Weirdwood

Chapter 1

Bump!

Oliver’s eyes snapped open. He let out a yelp as he fell from the air and bounced back onto the plush, blue leather seat beneath him. He blinked groggily, and looked around as the car jostled and bucked its way down an old forest road. He breathed out slowly, and tried to let his shoulders relax. He must have dozed off again. He shivered involuntarily as he remembered the dark creatures that had plagued his brief and restless sleep.

Another nightmare. Why couldn’t he ever have a normal dream like a normal kid? He snorted, then shook his head. ‘Normal’ — as if. He peered out the window to see ferns and moss and ancient-looking trees roll by. He smiled. They must be getting close. This was definitely the kind of place that a person like Arthur Weirdwood would want to live. It looked like something straight out of a novel — with elves and orcs and… dragons! Oliver pushed that thought away, instead busying his mind with the excitement of what was to come!

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10

Weirdwoods, Maine

This place is straight out of a young skateboarder’s dreams. Weirdwood Skateboards’ headquarters in Maine is hands down the most impressive backyard skate haven that I’ve ever witnessed.

This was a camping trip for me. I took the long ride up from New York City on a Friday night, and arrived at Wierdwood in the middle of the night. By the time I had set up my tent (in the dark—rookie mistake) everyone was ready to sleep, so I didn’t do any skating.

The next morning everyone woke up ready to skate. It’s hard to feel any other way when you wake up five feet from an amazing halfpipe, so by 8am there was a ripping session going on. As the day continued and the temperature rose and fell, various crews of amazing skaters came and went. Some of them ranked among the best skaters I’ve seen on these trips, and it’s inspiring to see a true grassroots scene cultivating such talent.

There are three major areas here—the snake run, the pool, and the halfpipe. All three are homemade and show a creative touch from their owner.

The first item, and in a lot of ways the most impressive, is the snake run. This is a tight-walled concrete snake run that wraps around the front of the owner’s house, with various brick and pool block coping sections. Transitions vary from small and quirky to around six feet tall and mellower, and getting lines in here is a little challenging.

The next obstacle is the pool, which is a shallow kidney bowl. It only varies from around two feet to five feet deep, with rough pool coping all around. The cherry on top? This is also a functioning swimming pool for part of the year, complete with a water slide.

Finally, the terrain is rounded out with a big mini ramp—around seven feet tall with mellow transition and big pipe coping. The halfpipe is really fast and friendly for trying new tricks, which is a welcome change of pace from the relatively harsh concrete obstacles. This ramp is also in the camping area, with a big fire pit and gorgeous woods as a backdrop.

I spent the whole day skating as hard as I could for a few hours, then paying dearly in soreness and dehydration, and repeating that cycle until dark. Luckily, everyone I was traveling with felt the same way, and skating eventually gave way to a bonfire.

I woke up the second morning to the sound of power drills—the ¾ pipe was getting its top layer. I spent the morning relaxing and trying to get my highest slide on the over-vert, which was the perfect way to finish off an already unreal trip.

Weirdwood headquarters is inspiring and refreshing. I usually only make it up this far once a year or so, and I’m already looking forward to next year’s trip.

Chapter 3

The enormous front doors groaned as they swung open to reveal the manor’s main entryway. Oliver stepped inside. And then he stopped. And he stared.

He had heard stories about Weirdwood Manor — about its grandeur, its curious architecture, and its sheer immensity — but nothing could have prepared him for this!

Oliver heard a delighted squeal, as a thin, bookish woman in a bright floral dress swept him up in a tight hug that smelled of cinnamon and oranges. He hadn’t had much experience in hugs; certainly the stiff-armed goodnights from his previous foster parents hadn’t counted. But this hug was close and warm. It made him uncomfortable. He blushed, not sure if he should hug her back or squirm away.

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Surprise! The Cover for WeirdWoods’ first chapter! A goody for you guys who’ve been so supportive and patient with me!

It most certainly is a dream sequence. What better way to start a comic about horrible people and zombies than with fire and seafoam ooze?

Coming February 15th 2014!

The pages will be black and white, and I’ll have Website link as soon as I find an appropriate place to post so stay tuned friends!

Chapter 2

“I trust you had a pleasant journey,” said a deep, metallic voice.

Oliver squinted up at the imposing figure looming over him. He was tall, well-dressed and built completely of metal! One mechanical eyebrow whirred up. Oliver realized he was staring and stammered a reply.

“Uh, yes. It was… fine?” He forced a watery smile.

“Very good, sir.” said the metal man in a clipped, disinterested manner. “If you require anything, my name is Tinsworth. I am Master Weirdwood’s butler, and your servant for the duration of your stay. May I take your bags?”

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Everyone’s killing it out here in Maine. We’ll post some bowl footage later tonight #skate #nyskateboarding #thrashermag #weirdwood #SKATERRIP2015 #skateeverydamnday #skateboarding

Chapter 4

They soon arrived at what appeared to be a sort of reading nook. Plush sofas and lavish chairs were arranged in a cozy semi-circle beside the towering bookshelves. A boy and a girl both stood up as they approached.

The boy had thick glasses and a funky brown bowler hat. He gave Oliver a big excited grin as they drew near. The girl was pretty. Very pretty. She smiled politely and nodded at Oliver. He smiled back, then looked quickly away. He felt his cheeks starting to go red and got really annoyed with himself. He hoped she hadn’t noticed.  

“Master Oliver Gryffon” announced Tinsworth, “I’d like you to meet Master Eugene Donalds and Miss Celia Mei.” He bowed slightly as the children said their hellos.

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Love this place! #oobskatepark #weirdwood #lbsarmy #skateboarding

Chapter 5

Everyone turned to look at the tall, slender man descending the grand stairway. With a smile, Arthur Weirdwood raised his right hand in welcome and spoke in a strong voice that resounded through the hall.

     "Three talents forged in flame.
          Behold them now! The prize they claim

     For what appeared to be a game
          But was — in truth — a means to tame

     The gift and curse of Fae-born flame.“

Oliver felt a chill go down his spine as the last "flame” echoed throughout the hall. There was something about those words…

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