Demon of the Underground

Thursday, October 2, 2014

DOTU - A (Not So Brief) History of Pogo

I mentioned on Demon of the Underground's website that I've been developing Pogo as a character since 2006, and I was recently asked why I didn't launch DOTU until 2011 if it had been in development for so many years before that.  It occurred to me that even though I've been around and sharing my art online since the 90s, most of my readers only know me from DOTU, many of them from after my hiatus in 2013.

So I decided to share a little bit of background information, even though this is supremely embarrassing for me because I can't stand looking at my old artwork.

This is one of the earliest drawings I have of Pogo.  My style was a little different back then (it was 8 years ago!), and I was still getting a feel for this whole "art" thing.  In this picture, he's about 5 years older than he is in DOTU, but he was still pretty much the same guy: an inappropriate, lecherous, ferret-wielding thief with (also inappropriate) telekinetic powers.  He's unathletic and pretty much useless in a fight, but there are hints of something darker and possibly demonic in his background.  At this age, he usually wears a spiky hairstyle, but I chose to share this picture because it's one of those un-gelled moments where he looks a little more like he does in DOTU.

In 2006, I was planning my senior thesis in college, which would be finished in 2007.  For my thesis, I did ~20 pages of a comic called Unholy, in which Pogo was the lead character.

Here are a couple of shots from the 2007 comic.  And look, there's Annie in the second shot!  And yes, Pogo is pointing to what you think he's pointing to.  Sorry for the awkward crop, but his upper body contains a spoiler, haha.

After 2007, I set Unholy aside.  A few college instructors told me to submit a proposal to some publishers.  I think I submitted one or two, but it was a no go, and at that time, I really wasn't committed to doing comics.  I was more concerned with getting a full time job in art.  I got one, and it dominated my life for the next four years.

But on the bright side, after a couple years at my job, I got good enough at it that it no longer sucked ALL the life out of me, and sometimes when I came home, I had enough energy left to do a bit of drawing.

I wasn't happy with the art style of Unholy from 2007, so I decided to give it another go in 2009.

I did about 13 pages, and I shared them to my original deviantART account (bob-artist), which I later deactivated for the sake of a fresh start.  (Some of these pages are still floating around my Livejournal, but I keep that account friends-only.)  I didn't have any set schedule, and I still wasn't really committed.

Unholy takes place in the year 2160.  This page showed a flashback to 2155, which happens to be the year that DOTU takes place.  (In fact, Pogo thinks about this visit to the confessional on page 3 of DOTU.)

While struggling with Unholy, I did a lot of brainstorming about Pogo's past.  In Unholy, Pogo is quite a... distinct guy, and he's been shaped by the years he spent associating with people in the underground.  I decided to focus more on creating that underground world that influenced him so much.  That's when I started outlining Demon of the Underground.

In November 2009, I participated in Nanomango for the first time.  I worked on Ludwig the Rock, another comic that I'm still developing.  When the June 2010 round came, I decided to try it again.  This time, I worked on Demon of the Underground.  I did some character and world development and completed the first 30 pages in sketch form.

In June 2011, I did the next 30 sketch pages along with various character illustrations.  In July 2011, I officially launched the webcomic.  Below, you can see two quickie art cards, one of my first promo illustrations, and a snippet from the finished comic.  (Yes, Pogo's hairstyle is different in the promo image, and yes, there's a reason for it, but it's a spoiler.)

The webcomic ran weekly (with a couple of twice weekly moments) throughout the remainder of 2011 and 2012.  In 2013, I got very sick and couldn't work on DOTU or anything else.  In April 2014, I got better and resumed work on DOTU.  It's been updating weekly since then.  Unholy is now the sequel to Demon of the Underground, and I will still complete it, but it definitely won't be an exact replica of what I did in 2007 or 2009.

(originally posted on Tumblr on 8/21)

1 comment:

  1. Aaaaaa, I so want to be able to draw half as good as you do *cries* No matter how much I try to practice or try different styles I always end up with the same. Any advice from one of my fave artists?