Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Introducing PROJECT 45!


For the past few years, I've been chipping away at my own story, Project 45, in-between the plethora of logo designs, books and multimedia commissions that usually occupy my time. Now, I finally get to present it to the world!

Project 45 is a science fiction space adventure following a misfit team consisting of Beatrix, Aestas and Taura. They attend an all-girl military school in space called Tidereus Academy, which is built into a large asteroid.

The school teaches intergalactic diplomacy, which assigns small groups of students, called Projects, on missions to deal with conflicts. Project 45 is the worst and oldest group at their school, having been kept back so many times due to their rebellious and often violent way of dealing with their missions. 

With Project 45 struggling to graduate, they face their biggest challenge yet... their first mission with the team's newest member, Carmen.

Carmen is the main character and newest member of Project 45 and the first human to be accepted into Tidereus Academy. As a transfer student who is eager to prove herself, she tries desperately to fit in with the team by using her humor and remains optimistic that she will eventually win their trust. Carmen has limited telepathic powers but her greatest asset to the team is as a gifted sharpshooter. Carmen is also the team’s historian; particularly enjoying Earth history from the 1980’s and always listening to 80’s rock/pop- calling it “classical music.”

Beatrix is the leader of Project 45 and a member of the feared Danaki clan, an alien race with a dark, uncontrollable power. She is a powerful mage specializing in black magic; able to control the elemental energies of fire, water, lightning, etc. but also has limited healing abilities. Although she is stern and can seem downright cold at times, she is also quite motherly and respected by the other team members.

Aestas is the calm, refined, intellectual peacekeeper of Project 45. She is unique in being the only member who is mute, preferring to speak only through mental telepathy. Her telepathic abilities make her the communications specialist and she doubles as the team’s science analyst. Aestas also has the unusual power of being able to manipulate whatever matter she touches for a limited amount of time, called haptokinesis.

Taura is rebellious, hotheaded and ill-tempered. The other members typically dismiss her erratic behaviors, as her loyalty to Project 45 supersedes her bad attitude. She suffers from fits of violence due to a traumatic childhood on her war-torn planet. Taura is the team’s mechanical genius and prefers to sit alone, making upgrades to her weaponized cybernetic arm. These upgrades and penchant for bloodshed, make her the fiercest member of Project 45!

In my store I’m offering a downloadable digital preview of Project 45, along with some other goodies, for FREE! So please, check out my store to download the Project 45 #1 Preview Package and use the coupon code: 2PGZRRD1S8KM during check out. Enjoy!

PROJECT 45 © Kaland Mebane and Enigma Resolve, LLC. All rights reserved. No portion of this publication may be reproduced, in any form or by any means, without the express written permission of the copyright holders. Names, characters, places, and incidents featured in this publication are either the product of the creator’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons (living or dead), events, institutions, or locales, without satiric intent, is coincidental. Project 45, Enigma Resolve and the Enigma Resolve logo are trademarks of Enigma Resolve, LLC. All rights reserved.

Is Invisible Touch secretly a Prog concept album?

It’s time for a more musical post now, as that is also the other side of my persona, being a once and sometimes professional drummer. One of my favorite albums since I was a kid in the '80s was Genesis' Invisible Touch.
By this time, in 1986, Genesis had become geniuses at hiding dark and complex progressive rock inside of accessible pop clothing. 'Turn It On Again' had a complex 13/8 time signature. 'Keep It Dark' was about an alien abduction. Their classic radio hit 'Mama' was about a man who fell in love with a prostitute. Invisible Touch also had such mature themes hidden within.
My theory is that the album Invisible Touch is secretly a progressive pop concept album about a sexually repressed character in a world at the brink of nuclear war. In the Reagan Era '80s, the Cold War was at its peak against the Russians, so such thematic integration in their music wouldn’t be far fetched.
Now I originally came up with this theory a few years back while making a lengthy drive across the United States, so maybe boredom is to blame. I’m not sure if this theory is original or confirmed but I do welcome respectful discussion. So without further delay, let’s jump right into the story!
Invisible Touch - Our story begins with the main character professing his rather unhealthy love for another. This woman obviously doesn't return such affection, for reasons we discover later in the story.
Tonight Tonight Tonight - This song exposes a huge flaw of the main character. He is a drug addict as evidenced by the lyrics of "coming down like a monkey." This is British slang for coming down off of a drug high. Monkey itself is British slang for a dope fiend. The character uses drugs for escapism from the stresses of his life and may also explain his unhealthy love interest.
Land Of Confusion - In this song, we are given a look into the setting of the story. It's a protest song, as the world's citizens are at odds with their leaders as tensions mount towards nuclear war. The world's super powers are competing for technological superiority and natural resources at the cost of destroying both.
In Too Deep - The main character, down from his high, becomes introspective about his troubles as an addict, the reality he is trying to escape as the world around him heads towards war and the obsession with the woman of his infatuations.
Anything She Does - Here we learn that the woman the main character is obsessed with is a pornographic pin-up model. This explains why there is no return of his affections, despite his emotional attachment to her. His drug addiction further distorts his emotions.
Domino - Disaster strikes. The surreal eeriness of reality hits the main character as nuclear bombs fall and everything he knows is wiped away. It's a domino effect as the political leaders have now affected the lives of people not involved in their skirmishes. The last domino falls.
Throwing It All Away - Fatally injured and having lost it all, our main character realizes that it's time to let go. He makes his peace with his love and life regrets.
The Brazilian  - The main character slips away, making his transcendental, cosmic journey into the afterlife.

