You’d think with the amount of comics and graphic novels I’ve got through over a lifetime, I’d have written one by now. Sadly this is not the case. This is partly due to the fact that I can’t draw but mainly because I haven’t got the first idea on how to approach the subject. Would I have a superhero or not? Would it be a one-off graphic novel, like Watchmen or V for Vendetta, or a series, such as The Sandman? And most importantly – what would I do for a plot?
I’ve had a few ideas for superheroes over the years, one of my favourites being a girl who is actually a dragon, and can switch between the two. She can also turn herself into stone (and back again) if she needs to. I can picture her being a fairly obscure member of the Avengers Initiative, if they ever needed a creature that could fly and breathe fire; perhaps when Tony Stark retires. Another one I liked was a woman who was effectively immortal and had to keep switching locations and identities every ten years or so to stop people becoming suspicious of her. Admittedly, this is very probably influenced by Anne Rice’s Interview with a Vampire, but the telling difference between us is that my character was, generally speaking, human.
All of this said, I’m actually finding it very hard to find a character who is (a) likeable, (b) interesting enough to carry a story over six “episodes”, (c) hasn’t really been done before – or at least, not the way I’m planning to do it. It’s here where I look back over some of my favourite comics/graphic novels and realise just how American they are. I feel obliged to point out that Captain Britain wasn’t unique in being a non-American superhero, but let’s face it, the poor chap’s in the minority here. Batman, Superman, the Fantastic Four, the X-Men, the Avengers – the overwhelming majority are American or have a US setting. That’s not what I want to write about. I need a new superhero.
Looks like I’m going to have to put her together, though. Is it too late to learn how to draw at my age?