Code 45 is a 5-issue graphic novel about Vanessa, a subway driver in Montreal who hears rumors that there are ‘dragons’ in the tunnels, monstrous apparitions that seemingly defy any explanation.
Her co-workers are terrified of working nights because of what they’ve seen, and so a large number of them self-medicate to get through their shifts without giving in to fear and anxiety. Gradually, the hallucinations brought on by their drug use have made it impossible for them to tell fact from fantasy.
Vanessa is transferred to the night shift and falls slowly into both this world and, thanks to her DJ roommate, the underground rave scene. The mysterious apparitions and malevolent monsters may or may not be real, but the blaring ‘CODE 45’ alert signaling another inexplicable encounter certainly is.
Dragons, drugs, and hardcore beats on subterranean dancefloors blend into a parallel reality as Vanessa struggles to uncover the truths buried beneath the city streets and confronts a shocking secret from her family’s own past.
Meet the Team
Artist Joe Ng’s first comics job was drawing Transformers for the Toronto-based company Dreamwave Productions. After that, he was picked up by Udon Entertainment to work on a Transformers / G.I. Joe crossover book published by Devil’s Due Publishing. He is best known for his work on the Udon Street Fighter comics but has also worked on many other video game properties such as Soul Caliber, Dark Stalkers, Nintendo’s ARMS, and Overwatch.
Writer Benjamin Hunting is a full-time freelancer who over the last decade has been published in the New York Daily News, Motor Trend, Super Street, Toronto Star, and National Post, as well as numerous other magazines and online publications. He has also self-published a literary novel. This is his first graphic novel.
Graphic Design / Letterer Angela Hodge started her career as a children’s book illustrator for Cornucopia Books before her foray into graphic design. After a period of paying her dues as a lowly layout artist, she stumbled into 3D modeling and now enjoys a challenging career as a physical product designer.
Colorist Josh Perez has been in the comic industry since 2003, and has worked with a lot of the franchises he’s grew up with as a kid. He has not only done work for comics (IDW, Dreamwave, Fun Publications), but cartoons, toys, and the odd video game or two. He is mostly known for his work on with the Transformers, Street Fighter, and Mega Man licenses.
More about Code 45
‘Code 45’ is aimed at fans of urban fantasy, but it also speaks to the experience of those who have dealt with depression and obsession, and how mental illness is pervasive and all too often ignored by society. It addresses the theme of mental health by questioning the perception of reality, casting aside the notion that each individual shares the same common experience. In this way, it stands apart from other comic book treatments of mental illness by intertwining fantasy, hallucination, and drug use in a way that asks the reader to make their own judgment about the truth of what is presented on the page.
“Using fantasy as a bridge to discussing not just the questions of subjective reality and how we perceive the world around us, but also to broach the topics of depression and mental illness, and how that impacts both individuals and society, is something very personal to me,” says writer Benjamin Hunting.
A behind the scenes look at the making of the book is available at http://benjaminhunting.com/category/comics/