Every now and then, a really unique story slides into the main stream. With a solid concept and killer art, these tales should garner much more mainstream attention than they actually do. Many of these stories barely break into a semi-public eye and just kind of fade into the ether. But after hearing about Justin “Coro” Kaufman’s new graphic novel, Transient, I hope this isn’t one of those stories.
What if the fellow who stands on the street corner ranting about the end of the world knows something we don’t? What if the invisible figures he speaks with are real, and impart to him the wisdom necessary to save the world? What would the hero’s journey look like from the perspective of a street-living protagonist? This is the premise of Justin “Coro” Kaufman’s first fully illustrated novel Transient.
Transient is a black comedy about a homeless man whose visions lead him to believe he is an inter-dimensional savior of humanity on a mission to save the universe. Is he indeed the “one,” chosen by mystical divine forces to embark on a crusade against ultimate evil, or just a hopeless lunatic, aimlessly wandering the streets of San Francisco?
“Transient is a spoof on the hero’s journey that’s part Men in Black, part Raising Arizona, flavored with liberal portions of Ghostbusters and John Steinbeck,” says Kaufman. “It is a ballad to the City by the Bay, and a heartfelt tale of the sacrifices one man will take for the love for his family, friends and all of humankind.”
“It’s clear Coro has created something really special. Unlike other popular entertainment that is cheaply produced and quickly written, Coro’s methodic work displays all the discipline of a modern master storyteller.” —Ransom-Notes.net
Coro takes one of the most overlooked aspects of today’s society, the homeless, and makes them a vital tool of our survival. Given the books decription, you can almost imagine Coro’s mindset when he conceived of the story, the small minutia colliding into an overarching narrative based on the incoherent ramblings of a homeless man. A story like that could have been taken in almost any direction, but instead Coro chose to explore the darker recesses of the human psyche in a comedic fashion.
Based on what I’ve seen of Transient, it’s definitely worth checking out. Take a look at the concept art on the book’s official website for some of the strangest character designs you’re bound to see. Not only that, the concept art includes some amazing, fully painted images and a few surreal photographs.