Neil Googe has made a career drawing the works of others — from recent fill-in issues on DC Comics’ The Flash and the impressive graphic novel Word of Warcraft: Dark Riders to Wildstorm’s Mr. Majestic and Welcome to Tranquility. But now the Bangkok-based British cartoonist is returning to the world of creator-owned, but not just in comics. For the past few months, he’s been writing on his website about a new transmedia project titled Welcome to the Hood.
Mixing ’90s-era gangster rap with a love for apocalyptic scenarios, Cthulhu and world-building, Googe is looking to create a story and a universe to rival those he’s worked in for the past 15-plus years.
“Welcome to the Hood first came to me way back when I was in to hip hop and fascinated by the entire culture,” he wrote on his website. “The idea was simple, what if Los Angeles gang members were the only people with super powers, what would this mean? The idea was a slightly childish and likely a very stereotyped one, especially at that time as it came from an adolescent combination of my love of hip hop and its media portrayed culture in the 80s to early 90s, and something I’d read years previously. What I’d read had to do with the U.S. government supposedly attempting to develop various chemicals to control ‘undesirable populations’ which they could filter in to targeted neighbourhoods through liquor and grocery stores etc. In my head, this quickly turned in to a case of ‘what if that experiment was true, but had had the complete opposite effect, giving those affected in these undesirable areas amazing powers?'”
This rough idea sat idle for a number of years until, Googe moved to Bangkok and reconnected with his passion for tabletop gaming, and dusted it off as a setting for a game he was presiding over. He’s now devoting much of his time to developing this take his concept to completion. Welcome to the Hood is in beta-testing the game portion with friends in Bangkok, and Googe hopes to release pages from the comic later this summer. He’s looking into crowdfunding scenarios but has yet to make a formal decision.
Whether you’re a gamer or a comics fan, Googe’s Welcome to the Hood looks enticing and this art he’s shown only further the anticipation.