As regular readers of this site know, I started posting a new comic here called “Diabolical Sigil” (that is based on my old “Damania” comics) near the end of July. For the sake of nostalgia, here’s a random page from it:
At the time of writing this article, I’m not sure how long this comic will have been – but making it has certainly been an interesting, albeit strange, experience.
The last time I regularly made comics featuring these characters was back in 2013 and I imagined that returning to these characters in 2015 would be a pretty easy and familiar thing. I imagined that they (and the comic they were in) would be exactly the same as the last time I saw them regularly. I was wrong.
One of the first things that surprised me when I returned to this old comic series was how cynical my new comics were, when compared to the comics I made in 2011- 2013. Don’t get me wrong, my older comics certainly had an edge of cynicism to them – but they were certainly a lot more optimistic and upbeat than at least the first few pages of my newer comic were.
Another thing that surprised me was how much the characters had changed. They were still sort of the same characters, but some of them had more of a personality than they used to and some of them had less of a personality (or a slightly different personality) than they used to. Not only that, the relationships between some of the characters had changed slightly too.
After a while, I started to wonder why this had happened. Some of it could be explained by the fact that I was using a slightly different format to the one I used to use – I mean, short three-panel comics are better for light-hearted jokes, but longer comics demand more of a storyline. Of course, having an actual storyline usually means that the characters have to be slightly more dramatic and realistic
Likewise, my old “Damania” comics from 2012 and 2013 were almost all in colour (except when one of the characters was alone) but – for time reasons – my new comic ended up being in black and white. This made the comic look a lot gloomier and, subconsciously at least, may have made me feel more at ease with letting out my inner cynic.
But, more than anything, it seems to come down to the fact that I’m not the same person that I was in 2013. Sure, I’m pretty similar – but I’ve had an extra year and a half of life experience to make me more cynical about everything.
Likewise, my interests and inspirations had changed slightly over the past couple of years – when I first thought of the idea for this comic series back in 2011, I was a massive fan of “Buffy The Vampire Slayer” and the early comics in this series certainly show some fairly heavy influences from that series. But, flash forward to 2015, and I’m more interested in other things, so “Buffy The Vampire Slayer” has less of an influence on the comic than it used to.
Plus, I’d spent a year and a half away from these characters – so, when I returned to them, I’d forgotten about them slightly. Sure, I still knew who they were – but I didn’t have the extreme familiarity with them that I had when I used to spend large amounts of time making comics about them. So, it makes sense that I might forget a few subtle details.
I guess that, in many ways, the comics that I made back in 2011- 2013 were a product of that time. Everything that is created is, in some way or another, a product of the time that it was made. It’s a product of the artist’s or writer’s imagination and thoughts at that particular moment in time.
I don’t know why, but it took returning to an old, abandoned comic series in order to make me realise this.
Anyway, I hope that this was interesting :)