Origins of a Webcomic
So, how did this webcomic about the Norse gods come to be? Well, it’s an interesting story…
It started as a pitch…
A long time ago, in a comic kingdom far, far away, a call went out to creators young and old. A spark of a dream to create for this comic book juggernaut. And I answered that call. At the time, I had done a number of comedic short story pieces for a comic book anthology, and I was already starting to feel the labeling effect (“Oh, he’s a comedy writer, what would he know about horror or realistic comics?”). So, I set out to do some serious pitches.
So, I gave in and put together a comedy pitch. I was at the park one day with my kids and noticed a group of elementary school kids horsing around when I started wondering what that same situation would be like if they were all gods of mythology (since I was a big fan of mythology growing up). I quickly put together a pitch with the Norse gods as elementary school kids and sent it out.
No response. Not even a rejection. So, I tossed it aside and pressed on with other projects.
A fantasy land…
One of those was a fantasy comic… a “tongue-in-cheek jab at Dungeons & Dragons conventions” with this artist I had met at a comic convention in Chicago (where I had done a portfolio review for him). We’ll call him Seth. While we were working on this pitch for this comic, we talked about how it might be easier to pitch if we build up at least a small audience for our work. We figured the web would be the easiest (and cheapest) way of doing that, so we discussed some ideas.
I went against doing Arazel & Xarenia (yes, the characters that have been guest appearing in Brat-halla) because I wanted to make a print comic of them and didn’t figure people would buy something they could read online for free (I was very naieve in the ways of the webcomic when this took place nearly 5 years ago). But we wanted it to be in the fantasy genre, so the readership could easily translate from the web to the print endeavor.
The comic needed some stripping…
Among those original ideas, I pulled out that pitch for that Norse comic. As a friend and successful comic book writer once told me (paraphrased), “if you have a good story, you should be able to pull out everything that ties it to one specific universe and it should still be able to stand on its own.” So, I took the characters back to their mythological roots and reworked it as a Spy-vs-Spy type of webcomic with Thor versus Loki.
As I was working on scripts, I started looking around for a place online where we could host it. I checked with a friend who was doing a fun little webcomic at fairly popular site. And his comic was coming to an end, so there was an opening there. We pitched the (still evolving) Brat-halla webcomic idea, and the editor there loved it.
But that was only the beginning… (to be continued)