You run into an awful lot of talented people at comic conventions. It’s almost daunting, to be honest. But I’m someone who really gets charged up when I’m around truly creative people. It’s why I enjoy working in webcomics. And it’s why I’m so happy a man named Richard Errington approached me at New York Comic Con earlier this year.

Richard handed me a copy of his book, The Souled, which I promptly disregarded. I’m a comics guy, after all, right? But the more we talked, the more I could hear that familiar creative passion that I appreciate from my favorite comics creators. So I quietly shifted it out of my Trash pile after he left, and I made it a point to peruse when I had the opportunity.

After reading the first few pages, I encouraged Errington to advertise his book to the Evil Inc community. It has an urgency and a quickness of pace that makes it an engaging read, and I have a feeling that many of you would enjoy it. He did, and now I have an opportunity to give you a little deeper look at his work.

Here’s a little official boilerplate from the publisher:

For years, ever since the Great War consumed their former lives, seventeen-year-old Jonathan and his ragtag band of children have been on the run — stalked by the deranged, charismatic Colonel Verrater, whose mission is to conscript young fighters to send to the Front. As the story opens the band of orphans and draft resisters have been cornered in an unused mine.

But fate intervenes when they stumble upon a cache of ancient weapons with demonic powers, relics from a technological culture far beyond any they have known: the Souled. Perhaps the most remarkable of the relics is an airship they dub the Celestial Whale. Now the children have a chance to take control of their own destinies. But to do so, they will have to grapple with the scars of war; the ever-vigilant Colonel; and the soul-consuming properties of their newfound weapons. They must discover the secret of the Souled before they perish . . . or worse.

See? Pretty tight concept… nice fantasy angle… effective, mysterious villain…

But it’s the first chapter that really locks you in. It’s somewhat graphic in its depiction of a shoot-out, so I’m not going to reprint it in this space, but you can read the entire first chapter — for free — here.

And if you like it, you can download it as an eBook in the same place.

Go check it out. I have a feeling you’re going to enjoy it.