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The warm embrace of a Grismoon

I have X!Gloop on my mind.

Out of context, that doesn't make a whole lot of sense. I'm not sure if it will make any sense once I've provided some context, but let's try.


The Grismoon, in which a deserted muck planet filled with booking agencies becomes the scene of a drama spanning many lifetimes


(click on image for full page. Opens in a new window)

I made the first page of The Grismoon, the first ever story featuring my character X!Gloop, one Tuesday evening in October of 1989. I had just read The Airtight Garage and decided to start doing a weird, incoherent, improvised comic as well. Just about anything that crossed my mind went into the comic. I wanted a weird monster? Weird monster it was! I had a book beside me in which the phrase "Exp?Zworp" was used, so the lead character got the name X!Gloop. There was a music programme on the radio in which a musician discussed booking agencies, so mention of booking agencies was worked into the dialogue. And I'd just started my English Language and Literature studies and was introduced to a wide range of analyses of both grammar and the internal workings of literary forms, so those were introduced as well. For all that's fantastic about the first page, it's a perfect picture of the time it was made.

A few months later, I had improvised a 32-page book which I published in photocopied form in tiny print runs. People bought it, so I made some more, until I moved on to other projects. In the storyline, the lead character was sentenced to death over a trivial crime, but the Devil showed him how to return to life, and told him he would be granted an appeal if, as proof of his sincerity, he'd lived through a thousand reincarnations. Over the next few years I made a few more stories, but I abandoned the series when I failed to finish two of them in a row.

Unlike every other thing I made in that period, I am still very fond of The Lives of X!Gloop. He could turn up everywhere, die in amusing and squishy ways (Occasionally, he'd be aware of his reincarnation project, and in one story he cloned himself several times just so he could kill himself off faster) and then reincarnate at another point in the time-space continuum; that is, he could die in the future and be born again in the past. He turned up in Rogues of Clwyd-Rhan, in an early story.

The last time I tried doing an X!Gloop story was three years ago, when I was asked to deputise for Chuck Whelon who needed a space-filler for his website and his tooncast while he was going in for surgery. That summer, I sketched out an X!Gloop story and the Rogues of Clwyd-Rhan spinoff that would become the first Courtly Manners story.

And now, in the past few days, a storyline that would suit the characters (X!Gloop had two companions who were locked in the reincarnation cycle with him, the alien John Longcoat and the humanoid Ahasveros Or Why Man Has Two Eyes (I told you this entry wouldn't make a great deal of sense)) popped up in my head. It's my recent Doctor Who obsession that's to blame. I started out thinking of something vaguely Who-ish to write, and before long the story concept started wrapping itself around my old characters. I'm just itching to work on it now.

And, now that I've looked at the old comics again, I'm itching to do something with the old material as well. A lot of it is very poorly drawn (the first page is one of the better ones), but the weirdness, the freedom, the sheer youthful anarchy of it make it one of my favorite comics among the thousands of pages' worth I've done over the years.

I've fixed up the first page for you to look at. There is also two-page X!Gloop story in my gallery. If there's enough response in email or the forum, I'll post some more later this week.

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on May 18, 2005 1:01 PM.

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