Sunday, June 28, 2015

Seth Comics

Sether In the Morff Issue #1

An Introduction

When I was a young lad, I created a series of horrible 'comic books.'  Composed on printer paper with Crayola markers, pencils, and crayons, then hastily stapled together, these documents are a unique window into the mind of an over imaginative ten year old.  Despite all my moving around during my twenties, I've kept these ancient documents with me, crammed in a few folders and occasionally perused once in a blue moon.

I have decided to dust off these comics, remove the aged staples, and scan them into my computer.  These cherished childhood memories take up a humbling 40.7 MB, but hopefully they will provide more than 100 GB of Laughs & Chuckles for you, my dear readership.

So come, join me as I examine my oldest extant creative works.  I plan on giving them the proper critique they deserve, now that I have so much more wisdom and experience.

Title Page

Oh God...

Here it is.  The title page that begins the series.  First, an explanation about the title:

My name is Seth, first of all.  I don't know why, but I thought that taking on an 'er' to the end of my name was somehow... good?  Cool? My family may have on occasion called me 'Sether' as pseudo-nickname, out of affection.  I may have selected 'Sether' to distance myself from reality; to remind my readers that the events within were fictional, and that I myself did not possess superpowers, etc.

The 'Morff' is the name of the dimension where the story takes place, I think.  Clearly, I meant to write 'morph,' since I enjoyed the Mighty Morphing Power Rangers like any red-blooded boy in the early 90's.  I thought the word 'morph' sounded cool, and thus chose it for a prominent role in the title of my comic book series.

Note that the printer paper has browned with age, and that it is in crappy, wrinkled condition.  Proof of their horrific age!  Sadly, I did not keep track of the actual dates I made these things.  This was probably made in 1995 or 1996.

Page 1

The horror begins...
Oh God, my eyes!  What are we even looking at?  I made the awful mistake in many of these early issues of drawing on both sides of the paper.  This means that we have to struggle with marker bleed-through for the first stretch of this travesty.

This first page is a fantastic example of all of the problems we will have to deal with, over and over again throughout this whole adventure.  First, there was no flesh-tone marker available to me, so I aped the Simpsons and chose yellow as my default flesh color.  This has faded slightly with age, so now many of the main characters will be difficult to see.  That first 'panel' depicts a yellow-skinned, purple-clad stick figure about to open up what can only tenuously be called a refrigerator.  Note that his head blends in with the bleed through on the opposite page, making him look more like a disembodied torso hovering over a pair of purple ovals.

Aside from some kerning issues, this page is relatively free of spelling errors.  Note that I didn't bother to erase my initial mistake when I wrote 'hungry,' just making a bolder U over the A that was originally there.  I was a busy man; I didn't have time to erase things, damn it!  I would crank out one of these pages in a few minutes, then let my spastic young attention span distract me with something else.

This page introduces us to the 'spirit of funka tude,' directly ripped off from the video game 'Toejam and Earl: Panic on Funkotron.'  That game featured a Spirit of Funkitude, the entity from which the life-giving Funk flowed.  I loved that game, and thought the concept of a Funk-spirit was cool, so I appropriated it and shoved it into this mess.  The spirit is supposed to be gorging itself on snacks in my refrigerator.  Note the green rectangle: it's supposed to be a visual pun.  'Eye'-scream.  Ice-cream.  Get it?  Why am I doing this?  

Page 2

Action!  Mystery!
So, I open the fridge, and somehow this activates a magical portal, which sucks me inside.  I become a purple... comet-thing.  This made perfect sense in my brain at the time.

I was very obsessed with symbols and icons.  That little X with the dot over it was my personal symbol.  I couldn't tell you what it signifies other than that.  It sort of looks like a person, I guess?

Page 3

In Hell, Seth.  In Hell.
The portal deposits me in this... place.  A strange cityscape sprawls out before us, including what appears to be a green... fish?  And a potted plant, for spice.  (The green thing is supposed to be a spaceship or hovercraft of some kind.  I enjoyed designing vehicles!  Poorly!)

This image bleed-through is really bothering me.

Page 4

This is an attempt at humor.  Zany!  So here we are, in the Morff.  Fun fact: my handwriting has barely improved from these toddler-scribblings.  

