Welcome to Meet a Dork, a feature on Dorkaholics where we get to know a fellow dork somewhere in the world. Through Meet a Dork, we hope to not only establish new friendships with other fans but showcase the vastness of our community, the diversity of backgrounds, and the unique stories of each person. This week, we have Adam Stewart, a director at Planet Gocman and creator of a new comic titled Nightwave: Origin.
Neil Bui (NB): You mentioned that you’ve always been fascinated with mythologies and folklore. Comic books are essentially our modern version of mythology. Which iconic mainstream character do you feel best exemplifies this concept? (Ex: Wonder Woman, Superman, etc)
Adam Stewart (AS): For this concept, I would say a mix between Raven (Teen Titans, DC comics) and Loki (Marvel Comics). The idea of a girl born for a specific role without a choice and an evil entity who plays a part in many events or circumstances plays heavily in this story. I think both Raven and Loki best exemplify this concept. However, the next comic will have a slight change yet still connected.
NB: Now let’s think about some of the lesser-known characters, those unknown by the casual fan. Which superhero do you feel has been the most overlooked and underrepresented to wider audiences and why?
AS: Honestly, I feel like cosmic characters such as Starhawk and Genis-Vell fit the role of being overlooked and underrepresented. Such an amazing amount of potential for stories. Especially with the current events in Marvel, their appearance would be of great importance in controlling the outcome of a battle. With Marvel taking more to the cosmic side of stories they would definitely be in the right environment. I feel like Genis-Vell had one great story where he went mad due to cosmic awareness, but other than that he had been treated like a side character. A powerhouse that can control any form of energy dating back to the Big Bang, used in the minimalist of ways. For more grounded characters, I would love to see Cassandra Cain and her mother, Lady Shiva, brought into more light. In the past few years, there has been a decline in real authentic combat ready characters in the martial arts sense with an eye catching backstory.
NB: If you could create your own origin story in 100 words or less what would it be?
AS: That origin story would be set in the present time and future simultaneously. I would be a guy (in the future) who’s trying to escape from the authorities in a dysfunctional timeline. In this story, I would have tried to send my mind back in time into my younger body, but something would go wrong and instead, my mind would be joined with the mind of my past self. From there on, I would be guiding my younger self to prevent the inevitable future without creating fractures in the timeline (using future information for greed wouldn’t be possible).
NB: Let’s imagine that origin story drew the attention of both a major comic book publishing company and film studio. Which actor would you cast as yourself and why?
AS: In all honesty, I would probably have to play myself so that the audience fully understand the whys and hows of what I do. If I had to choose an actor he would probably be John Boyega. He has a good balance of seriousness and humor without one overwhelming the other.
NB: There are some major figureheads from England like Alan Moore and Pat Mills. How would you describe the current state of the comic book scene in England? Has there been a noticeable uptick of stores/interest/cartoonists/writers over the past decade?
AS: In England, I can say there has been a rise in independent creators, an increase in store openings and writers within the past decade. The live-action movies have given many writers that drive to want to get their own stories out there. I can say that the more comics that hit the big screen or tv series the more motivated it makes the UK.
NB: You have extensive experience writing character biographies. What character backstory was the most challenging for you to develop? Have you ever decided to scrap an entire character?
AS: I have never scrapped a character. I believe all characters will have a place in a story at some point. My most challenging back story would be for a character named Aydem Genesis. A cosmic level character with abilities based around probability, quantum theory, and chronal sciences. He would technically be able to do anything, within certain limitations but the challenge comes from explaining how he does it. What I love most about him is that while we have characters that are gods of mythology drawing from a primordial energy source (which explains why they can do what they do), it becomes fascinating to him how they are able to go against the natural order. The story pretty much writes itself from there based on his fascination.
NB: How do you typically begin developing a backstory for a character? Do you start from the beginning and work your way through? Or is it less structured?
AS: I don’t believe there is really a correct way of writing a backstory, but for me it differs depending on the character. Sometimes I will start from the beginning. However, most times I would think of a type of power or interesting concept (for example, what if Joan of Arc was blessed with angelic power for a single cause?), write out a breakdown of how the powers could be used and their limitations, then try to answer two questions:
Why did they receive the power?
What is the worst that could happen?
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