When I was looking through my old sketch books for the early HeroMachine designs, I stumbled upon the first comic book concept I worked on as more than a passing fancy. A friend of a friend and I worked through actual story ideas and I came up with a number of conceptual sketches that I remember being fairly proud of at the time. Nothing ever came of those discussions, but I've scanned the drawings in and re-inked them:
The Dagons were the bad guys, if I recall, and representing the forces of humanity was Dyson Lee, Space Marine. Or Navy SEAL. Or something, we never figured out which. I do remember envisioning that humanity was controlled by a very powerful theocracy, founded on the notion that everyone in the military voluntarily enslaved themselves to the hierarchy for the duration of their service. Hence the chain links as rank insignia on his uniform there.
I also argued that men and women both who were in the military should be bald, since that made the most sense in a helmet-wearing zero-gee environment. Looking back on it that might have been pleasing from a story-telling standpoint, but likely would have been disastrous in terms of marketing.
Sometimes I step back a bit and marvel at the sheer creative energy that geeks like us put out. I mean, I would bet that every person who's reading this has a hard drive full of the remnants of whole worlds they've imagined, whether in the form of a half-baked comic like this one or that great American novel that never quite came together. People describe today's generation as passive consumers, but at least the gamer/geek subculture is anything but. What we love about comics and movies and gaming is that it helps us feel creative. It spurs us to create our own worlds, our own characters, and if, like the Dagons and Dyson Lee, they never make it to print, well that's all right too. At least they live on in our imaginations.
Long live the geeks!
Yep, I know just what you mean. I’m still adding to the language I created I don’t know how many years ago. Not that I’m ever going to use it, but, well, it keeps me busy.
Hear, hear, Jeff. I’ve often had thoughts along the same lines. Since finding HeroMachine, I’ve created no less than three sets of supers and uncounted individual characters just for the heck of it. I’ve started two separate stories about the heroes and their universes (although I suspect only one will live to completion). HM is a great spur to my creativity. I start doodling until I see a character that looks cool. Once I can see the character, a backstory just pops into my head. Once I have a character and a backstory, an adventure isn’t far behind.
Jeff, you often show us the dregs of the comics industry (with snarky comments which are great fun) but how about doing the opposite every once in a while? How about showing us panels you think are really good? And how about a series of posts on how to get the most out of HeroMachine? Just a thought.
Those are good thoughts, Niall. I’ll see what I can do.
Jeff you are great at what you do. i write my self and see your point on the saved heads. now if i could only draw half as well as you id have my own comic .
p.s could you put more post apocalyptic stuff in HM ?
please and thank you coyote
You are right about that Jeff.
I have everything from brain stormed campaign ideas to full fledged world settings creatued including everything from cultural idioms to economies to metaphysical and physical laws laid out for worlds. Some of them I’ve used, some are meerely in “storage” for when needed. I’ve even started a few stories to go along with some of them.
HM is nice because I’ve always liked to have character sketch’s for my characters (I have few without a sketch) and this makes it a lot quicker and easier.
I can envision and world build. now if i could get it down on paper and get some publishing house to buy it.
i don’t want to be a respected author i want to be a paid one