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It has grown me as an artist, an actor, a writer, a world builder and a storyteller.
I spent many years playing Dungeons and Dragons with my friends. We even played IN social Studies behind my teachers back. D&D flourished my imagination and ability to create characters.
I played D&D through Middle and High school. I played with a great group of friends in college, one of whom, John Burris, I collaborated with to flesh out his system, written on 6 note cards and created out own game that replaced D&D at Edinboro University.
When out of school, I played more D&D, more of our own game, named Backwaters of Mysticism, Call of Cthulhu, Feng Shui, Deadlands, Star Wars, Warhammer 40k (ok, not a RPG, but I use a lot of it in my comics). All these worlds they created for their games showed me what I needed to do to create the world in which all my comics exist.
And, yes, ALL my comics exist in the same world. Phineus, Kris Kringle, Creephunter, even Bastard Who. I’m kind of obsessed with doing that, for some reason.
Ironically John and my own RPG doesn’t have a world. We created it so that it would fit into any world you wanted it to.
Many of my Phineus stories came from those games. Rugnar and Maynard are both characters I played in Backwaters. The Kali Saga was based on a campaign run by John, in which I played Brother Maynard. And yes, he did get squished in that one, too.
Many comic creators are also avid gamers. Adam Black, creator of Locus is working on his own game. Brian Babyok, creator of Weirdlings also plays D&D, religiously.
I am toying with the idea of running some Skype based Backwaters games for my fans. As I gather interest and ideas I’ll let you know.
Games are good for comics.
While Phineus changes, morphs and eventually falls to the dark seduction of the power of Magic (check out the TIMELINE), Sara remains the soul of the pair, the team and the world.
There’s a reason that so many fans, many of them creators, relate to her. She is the audience surrogate, in many ways, as she is not magical. She’s a normal (albeit bad ass) human.
Noeland Collins has done 2 stories focused around her, Sara One Shot (with Marshall Dillon) & The Werewolf Conundrum. In Jason Bender’s Have A Drink on Me, Sara is the hero, saving Phineus from The Contessa and himself.
Sara’s eventual death leads Phineus down his dark path.
Sara, originally, started out to be a damsel in distress. She is FAR from that, and my comic is so much the better for it.
Sorry about the radio silence. My daughter was in Children’s hospital for 4 days. She was just discharged, today.
I really couldn’t focus on comics while all that was going on. Suffice it to say, she’s doing much better and is on the mend.
I do have a treatment completed for “How We Won the War “, just need to thumbnail it and start drawing.
I’ll get back into the swing, shortly and get back to track.
Next year the character of Phineus will be 30 years old.
I created him in high school, taking a computer graphics class at Carnegie Mellon University, pre-college art class. I got his name from a misremembered Philias Fogg, from “Around the World in 80 Days”, a favorite book, at the time.
Phineus was very different back then. He was a total ripoff of Mage and The Highlander. He was initially going to be an extradimentional demon hunter. I had even worked up a bunch of demons for him to fight.
This storyline never got passed the preliminary stages and sketches. I back burnered him and kept going back to half started comics with him, and eventually Sara. Several false start comic exist. They are available in my Omnibus comics.
The Phin and Sara we all know and love came about in 1991 (25 years ago, this fall) in a comic drawing class final project. Haven’t looked back, since.