Back in 1998 (or thereabouts… I’m not sure of the exact year), I was sort of in limbo, career-wise. It was a time when Marvel was in upheaval with their bankruptcy problems, and I was in the middle of a dispute with them over an exclusive contract I was on with the company. I wasn’t doing any work for them at this time, and yet no one else could give me work, because I was under that contract. And so Todd Dezago and I began to talk with each other about doing a creator-owned project together. I had been playing with an idea I called DARK SANDS. It was a story set in ancient Persia–about a young man who didn’t know that he was really a prince… the rightful ruler of his country. His father– the former King– had been assassinated when he was a baby, and he had been spirited away by a loyal bodyguard, who over the years, trains the young (unknowing) prince in the arts of combat with a mind toward helping him one day regain his family’s rightful place on the throne. In the meantime, the young prince is somewhat of a free spirit, and is constantly getting himself entangled in all manner of adventures that involve fantastic creatures, magic, treasure and beautiful young maidens. In essence– a sort of Alladin and the Magic Lamp or 1001 Arabian Nights inspired adventure comic. But during the extensive conversations that Todd and I had over the course of a couple of months, DARK SANDS– the idea I initially proposed we do together– turned into something completely different….. something called TELLOS. You can even see some of the threads of similarity running into TELLOS: the young boy who doesn’t know he’s got a hidden secret of great power and importance (the prince/Jarek); the big companion bodyguard (the prince’s companion/Koj); and even the element of a Genie that I wanted to use in DARK SANDS filtered over to TELLOS. It’s funny how one idea will some times morph and bleed into another.

I may, one day, pull DARK SANDS out, dust it off, and actually do something with it. It’s still floating around my synapses, haunting my imagination– whispering “Let us out…”.

This is Entry 132.


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