I’ve been working on The Retros for a very long time. Like…years. The first drawing I did of the characters that would eventually become the team was done about 7 years ago. Since then, the team has changed a lot in terms of the roster. Even the characters on the team have changed a lot. Lucky was originally named ‘Macho McAdams’, for example. Fly-girl wasn’t always on the team, Alie wasn’t always the leader.
The first iteration of the team (that we see, anyway) won’t be the same team throughout the whole series. The members will change, their roles will change and the dynamics will change. I’m excited to bring in new members and change up the cast from time to time. The Retros has a huge backstory that I will be exploring. The team members also have their own individual histories, too. Sputnik’s is probably the craziest.
Writing the Retros is also a little different than what I am used to. Since the comic is done in a four panel comic strip form, I have to be more concise than what I’m used to on a page-to-page format, but I am also telling a larger story, too. Each page has to tell a tiny part of a big story and each page has to keep the story moving. Also, since only one page is posted at a time, I need to make sure the reader’s daily visit is a satisfying one. There’s a lot of action in The Retros but I can’t do four days in a row with just a fight scene (unless there’s something else going on).
Ultimately, I think the strip will read better once it is collected, especially over the course of several years. A major inspiration of The Retros is The X-Men. I started reading X-Men in 8th grade which was the perfect time to read the comic. This was in the Claremont era, arguably the most defining run of the series. I loved seeing the huge cast of characters and the ever changing team line up. I liked reading about the dynamics of the team…how they didn’t always liked each other but always fought for each other. I took this concept and adapted it a little for The Retros. In my mind, The Retros are a team, but they are more like co-workers. They quibble on the battlefield and argue about who’s turn it is to clean the break room fridge.
Almost everything about The Retros is a new way to write comics from what I am used to, especially the characters themselves. With Uptown Girl and her friends, there’s so much of ME in each of them, it makes her adventures easy to write since each of them is a part of myself. Uptown Girl is the more down to earth part of me, Rocketman is the more impulsive, fun loving side of me, and Ruby is the sarcastic, cynical part of me. With The Retros, each character is at the top of their game. Rocketman is fun to write as he’s a little lazy and a little…not smart. With The Retros we have a team of smart, skilled superheroes…but not without their quirks and neurosis.
Thanks to everyone who read the first week of their adventures! This week the action gets kicked up a notch.