"God made arrakis to test believers." The prophecy that appears in the frontispiece of Dune , the particular Bible, before just a novel, by Frank Herbert, is the same for the Fremen , those inhabitants of the desert infected with life that the enormous ShaiHuluds bring , as for the faithful of science fiction of mystical air, that, already put, for the unconditional ones of one of the oldest legends than of the cinema. From the unborn version of Alejandro Jodorowski with Mick Jagger, Orson Welles and David Carradine seconded by cartoonist Moebius, sculptor HR Giger and the soundtrack of Pink Floyd,to the imminent and highly anticipated production signed by Denis Villeneuve in which Timothée Chalamet, Oscar Isaac or Javier Bardem appear , without forgetting the failed attempt by none other than David Lynch in the 80s, no one has resisted the charm of the most disproportionate and frustrating of the challenges. At this point, it is already clear to everyone that 2020 will be the Dune year or it will not be. Film, comic, series ... And that is so because of the very substance that generates a text that, whether you like it or not, and since its publication in 1965, speaks of us as inhabitants of a universe that suffers more than welcoming us.

Raúl Allén and Patricia Martín not only agree with this last sentence, they are also the first to suffer it. And even enjoy it. Upon them falls the commission to make what will be the world-wide and scripted comic by Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson that will arrive in bookstores on an imprecise date in October (always before the film). The graphic novel, which will feature covers by Bill Sienkiewicz, divides the first book in the series into three (there are six more signed by Frank and eight published by his son). "I have to confess," says Raúl from his study in Valladolid, "that at first we felt overwhelmed. There are too many myths and legends surrounding the text and with a name like Moebius behind it » . Beside him, Patricia agrees and adds one more complication: usions In the book there are hardly any descriptions, and yet everyone, reader or not, has a precise idea. There has been so much talk, the imagination has grown so much that you see yourself in the position of creating something new against everything old ».

At the moment, everything is secret. If only a few images and countless rumors are known from Villeneuve's film (it is said that the making of the giant worms that produce the precious melange , the mesmeric oxygen of the universe, took almost a year to refine the skin's texture, the way of opening the mouth and its prehistoric aspect), of the comic only a few sketches have transcended (below). "Each step of production follows a complicated system of reviews and approvals," the authors declare a duet. Now they are in that final and frantic phase of producing pages with the help of experienced collaborators such as Alex J Brady, Jesús Pastrana, Guillermo Ortego, David Astruga and Borja Pindado . Before, long before, and even being signed by the editor Charlotte Greenbaum, the two artists who have, for example, some of the most brilliant adventures of the last Wonder Woman had to go through a casting. And that is followed by submitting each of the characters to the examination, each of the plans on the page, each color ... «Ours has to keep its distance from the film. Our Paul Atreides , the protagonist and messiah, must not be like Chalamet, much less Kyle MacLachlan (Lynch's) », Allen almost routinely points out. But with everything, and beyond production strategies and dizziness, what matters is something else. What counts, in effect, is the ability of the planet Arrakis (or Dune) to test its believers as the legend says. "I remember," says Patricia now, "that I read the novel two years ago for the first time. And you quickly understand and perceive its importance. It is a way of approaching science fiction almost as if it were a sacred text. The story is as steeped in mysticism as it is in epic. And when speaking of man's relationship with his environment, it is clearly foreboding. It was written in the 60s, but it talks about us ». And there, in the certainty of the poison, in the clarity of the myth, the author leaves it.

If it stands out for something, the work of Raúl and Patricia is their brilliance and dynamism in planning. Few so accurate in getting time into their stories and making the narration live within their own time. For now, the challenge is to bring forward the biggest and most anticipated comic of the year. All a test for believers. Arrakis always demands his tribute.

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