Monday, December 13, 2010

My World : The Psychedelic Man


Dr. Clive Frye was considered a maverick among his fellow scientists at an obscure west coast facility. He had become obsessed with the wild idea of tapping into alien dimensions in the search for alternative fuel sources. The other researchers warned Frye of the dangers of tampering in areas he didn't fully comprehend, but he refused to be deterred.

It all went horribly wrong one day, and Dr. Clive Frye paid a terrible price for his hubris. What precisely happened - what Dr. Frye saw and experienced - remains unknown to this day. The result, however, was that "Clive Frye" effectively ceased to exist. In his place was a being that called itself "The Psychedelic Man."

The Psychedelic Man is not human, but rather a type of organic color. His "body" is actually a largely translucent shell that contains his true form - a kaleidoscope of swirling and changing colors. He can alter his physical form according to his whims, and has displayed the ability to stretch and even split off body parts.

Clive Frye's mind was twisted by the process that transmuted him into the Psychedelic Man, and his chief goal now is destruction. He has clashed with the duo of Captain Satellite and Shelly Ericson, and with the Invincible Alliance. Though defeated and seemingly destroyed on more than one occasion, the Psychedelic Man always returns.


You might recall that the Psychedelic Man was the spark that ignited my creation of several new cast members for the Captain Satellite world. The problem was the original picture, although pretty much how I envisioned it in the dream that birthed him, wasn't especially effective. There was something about the execution that I felt was lacking, and so I decided to rethink my approach to the character.

The breakthrough came when I elected to try to make my own "psychedelic" background in PhotoShop, rather than mixing crayons for his palette (limiting) or using pre-existing imagery. I spent awhile just drawing in different colors on a transparent background and testing effects. When I was satisfied with what I had, I rendered most of the character's body transparent and laid him over the background. Voila!

The Psychedelic Man owes his existence to the fact that I have always been fascinated with psychedelic music and imagery. Heck, I even like the word, and used it as part of the title of one of my fake comic books back in high school. So it wasn't really a surprise that this character surfaced in that fateful dream.

In fleshing him out, the Psychedelic Man got a human identity named for actors Colin Clive and Dwight Frye, in honor of the characters they portrayed in the 1931 Universal films FRANKENSTEIN and DRACULA, respectively. The Psychedelic Man himself has liberal doses of such pre-existing characters as Chemo (Metal Men foe), the Infinity Man (Legion of Super-Heroes foe), Metamorpho, and the M.F. Enterprises version of Captain Marvel.

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