The things you realize when you finally wake up!
The funniest things happen to me quite by accident. Today I was doing some minor tweaks to the website, and it suddenly dawned on me…Dynagirl turns TEN at the end of this year! Wha…huh?! Has it really been nearly a DECADE since we first started all this madness? Yup. It has. And that’s surreal in so many ways. I sit and think about it, I’ve had Dynagirl around longer than I spent in the military, longer than a couple of previous marriages…longer than more than a few jobs for sure! I suppose you could say she’s a permanent part of me at the very least. Here to stay for sure!
It’s funny though. Dynagirl, for me, was always there, even when I was a kid. In the days of a game called Villains and Vigilantes, and of course the Marvel Superheroes game, I had a bunch of my own custom made superheroes. She was there, even then, tucked away in bits and pieces amongst the other characters I’d been test driving, just waiting to come out and play. It just took a sort of perfect storm scenario to bring her out. I’d been trying to break into writing comics since the late 80s, and had a stack of rejection letters to prove it. After almost forgetting the entire thing and moving on, I took a stab at a contest, and it sort of re-energized my desire to really get in, dig out the stuff I had been trying to say for all those years, and put it down in tangible form. I didn’t win the contest, but by the time the news came, it didn’t matter anymore. I’d already started back down that road, and I wasn’t looking to be denied this time. By then, it was 2004 you see, and the Image fueled 90s spec market was long dead. What happened it the wake of that collapse though was pure magic. The folks that had been doing mini-comics and fan fiction suddenly found like minded creatives they could relate to via the internet. Indy comics started catching on, started reaching more people, and started gaining a huge support at the conventions around the country. So when I entered the contest I also started looking around to see if there were tips, ideas, methods, hell anything I could use to do this myself. I’d been bitten by the bug. Things would never be the same.
That same year, I picked up Action Comics #775. I got so pissed off at that comic that I honestly started reassessing everything I’d done to that point. I had a couple of really cool stories going at the time, a werewolf story, and a sort of urban comedy about a hitman. That night, everything else essentially got put on the shelf, in favor of a story I couldn’t not write. Fallen Justice was born. There was of course more to it. My own life was in a state of turmoil at the time. Changing jobs, deteriorating marriage, maybe a bit of 30 something angst. It all boiled down to one thing; make something. If everything else in the world is falling apart, at least I’d have that, right?
And so I did. And suddenly there she was.
The first thing I got of Fallen Justice after the basic concept was the ending. I knew how it all ended. I had the scene in my head. So then it was simply a matter of writing the middle part that got me to that point. The cool part is, that whole end sequence would end up defining so much of Dynagirl’s character. At first is was just her mask, the style and type of mask she wears was part of that envisioned scene, and it had to be perfect. Then it was what got her there. A bit of trivia for folks who don’t know, but originally that mask was to be placed there by someone else, in memory of Dynagirl, who had fallen under the hand of her crazed former lover. That version lasted about…10 pages into the first issue’s script. After I wrote her first scene in Fallen Justice, I know I couldn’t kill her. I’d have to do something else. After making that decision, the rest was so easy it seemed like cheating. She’d be the one to leave the mask because she retired after the tragic events. By issue 3, I revised it again, because I wanted to keep writing her beyond Fallen Justice. I had too much story for her to just leave it. That’s where the idea for the baby came from. The rest was more like filling in the blanks really.
But ten years? It still amazes me.
We should throw her a party.
(In case you wondered, the above picture is the very first sketch of Dynagirl, courtesy of the genius that is Harold Edge.)