Early A DISTANT SOIL development
I thought you guys might get a kick out of this, since it not only shows how I developed some of my key comic story points, but how I can pinpoint the dates of exactly what was drawn and when.
This is one of the oldest pieces I did while developing A DISTANT SOIL. It shows the early version of what I thought The Avatar would be: someone with the power to absorb other powers…only he got bigger when he did it. He was still a villain then.
Liana, Galahad, Jason and Bast are identifiable in this pic, but the other characters are mostly just DC fanfic riffs! I had some podcast interview me, and ask some rather surly questions about “Did you really create A DISTANT SOIL when you were 12?” and “How do you know that you were 12?” Well, this is how I know. I not only saved every single drawing, but some of them are dated.
It’s easy to spot where Bast came from: she developed out of fanfic for the TV series “The Young Sentinels” AKA “The Space Sentinels” which aired only 13 episodes in the late 1970’s. Bast, Brent, and Galahad pretty much grew out of the three racially diverse character leads in that TV show. This could only have been done during the short season that TV show aired. Otherwise, I would not have seen it.
Liana was created first, when I was only 10 (she was originally created as a girlfriend for Aquaman,) but I didn’t come up with a story that has any real resemblance to her current incarnation until I was 12. And since “The Young Sentinels” only aired for half a season, and a lot of my early art features them, I can pinpoint what was created when.
So, skeptical young lady podcaster, that is just one of the ways I date how early I drew these things and came up with key plot points. She interviewed me this spring, was kind of hostile and never ran the podcast. I guess she didn’t like my answers! Too bad!
Jeff Smith, creator of Bone, also did his earliest development on his work when he was a small child: about five years old, if I recall. He began drawing his first Bone comics when he was 9.
A few people have mentioned how much my work sometimes resembles old Filmation cartoons: that’s because it does. They were a big influence on me!