Legendary as the pits of Tartarus where hellish nightmares became the world of eternal torment was the Necropalace. Here the lord of the Necropalace sat surrounded by screams of the souls he had stolen from those whom had betrayed him, whom had lied to him and those whom had hurt him. Here in the heart of the void, an opening only accessible in the 6th minute of every 11th hour is the Necropalace, a temple built by a man with the powers to stare down death and laugh, marry death and then divorce after 15 years. It is now in 2011 that we are allowed entry due to the death of the Necropalace Lord, Gareth Black. Death, once a mistress, then a wife, then a memory became his final confidant and his pilot to the true abyss.
In the comics work Gareth Black’s work is remember among the other greats, Hergé, Moore, Morrison, Kirby, Mignola and others yet none were able to match his skill of art and writing. While Black’s work may lie forgotten like the great temple of Ozymandias, the King of the Comics stands the only force that preserved the art for the past 80 years. To the average comics fan though, this loss means nothing – the value of the work, the comics themselves turned into ephemera, vaporous memories recorded in only a handful of books.
The Early Days:
Black began his career as a stage magician in 1902 at the young age of 8 where he had thrilled the crowds of London’s lower east end by summoning dread beasts tamed only by his stare – those eyes that would soon burn into pen the dark ideas from his mind.
After a Faustian bargain on his 10th birthday though Black, born Gareth Ballycastle traded his heritage and hair for the ability to cast the greatest spells become immediately bearded and bestowed with the power of prose. Within hours had had won 5 writing championships and was able to live off of the earnings which was important as his former parents were sentenced to Hell.
The only guardian who stayed was his new uncle, Scratch, a highly intelligent flame red tomcat who was granted the ability to speak in a voice like crackling embers. The tom passed away on Gareth’s 18th birthday leaving Gareth with a small fortune of 13 dead mice, 18 birds and 666 pounds in a bank account.
As A Young Master:
5 days later Gareth published his first 200 page comic created in 3 days on in a 72 hour Power Fest wherein he had consumed the milk of a team of succubi and then had himself sequested in a padded cell with only paper and pencils. That first comic, “Krakatoa – The Mountain,” received near unanimous commendation and set forth the path that he followed for the next 10 years.
After the publication of his 5th book 4 weeks later, Gareth met with Death for the first time. The two saw each other as symbiotic beings and in the course of 8 hours, he created the new 20 page book “The Great Gatsby” which was adapted into a full length novel later by F. Scott Fitzgerald who ended up being allowed full credit for the writing.
Join Us Next Monday When We Continue Our Memorial Article On The Life Of This Comic Icon.