Mad Trapper
Albert Johnson’s death photo

I’ve been hard at work the last couple days trying to get my comic life sorted. Heaps to do, little time to do it.

One of the more exciting projects that I am working on is an adaption on the life of Albert Johnson. I am heavy into the planning stages so I thought I’d just share what I have. Here is a pitch I created that I am working off of, this helps to keep me focused.

Research is very important to any story. Today I will be heading to the old RCMP barrack here in Canmore to get some photos to add to my ever growing collection. Anyways, here is the pitch!

Trapped: The Albert Johnson Story OGN By Sean Tonelli

Summary: The Great Depression. 1931. Northwest Territories, Canada where notorious outlaw Albert Johnson’s tragic life ends in a hail of gunfire as the Royal Canadian Mounted police end their 5 week, blood soaked man hunt across the freezing arctic. Based on the incredible true mystery of The Mad Trapper of Rat River.

Backstory: One of the great Canadian legends, Albert Johnson, the Mad Trapper of Rat River, invoked a 5 week man hunt that captivated a nation. The infamous fur trapper, whose identity remains a mystery to this day, appeared seemingly out of nowhere. A quiet man who rarely spoke, Albert built himself a cabin and settled into what would be his last days. After allegedly poaching his neighbor’s traps, The RCMP approached Albert’s cabin only to be greeted by silence then deafening gunfire.

Over the next 5 weeks and 240km’s of tracking, the nation sat fixated on the mystery of who this man really was. How was he able to survive -40 temperatures armed only with snowshoes and 2 rifles? How was he able to fend off the Mounties with incredible accuracy? But more than that, who was he and where did he come from?

Overview: Albert’s life, even his name, is a mystery. What this GN aims to explore is the man behind the violence. Based on extensive research and a penchant for legends, the book will follow Albert, a WWI veteran’s decent into madness. Suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress and a nation progressing to the point where his old ways leaves him obsolete, Albert finds himself trapped and his life can only end one way.

Themes: Progression vs Tradition, Man vs Nature, Outlaw vs Society.

What I am looking for: An artist who is well versed in landscapes and emotions with a keen eye to historical details. Someone who is excited to learn and become immersed in the tale. Must be able to collaborate with a team and open to reviewing the research compiled for the project.

Who am I: My name is Sean Tonelli, I am a professional writer and letterer. I have written for numerous websites as well as running my own indie comic production company. I will handle the scripting, lettering and production duties. I am looking to collaborate with the artist/partner in bringing this unique and true legend to life.

Credit links:

In closing: I am in the research stage and this project is far off. A rough outline of the story has been drafted, but I saw this opportunity to practice pitching with you kind people so I took it. Feel free to message me if you think you are open to working on this. This is an important project to me and I look to release this book locally within Banff National Park through my contacts.

So... What'd ya think?

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