I’m going to start you off with two of some of the oldest stories of mine I could find (not the oldest I have, the older ones are just in hard-copy and packed away, and I don’t feel like looking for them right now—maybe later). The first was a character test-run (I mentioned I do short-stories for characters, to help me figure the character out, and to see if I can make any use of them—this is one of the first in that exercise). The Raven… I first invented this character a long while ago (I honestly can’t say how long ‘cause he’s been around for a bit). I first drew him with a costume that was a bit like the Batman Beyond consume, but more bird like (but mine came first, they stole it), after that, I tried upgrading his costume a bit so he would look less like Batman, it was basically the same design, but more armor looking… and then ‘Knight Quest’ started and this was when I started to get my first dose of believing I was being watched.
I have notebooks upon notebooks filled with comics drawn with this character and others (don’t ask where any of them are, I can’t find them, and it actually is bugging me). So, time moved on, and after the Raven had been in hibernation, I came across Flash 4 (when Flash was still fresh and new and very few even knew what it was yet, but it was cool), and after seeing Stan Lee and Scifi.com, etc use it to make little web-comic cartoons, I thought I would try my own hand at it. So, I re-invented the Raven one last time. This time, he kinda had a bit of the Crow to him (though I kept re-drawing him to fix that, it just kept happening anyway). In the end, I found out that drawing pictures over and over with stories was harder than they made it look, so I decided to just stick with the stories ‘cause I’m better at those anyway—and I scrapped this character all together after a computer crash happened and caused me to lose his entire Genesis story (it pissed me off).
This story doesn’t really get much into a back-story beyond vague hinting, but in general, if you’ve ever seen the new version of ‘the Beauty & the Beast’ on CW, they stole the Raven’s back-story and gave it to the Beast… because they’re watching me.
Running, leaping from rooftop to rooftop with a gliding finesse. His eyes burning red, hunting for the source of a woman’s screams.
The wind rushes his nose as he moves. The strong smell of exhaust from hundreds of badly neglected cars and trucks, and decomposing garbage haunts the night air. Filtering his senses, he can smell the vague sent of a cheap perfume. He can hear the sound of a couple of men shouting and struggling screams of a woman.
“Ple-s-! Som—dy h—p m—!”
“Wi’ ya’ shu’ dat bitch up!”
“Come’on whore, ya’ know ya’ wan’ it, now jus’ qui’ playin’ har’ta ge’ an’ give I’ up ta’ da’dy!”
The voices are coming from the next alley. He flies across with one last leap. He stands at the roof top of an old five story apartment building that’s in such bad condition that anyone that didn’t live there wouldn’t know if it was abandoned or not. He gazes down into the dark alley below. His eyes adjust almost instantly. His mind analyses the situation in a matter a milliseconds:
Two men. One Woman.
The woman is in about her late teens to early 20’s. Dark brown hair, medium skin tone. She’s wearing a cherry-red dress that appears to have been violently scuffed and torn by the two men.
One man is leaning his weight into the woman trying to restrain her. He appears to be in his early 20’s. He is trying to use his hands to hold the woman’s mouth closed. His hair is dark and greasy. He’s wearing a worn-down, plaid hunting jacket. Judging from his skin tone, his arms probably have more holes than a pin-cuisine from shooting either heroine or at least a close relative. With an intoxicated coordination, the man is trying to pry the woman’s legs apart and pull down his own pants while still holding the woman down at the same time.
The second man is holding a six-inch jackknife switchblade to the woman’s throat, yelling slurred profanities. He looks to be around the same age as his friend, his complexion not nearly as drugged. He’s wearing a black, torn-sleeved tank-top. He has long hair to about the middle of his neck, poorly tied back into a pony tail, with the sides roughly shaved.
The Raven steps forward leaving only the back half of the heel of his boots to balance him on the edge of the building. He leaps down, spreading out his arms like they were wings. His long trench-coat catches the wind as he descends into the alley acting almost like a parachute. He lands crouched in between a dim light and a dark shadow, his coat almost covering him completely.
The two men look over with a stunned expression, not sure what to make of what they’re seeing. The Raven slowly rises with a sinister motion that sends a slight chill through the air. The man with the knife quickly grabs the girl away from his shocked friend and pulls her in front of himself holding the knife as firmly to her throat as his shaking hand can, peeking out from behind her.
“I don’ know who da’ fuck you are or wher’ da’ fuck you came from, bu’ you bes’ start movin’ along before thi’ bitch’s life becomes suddenly shortened… an’ we know you don’ wan’ tha’ on yo’ conscience, now do ya…”
The Raven glares at the man with his eyes of burning blood.
“Hol-ly’shi’! Wha’da’ fuck are you!?”