So am I going crazy or am I on to something? If you listen to the album again with this story in mind, it’ll all make a creepy kind of sense. Now, I do understand that all of this may be some huge fabrication in my mind, but to me, that’s the making of good art. The interpretation. True art isn’t all about lines, notes and technique. It’s about the space in between where the imagination lives.
Anyways, thanks for listening to me ramble about one of my favorite albums. It’s been fun. 

Side note:
There were three songs that got cut from the album: Feeding The Fire, I’d Rather Be You and Do The Neurotic. As far as I know, there's no info as to where they would go in the song order on the album, so I can't comment on how they would fit in the narrative.

Monday, May 11, 2020

What a wild ride!

Yes, I admit it. Over the past two years, I’ve neglected this site. It was a rough journey. I went through a very emotional breakup, relocation to the other side of the country and tons of other stress. In the mist of it, I had a tongue-in-cheek but informative article on this site go viral, which should have been a good thing, but instead brought me in contact with some very humorless and toxic people who seemed to be unhappy with the direction of their careers and wanted to take out their frustrations on me. 

Well, enough was enough. I suffered a social media burnout. It was time to retreat to what was most important to me- the art. As an artist, I‘m more of an introvert anyways. We slave over our work, often by ourselves, in deep concentration for most of our lives. I have a fear of crowds and large spaces and tend to be most comfortable by myself. Occasionally, I’ll come out from under my rock, as if to prove to the world, and perhaps myself, that I’m not a hermit.

No more of that bullshit. No more proving shit to anyone. No more neglecting this site. No more allowing myself to be over-stimulated by social media or its numerous trolls. 

This year was a turning point. In June 2019, I fired my boss and decided to focus on my own company, one that I’ve incorporated nearly 20 years ago and I haven’t looked back since. My new focus was on commercial art; freelancing as a logo designer and art consultant. The results have been tremendous. I’ve since rebuilt a sizable and respected client base, which brought me to the conclusion that I’ve only been holding myself back all of these years by working for others and not believing in myself. I wish that everyone could experience the newfound freedom that I’ve discovered. However, I understand that not everyone is in the position to quit his or her job and make a leap of self-trust. 

Now with the challenges of the Covid-19 virus, it has help me regain my focus. I realized that my talents aren't really for me at all. Most of my life I've used what I'm good at, in art and music, to try to bring other's dreams to fruition, bring them happiness or escape from the stresses of life. I'm now able to see the impact that my work has on others. I feel like during these times, this is more necessary than ever. That is why I choose to continue to move forward.

Thursday, April 30, 2020

FREE COMIC! Store opening!

What a year so far…

COVID-19: a mysterious new virus that attacks the respiratory system has ravaged the planet. The economy has all but shut down as people now adhere to house arrest-like quarantine. The citizens of the world try to balance between maintaining normalcy and social distance. The worldwide death toll is currently in the hundreds of thousands, specifically 217,132, with millions having contracted the virus.


It sounds like a science fiction movie but the fact that this is reality is terrifying to most of us. Alternatively, on the other side of that fence is…the boredom. Oh my god, the boredom.Times like this, we are reminded that half the world are extroverts who rely more on interaction over introspection, but I digress.

Realistically, during these times, people need productive outlets. People need those positive distractions – the entertainment, the mental escape – to calm their emotions. I'm an artist who tries to offer this type of entertainment, which is why I’ve decided to open my store.


In my store, I’m offering two new products. The first is a limited edition lithograph to celebrate the debut of my new comic, Project 45. An autographed version is also offered. The second is a downloadable digital preview of Project 45, along with some other goodies. Due to COVID-19 quarantine boredom, I’m offering it for FREE!


So please, check out my store to download the Project 45 #1 Preview Package and use the coupon code: 2PGZRRD1S8KM during check out. Enjoy and be safe and healthy.