Pokrok Zapadu, The Greatest Warrior Who Ever Lived: A 24 Hour Comic

Created as part of 24 Hour Comic Book Day, Oct 2-3, 2009. Of the Doomkopf gang, I was the only one who was able to participate this year. Check out our creations from 24HCBD 2008. Notes and spoilers on this comic after the jump.

SPOILERS AHEAD: Please read the comic first if you haven’t already!

• My story was partially a tribute to my friends who couldn’t be there, yet have been there for every other 24HCBD that I’ve been a part of. It includes characters from 24HCBD past, including Tedron the Lion-Hearted (as Pokrok Zapadu) from “Portals of Doom” by Fin Fang Foom (2008), a triceratops (as Tyrone) from “Space Dinosaurs from the Future” by Doom DeLuise (2008) and the beer-drinking robot (as Jakko) from Doom DeLuise’s long-lost 2006 24HCBD story. I also flipped through some old notebooks for inspiration, where I found a doodle for a flame-engulfed rabbit called “Resurrection Bunny” (known here as R.B.) and the documentation of my real-life encounter with a man named Gonzo, a self-proclaimed archangel of the Lord.

• This year’s story changed dramatically much more than last year’s. Last year, I kept some things pretty open-ended and made a few shifts, but for the most part, I knew where I was going and just had to decide how to get there. This year’s story changed so much, I was actually starting to think in terms of “How can I possibly explain the origin of this story once I post it?”

Originally, I was going to have some kind of alphabet battle tournament, in which the main character would fight a different alphabetical character with one per page. That led to the idea of including 24HCBD guest stars, which then led to the idea of them being imprisoned together. I won’t go into all the steps that led to where it ended up.

At one point, I’d planned for Jakko to be a creation of Pokrok, hence his comment that he feels like this is why he exists. That was going to be some literal foreshadowing. I ended up utilizing his problems with alcohol instead.

• Our dog, Winston, has made some sort of cameo in every comic challenge I’ve done since we got him, including last year’s 24HCBD and a 12 Hour Comic I did earlier this year. I keep forgetting to upload that. But he appears here as the inspiration for Bill Bubbles; we recently just started calling him Bill for some reason. His middle name, given to him by the granddaughter of the farmer who raised him, is Bubba; we often substitute Bubbles for our own amusement. It provided a nice level of extra meaning, given that Jakko later refers to alcohol as “bubbles,” and he writes Bill Bubbles as the arch-nemesis of Pokrok, his literary stand-in for himself.

• Tyrone’s horror at being cast as a girl was originally a set-up for a substitution. I was going to try to use more humor in the failures of the production, but ran out of energy or ended up deciding these things weren’t funny. But the gang was going to use an iron maiden to play the female roles. I went so far as to sketch one out so I was ready to drop it in. Never happened. I liked the other option of having Tyrone drop his pride and take one for the team, realizing his acting skills could be better utilized grooming Corey into the perfect Pokrok.

• Jakko’s decision to write Pokrok’s death as a “stabbing through the heart” metaphorically represents the fact that he never got his wife and son back, but it is also the way Tedron dies in “Portals of Doom.” I wanted to honor the source material for the fans of the original, though Corey had to fake-stab himself in the chest. It would’ve been too difficult to fake-stab oneself in the back.

• I killed about a half dozen black markers. I was going really heavy on the black. It becomes pretty obvious when I ran out.

• We had some amazing music to listen to. We started out on Big R Radio‘s ’80s channel but switched to the ’90s channel by evening. It was mind-blowingly fantastic. Highly recommended. I was very tempted to work a lot of the songs into the story, though I forced myself to redo a panel that too awkwardly forced lyrics from “Return of the Mack” by Mark Morrison.

• I finished my last page at 10:56 a.m. “Finally” by CeCe Peniston was playing. GET IT?

• During the 24 hour period, I consumed two McChickens, one McDouble, one McDonald’s hamburger, one Burger King bacon double cheeseburger, one Burger King Spicy Chicken Crisp sandwich, an order of BK onion rings, an order of McDonald’s fries, a Ho-Ho and three Twinkies.

• The good people of Krypton were great hosts once again. Thanks!

• If you’ve never done a 24 Hour Comics day challenge, you owe it to yourself to give it a shot, even if you don’t consider yourself a writer or an artist. It’s a fun thing to put yourself through, and it’s extra fun when you’re part of a group. I only knew one person there this year, and I still had a really good time.