Dead By Thirty is a horror fantasy series by WA-born illustrator Andrei Buters. It follows the partnership of Rubeun Carver and Phoebe Kestler in a world where undead exist and society is forced to call on the aid of the unpopular black-magic using 'Jenseits' to exorcise the undead.
As the story progresses, it becomes apparent that the Monarchy of the world have an interest in Phoebe Kestler's talent as a musician as the music community become drawn into a military research program called 'The Inspiration Project'. The true secrets behind the 'Jenseits', who manipulate and destroy undead, also feature in the story.
Themes and PlotEdit
Dead By Thirty holds both a simultaneous criticism and glorification of religious codes, of ethics, creative control over artistic expression, the role of art in modern societies, generational relations and clashes between outdated modes of living. The characters live in a fantastical world whereby art - especially music - takes upon much more power and prestige than it does in contemporary Australian society.
Carver is a solemn 22-year-old Jenseit who is described by a Monarchy officer as being 'the best in his year'. He is militaristic, driven and direct and acknowledges he has little in the way of social skills. He wears an Indian tikalat on his forehead to mark his acceptance of the inevitability of death and favours black robes with armour, although his partnership with Phoebe makes him wear more contemporary clothes. As a Jenseit, Carver will die at the age of 30, hence the name of the comic.
Phoebe is a bright, rebellious young woman who is a solo singer/songwriter after her boyfriend, James Hess, is assassinated by the undead. She is being commissioned by the Monarchy in the 'Inspiration Project' that she describes as a project that delves into the pseudoscience of effects of music on individuals. She expresses distaste at Carver's pragmatic and bleak outlook on life which leads to many arguments.
Tethlis is a self-described 'infamous psychic detective'. Tethlis wears oriental robes that are Japanese in appearance and has a number of bandages that hide burn wounds from a previous incident, possibly related to pyrokineticism. He favours astral travel via lucid dreaming. Like many comic detectives, he is addicted to nicotine.
Hess is dead by the time the comic first opens, assassinated after a drunken Saturday night by an unknown sniper. Visions and messages suggest that Hess has not remained dead and is in fact, quite sentient following his sudden death. He was Phoebe's boyfriend in life.
Eliza is a Jewellery Design student in her mid twenties who lives in Mount Lawley, Western Australia in 2007. She is the protagonist of the origin story 'Renaissance Days'.
Other characters include Audrey Douneva (a female Jenseit who wields a shrunken head and consistently undermines Carver), Claude Shyler (a young Jenseit who has transferred his soul into a new body), Dal (a tough frontiersman with a love of bloodhounds) and the Royal Family that make up the Monarchy.
Episode 0: Renaissance DaysEdit
26 pages. (currently a work in progress)
Episode 1: The Remains of James HessEdit
Episode 2: Road To RuinEdit
Episode 3: No Need for JenseitEdit
70 pages. (completed in 2010, currently unpublished).