GRAPHIC NOVEL: Mayor of Shark City by Matthew Blackwell

For the majority of movie fans, Jaws is a total classic, though the same cannot be said for its sequel (and let’s not even get into the other two).

For me, Jaws 2 is half of a really interesting film. Before it settles into a maritime take on the slasher movie, with teens devoured by a Great White serial killer, the story focuses on a traumatised Chief Brody, still raw from his experience with the previous hungry visitor to Amity Island. When more people start to go missing in the waters of Amity, Brody immediately suspects another shark is responsible. However, despite his heroics in saving the community three years ago, Brody’s superiors are not so convinced. And fair enough, you might say. After all, in the real world, what are the chances? But this is Hollywood, the land of sequels, where anything is possible, so another shark it is. But before we reach that point, the film can almost be read as a psychological horror, where the danger may very well be only in Brody’s mind.

This is the direction I decided to take the story for my comic book ‘remake’ of Jaws 2, The Mayor of Shark City. The great thing about fan fiction is that anything can happen; the story is what you make it. So, in this sequel to Jaws we have Brody suffering from Post-Traumatic Shark Disorder, plagued by bad dreams, and visions of the people he couldn’t save. And I can explore ideas for Jaws 2 that never came to fruition, such as the economic failure of Amity’s tourism in the wake of the 1975 shark attacks, and even go deeper into Quint’s past and his complicated relationship to sharks, the war, and Japan.

In other words, I’ve got a lot of work to do, so I best get back to the drawing board. But until then I hope readers enjoy this first episode, and maybe even get inspired to make their own versions of the stories they love.

Matthew Blackwell

Matthew Blackwell writes copy by day and fiction by night. One makes him money, the other makes him happy. He currently lives in West Sussex.

Twitter@eurogibbon

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