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  • Dave B

Creative Process: 01 ATOMIKA

This all started with a random sketch. For the last several years I've wanted to embrace my love of public domain super heroes by creating a comic book that started some of my favorites. Public domain super heroes are characters that were created in the late 1930's after the success of Action Comics #1 and the debut of Superman.

The success of Superman and comic books in general caused a huge explosion of super hero characters. Some of the characters were as popular as many of the main stream characters that people are familiar with today. The big difference is that the companies that published these characters went out of business and their characters fell into the public domain.

What is public domain? Works in the public domain are those whose exclusive intellectual property rights have expired, have been forfeited, or are inapplicable. For example, the works of Shakespeare and Beethoven, and most of the early silent films, are all now in the public domain by either being created before copyrights existed or leaving the copyright term.

Back to that sketch... It was just a random superhero but I liked the costume. As I thought about what I might do with it I thought about Atoman. Atoman was created by Ken Crossen and Jerry Robinson in the pages of Atoman #1 (1946). He was a re-named and re-colored version of Atoman from the Metropolitan Publishing Company. After a few more sketches I thought this costume might be a good updated outfit for Atoman.

So I had a costume design, now what? Recently I've been reviewing digital comics on Comixology on the Rogues Radio Podcast. Why not do a digital first comic book featuring Atoman? Not a bad idea.

Now I needed a story. One of my favorite things about the original DC Comics Universe is the legacy of their characters. Specifically how sidekicks and kids of the older superheroes grow up to occasionally "take up the mantle" and continue the good fight to make the world a better place. A few more sketches and I had another character, but this one would be totally new. The grand daughter of the golden age Atoman. I'm going to call her Atomika. Her real name will be Erika Dale and be an officially sanctioned super powered agent of the U.S. Government. How exactly will the story unfold? Well you'll need to stay tuned to my blog as I document the entire creation of this new comic book. This is the first entry. I hope you enjoy joining me on this journey.

Here are the first 3 images created for Atomika: Return of Atoman. And no, that's probably not the final title. I'm still figuring that out too. Enjoy!

Atomika ©2018 by Dave Beaty, all rights reserved.

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