Sometimes, like now, I feel completely selfish and fairly uneducated. I never liked real world history in school, and could never seem to remember a lot of it, with the exception of some fun facts like the Abe Lincoln assassination, the invention of silly putty, and how the CEO of the Segway company drove offof a cliff on a Segway.
But FAKE history, on the other hand, I was always fascinated by. Imaginary historic events like the great Battle For the Infinity Gauntlet or the day Marty McFly saved the clocktower from lightning in 1955 are historical times I’ll never forget.
Every fictitious world has some kind of unseen/unheard private history that made that world work in the capacity that we get to enjoy it in. Star Wars, for example, started as one movie with one story, but George Lucas had an idea of events that happened hundreds of years before and after the first movie was even filmed. But even something smaller in scale like Scooby Doo has SOME kind of creative history. I mean, those oddball detention kids had to meet somewhere, and there had to be some kind of insane checkered past reason why they were more afraid of a museum curator than a fucking TALKING DOG and his crackhead homeless owner. Whatever unknown history took place before we stepped into both of these worlds as voyeurs made them palpable enough for us to accept and immerse ourselves in them.
So when creating any kind of world, story, or universe, I create and use fake-history as an art-director of sorts. As little as it may ever come into play within the actual project, if I’m creating another planet or another universe, such as I am trying to with Thunder Babies, I HAVE to make up some history revolving around it. Without history, I have no context to set the current story, and no direction as to what the current world’s “rules” are. Plus, the ability to make up historical events and inhabitants is just kinda cool. It’s like being my own Dungeon Master in a lonely role-playing game.
That being said, the only way I was going to be able to create weird elemental God-babies that were birthed from a dying planet’s core with any kind of confidence was that if I knew a little bit about that planet that birthed them, whether anyone else ever needed to know about it or not.
So that’s what I’ve been doing over the last few days. Maybe I’ll sprinkle some of that history into whatever I end up drawing over the next couple of weeks, or perhaps it will never be necessary or interesting to anyone but me and it was simply an exercise that I needed to do in order to, as I said before, “keep the troops motivated.”
In case it ever comes into play, here's a little glimpse at the history of the planet of Oo'tarus:
Follow the progress here:
THUNDER BABIES: Day 1
THUNDER BABIES: Day 2
THUNDER BABIES: Day 2.5
THUNDER BABIES: Day 3