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Thursday, May 1, 2008

DARKEYE


As stated before, I am a Comic Geek. Reading about Snake Eyes’ special missions and the soap opera that was the Uncanny X-Men filled my impressionable young mind with delusions of becoming a super hero myself.

I’d be Gambit or Hawkeye and kick royal ass. But then I’d also want to be myself, but not. In my teenage years I created the character that was me, but also a separate entity. One thing a writer quickly learns is characters soon take a life of their own, almost as if you were birthing a baby, containing parts of you but still vastly different.

This character is DARKEYE.






Is I’ve grown, Darkeye has always been a part of me. Every few years I’d jot down some notes on what would/is happening in Darkeye’s life.

What follows is the short version of my DARKEYE comic. The pictures attached were drawn by me sometime between the ages of 12-16. They’re not dated, so I can’t really be sure.

DARKEYE PITCH -

Damon Rose loves his city. There are two cities – one’s a “Saint”, the other an “apolis”. Damon lives in the former. Crime exists in this city but it’s not rampant. Damon wants to keep it that way.

Damon bartends at an upscale hotel in the heart of the city, crossing paths with other residents, tourists, politicians, professional athletes, foreigners – people of all races and creeds. Everyone has their story, especially after a couple cocktails.

Damon was raised as a Christian, however, he’s struggling with doubt.


Damon loves sushi. He’s been going to the same family-owned Japanese restaurant since he was a teenager. The owner, an elderly man with an experience worn face and body, was being groomed to be a spiritual guide in his homeland. He moved to the states with his family prior to World War II and was sent to a relocation camp once Roosevelt signed the decree. After Damon’s father died, the restaurant owner became somewhat of a surrogate father to him, even taking him on trips back to Japan. The restaurant owner mentored him in several forms of martial arts and weaponry.

Damon wants to leave his mark. He grew up reading comic books and fantasizing of becoming a superhero. Soon he realized he could be whatever he wanted if he worked hard enough.

He creates a bullet proof mask with un-reflective ebony eyes. The mask contains all sorts of electronic gadgets such as a voice distorter, digital video enhancers, and links to police scanners and the Internet.



Damon decides he wants to make a different. Targeting drug dealers and rapists, Damon quickly terrifies the city’s underworld night after night. After slicing off a drug dealer’s hand, Damon is dubbed DARKEYE by the media from the dealer’s ranting of, “His eyes! Their depth . . . so dark!”

Darkeye quickly becomes sensationalized by the media, making Damon’s life extremely complicated as he must micro-manage his every move and decision in order to keep his identity a secret, and avoid detection while continuing to clean the streets of his city.




After a couple character development and mood setting issues, a traveling serial killer will be introduced – EUTHANASIA, self-proclaimed mercy killer of the weak. The weak, in his mind, being the mentally retarded, handicapped, and elderly.
DARKEYE will be a “Batman in the real world” series combined with mini-tales of the people Damon meets while tending bar. Bible passages and themes will be prevalent throughout the series. Many ambiguous topics such as faith, sexuality, ethics, and morality will be explored as Damon comes to term with his actions and their justification.

9 comments:

  1. LOLOLOL!!!! Ahhhh, good times, creating your own characters and then drawing pictures. That's pretty much all we did, growing up.

    -S

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  2. I admire your chutzpah in sharing your old drawing with us...I don't know if I'd have the cajones to post any of mine...

    I like that at your (presumably) young age you weren't afraid to draw on your own experiences (he was from a pair of cities, Saint and apolis, he liked sushi, etc). For whatever reason, as a young writer, I was always afraid of telegraphing my location, personal interests and such, so that instead of just setting stories in Minnesota (which I knew well) I'd go out of my way to set them elsewhere, because I was afraid people would think "oh, this takes place in Minnesota so the writer must be from there" which to me, was a bad thing, I guess..?

    Nowadays, of course, I realize that playing up that "regionality" really endears an author to the local crowd, and makes things much, much easier.

    I also like that Darkeye seems to be lacking a tragedy-based motivation for fighting crime. He just wants to make the world a better place, period, and takes steps to do so.

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  3. I was taught – write what you know. Thus, George Lucas with his vast experiences of Squid-like alien races, planets with 2 suns and moons with a rich forest environment obviously had the knowledge to make a great trilogy.



    Joking aside, one of the cool things about Valiant and now even some Marvel Comics is they’re taking place other than NEW YORK CITY. People love to hear about and learn new things so setting a story, especially a comic book, in a place that isn’t riddled with crime or over-exposed in any medium grants the writer and artist the ability to take the readers to different worlds.



