Former Vertigo editor Casey Seijas has a story he wants to tell — a story about Jamaican gangsters, Rastafarian ghost stories and the dark summer of 1978 in Kingston.
In the upcoming graphic novel Duppy ’78, by Seijas and artist Amancay Nahuelpan, a group of Jamaican crime lords are fighting to control ancient and malevolent Rastafarian spirits known as the Duppy. When one of the crime lords is killed over control of these spirits, the Kingston underworld erupts as the remaining players vie for control over the Duppy and the young mystics who are said to be able to control them. Mixing Jamaican history and Rastafarian religious ideas, Duppy ’78 looks to meld two distinct genres into something that could be surprises.
If the word “duppy” sounds familiar, it’s with good reason. In addition to being the name of spirits or ghosts in Carribean folklore, the term has also been used in Neil Gaiman’s 2005 novel Anansi Boys and in the late-’90s video game based on the Valiant comic Shadowman. In addition, Bob Marley once wrote a song called “Duppy Conquerer” based on a conversation he had with Lee “Scratch” Perry. Seijas and Nahuelpan’s Duppy ’78 is set to hit stores in January from Com.X. Here’s the trailer: