Friday, May 4, 2012

After the Oil-Sands

Well, after four long years in Calgary, it's time for me to bid the province adieu, at lease for a while.

But in the memory of all the great times me and Alberta had together, I put together this project - a series of illustrations exploring what the province might look like after the tar sands are all wrung out and the local government and economy collapse. I was greatly inspired by the early years of the post-soviet countries, where pre-existing criminal groups (some already in positions of power, some not) moved in to fill the void left by the collapsed governments, presiding over the new post-currency barter economies. With the overall long-running trend of rural flight continuing throughout the Great Plains (both in the US and Canada) and the ever-beckoning concept of turning the uninhabited expanses of the region into a "Buffalo Commons" (turning non-productive former farmland into native grassland complete with buffalo and wildlife) seeming more and more appealing, I'd like to think that the world I'm about to show you isn't that outlandish. 

In this scenario, we enter the scene right as a new "authority" - a nomadic criminal group, fresh from smuggling some goods and guns north through the newly-porous borderlands of the Buffalo Commons - arrive in Southern Alberta, ready to build an empire.  After all, there's a whole country of free-range ranchers and corrupt corporate farming operations that'll need "protection", and neither biker gangs nor the RCMP will cut it anymore.

Pictured: Two of the Brothers Shaw eliminate Hank Wright, a notorious One Percenter of the "Serpents" Motorcycle Club.  
After the Oil Sands - 1
 Pictured: The long arm of the law finds the Shaws at their camp.
After the Oil Sands - 2 

Pictured: But the Shaws are quick to slap it away. After the Oil Sands - 3

Pictured: The new Status Quo.  After the Oil Sands - 4

Of course, this isn't the first material I've produced on the subject of a lawless future west.
Enjoy some short comics HERE and some illustrations HERE and HERE.