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Miscellania!: A Look Back from There to Here
Over a year ago, I was drawing Scarmonshu and the gang in various adventures on a regular basis. One might say the extra-lengthed jam-packed epic was worth the wait. But probably not. This series has gone through a lot, and I believe that these mirror-image drawings of real people have become characters of their own. Kinda brings a tear to your eye socket, doesn’t it?
That was stolen from a Simpsons episode. Which provides a good segue into what comes next. After the first four shorts, there were six “complete” issues of the “comic,” but you won’t find them here. Why? Because they were mostly stolen. Yep, that’s right, you heard it here. I shamelessly, in some cases word for word, stole entire ideas and lines from the shows I love, and that just blows. Take a look:

#1: The Sarazilla one: Scar v. Sarazilla fight sequence a la Bender v. Zoidberg in Futurama’s “Anthology of Interest I.”
#2: The aging-down one: Plot completely stolen from Futurama’s “Teenage Mutant Leela’s Hurdles.”
#3: The three-parter: Dar’s segment STOLEN practically word-for-word from Leela’s in Futurama’s “Anthology of Interest I,” Tom’s segment’s plot stolen from Fry’s in “Anthology of Interest I.”
#4: The dream one. This one’s essentially clean. No major theft here.
#5: The fugitive one. Plot loosely stolen from Totally Spies’ “Fugitives.”
#6: The Wizard of Oz one. Some parts stolen from Futurama’s ‘Oz’ parody in “Anthology of Interest II.”

Ah, Futurama sure had a bastion of ideas to steal from. It was like getting water down by the well. Anyway, so, those are no longer available. BUT I believe my best work came in a few things no one ever saw. Unfinished issues, random sketches, faux promotions, what follows is a pseudo-timeline of the evolution of the characters, the series, and the drawing techniques in themselves. So join us (me) as you venture forth to… the Scar That Time Forgot!

”Advertisement” for the comic (2003)
Back when they were just shorts, the gang appeared drawn on the back of Shadowstar #42, which was my previous superhero series. At this point, I was still trying to keep that alive, as I had for years, while doing the shorts, but eventually I dug Shadowstar a grave and moved on to the rambunctious gang I draw today.

Series Intro (2003)
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Done at Parson’s… and very sloppily too. Essentially my first experience inking, and with Photoshop. This was actually done with an actual inking pen, which explains the scratchiness of the lines, whereas I get a smoother feel with Microns that I use now. At this point, August 2003, I had completed four or five issues in about five months, a record that would remain unbroken for many a year.

Crispix Goes Hollywood (2003)
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The elusive short that put Dar smack dab in California. The real Dar was exhilarated when I told her I would do it, but when stopped a short way into it, she never let me hear the end of it. Occasionally to this day this short is referred to, and I still can’t remember why I stopped. I guess that star glasses gag just couldn’t be topped…

Original Issue #6: Tales From the Public Schools (2003)
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Before the all-Shilpa issue came this idea, which, a la #3, was split into three stories pitting characters into literary works. The only one I got to before I bailed was Dar as Joan of Arc (wait, that’s not a book…), and one might note that some lines seem kind of familiar. …yep, that’s right! The premise and certain lines were stolen from the story told with Lisa as the heroine in the Simpsons’ “Tales From the Public Domain,” which the title was based on. The other two stories would feature Scar as the old man in “The Old Man and the Sea” and Mike as Odysseus in “The Odyssey.”

Next Issue #6: Saving Private Scar (2003)
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Now THIS idea I even acknowledged was incredibly stupid before I got too far. The story was that a humungous fight goes down in the cafeteria (back when I decided to cut the school out of the series), and as a result, the school sends all the kids to military school, where Scar’s cocky attitude is tested by a hard-ass drill sergeant. I like the Scar part, but how they get there is so ridiculous that I just stopped.

Utter Madness! (2003)
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This was a good idea… kind of. I originally wanted to create some sort of a story, but with one panel drawn by a different person, but it eventually turned into… well, utter madness. My favorite drawing is probably Aroon’s, that dragon looks pretty cool. Actually, this idea is a diluted version of a much greater idea that I had, that the core characters would boot me off the staff and write their own stories, but seeing as none of them wrote anything, I couldn’t exactly do that, could I.

The MMX-Men Model Sheet (2003)
The original sketches of the superhero versions of the gang. Later becoming the MHX-Men (whence we got to high school), these were basically the unchanged models of these guys, except, of course, the change from Sergio to Shilpa for the ‘Storm’ character, later renamed… ‘Storm.’ I couldn’t think of an inventive nickname for her or Dar, so I thought it wouldn’t matter. And it really doesn’t; I see no major uprising, do you?

The Scarmonshu Comics Xmas Special (2003)
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This unfinished story probably had the most promise. The seven thousandth “Christmas Carol” parody, Scar enslaves Mike into working for him, and is visiting by three ghosts to help him change his ways. There’s a lot of good stuff here, like noting of Scar’s POWERFUL AMAZING reading skills, Tom as Tiny Tom, Sergio as Marley and his back-story. This issue was stopped half because I didn’t finish it by Xmas, and half because I couldn’t figure out something to do with Scar’s past. I’m sure if I had thought for five minutes I could have thought of something, but consarnit, I don’t HAVE that kind of time!

What If… Dar Wrote a Comic? (2004)
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Ah yes, a classic short. An unhealthy barrage of insane ideas by Dar sparked this quickie, where all the crazy things Dar had suggested in the past come to life. This one also introduces Atari Guy, who made a record no future appearances.

Let me tell you how we do it in Russia… (2004)
A completely random drawing of Scar, Mike, and Shilpa finding themselves in Communist Russia. The dialogue Mike’s saying comes courtesy of an online translator to Russian symbols, which is probably completely incorrect.

