I had so much fun discussing my "Figure-Of-Speech Mongoose" character and series here last week, that I decided to keep that theme going with the very first comic book series I wrote and illustrated----and it's a far cry from the comic strip adventures of Mr. Mongoose. It's a science-fiction/superhero chapter-based series called "Cosmic Force."
While the "Cosmic Force" that comic convention attendees know currently is a layered story arc of a comic book series, the idea started as far back as October 1988 when I was entering third grade (believe it or not). This was a more light-hearted version heavy on action and short on dialogue and character development (hey, I was only 8 years old), inspired by saturday morning superhero cartoons. The original premise involved two retired superheroes from Detroit, Michigan, moving to Honolulu, Hawaii to start new lives. Their retirement doesn't last long, as they find that Hawaii also has its own crop of super-powered crimefighters. After battling their first villain created by a hospital operation gone horribly wrong, they form a team to help protect the island chain. As I grew older, my love of superhero comics and cartoons increased, but what I wanted out of them changed. Instead of craving action and cool costumes, I began to appreciate dramatic storytelling and character backstories. These traits of course, carried on into my own superhero tale "Cosmic Force," which I was still developing at this time (I was a senior in high school at this point). One day in homeroom, I was coloring a mock magazine cover I did featuring my C-Force characters. This was going to be more than just a great cover, but also a mock interview with the Cosmic Force members, asking them how they got together and received their abilities. Then it dawned on me: I don't know how they formed the team or got their powers, because I never wrote an actual origin story! Well, that's how the current version of Cosmic Force comes into play:
Channeling my childhood love of the series "Unsolved Mysteries," I began to write the kind of story that gave readers more questions than answers. The new (and current) premise is about five ordinary individuals living in Honolulu, Hawaii in the late 1980s: Kevin Simons, a TV station intern, Sandra Winters, a nurse, Bryan Snarski, a retail store manager, Brandon Quitog, a cashier, and Daniel Stafford, a public defender. While none of them have previously met, they all happen to meet in the same open field on the island of O'ahu to watch a meteor shower one night. Suddenly in the middle of the shower, five bright multi-colored objects appear out of nowhere, and attack each of these individuals, seemingly killing them. The next day the fivesome wake up across town in an abandoned building, alive and relatively unharmed. One thing is different, however: Each of them has been transformed from the inside out, possessing strange new abilities that seem to be triggered by their personalities, as well as being dressed in odd-looking spacesuits with pale skin, no hair, glowing colored eyes, and weird tattoos on their foreheads. If that isn't enough to handle, they later discover that it has been two years since the shower, not twenty-four hours, and the rest of the world has declared them dead due to their extended disappearance. Overwhelmed and rightfully afraid to re-enter society, the now super-powered fivesome resort to squatting in several abandoned structures on the island, trying to control their new "talents," and make some sense of what their lives have become. Meanwhile, Two F.B.I. agents, Bruce Higgins and Rex Jones, who were assigned to investigate the disappearance of the "meteor shower spectators," have now joined forces with air force Colonel David Mansher, after the agents suspect that the spectator quintet's "deaths" were probably not an accident, but rather caused by extra-terrestrials. They eventually corner the future Cosmic Force outside an abandoned Castle Amusement Park, where a battle later ensues. Armed with experimental military weapons, the three government officials briefly stop the fivesome, only to be distracted by a horrified public on nearby freeways, as this once nocturnal confrontation is now exposed to the sunrise. The Cosmic Force later defeat the weapon-wielding officials, and disappear (for real this time, thanks to one of their abilities). Resurfacing farther away from civilization, the quintet finally have a chance to relax and cope with what has happened to them in the past two years, which also includes their family and friends having to cope with their loss, and having to be told by the media that their loved ones were murdered by aliens. Much more occurs in the series, including such revelations as conflicts between the group due to their age differences, Daniel Stafford finding out that he has a son his ex-wife never told him about, Bryan Snarski's estranged parents designing the very weapons the government is using to eliminate the Cosmic Force, and most importantly, Kevin Simons' former supervisor and family friend, news/weather reporter Shannon Lima not only dating Kevin's father, but also discovering the Cosmic Force's secret.
Sound exciting? or at the very least intriguing? Well, if you'd like to read about this series, you can pick up the first five issues as an online download through my shop on this website, or on amazon kindle. If you still like to read something in your hands that you can turn pages with, ordering issues 1-5 through indyplanet.com is for you. And finally, if you want to see both the books and the creator of them in person, you can do that at various comic book conventions around California, with my first one being Tulare Sci Fi Con next weekend! I will also be debuting a trade paperback called "Cosmic Force" Volume One," which will include the first chapter of the series, issues 1 through 4!
Stay tuned next week, when I talk about how I took an idea about a group of annoying tourists, and turned it into an exciting new and hilarious satire comic book series. Until then!