The Raven’s arm quickly extends slightly towards the man, in the same instant, the gleam of a small throwing-star flies from his hand. The star sticks into the back of the man’s hand causing him to suddenly jump in pain dropping the knife. The girl stumbles and trips into a pile of trash on the side of the alley wall as the man throws her down.
The other man takes out a small .38mm revolver that was stashed in his pants and gets a shot off. The Raven quickly moves his left shoulder slightly back, and the bullet just barely grazes the arm of his coat.
The man fires frantically. The Raven jumps into a forward flip in the air. Right after the man fires in vain his sixth and last shot, the Raven lands directly in front of the man. The man steps back in surprise while in the same motion the Raven smashes his rock solid fist into the man’s face, knocking him back a couple of feet, and landing him unconscious with a broken, bleeding nose.
The man with the tank-top finally managed to painfully pry the razor star from his hand. He quickly picks up his knife from the alley ground and charges at the Raven ready try stabbing him in the kidney or the around the ribs. the Raven quickly turns, blocking and grabbing the man’s arm, and using the man’s motion to redirect the knife into the man’s solar-plexus. The man gives out a short gasp with a look up disbelief of what had just happened. The Raven throws the man down as he dies.
The Raven walks over to the woman still lying in the alley waste shocked and frightened. The Raven looks at her face. She reminds him so much of Amber. He bends down to her offering his hand. The girl jumps back slipping and tumbling through papers, boxes and broken bottles as she tries to get away.
“Don’t be afraid, I’m not going to hurt you. Are you OK…?” The Raven’s eyes readjust, slowly fading back to their natural color of sky-blue.
The woman calms down a little, and nods.
The sound of approaching police sirens begin flood the air. Someone must have reported the gunfire, not because they were afraid something was wrong, but most likely because it was keeping them awake.
The woman looks down the alley as one of the police units pull up. She looks back to see old newspapers blow by, and empty air.
— — —
From the roof above the alley, the Raven perches. Hidden in the shadows looking down, and watching as more police arrive and begin to investigate the area. He watches the girl as she gets interrogated and escorted to the back of an ambulance.
“Do you feel better now, yushi…?” a voice from behind him says.
The Raven glares from the corner of his eye at Kuro’Tori, “I’ve told you to stop calling me that…”
“You are avoiding the question. Did saving that girl from torture make you feel like you were saving your Amber Hane…? Did killing those toxic infestations passing themselves off as human beings make you feel like you were battling the H.A.W.K. soldiers…? Did it make you feel better…?”
“Fuck you, Freud—I saved the girl’s life because she was in trouble and I was able to do something about it… Why can’t you just leave it at that…”
“Because you know that you cannot…”
Without looking the Raven knows that Kuro’Tori had left. He thinks to himself, “God, I hate that guy…” He stares down to the alley, “…why does he always have to be right…”
(to be continued… )
No… it will never be continued. But don’t worry, I scrapped and recycled his character and inserted him largely into other characters you’ll be seeing later.
Next is a character that I created and wrote a story for entirely as a joke—the Ice-cream Man. He was a villain, basically the story of his creation is: I was working on building the webpage for my webcomic for a good portion of the day, then I noticed my girl-friend at the time sign on, so I decided to take a break and IM with her a bit (AOL used to be cool once too). While we were BSing about whatever and I was telling about what I was doing, the ice-cream truck started going down her street, and she typed at me, “The Ice-cream Man!” This merged with my already comic-book drowned mind and the Ice-cream Man was born. I used to have a bitmap drawing of him that I did on MS-Paint, but I’ve somehow lost track of it (it’s unfortunately, it was pretty cool—bloody ice-cream scoopers and cones—I liked that guy). I was going to let him be one of the Raven’s villains at some point, even had the first few frames for his flash-comic done for him (nope, don’t have it anymore), but he died with the Raven, and no part of him remains.
The Ice-cream Man:
the Ice-cream Man
Once, a mild mannered ice-cream vendor… But one day, while driving his ice-cream truck down the suburb streets, humming along with the grinding high-pitched tune of Turkey in the Straw, the unsuspecting ice-cream man stopped for a group of innocent looking children.
He went to the back of the truck to receive the children’s orders, but the children were ordering too much… too fast. The ice-cream man couldn’t keep up. The children started becoming restless, and out of control.
The poor ice-cream man tried to withstand them… but they were just too much. The children started rocking the truck until it eventually started to flip as the ice-cream man is thrown into an open freezer and the door slammed shut… … …
The ice-cream man managed to pry the freezer door open. All around him, ice-cream everywhere… flames and destruction… chaos…
“They must pay… they must all pay!”
The ice-cream man swore vengeance against all children and the parents that raised them…
“I will destroy them all as… Ice-cream Man!”