This year’s New York Comic Con had many treats in store for fans, including those searching for the next big sci-fi film. The popular comic book series “The Amory Wars” is getting the Hollywood treatment, courtesy of Mark Wahlberg and Leverage, the production company behind “Boardwalk Empire” and “Entourage.”
“The Amory Wars” is the sci-fi epic dream child of Claudio Sanchez, owner of Evil Ink Comics and the front man for the post-hardcore band Coheed and Cambria. Sanchez was on hand at NY Comic Con to sign the hardcover book “The Amory Wars: In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth 3″ — which contains all 12 issues of the popular comic series — and to sign the band’s new CD, which happens to be a prequel to the comic book story.
“The Amory Wars is the artwork for the music Coheed and Cambria, the band, released and it’s essentially the first five records. It’s basically their story,” says Sanchez about how his music and comic series build off each other and create one gripping sci-fi story.
For those of you who aren’t familiar with his band Coheed and Cambria, they are a progressive, hardcore, punk metal band whose concept albums tell the science fiction story of characters Coheed Kilgannon and Cambria Kilgannon’s fight against a tyrannical ruler named Wilhelm Ryan. Essentially, each studio album tells a chapter of the comic book series.
“The Afterman: Ascension” is actually the origin tale of Sirus Amory, the name sake of the mythology, Sanchez says.
“The Amory Wars” is set in Heaven’s Fence, a gathering of 78 planets held together by interconnecting beams of energy. As the story evolves Coheed and Cambria’s son Claudio assumes responsibility as the savior of Heaven’s Fence.
“I started this concept when I was 18 years-old [and] I found that as a song writer I had a hard time confessing myself in lyrics, but I did want that release,” says Sanchez. But letting people know his personal experiences proved difficult, so he created elaborate stories around the music. “That way I can kind of pose it as something else. The concept is essentially a curtain that I could hide behind,” says Sanchez.
The characters in the story all draw their personalities from Sanchez’s family, friends and even himself. “Coheed and Cambria are loosely based after my parents. Some of the [others] are based on real people I know or parts of people I know, “says Sanchez, adding, ” Some of the things that [Claudio] goes through are very science fiction-based and very fantasy heavy that sort of mimic some of the things I’ve experience in life.”
For Sanchez, whose father is Puerto Rican and mother is Italian, family shaped him while growing up in Nyack, NY.
“My family is very much the living version of the West Side Story, without the singing. I’ll take an alcapurria and stuff it into lasagna,” he says. Sanchez remembers speaking Spanish as a kid. Now he admits he can no longer speak Spanish, but he still understands it. “Although I was into rock music, I grew up listening to all kinds of music including Latin and there are elements of that in our music and in ‘Afterman’ our new CD.” According to Sanchez you can hear those Latin elements in the song Evagria.
Next up for a Coheed and Cambria, the release of “The Afterman: Descension” in February 2013. As for Sanchez’s comic career, he’s currently working on creating a superhero book, saying, “I just have a love for creating these odd things; it’s just a release for me.”
Eneida I. DelValle has worked in all areas of media from radio, television and print, traveling across the United States and Puerto Rico covering both the Latino and non-Latino communities. She previously worked at PBS owned Spanish Language station V-me and Peacock Productions a division of NBC News. A self-professed news junkie, book-worm, art and music lover, you can frequently find her at a rock or salsa concert and photographing the streets of New York.