There were some strange doings Sunday afternoon at a house off Harrodsburg Road.
If you passed by, you might have noticed three young women who looked as if they'd just been through a life-and-death fight, with the dark forces of evil lurking somewhere in the background.
That's just what Jason Stevens of Lexington wanted to convey.
The young women were models, and the strange doings were a photo shoot for the cover of Aurora Rose, a new digital comic book written by Stevens.
Never miss a local story.
It's the first book by Stevens, who makes his living as a producer at WLEX-TV. He has had a lifelong interest in comic books and has aspirations to become a writer.
Aurora Rose will have its debut in October at the New York Comic Con, an annual pop-culture convention in New York City that features the latest in comic books, graphic novels, video games and similar creations.
Stevens describes Aurora Rose as the story of "a teenage girl born to protect the world at $10 per hour."
"I've been working on it for a couple of years, and now it's finally about to happen," he said. "It's pretty exciting."
The creation of Aurora Rose began more than a decade ago, when Stevens left Kentucky to study at the prestigious American Film Institute in Los Angeles.
Stevens and his wife, Tori, moved to L.A., planning that she would get a job to support them while he studied at the institute. Unfortunately, they found that they couldn't survive financially, and they came back home to Kentucky.
It turned out, however, that Stevens had a friend from Kentucky, William Wilson, who had started a comic book company in L.A. called Arch Enemy Entertainment. The two stayed in touch.
"He'd always been encouraging me to write a book that he and I would publish together," Stevens said. "About three years ago, I came up with an idea and pitched to Will. He loved it, and Aurora Rose was born."
According to Stevens, Aurora Rose is a teen-age baby sitter whose lot in life is to protect her young charges from evil. The character was inspired by the 1970s horror movie Halloween, directed by John Carpenter, who studied at Western Kentucky University, Stevens said. In the film, a baby sitter fights off a knife-wielding homicidal maniac.
"I liked the movie's premise of this young baby sitter fighting this unstoppable force of evil," Stevens said. "And one day it just popped into my head: Why don't we do a comic book based on a baby sitter who fights evil? Her natural inclination is to protect children."
Stevens wrote the Aurora Rose manuscript in his spare time while holding down his job as a TV news producer.
Photographs from Sunday's shoot on Harrodsburg Road will be used for the cover of the digital comic. Taylor Bills, a Tennessee-based artist, is doing the drawings for the comic.
During Sunday's shoot, Aurora Rose was portrayed by Stevens' sister, Alexis Stevens, who has been accepted as a model in next year's America's Next Top Model on The CW Network.
The digital comic will be published by Panelfly, a pioneer in digital comics. Aurora Rose will exist only in digital form; there will be no paper book.
To buy a copy, readers will download a Panelfly app from the iTunes Web site and select Aurora Rose from Panelfly's library of comics. The cost of the book hasn't been set yet, Stevens said.
"I'd be lying if I said I wasn't a little nervous," he said. "You always want a positive reaction, but I know that everyone's not going to like the book. You just have to kind of walk that plank and see what happens."
Stevens has been working on a couple of other books that will come out soon. He's also hoping that readers will like Aurora Rose so much that they'll want more of her adventures. But he knows the comic-book business is tough.
"I have high hopes but no expectations," he said. "Right now I'm having a blast doing it, and letting the cards fall where they may."