Apparently Chad Michael Murray is trying to shake off the role of Lucas Scott by reinventing himself as a writer. He penned a cheesy 1940s episode of One Tree Hill in 2008 — and now he’s branched out into comic books. His official website added a page for Everlast, the supernatural graphic novel he’s been working on for nearly a decade. On the page is a special message to the fans:
For the last eight years I’ve loved and grown with this story. It came to me after meeting a man who showed up on my doorstep in Wilmington, NC. Here is a sneak peak at some panels from the graphic novel coming later this year. I really hope you enjoy it.
That’s right — when he wasn’t getting a quickie marriage to co-star Sophia Bush (and then extra Kenzie Dalton), Chad was hanging out with hobos on the OTH set and brainstorming an apocalyptic story. According to the description on Amazon, his hero Derek Everlast is that guy you see standing on the street shouting us going to hell in a handbasket. Turns out that the world actually is ending, and only Everlast can help people get to a safe place called Haven.
Although the graphic novel doesn’t come out til January, Chad posted a short story called “Phoenix” to his site. Here’s an excerpt:
Everlast turned and readied himself for action as another shriek echoed off the towering buildings. Henry’s eyes went wide as the sound got closer, looking back and forth at the other pedestrians, none of whom seemed to notice anything unusual. Everlast slowly bent down and grabbed a fist full of dirt from the base of the young honey locust tree planted along the side walk.
Suddenly, the approaching creature broke around a skyscraper — a massive gargoyle bird with razor sharp, stone talons and a scythe-like beak full of polished, black teeth. “Scavi,” growled Everlast.
Seeing them, the scavi dove straight down, shrieking its battle cry. Its stone wings cut through the humid morning air, hurtling it over the heads of oblivious pedestrians. Everlast shifted his feet as it dove closer, closer. Henry threw out his arms, but he couldn’t look away. At the last moment, when the monster was so close they could see the sharp orange sunlight glinting off its cold, stone eyes, it shrieked, and Everlast threw his handful of soil into its open mouth.
The scavi’s scream was cut short and in a flash its stone body crumbled into soil. Everlast threw his trenchcoat over himself and Henry as the creature exploded into a burst of gravel and dust all around them.
The strangest part is that this doesn’t seem like Chad’s style at all. We kind of assumed that if he were to become a writer, his debut novel would be as pretentious as Lucas’ A Kindness of Ravens, a rumination on young love and grief. Fantasy is not what we were expecting from him.
With the story, he runs into the same problem a lot of fantasy writers have: Trying to explain the world while still having a functional plot. There might be a tad too much exposition crammed into six pages (with lovely illustrations, we might add), and the theme verges on moralistic. Still, with a full-length book he might be able to relax and spread out those revelations and character development.