Given the amount of time it’s been since Azrael: Silent Night, my last special, I wanted to write an update today to talk about what’s been going on and where Azrael is headed next.
In short, I’ve spent a lot of time in my absence taking a step back and trying to reconcile my ideas about how to approach the next steps.
Anyone who knows me personally knows that Azrael is one of the most important things in the world to me. By no means at all has this break been born from a lack of desire to produce new content.
While some of the time I’ve needed to take since Silent Night has been related to personal matters like my education, during my absence, I’ve been laying the groundwork for countless new adventures that will push the Angel of Death to his absolute limit.
This process included some very difficult decisions about how to continue doing what I love through this series.
Azrael has been an intensely personal creative outlet that’s been very important to me ever since I was a teenager. When I was younger, I set down the cornerstones of the entire Azrael universe. I chose the things I wanted out of it with purpose and intent.
While many of those things are still very much the same, they’ve evolved to become even deeper and more meaningful emotional journeys for the characters, and the universe itself has expanded and evolved beyond my control, taking on a very life of its own.
When I set out on all of this, season one was very much an afterthought of the Azrael universe. My idea was to write the season, then move on to a different format, with any future seasons being of little importance, serving as a sort of extra material to poke around the finer points of the Azrael universe.
As I continued writing season one, I fell in love with stories like Couture, with characters like Zarra and Vivian Malveaux. I considered what the episodic format was capable of, and it spun out of control into something huge and beautiful.
The problem was that this desire for a different creative direction didn’t fit the frame I’d laid out when I started writing the Azrael story. These new ideas are big. Too big for the foundation I’d built.
So I had to restart. Season one had altered the landscape of what I wanted out of Azrael, and while these original cornerstone ideas were still pieces of that, their shape changed drastically.
In short, my time off was spent struggling with the decisions of how to reshape the project that’s defined my life for so many years, a challenge that wasn’t without hardship.
At the end of this ordeal, however, I came out with a clearer vision for the reaper’s tale than ever before. I’m confident now in the next steps Azrael will take and how it will continue to evolve as a story.
What these next steps are, and the final reason it’s been this long, are what I’d like to discuss next.
Currently, I’m sitting in front of an only partially completed manuscript that has already surpassed the length of Silent Night, the longest Azrael episode ever. This episode will be the next Azrael special.
And special it certainly is.
This project is hands-down the biggest Azrael project to date, not purely because of its length, but because I’m shedding my blood, sweat, and tears to make this the best project I’ve ever taken on. This episode is more character-driven, more intense, more raw and powerful than ever before, and it employs not only dramatic writing, but an integration of high-quality execution of many of my other skills and passions. Not only is this the longest special, but the format through which I’m executing it will make it differ from all the other episodes.
Needless to say, producing something this big, this new, and this different has proven a very complicated task. It’s taken an inordinate amount of time and effort on my part, and I want nothing more than to make sure it absolutely shines.
While I can’t provide any further details or an approximate release date yet, I’m proud to say that a formal announcement will come very soon, after which I’ll be able to speak about the project a lot more freely.
This project is the first rock upon which I will build Azrael‘s church. In some ways, it will be experimental. The new concepts I use in this chapter could change the way I approach Azrael in the future.
In another way, this project will be the final step up to the first cornerstone I ever laid out for Azrael. Azrael has a singular project I’ve been anticipating since before season one ever began, and the upcoming special will be the final key to unlocking this new endeavor.
To say I’m excited for this next piece of the Azrael puzzle would be a gross understatement. Azrael has been my undying passion for years of my life, and I’m overjoyed to be leading it this direction on the road to its vast, beautiful future.
I can’t wait to share this new work with all of you.
Thank you all so much for reading, for your patience in my process, and for sharing my dream with me all this time. You, and all of this, mean the world to me.
– J. M. K. Delnay