not just for Ferrah but the world. Not only is the Veil’s precious secrecy threatened by this new terror, but it is a sign that larger forces, the gods themselves, have entered their end game. All life on earth will might never be the same.
Shifters was born in early 1998 when I decided I wanted to try to do a comic. Being a long time comic and cartoon fan, I’d always wanted to do one. I wasn’t a particularly good storyteller or author, but I wanted to do a story about stuff I liked and was passionate about, namely werewolves, vampires, cyberpunk, magic, and some other stuff thrown into the mix. I felt that through doing a comic I could improve my art and my storytelling skills. At the time I created it, I was a student at college and didn’t exactly have a lot of money to have it published traditionally. But I had a website, a fairly active one, and a scanner. I was websavvy enough to make a site for it and put it up to share with my friends who also enjoyed the same subjects could see what I had done. This was quite a bit prior to the ‘webcomic boom’ we have now, so Shifters, all told, is fairly old.
I didn’t really get ‘serious’ about it until I moved to keenspace in 2001, where the comic would update automatically. I also got a writer at the time and commited to update several times a week. As the years have passed I have improved vastly both in terms of art and storytelling. The first two issues were my lame ducks, but the third issue, ” Tears of Blood” was the debut of my writer, James Strocel. James wrote up to “Wolf’s Clothing” under my creative direction and is largely responsible for the early feel of Shifters. While I had input and directed the story, he still ultimately wrote it. This allowed me to focus on the art without the story overhanging my head. However, James and I did share some creative differences which caused a certain degree of tension and he was also a very busy guy. Eventually it turned out he was too busy to really continue and I wasn’t very happy with where things were going. They were getting to far away from my original vision, so we amicably parted ways.
When James Strocel left I took over the writing chores once again. But after a run of several years, I realized that the story was too changed from my original vision to continue. I couldn’t write like James and it caused massive wobbling and serious pacing issues with the story. Not to mention the general storyline was completely buggered up for later story points. So the decision to redo some 500+ pages was not done lightly.
That’s where we are now, Redux is a rebirth of the comic, from a much more mature storytelling and art stand point. A lot of people have asked if it is a complete re-and-re, and if it will follow the old storyline. I can say that some events from the old comic will be weaved into the new one although many of the old characters are gone or changed significantly. But I think in the end, you will be pleased with the new focus and coherence of a fast paced, coherantly written story.
Some people have pointed out that the story has elements of White Wolf’s Werewolf the Apocalypse in it. However, Shifters is NOT, I repeat, NOT based on WW:tA. It is in fact based on Cyberpunk 2020′s Alternate Reality Sourcebook:Night’s Edge. There is use of traditional werewolf mythos, of which White wolf also uses heavily, thus there are some commonalities, however, they are coincidental from the same mythology sources. Yes, both have vampires, yes both have werewolves and other werecreatures, yes, both worlds have fantasyish beings, mages, and humans in a modernish setting. However, if you actually look at the two, beyond that, that is where the similarities end. I have not actually read any whitewolf source in detail and am only passingly familiar with it.