Visitations is a complicated story about the history of a city and a century disguised as a ghost and superhero tale. But before the idea of Visitations came to me, I stumbled across a monument in Chicago's Graceland Cemetery that became one of the stories most intriguing characters.
In 2014 while touring Graceland cemetery, I came across 2 monuments that were more then a little bit different. One was a little girl encased in a glass case. The other was a little boy playing the flute. The girl, who has a legendary ghost story behind her, has been there since the late 19th century. The boy, is far more recent. His monument was erected in 2007 and has a quote from the 1934 song "For All We Know" written by J. Fred Coots and Sam M. Lewis.
When the idea for Visitations came to me, the flute player was one of the first characters conceived. I decided that if his story was to be told, the character needed to have the little girl as a protagonist. Writer Len Strazewski came up with the idea of him dying in the Great Chicago Fire while playing the flute.
The book Gem Of The Prairie ( later retitled "Gangs of Chicago) covered the origins of vice and crime in Chicago going back to the early 1800's. In it is an account of a little girl dying in the fire as a result of criminals fighting over the spoils of looting State Street stores during the confusion of the disaster. The account of her death is exactly as it is portrayed in Visitations issue 3.
I decided to make the girl and boy part of a musical vaudeville family in the style of the 19th century famous American family act " The Four Cohans"
Lastly, the setting of the Levee District as the place the boy haunts came from the idea that no child ever should have been in a den of sin like that. It seemed like the perfect place to tell his story.
The Piper Boy and his sister were seen in the afterlife during Visitations 5. The boy and his mother return in Visitations issue.
Whether or not he survives the first series of Visitations remains to be seen.