Last week I was on the Nerd Perspective radio show (which was a LOT OF FUN). One of the guys hosting the show asked me, “I saw you post about The Legend of Jamie Roberts on your blog. What is that about?”
I’ll start with the story itself, and go from there.
The Legend of Jamie Roberts is about three pirates – one of them is Jamie Roberts, a genderqueer rogue that’s an expert with a sword. Jamie and two friends, Thomas and Daniel, discover a treasure map of the land of Corith, along with the warning, “Here There Be Dragons.” It’s then that they decide to leave their life of piracy to explore the land of Corith and find treasure and (actually real) dragons.
The biggest reason I wanted to work on this story was because I didn’t see enough stories with genderqueer protagonists – someone who was not just comfortable with towing the line between being seen as male or female, but embraced qualities of BOTH. I wanted to see more of this because that is me as an audience member, and I wanted to see more main characters like me.
Really, I’m making this comic for one person – fourteen-year-old me. This is a story I wish I had as a teen growing up, wanting to see heroes that weren’t 100% male or 100% female. Someone who looked at prescribed gender roles and said, “SCREW YOU. I will be me and you will not fit me into a box. And I will beat the bad guy and save the world!”
I was inspired by a lot of things to make this story – the concepts in Disney’s Mulan, Miyazaki’s Castle in the Sky, and Jeff Smith’s Bone were jumping off points. African Art History was a HUGE influence on the look of the monsters and spirits the characters encounter in the story.
I also wanted to see Dragons in a setting that wasn’t inspired by medieval Europe or ancient China. I wanted to show Dragons in an environment people are not used to seeing them in, but in the real world IS a thing – African cultures.
This is the mask that started this train of thought.
This is Warakun, and it’s a DRAGON! It’s from the Bamana culture and is worn by witch hunters to protect the people of their cities.
And that’s what Dragons are in the world of Corith and Jamie Roberts – they are defenders of their cities protecting the humans from evil spirits and monsters.
“So,” I can hear you say, “that sounds AWESOME, but when can we read this online?”
Well… not soon.
This story is in the final ringer of being edited, but it’s still going to be a while before it gets made. There are still other short stories and comics to be produced, and I would like to make those first.
Plus, with the scope of what I would like to do with The Legend of Jamie Roberts, the project will be BIG. Right now, it’s slated to be around 500 pages long! A project with that many pages will take a lot of dedication and commitment to make, not to mention a relatively open production calendar. The Legend of Jamie Roberts would have to wait until my short stories are finished and I have few, if any, other commitments.
However, I do have a year in mind for this comic to finally begin – 2017. I know that’s not next year as of this writing. Sorry.
For now, this story is a pet project, and it’ll have to wait. But that’s ok because it means by the time it begins posting, it’s going to be AMAZING.
In the meantime, I DO have other comics that will publish sooner than that. I’ll talk about those next time.
Thank you for reading!
You. Are. Awesome.