Thursday, December 9, 2010


Admit it.  Your initial reaction is to think of the cannibal.  You would be wrong though.
It started a long time ago.  I listened to the story of Rome told on a PBS special while I was a small child.  This documentary dealt with the parallels that some point out between our nation and the fortunes of the Roman Republic/Empire.  I was bored with this program.  As I was getting up to turn the knob (This was a LONG Time ago) I was stopped dead in my tracks by a painting of a war elephant. The narrator went on to discuss how the brazen African general Hannibal marched his elephants over snow covered mountains and into the heart of Italy to massacre the Roman Legions.  The story was burned into my mind then and stayed with me.  Through my life as I went on to do other things it was always back there.  In the back of my mind.  One simple phrase. at the gates.   The success of Frank Miller's 300 inspired me to tell this story.  At the risk of being called a copier, I can point to no other person as the guiding force behind my decision to write this story.  I say write this story because as I scoured all the books I could find on  this man and the absolute miracles he accomplished, the voices telling it came from a wide audience.  Garland,  Cottrell, Bickerman, Bradford, Plutarch and Livy all had their own takes on the man and the action he took.  There was a lot told about his character.  There was a lot said about the battles.  But no one knew the man.  All his journals vanished.  Livy was the sole source for any insight into the man himself, as he was closer to the event than anyone else.  But I always felt an affinity for Hannibal that I couldn't explain.  I felt the heat of the Zama plain.  I saw the blood soaked field at Cannae.  I could commiserate with the man more than I could with any other historical figure.  Sent into action by a vow made to his father and eventually forced to fight a losing battle for the very senate that abandoned him.  He was a mixed bag of honor and brilliance and I want to tell his story.  But since a lot of the tale is subjective save the dates and the body count, I decided I would have to apply artistic license where applicable.
The following 13 pages represent my first draft with this story done over 2 years ago.  I had intended this to be a 4 issue miniseries, but have since revised that to make it longer.  There is simply more I want to tell regarding this man.  I did mention Livy as a source and I do use the words he attributes as the basis for my story.  Not sure how the copyright laws affect dead Romans though...

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