GRAK: a kind, well-intentioned awkward nobody. A sick, delusional, mentally unbalanced foster-kid nobody with weird nerdy hobbies.

A teenager who has slowly, gradually lost his grip on reality and is now ranting, telling people he thinks he might not even really be human. You see, because he has had two childhoods. One that he remembers on Earth but which nobody can really entirely verify actually happened. And the other that surfaces in his dreams. The one that's on a harsh planet tidally locked to its dying star, with a ring of high-velocity winds at the twilight boundary between perpetual blindingly hot desert light on one half and endless darkness on the other.

You might suspect he's insane. He's wondered that himself - that is, he did until a shadowy figure injected him with something, and his body started changing in painful ways and his skin began molting off... now he's coming to terms with NOT being a human, on a planet full of humans.

He's not the only one though. There are thousands of other sleeper agents posing as human, divided into several factions. Most of them still think, at least on some level, that they're humans. A lot of them know better. And almost all of the ones who clearly know what is going on are afraid.

But Grak Drezkehl? He may be a creepy lizard alien. But he thinks those conspiracy theories about lizard aliens secretly running the world are absurd. He's part of a secret society of alien reptiles, and unfortunately, they are keeping their existence secret out of sheer terror. They're hiding and panicking. They have no control of anything at all... and the humans they live among absolutely scare the crap out of them.

But what can you do when your old planet has gone to hell? When it's been turned into a nightmare, and you've fled, only to arrive on a new one in hiding, where the locals are violent xenophobes making the exact same types of societal blunders that ruined your own homeworld? And... you can't do a thing about it?

Sure, they'll say you are Satanist demons drinking blood (you aren't.) They'll say you're a dark conspiracy to rule the world and that you're pushing the 'liberal agenda'. (because apparently caring about nature and long-term sustainability is evil?) And apparently there are gun nuts who want to blow your head off with a shotgun and weirdo furries who want to hit on you while everybody else thinks you look horrifying. Either way, AVOID being seen in your reptilian form!

GRAK is a strange graphic novel thingy. It's going to be released at some point. Maybe?

All my offbeat story ideas seem to take way too long to get finished.

But yeah, this is DEFINITELY inspired by the impulse to critique conspiracy theories and imagine that the shadowy evil figures in them that the Republicans are rallying against might - if they even existed, that is - actually be the good guys.

Because let's face it, given how chaotic our planet is, with wars and arguments, isn't it sometimes appealing to imagine that maybe, just maybe, an international coalition - a democratic one-world govt. organization - really SHOULD be built, to solve intractable environmental problems and prevent nuclear wars from being an existential risk factor? That maybe the geopolitical order we have really does need to be overthrown in favor of a unified one that distributes resources across the world more fairly and doesn't waste them on military deterrents? That maybe the Great Reset needs to happen and our unsustainable economics need to shift to a plan for flat growth or degrowth to make it viable longer-term? Wouldn't it be fantastic if some of this grand planning to solve world structural problems were actually happening, and not just a wonky pipe dream of govt. orgs like the Trilateral Commission which is often identified as 'evil people running the world in secret' when really it is a pretty public and open think tank that actually exists and generally has pretty good ideas like 'Don't invade Iraq' that get ignored 90% of the time by the people in charge.

I love turning the cartoonish villains into heroes and suggesting that the actual villainy is mostly... on the side of the Qanon-type, anti-vaxxer conspiracy theorists who believe stupid fearmongering crap posted on YouTube but not intelligent people who actually studied the subjects involved thoroughly.

I find it funny to imagine the 'scary' reptilians as a bunch of scared, boring but basically nice policy nerds who can't agree on specifics and can't get anything done, and are pretty much powerless and ineffectual and keep getting beat up and outmaneuvered by very boldly confidently-wrong idiots.

Basically: idealistic Democrats being frequently curbstomped by Republicans.

I also like playing with the secondary psych aspect of this. The sort of experience of being a dorky alien in a society of morons that terrify you, and that you don't quite understand how to deal with.

Very much drawn from my experience as an autistic kid back in middle school, dealing with people who are dumb, mean, and total bullies. A lot of the alien stuff very much comes from that 'outsider' feeling and the deep awareness that you are not normal and not acceptable, and how you try to deal with that.
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