Working in comics has always been my dream. Well before I finished my first novel, I’d been writing comic scripts. I worked on a viariety of web comics with different artists of varying amateur skill who would pair with me… most only lasting about 4-5 pages before they burnt out and wanted new and fresh projects (artists are really flakey!). I’d written a few shorts that appeared in a couple of anthologies as well, just to try to test my abilities as a writer and make sure I could make a script flow. But I wanted to have the big show, a real comic book that was serialized like the old books I used to read.
It wasn’t long before I began craving a superhero universe of my own. Flying Sparks actually started as a “hey what if I told the perspective of a villain who’s really just like a fence trying to make his way and survive, and he really doesn’t want anyone to find out about his powers or business…” and eventually i hit upon the character of Meta-Girl.
Meta-Girl To The Rescue!
Meta-Girl is really a combination of a few archetypes in comics to form the ideal character I want to write. Ever since I came across Chuck Dixon’s Robin in the 90s, I had a fascination with Stephanie Brown — a plucky girl with a lot of will who refuses to take no for an answer and the tenacity to keep at it through all adversity. I also really liked the relationship dynamics between her and Tim Drake, as it reminded me a lot of the old Spider-Man books where they’d focus a lot on personal plots with Mary Jane in his younger days. I took a little bit of Stephanie, but i didn’t like the dark aspects of her background or of the Bat-Family in general… so I threw a little Supergirl into the character.
I then thought it would be fun to make her have gadgets and not actually powers. It meant she’d be starting from scratch, not naturally stronger than everyone, not able to fight, she just has to use her smarts, her willpower, and the advantages her gadgets gave her. Maybe this came from my Steampunk fascination, where gadgets really rule the day (and you can read about in my primary novel series), but I shook all those aspects together and came up with Meta-Girl. You’ll see she has a real Superman-like character in the background, Meta-Man, and a strange relationship that’s guardian-like as he looks over her. I keep this a secret as to how they’re all related and what the backstory is, but I reveal it in a later book. The world I built goes back all the way to the 1950s and the Korean War, and there’s a lot of depth that doesn’t make the page that I hope to be able to revisit in future stories.
I even made 2 scripts for Meta-Man audio dramas to fill out the oldschool period piece aspect of his vibe.
But this stuff is all in a folder, waiting to be developed. And that’ll come later, God and readers willing.
Up, Up, And Away!
Today, we have the first 3 issues of Flying Sparks on IndieGogo, and the main story is about Meta-Girl and the original villain, Johnny Benvinuti, as their paths cross, intersect. It’s a hero and villain in love, but neither of them know about each others’ secret lives. These first three chapters really set the world, the stage for a groundwork of an ongoing series where it’s about 1/2 relationship drama and 1/2 superhero story. My focus is on characterization as always, and I think you’ll really fall in love with these characters.
My artists are a big portion of what makes this awesome, an they did a great job. I have Jethro Morales, a long time collaborator, doing art. He comes from Dynamite’s Green Hornet and Dejah Thoris, and my colorist Sanju Nivangune comes from Zenescope entertainment. Both long time industry veterans and it shows in the quality of the art. It’s worth buying just for them alone.
This is my first foray into comics crowdfunding, and I’m nervous. This is my dream, this is what I want to be doing even more than my novels, and this is what I hope the future will hold for me. It all begins with Flying Sparks, and if the readers like it, there’s a lot more where this is coming from.
My goal is a modest $6,000. I’ll be honest, the goal even doesn’t cover the art costs of the issue, but just the printing, production, and the brand new cover by my great new friends Jon Malin and Brett R. Smith. My hopes though is to do quite a bit more than this in order to really build this Flying Sparks universe out into something special in these years to come. I’m okay with funding at this point because I want this story to get out to the world and to push comics forward and change the industry.
We can make this happen as a community, and I thank every one of you for being there with me on the journey so far. This community has been so amazing, and so supportive, I’m glad I have the best fans and friends in the world here to take this next step with me.
So let’s see how it goes. If you’re on my mailing list, you received an 8-Page preview on Friday. I hope you liked it, and i hope you’ll check out Flying Sparks on IndieGoGo.
Please share with your friends!!