For twenty years artist Brian Lau has dedicated himself to an idea. Staunch Ambition is a Sci-Fi graphic novel Brian created in college while working on a class project in which he had to develop an idea for a comic book cover. For inspiration, Brian borrowed a character concept his brother created for a role playing game. Brian explains, “It was a real basic design but I created my own character and developed a story from there. The story is one that has matured quite a bit over the years and it will not let me go.” He talks about his dedication and passion to the project with a hint of exhaustion in his body language.
The story of Staunch Ambition is centered on a space station in our future. It follows Rielle, a supervisor on the ship, and Azarus, a genetic clone who is part human/part animal. Azarus was designed to be a worker on Staunch Ambition but as the story develops Azarus starts to come to consciousness and question his purpose. “Am I human, am I animal”? These questions are explored throughout the novel as Azarus finds himself in a world that is complicated and changing fast. As Brian talks about the concept, you can tell he does not want to reveal too much of what happens in the novel – something he prides himself on – and there are sure to be some surprises along the way.
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Finding people to collaborate with and share his vision has not been an easy task for Brian. In a sad turn of events in his personal life, Brian received an inheritance from his father’s passing. Brian chose to put the money toward chasing his dream and started to put together a team of artists to help bring the story to life. After researching online, Brian started to collaborate with John McNichol, a published writer who found success with a series of novels titled The Young Chesterton Chronicles. While Brian had a concept of the story, he is an artist and not a writer; he knew it would take a professional to tighten up the plot and add quality to the novel. This also helped free up more time for Brian to work on other details that required his attention.
With some momentum behind him now, Brian met artist Tyler Thull in a local art group on Facebook. This young artist’s full paints are impressive and the attention to detail was exactly what the project needed. Thull attended the prestigious College for Creative studies in Detroit and is now working as an artist at Sony computer entertainment, an impressive resume for an artist with a bright future.
Brian has been hard at work finishing the graphic novel and it has been a true collaborative effort. There is a sense of relief starting to overcome Brian as he just released his first preview issue of Staunch Ambition. The beautifully colorful and vibrant physical copy sold out quickly, however, the digital version is still available at the Staunch Ambition website. Brian has promoted his project at Comic Con and many conventions that have featured up and coming comics, and is looking forward to the release of the first full length issue. For more information and current news, please visit the Staunch Ambition Website here: