Remember our quest back in the Spring to find a new comic strip artist to illustrate a Doctor Who adventure? Well, this is the first part of the story of how we came to hold the competition, and what happened next…
In order to keep Kasterborous fresh, from time to time we like to throw some ideas around with the aim of coming up with new content. More often than not these ideas donâ€™t amount to anything, but a brainstorming session in 2008 lead to a great new idea â€“ little did we know that this particular feature would take up so much of our time…
With a decrease in new Doctor Who output in 2009 and always on the lookout for new content ideas, myself (Christian Cawley) and Kasterborousâ€™ Associate Editor Brian A. Terranova put out heads together late last year to come up with a few ideas that we could execute to attract more regular visitors â€“ make the site â€œstickyâ€ for a period of time with one or more regular features.
After much deliberation we finally settled on a comic strip series with a self-contained, linking arc. Starring the Tenth Doctor and a new companion, the series would at some point feature Daleks, a Time Lord artefact and a bizarre alien organism. Initially 6 parts, we would later wind this down into 3 parts (mainly due to a forthcoming regeneration…)
With the concept settled, Brian and I set about scripting the comic, with an illustrator tentatively pencilled in (and no, it wasnâ€™t Kasterborous art-meister Anthony Dry, retro fans) and a companion in mind.
Too much X Factor in 2008 had begun to rot my brain â€“ nevertheless I was quite taken by Spanish hottie Ruth Lorenzoâ€™s remarkable “talents”, and saw her look as a perfect starting point for the Tenth Doctorâ€™s new companion.
Here’s a sample from page 3 of Time Leech.
The Doctor picks up a cylinder and scans it with the screwdriver as Ruth looks on.
THE DOCTOR: THE MOZART AND SHAKESPEARE QUARTET?!
SHOP ASSISTANT (RUTH): NOT A FAN EITHER? I DUNNO HOW IT GOT TO NUMBER 1, TO BE HONEST…
The Doctor looks out the window. The assistant returns to her comic.
DOCTOR: THIS IS WRONG.
RUTH: IT IS? HOWZAT?
DOCTOR: YES. THE PLACE, MUSIC, THE TECHNOLOGY – ALL WRONGâ€¦ BUT DO YOU WANT TO KNOW WHATâ€™S REALLY WRONG?
With an initial draft of the script completed over Christmas in 2008, we soon ran into a problem; our artist was no longer able to contribute. A major blow, I began looking around for alternatives, but to little avail.
A news-related email to Kasterborous from former Doctor Who Magazine editor and highly respected figure in the world of British comics, John Freeman, indirectly lead to me enquiring as to the best way to find an artist. Johnâ€™s answer was so simple I couldnâ€™t believe I hadnâ€™t thought of it already.
â€œAdvertise on Kasterborous.â€
Weâ€™d never considered this, but grasped the idea with both hands. Brian and I did wonder whether the finished comic strip appearing on Kasterborous would be enough of a prize – but with news that the Vworp Vworp fanzine (out soon!) produced by Gareth Kavanagh required contributions, it seemed we had the perfect final prize.