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  • Dave B

Creative Process 03: DUST & TERROR

The focus of this weeks update will be a golden age superhero and a new legacy character with ties to another public domain hero. Also we have a new potential logo for the series. Also updated my website to feature the new series. However it doesn’t work for mobile so I will be changing the design next week. Here’s how the new logo looks. I might keep this one. Still kind of on the fence with it.

I like that it harkens back visually to the comic book mastheads of the golden age. iI also reminds me of mastheads from the bronze age of comic books too. Either way it's obviously retro and I love retro stuff.

The story is mostly fleshed out. However the villain might change. A good friend suggested I look into Madam Satan. She is also in the public domain and might make a good fit. There will still be an alien threat as well but I’m still figuring out all the specifics. More about that as I start story pages. I have a few more character designs to flesh out before I start the story pages. Those characters are Silver Streak, Golden Age Black Terror, and Madam Satan (If I decide to have her as the main villain). I also have a vehicle for Atomika to design. It will be a 1967 Chevy Camaro with high tech gadgets built into the car. She will also have a pet dog that will be her sidekick. You will see all these elements in future blog posts.

Featured in Atomik Age, but not in the way I think most would expect, will be Stardust the Super Wizard. Stardust was created by Fletcher Hanks in 1939 and is one of the more unique characters to be created in the golden age. He uses his vast Interplanetary knowledge and abilities for crime-busting. His powers are at times both mundane and utterly bizarre. Stardust will be protecting the earth from an orbiting starship. This starship will also function as prison for super powered villains and intergalactic threats. Some of them are being reformed and helping him in return for early release. My intention is to write Stardust as a cross between Constable Benton Fraser from the 1990’s tv show Due South and Dr. Manhattan from Watchmen. If this sounds wacky and cool… that’s the goal.

Next up is a man who has assumed the mantle of the Black Terror although he will likely be called simply “the Terror” in the story. The Black Terror was created by Richard E. Hughes and Don Gabrielson in 1941. Pharmacist Bob Benton used his “formic ethers” to give himself super strength and limited invulnerability. This new version of the Black Terror will not be a direct descendent nor will he have the same power levels. He will be an ex special forces operative and will rely on weapons and military tactics. His suit also includes body armor which will help augment his limited invulnerability.

As you can clearly see, I am slowly developing the visual style and approach to the art as I create the character designs. The idea is always to be faithful to the public domain characters but also bring something visually unique. The choices you make as an artist and designer is what makes your work unique. So while producing a commercially viable product is important don't forget to add little things that play to your strengths. Over time these "little things" become more concrete and used properly can become the basis for your unique style. Just be carefully that you employ these in the creation of a visual style and do not let them become a crutch.

That’s going to be it for this week. I hope you will be back next week as I continue to document the creation of the Atomik Age comic book. Thank you for following along. If you like this blog and think others would enjoy this too, please share it with them on social media. Thank you for your support.

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