I really shouldn’t post this stuff, because it is all so ridiculously bad, but hey, it’s all part of the epic adventure that is my life. For this installment I’ll be sharing with you just a few of the vast number of characters I created over the years, as I struggled to become a comic book artist. First we have the Ultimate Living Weapon, Kilowat—the Man of Pure Energy.
I specifically created Kilowat to submit to the DC Comics’ series Dial ‘H’ for Hero. Back in the 1980s DC introduced Dial ‘H’ for Hero with this publicity gimmick in which readers could submit their own characters, and if they were chosen they’d appear in the book. I created Kilowat in 1981, so I was about 12 or 13 when I came up with this work of genius. DC never used him, nor did they use my other characters. Unfortunately, I can’t find those other drawings.
Next we have the greatest creation of my youth, Recklaw the Ravager. I created Recklaw—which is my last name spelled backwards—back in 1984 or 1985. I was reading lots of comics, bad science fiction books, and watching tons of cheesy movies. The concept for the character was that he was basically Charles Bronson, only he was an alien. He went all over the universe hunting the people who had murdered his wife and kids. But he was also a bounty hunter, and a hitman, and a vigilante, and totally insane. I can’t tell you how many Reklaw stories I started and never finished, how amany covers I designed, or how many pin-ups I drew, but there were tons of ‘em. I drew this character consistently from the time I created him until about 1989, when I finally threw in the towel on drawing comics. Hell, I even have a faded tattoo of Reklaw—that’s how dedicated I was to him. I may have even drawn him fighting established characters like Wolverine, but much of that stuff is long gone.
The cool thing about Reklaw—aside from his name, his clothes, his purple skin, and the badass sword that fit over his forearm like a sleeve—was that I was 100% convinced that someday I would draw and write a comic series starring him and the trail of corpses he left throughout the universe. I was so convinced of this, in fact, that I got every comic book artist I met to draw a picture of him for me, so that I could some day use them as pin-ups in the book. I have original Reklaw drawings by Walter Simonson, Mike Grell, Paul Gulacy, Steve Leialoha, and quite a few others. Somewhere, I actually have a denim jacket with an airbrushed portrait of Reklaw on the back. So, even though the character may look a bit goofy—or a lot goofy, if you prefer—I still have an original Walt Simonson drawing of my character and a jacket that no longer fits with a painting of him on the back. And both are totally badass.
Next we have the legendary Alvin Buckner—a character I created while I was attending the Joe Kubert School of Cartooning and Social Dysfunction. Alvin Buckner was part of an elaborate world that I created when I was 17 years old, that was meant to be a scathing indictment on sex and violence in modern society. Alvin was a famed serial killer who had undergone a special form of brain surgery that cured him of his murderous ways, and went on to become the most popular actor in the world by starring in a bunch of horror films. He was a sex symbol that got all the women, including Titty Karlile, the famed porn star I created.
Titty Karlile was the star of her own series set in the world of porn, but the plan was to do these cross-over stories with Alvin and Titty, who were in an on-again-off-again relationship. I drew a handful of comics with Alvin Buckner, and did all these fake movie posters for flicks like Meatcleaver Mutilation Camp, which was the series that made him a star after he was rehabilitated from being a mass killer. I never did and Titty Karlile comics, although I did make up some fake video box art for her various porn titles. Both my Alvin Buckner comics and my Titty Karlile drawings got me in trouble at the Kubert School, but for completely different reasons. One teacher was offended by the Titty Karlile stuff, because it was too pornographic. And the Alvin Buckner stuff got me in trouble because one of the teachers though the character was modeled after him, when it reality it was the guy I always had to sit next to in class.