    With Marvel and DC, two companies who have had some characters going for 40+ years, they limit their options of telling new and different stories because the people and places have been explored so much over the years. I personally will love it if Steve Rogers, CAPT. AMERICA, never comes back. Why is there the un-written rule in comics that you cannot kill off a major character for good? Same thing with Batman. I really hope during our lifetime an editor or head honcho at DC has the guts to kill or retire Bruce Wayne and never bring him back. Same thing with sports and, actually, life, you need to have an ending to truly appreciate what was accomplished during a certain time frame.

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  4. I always had the opposite problem growing up. I had difficulty thinking up stories involving places other than Minnesota. And heck, if my character lived in a house, I would always imagine it looking pretty much like my house.
    The problem was I lived in Minnesota most my life. How could I make up a story involving New Your City? What the heck did I know about New York City or how living in it feels or what there is even to do in NYC?
    My problem, though, wasn't lack of imagination, but fear of being wrong. I would hate to have a scene take place in New York that was geographically inaccurate or something. I'm always a stickler for getting the facts straight and I'm constantly amazed at how some writers/artists willingly play fast and loose with the facts. It's just not in my blood.
    That's why most of my ideas took place in some fantasy world where anything can happen and nobody could call shenanigans on me.

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  5. Heh, shenanigans...

    I've never been entirely comfortable with the "write what you know" maxim; I mean, I don't "know" super heroes, so how I could ever write about them? Or about other fantastic worlds. To me, it's more important to write what you can imagine.

    About your comment regarding stories needing an ending to be truely appreciate, Dr. Bitz has also tried to sell me a variation on the whole “characters should age and die and be replaced because only when their story is done do we truly appreciate it” angle to me, from time to time.

    I mean, I agree with everything you said 100%, but I dunno. I also recognize that for me, there’s a certain amount of comfort in the regularity and predictability of certain characters and tropes. Is it as thought provoking, meaningful, intellectually stimulating to see the same character act out the same story beats ever decade or so? No, but it is comforting and enjoyable nonetheless.

    Something else that I keep in mind is that characters like Batman and Captain America exist beyond our lifetimes; they are meant to be ongoing, with the understanding and hope that new generations of readers will find those stories, and what is to us, the older, experienced fan, the umpteenth “final Joker story” or something is to the new reader the first one, and so on.

    So I feel somewhat reluctant that the stories of these characters should be ended just so that we can fully appreciate them, and thus deny them to younger, newer readers. For characters like Sandman or Preacher or Y, characters created by specific creators with an end point in mind, it doesn’t bother me at all, but for characters that have evolved past stories and entered the cultural zeitgeist, taking on a life of their own as modern myth, I feel like a certain element of repetitive familiarity is for the best, in order to keep them preserved.

    The best approach, to satisfy both types of fans (and the corporate head honchos who would never allow an audacious editor to permanently replace Bruce Wayne because he’s a key element of a profitable corporate brand) is to fully embrace the opportunities that Marvel’s Ultimate line provides (but that they don’t take full advantage of),so that one type of story can be told in one book (where the character stays more or less the same, changed only by periodic false status quos, a book where Peter Parker is always young, unmarried and down on his luck) and another type of story can be told in another book (one where Spider-Man actually ages, gets married, retires and passes on the Spider-Man mantle to a child or something). DC used to have this with Earth 2; where on Earth 1 you had Bruce Wayne Batman, fighting crime, but on Earth 2 you had Dick Grayson as Batman, because Bruce Wayne got old, married Catwoman and retired. That way, you please both types of fans, and I can have my cake and eat it too; stories and characters reaching compelling, meaningful endings while still retaining the characters in their classic, mythic incarnations for further generations to enjoy just as we did.

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  6. The "write what you know" thing is a nice guideline, but I agree with it about 95% of the time. If you didn't catch the sarcasm when talking about George Lucas "knowing" squid-like alien lifeforms let me explain further.

    In order to write about anything, fact or fiction, you're going to have to "know" something about it. If I wanted to write about scuba diving, I'd have a pretty difficult time doing that right now since I've never done it nor do I know anything about it. However, If I train at it and go do it a couple times I will be better qualified to have something intelligent to say.

    The same mentality works for fantasy/fiction. Obviously George Lucas hasn't met (at least to my knowledge) Admiral Ackbar or any other Mon Calmari. However, he used his imagination and real life experiences in order to create a character and race that he now "knows".

    If you're going to write about something you should think it over in your head and do research. Real life experiences obviously are a major part of any art medium. The successful writers and artists are those who are able to portray their experiences and viewpoints through the medium they are working in.

    Thus, write what you "know".

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  7. You are a liar! I'll just call you Liar McLiarton!!! I refuse, REFUSE, to believe that George Lucas has not met Admiral Ackbar!

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  8. Yeah, my "write what you can imagine" comment was a bit sarcastic too. Sometimes the internet really sucks at conveying tone. Bottom line, I know what you meant :)

    And I totally know what you mean about being afraid of getting the details wrong, Dr. Bitz. I too have often been afraid of that.

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