Friday, May 15, 2009

History of ROJ - Part 5

Part 5 - Today's Lesson, Boys & Girls

"Return of Jetman" was always, for good or bad, one of the central components of OWARI - even when we tried to shuffle it to the side. One of the reasons for OWARI's birth was to publish ROJ and the fact that most of it never saw the light of day was always a sore spot for me. Getting the chance to do justice to it and the characters I grew to love was one of the highlights of my writing...well, "career" is far too strong of a word. Let's say "hobby" instead. It was tricky making sure Green Wyvern didn't take over the whole thing again (*laughs giddily*), but that was a challenge I was willing to take. It wasn't necessarily brilliant, but I never intended it to be. I only wanted it to be faithful to the material and a good read. In the process, I learned a lot about writing, and myself.

Lewis didn't come out too badly from the ROJ experience, in my estimation. The positive reinforcement and collaboration seemed to spark more and more creativity in him. When ROJ went away the first time, parts of it were reincarnated in "Seven Spheres Legend". When Lewis self-published GUNMETAL BLACK #1 in 2002, it took months for me to realize that it was (unintentionally) his upscale version of the book I had promised him in 1999. Stray influences from the story still pop up here and there. If the original ROJ made Lewis' subsequent artistic triumphs possible, it was a success.

So, how to sum up ROJ? Well, Lewis Smith started this series rolling way back when, so it's only fitting that he has the last word. In OWARI #11 (August 2002), in his "More Truth Than Reality" column, Lewis wrote:

"It was good for me. It gave me the confidence to go on and do later stuff, and there's always a part of me that wants to go back and do the old number one last time. Because like all good rock and roll songs, it takes you back to a time when it was fresh and you had a power over life you never knew you had. A time when it felt like you could take on the world with what little you had...and win."




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