Monday, August 16, 2010

dark sands

this post was supposed to be posted on friday to round out what i was calling--in my head--a "mike triple-play". some sketches and/or rarely seen mike artwork on wednesday, photos of my friend on thursday, and this, some unseen production notes and sketches from one of the other epic projects mike and i dreamed of doing one day, for friday. a nice package, i thought...

but some people--and i won't mention any names--are just too busy drawing marvel comics for a living and cooking and cleaning and being a stay-at-home dad while working on new perhapanauts pages and an exclusive baltimore comiccon perhapanauts one-sheet pin-up as well as designing a set of cool perhapanauts pins all on about two hours sleep to find just TWO FREAKIN' MINUTES to go and post an entry on his absent partner's blog!

but anyway...

pretend you're reading this on friday and that it's the final installment of that trifecta.


i don't even know if this will make any sense.

back in '99, when mike and i were finishing our run on sensational spider-man and gearing up to take on the hulk, we also started scheming to do our own independent book on the side. we didn't have a lot of side time--mike, admittedly, wasn't a fast artist--but we could dream, right...?

we first started playing with an idea mike had for an epic tale he was calling black dawn. inspired by a lot of the multi-charactered, sprawling anime series he was watching, this was a tale of good versus evil and featured a handful of individuals from all over the world discovering that they were heirs to the powers of the elementals. mike wanted me to make a story out of it and started throwing me these character designs. we were on a terrific roll before we both realized that what we were doing was just too big, too epic--i knew that, at best, mike would be able to draw an extra 16 to 20 pages every two or three months and that we--not to mention the readers--would probably get frustrated waiting for each issue to get done. we needed to pare it down.

with that, i suggested a different path--one that, in retrospect, has since played out in the perhapanuts--with multiple adventures taking place in multiple realities. we called this dark sands. we would use some, if not all, of mike's previous character designs and create smaller teams, each group getting their own four issue story line and then slowly weave them together.

this was it! this was our baby! this was gonna work!

and then, out of the blue, in the middle of an enthusiastic phone conversation where we were nailing down all the details, mike said, "i'd really like to include some talking animals." and in that instant, tellos was born.

we never looked back on dark sands, though we always talked about, one day, being able to do it, having both the time and the money to do what we wanted to do. along with the about 200 other ideas we had and discussed and planned for.

here are the designs for the characters from both black dawn and dark sands. most of them have never been seen before by human eyes. that mike wieringo was fuckin' amazing. so enjoy.

* all of this, of course, is copyright © 1999 todd dezago and mike wieringo. all rights reserved.

have a great weekend~!
smell ya later~


Brian said...

Funny, I was just looking at the issue of "Draw" that featured Mike and was again wondering just where that gal with the sword - second posted image - was from. Thanks for finally answering that question for me Todd. ("Draw" also featured a drawing of the Were-Panther guy, but I always assumed he was how the Panter bounty hunter in Tellos started out.)

As always, thanks for a peek behind the curtain at the creative process Todd.

Matt Wieringo said...

Thanks for sharing that, Todd. A part of the Mike story I did not know.

Rush! said...

Hey Todd, I was lucky enough to have met Mike at the Hero Con in NC in or around 99. He showed me and a friend of mine these images. After seeing them is when he instantly became one of my favorite artist. He explained it briefly but from that maybe 20 - 30 minute encounter I'd looked for the books release every since or at least some news on it. I only found this blog because I was hoping somehow the images had been posted somewhere. Thank U and Google. I instantly recognized them. I have no doubt this would have been a EPIC story. Again thank you for sharing them.