Issue #7: The MHX-Men (2004)
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Another rather promising endeavor giving the superheroes their own story. I love how irrational CoopDawg is through the whole thing, and he’s given a lot of great lines, such as “Have you no brains, woman!” and, of course, “My face! My beautiful face!” You haven’t lived until you’ve heard CoopDawg reading that line in real life, and if that’s the case, you must all be dead.

Issue #8: Eight Characters Searching for a Plot (2004)
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Another good idea that fell through pretty quickly. Four mini-stories would be going on at once: Tom would take Scar to court for compensation for his beatings, Mike and Shilpa venture out to get the new Invader Zim DVD, but end up getting held hostage, Phil cheats Death one time too many and becomes the new Grim Reaper, and Sean must help CoopDawg contain his psychotic leprechaun experiment. The stories would eventually intertwine, ending with Phil killing the terrorist. Hey, this has been like three comics in a row that had promise and I stopped them. Ehhh… well… yah know…

Issue #9: Bizarre Transformations! Super Scar Fight Fight! (2004)
Proposed Ad / Page 1 / Page 2 / Page 3 / Manga Test
Here was an idea that never got off the ground. After seeing the characters drawn in manga form by an accomplished artist, I tried to commission her to do an entire issue featuring the characters turning all manga. She declined, claiming she had a personal project to do (aka: BS). I kept batting it around with people, but no one wanted to commit to what would have ultimately been perhaps an hour or two worth of drawing. How it would have worked was I draw the issue normally, but leave the spaces where the manga characters would be blank. Then, I’d draw the manga characters in my style separately, mark them, then give them to the other artist to draw them in on the actual copy. Not so hard, eh? Anyway, this idea went through a few changes, but the latest version would be that CoopDawg finds a strange girl, which basically looks like a stereotypical anime girl (and whom Mike develops a crush on), who has come from an alternate reality to get help. This other universe contains a power-mad CoopDawg, and the guys have to go and stop him from destroying their world. It would be one big anime parody, and while I hate the damn stuff, it would still be pretty cool. I’m still open to this project idea, so anyone want to do it? Anyone? …hello?

Brain Slugs (2004)
This underwater motive became a bit of a theme and was used a couple of times. This one was probably the most infamous (if you can call it that), borrowing the brain slug characters from Futurama.

Get Away From Me! (2004)
See, I told you? Here, some fish are giving Sean looks, much to the amusement of Dar and Mike.

Original Online X-Clusive I: Friendship: Endgame (2004)
Trying to test to see if anyone went on the site, I decided I would create these nice lil’ shorts that I would shelter from everyone else, so they’d have to log on and read it online. This first one stole a premise from a Rocko cartoon where Dar and Shilpa must win Mike over so he’ll take them to a movie premiere, back in the day when the two would fight over who my “best” friend was. Interesting note, this was all drawn on an airplane.

Blecch to the Future (2004)
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During the period where I first discovered the BTTF trilogy, I made this, also for the Teen Zine, where CoopDawg whisk Dar and Mike away to travel into the future. Sorta-kinda clever was the fact that I calculated the speed of the capsule so that the characters would have to wait a month to get there, as the newsletters came out monthly. Heh heh, I rule.

Blecch to the Future: Part II (2004)
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Now arriving, the three find themselves accidentally in the past, where everything seems crude by comparison. This, I thought, was a clever idea, that they’d be in the past where everything was drawn like I did years ago. I wish I had elaborated on it more. Part III was never done, but it was going to have Vicky, through stowing away in the capsule, altering the past to make here supreme ruler of Earth in the present, a la Biff Tannen in BTTF Part II. Then, unlike BTTF, there would have been a Part IV to set things right.

MA Comics Halloween Spooktacular #4 (2004)
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The first two Halloween issues were of my old characters, so I kept the numbers going with this one, starting with another sorta cool and dark cover, featuring Kang and Kodos. This issue would feature three more “scary” stories, with only one completed: “Violence of the Lambs,” where Phil develops a taste for human flesh, and bites Mike’s hand off, which is really a stupid idea, since arms are meatier, idn’t they? The next, “Single White Darmale,” wins the award for worst parody title. As a parody of “Single White Female,” Mike takes Dar in when her house burns down, then opens his doors to a strange girl appearing one night desperate for a room. She then eventually becomes more and more like Dar, and eventually tries to kill Mike, then Dar. I really do like this idea, and I may even remake it, with a new “real” character playing the crazy girl role. The third was slapped in there, “The Monsters are Due Anytime Now…,” set to be a Twilight Zone episode knockoff.

Online Halloween Exclusive: Night of the Not-So Living (2004)

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I don’t even remember the plot to this one. Phil dies and visits Hell for some reason, possibly helping zombies to raise and attack people. No wonder I didn’t even bother.

Online X-Clusive I: Dar For Night (2004-2005)
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This was going to be the first online exclusive short, where Dar’s mood swings are countered by an emotion chip implanted in her, which eventually malfunctions, turning her all psycho. A majority of it was drawn in 2004, but it was soon shelved due to a lack of interest. Then later, I unearthed it, and since the drawings seemed crude by comparison to that present day, I did something I’d never done before or since: redrawn six pages of material, then finished it. I like how this one turned out. Nice going, me. Thanks, me, I appreciate it.

A Short (2005)
I think I did this just so I could get something finished to put online, so I made this quickie with Dar and Phil. Funny stuff.

As you can see, after that, there was nothing else besides about 150 pages of sketchbook material. The epic consumed the summer, and now it consumed this summer, and that’s the way it was. …er… is.