The Story

ROUT: (noun) ˈrau̇t 

1a state of wild confusion or disorderly retreat

2a disastrous defeat

DARKEST ROUT is an original fantasy thriller graphic novel created by American Pavilion at Cannes Film Festival Award-winning writer/actor Antwone Barnes. Headlining the spectacular, grisly artwork is acclaimed artist and video game director, Kip Henderson. Assisting with the majority of this kickstarter's sample panel pages is Orange-based freelance artist, Omar Montoya.

It's a suspense-driven, dark journey through a mystical world beyond the veil of our realm. Beneath its fanciful demonic conflicts, the story explores themes such as loss, courage, and finding our way to the light.

  • Nate

    18 years old, an eager and meek struggling fine artist with a sensitive and cerebral disposition. Nate attempts to find his purpose in the world as he works through the traumatic loss of the one person who inspired him to be his best, his wise older brother and sole family, Jonathan. Now orphaned, He wrestles with the the ever-growing responsibilities of adulthood, the existential plight of his miserable existence, and eventually, his fear of failure as he uses his new found supernatural abilities to unravel the mysterious threat of demonic activity.

  • Artewin

    MID-LATE 30’s, a charismatic, pompous fallen angel who spends his days as an “Exorcist-For-Hire”. His banishment to earth for wrongfully taking justice into his own hands has left him as a lonesome and bitter wanderer, bound to the mortality of a mere man. Although being a lone-wolf, his knowledge of spiritual matters, bizarre methods of exorcism, and knack for witty banter renders him a one-man army to his unfortunate demonic foes. His selfish desire of self-preservation is challenged when granted a rare opportunity by a wise deity to restore his angelic honor by assisting Nate.

  • Ledesi

    EARLY-MID 30’s, a fiery occultist and purveyor of the balance between the spiritual and physical realms. As a leading expert in all things spiritual, she takes pride in her duty as a highly respected point of knowledge & resource, along with all the hard work it took to achieve it. Beneath her spunky demeanor, she’s soft-hearted, kind, and willing to go to outstanding lengths to help those she cares for. Along her journey to assist Nate and combat the foreboding danger of the region, she is faced with obstacles that force her to revisit an unpleasant past.

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Who will love Darkest Rout?

  • Fans of Stranger Things, Harry Potter, Constantine, Blade, Howl’s Moving Castle, Star Wars, The Witcher, and other fantasy worlds filled with unique creatures.
  • Fans of comics like Hellblazer, Hellboy, Locke & Key, The Magic Order.

Why This Story?

"In 2010, my dad tragically lost his life. I remember feeling hopeless and purposeless and without a reason to go on. In the midst of that pain I was comforted by the support of my family. Years past and I eventually healed... in some ways. Sadly, in 2019 one of my older brothers also tragically lost his life. I remember feeling helpless all over again, though family was there, I was somehow alone in my grief. It was from this place that this dark, yet magical story was eventually born; a story aimed to highlight themes of grief and the trauma left in the wake of loss, along with finding your way through believing in oneself, all of which even through the darkest rout(e)."

Antwone Barnes- Creator/Writer