We are introduced here to 'Dark One men.'  These are the rank-and-file goons of our antagonist, Dark One.  Truly, I revolutionized villain-naming with that one.  They are blue... humanoid things.  They have four eyes, and those are supposed to be bandoleers of ammunition across their torsos.  I thought bandoleers were the coolest thing ever when I was a kid.  Those black smudges they're holding are guns, of course.  

"Yourr in are territory!"  (supposed to be 'You're in our territory!')


Page 5

In the first panel, one of the Dark One Men aims a pistol at me.  Yes, that was an attempt at perspective drawing.  A blue circle for a fist, attached to an 'arm.'  The gun apparently is a barrel attached to a square.  It's a laser gun, so it doesn't need to make sense.

Faced with violence, I then reflexively unleash a 'sonic blast.'  Clearly, the Dark One Men know what's up.  It's a blue laser... thing.  Apparently it's painful, or else causes the target to make a pirate sound.

I should mention that this was not the original Sether in the Morff Issue #1.  There are several missing installments; at some point I lost or misplaced many of the original comics.  At some point I decided to remake them to fill in the gaps, but I only got around to remaking the first one.  The scary thing is that the missing ones were likely even less coherent than what you're looking at right now.  

Page 6

Powers!  Of course!
The surviving Dark One Men fire their lasers at me.  I like that the righthand-most gun has a red dot and a sideways cross on it (no doubt some manner of poorly illustrated switch or slider).  

I easily dodge the laser fire, realizing that I have 'powers.'  Yay!  That was easy to figure out!  Look how pleased I am.  

Page 7

Death count: 3
Realizing I have 'powers,' I then extend my leg, enlarge my foot, and smash the remaining Dark One men horribly.  I am then transported or teleported in a bolt of purple energy, although it looks more like a purple tree leaning to the side and shouting 'whoa!'

This page pretty much sums up the entirety of Sether in the Morff:  "Don't mess with Seth!"  This is just a 40 issue, barely-legible power fantasy from my addled prepubescent mind.

That's right.  There's 40 of these goddamn things.  Buckle up.

Page 8

Supporting cast!
I am transported from the city to a small complex, which resembles a half circle and a rectangle with the 'Seth' symbol on it.  I am then introduced to two of the supporting characters: Prometheus and Doc.

Prometheus is an H.R. Giger alien that wears a teal dress, speaks English, and is non-hostile.  I was obsessed with the Alien franchise as a kid, even though the titular creatures scared the crap out of me.  I had Alien toys, Alien video games...  I was too scared to watch the movies, though.  I guess Prometheus came from a desire to have an Alien as a 'friend.'  The fact that he is named Prometheus is particularly mystifying; how was I to know that in almost two decades a 'pseudo-prequel' to Alien, directed by Ridley Scott himself, would come out bearing the same name?  Clearly, the name 'Prometheus' has some sort of power in the collective subconscious, connecting it to the Aliens of cinema fame.

Doc is a giant, orange, anthropomorphic 'Seth symbol.'  I honestly don't know what he really is, or what he was supposed to be.  He was supposed to be a dispenser of exposition, the 'smart home base guy.'  He would give the heroes vague direction.  The Zordon to my Power Ranger, if you will.

I take the time to introduce these two characters, but promptly forget to include them again for several issues.  So enjoy them while they last.

Page 9

This is all the exposition you get.
So here Doc explains that he has been 'faghting' (sic) Dark One for years.  We get our first look at Dark One, who apparently is a black oval containing two drops of blood.  (That's supposed to be his head.  He has glowing red eyes.  Spooooky.)

Then Doc tells me that he needs my help, for the sake of the entire UNIVERSE.  That's the stakes, people.  It's up to me to save EVERYTHING.  The last panel is an attempt to add some drama, as I stare off into the middle distance, realizing the enormity of the responsibility thrust on my shoulders.  

So ends issue one.  If you're not absolutely hooked at this point, then clearly you're dead inside.  

What horrors await?  What trials and challenges will face our noodle-limbed protagonist?  Action, romance, drama, intrigue... all of these, and more, are highly unlikely to grace the subsequent issues.

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