Parallel Dementia: A History
Well, it's been one year since the first Parallel Dementia comic went online.
So it feels right to go over how it all began, eh?
Let's see. When I was in 7th grade, that would be the year 2001, I was in a class with a few of my closer friends. We all sat at the same table for an assignment in which we were given fictional money to purchase fictional supplies for a fictional road trip (part of learning the locations of states and landmarks in the U.S. or something, I dunno.) As part of that project each table needed to draw themselves a little marker to show where they were on the map. Said marker had to show travel in some way. While other groups drew things like cars and airplanes, I whipped up a little cartoony figure running as past as he could. I terribly regret not having that little drawing anymore, for this would be what would start PD.
Why? Well let me describe the little running man. His hair was spiky and purple. His shirt was black with a yellow stripe across the chest. Yeah, it was the first ever drawing of who would become Timmy *at the time he was human).
So I really liked the cartoony style I'd made up on the spot for the character, and experimented with it further. For the time Running Timmy was forgotten and I focused on some other sporadic concepts.
I ended up creating a short comic called The Lost Potato, and selling copies of it to classmates for fifty cents each. Here's its first "issue".
I hadn't abandoned Timmy though, and he was to be given a short comic before each issue of TLP. Sadly that "to be continued" was a lie.
God this is horrible...
My pathetic attention span lead me into my next project, some terribly choppy claymation (again, I am sad to say that the tapes are damaged or lost, and this is another thing I'll never be able to share again.) In this several clay characters fought one another to the death in bloody arena battles. Timmy was one of them. At the time he didn't use fire, though. Hell, he was a human kid. He simply shot his enemies with a handgun.
Next year I'd try to get back into making comics. I never got far beyond a few shoddy scripts and several doodles. During this time Timmy was placed into a story where he would be a main character. This is also when the first concepts of Fall and David came into being.
I changed Timmy's character around a good deal and he became first a half demon, then a full fire demon. The style remained fairly chibi but did get a little more detail.
If I recall correctly the story went, basically, as fallows, and had no name at the time. The characters would live in a large town/ small city called Passadina. The city was like a focal point for weird-ass stuff. Fernando, a high school student working at a restaurant called U Eat, would summon a demon to make his life easier (Fernando was based off of my friend Joseph Pfister in appearance, Joe has since become a minor character in PD and has his own short lived web comic). This demon would be Timothy. Now I needed people for them to interact with. One day I doodled this up:
Codeth... A guy attending Passadina University, Codeth would have his own small house and frequent U Eat. He knew Fernando through family connections and when Fernando realised his parents wouldn't let him keep a demon, Codeth agreed to let Timmy live in his attic. Believe it or not, when designing David Shizukana I had Codeth's design in mind.
Next I realised I needed a female cast member, as well as another weirdo to keep Timmy in line. I believe this girl with orange eyes and shoulder-length brown hair was called May, and would later be the design I'd use for Fall (Fall also kept some of May's personality). May was a mad scientist who had given herself super powers (speed and strength and whatnot) as well as using technological weaponry (such as two crazy guns). I believe she was Codeth's neighbor. This would be yet another character who I don't have any old pictures of.
Timmy evolved most of all during this time.
After 8th grade I let these characters dwindle out and be forgotten. But in the summer of 2004, just before entering 10th grade, I went to San Diego Comicon with some friends. We were all pretty inspired to write a comic again. I wanted to do something new (at least in my mind) so I thought up a robotic detective. I didn't get very far with the idea, but this would be the beginning of Reginald. I knew demons and the paranormal would be involved. Maybe Reginald would be a strictly paranormal detective, so I remembered Timmy and drew a bit more of him, too.
You said it, Timmy.
Throughout that year I toyed around with the idea a little in my head but never really got anywhere with it. I learned html at school and found I could make a web comic if I so desired, but still didn't have a comic (nor knowledge of Comic Genesis)
In 11th grade, 2005, I found out about Comic Genesis when just reading a few online comics and noting that more than one linked to this mystical "free online hosting for web comics". So I read a few more comicgen comics, checked some tutorials on their forums, and got to getting my head around a new story.
Firstly, I wanted to abandon my comedic/ wacky approach I'd been using for something more serious (I really couldn't write comedy without using inside jokes at the time). But still I thought about several of my old characters.
First came this page of doodles. Fall was created and borrowed a little bit from May (and I mean a LITTLE) and decided she was going be be part o this "paranormal detective" thing Reg was part of.
Then came this:
Many brainstorm sessions and doodles too unintelligible to bother scanning for you later, I had my basic idea and just got to writing. I admit that when PD started I had no idea where I was going or what I was getting into, but now I've gotten pretty much the entire plot in the old noggin. This, folks, has been a great year and a great learning experience.