In a field that derives the bulk of its drama through deception of the spectator, the escape artist instead stands with us, championing the defiant nature of human effort in the face of overwhelming and uncaring forces. In a world of sly winks and brightly painted boxes, the escapologist represents something altogether darker and more heroic. He spits directly in the eye of authority, of inevitability, of death itself.
Harry Houdini, of course, set this stage for us. The original self-liberator defined and embodied the character of the escapologist, and in doing so captured the imagination of the world so completely that his shadow is still seen throughout popular culture all over the world. In my opinion, few modern performers do such committed and comprehensive justice to the legacy of Houdini as David Merlini, whose pulp-influenced comic book alter-ego I was recently honoured to write.
On the 18th of April, Merlini will be attempting an escape drawn directly from the pages of Master Merlini #1. In character as the renowned crimefighter of the comic, Master Merlini will save both New York City and himself from destruction at the hands of his nemesis, Caligari. After being shackled to a modified WWII-era sea-mine and dropped into the East River via helicopter, Merlini will escape the chains and, as he rises to the surface, defuse the bomb.
This is a genuine first for me - a scene from a comic I've scripted playing out in real life. A character I've written for, and the man who both inspired and portrays him, now face a legitimately life-threatening situation in a scenario that I helped to set in motion.
It's out of my hands. Merlini is in the jaws of Caligari now and only his unparalleled skill and unfailing defiance can save him.
Where: Manhattan Heliport Pier 6, East River
When: APRIL 18, 2013 at 10PM
- Master Merlini Online at www.mastermerlini.com
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Master-Merlini/576738435671570
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/MasterMerlini
- Full length comic strip adventure starring Master Merlini
- Full length accompanying soundtrack
- Exclusive escape artist trick videos
- Animated sequences offering alternate storytelling (selected pages)
- Background feature on escape artist Merlini
- From iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/app/master-merlini/id615910310
- From Google Play for Android: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.rok.comics.mastermerlini001
- Visit Books That ROK at: www.booksthatrok.com