Monday, August 16, 2010

My World : Zoragaza the Mystic

Zoragaza the Mystic

According to Zoragaza the Mystic, he is centuries old. While this may be the case, what has been officially documented is his lengthy career as a con man plying his trade in carnival sideshows, seedy dives, and dilapidated storefront theaters. His first brush with fame came in the 1970s when he was featured on the album cover Forests of Mind Wizardry for the highly-regarded progressive rock band Solar Cyclops. This indirectly led to a series of concert gigs creating illusions for the rival music act the Scary Metal People. Zoragaza later described his services during this time as that of "spiritual guru", but Scary Metal People guitarist and lead singer Arthur Crudlip calls those allegations "bollocks" and characterizes Zoragaza as "a daft old bugger." Strong words indeed coming from Crudlip, who is known to chew on wine glasses during his all-night benders

Zoragaza's entertainment endeavors were short-lived, and he found himself back in his familiar environment. More recently, he acquired an amulet known as the Green Sun which grants its possessor powers of actual sorcery. Using the Green Sun for malevolent purposes, Zoragaza embarked on a public and flamboyant campaign of crime. That decision has led to conflict with Captain Satellite and Shelly Ericson, much to his regret.

Is Zoragaza the Mystic truly an ancient magician reclaiming his lost talents? Or is he just an opportunistic carny with a new weapon and delusions of grandeur?

Sometimes, I write things just because they make me laugh. The whole rock music interlude that fleshes out Zoragaza's profile is a classic example of this habit. It is pure nonsense that adds nothing to your understanding of the character, yet still makes you feel like you know him.

Zoragaza the Mystic came about because I decided one day that a magician might be a fun character to use as a villain. The idea developed gradually until we reached this final stage. That's...pretty much it. He doesn't owe any debt to prior creations of mine. His look and name are influenced by stage magicians, movie serial types, and the stereotypical portrayal of Merlin.

The name "Zoragaza" came about because during his creation, I happened to see a TV news crawl that mentioned Zaragoza in Spain. I like to think that is how Zoragaza arrived at the name too - over a cheap bottle of wine purchased after another stop at the pawn shop.

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