Illustrator Cory Mills determined to ‘Enter Zion’
Jamaica’s animation sector is flegdling but keeps on a determined path because of people like Cory Mills. As the sector develops and is steered towards becoming a functioning, profitable industry, creatives like Mills are playing their part to develop original, unique and relatable content that will set standards and define the island’s distinct aesthetic and storytelling elements. And so Mills is ploughing full-speed ahead with the development of his comic, Enter Zion.
If all goes according to plan, Enter Zion will be further developed into a game. If Mills gets to his ultimate goal, the story will blossom bigger, into an animated series.
“The first chapter is already complete. But you know, I need to create more so that when I’m ready to post, it’s more consistent. Hopefully by the end of this year, I’ll be issuing out different chapters,” Mills told The Gleaner.
Enter Zion is a surrealist adventure story, with alternate dimensions to boot. “It’s about two dimensions – two different worlds. One is the world we know, and then you have another dimension which is like a remix of the world we know,” Mills explained.
Kevon & Imani
Rooted in Jamaican culture, propelled by Rastafarian elements while retaining other African influences, Enter Zion will tell the story of warriors and their fight for freedom. Mills shared some story details, particularly of his two main characters named Kevon Evans and Imani Bailey.
“Kevon is a part of the story where he unlocks powers from a magical plant. This plant gives him powers and introduces him to this new world. Imani is another main character, a warrior. She has been training to be a warrior. And she is someone that helps Kevon go through his transformation,” Mills explained.
Once exposed to this new, ‘remixed’ world, Kevon realises that it is in conflict. “There is one faction that is trying to oppress Rastafarian youth by monopolising cannabis – one of the main power sources in that dimension.” But besides the inter-dimensional intrigue, Mills’ focus is to show people around the world the many elements that make up Jamaican and Rastafari cultures in a ‘fun way’.
As a comic is already in development for Enter Zion, a game will be developed by Gizzada – a local software development company focused on the lives and economy of the Caribbean community. But the finish line is still out of sight. In order to get to the point of animating the story, Mills will still need more hands on deck.
“Because I also want to create an animated series for this project. There is always help needed. It’s just a matter of labour. There are other creatives needed to make things go smoother. I would need more animators, artists, sound designers and developers … I would just need more creatives around me to get things done quicker.”