Wednesday, June 3, 2009

From The Closet: THE MAGIC AGE

I'd been pitching an idea to DC for years where we'd take all the magical characters that were running around before the dawn of superheroes and do a story that was their last big adventure before the 'guys in capes' came along. I thought of it as a companion piece to James Robinson and Paul Smith's excellent THE GOLDEN AGE. I of course had to call it THE MAGIC AGE. Since it was a period piece (set in the late 1930s) with a bunch of characters that had mostly migrated over to the Vertigo line, the project never really gained any traction.

At some point, I decided to try and do the same idea but with my own characters, much like Alan Moore had done with the old Charlton characters and WATCHMEN. Needless to say, I'm no Alan Moore, and while the concept still held some interest for me, the story lost some of its emotional punch without Doctor Occult, the Spectre, and all the rest.

I began work on a preview story with my own characters and got so far as actually starting on some of the art before realizing it wasn't quite coming together for me. The above is one of two surviving pages-in-progress. Never inked the backgrounds, but I'd already put a lot of work into the figures.

Years later, I salvaged some of the characters for a book at Crossgen, which would (after Crossgen folded) become the TWILIGHT & FENCHURCH story I've already posted a few pages from.

These ideas just get stuck in my head and never let go. I'll do a 1930s supernatural heroes book at some point. And I suspect whatever form it takes, the basic idea will have originated in this old MAGIC AGE story.

11 comments:

Ron Marz said...

A 1930s supernatural thriller, you say? Oh, if only, IF ONLY, there was a cool anthology project where such a feature could appear...

matthew dow smith said...

Yes, if only such a super cool anthology project existed where an artist obsessed with doing a 1930s supernatural thriller could do something along those lines...

--MDS

.ray. said...

Maybe you two should work something out.Top Cow or Dark Horse?Get it done boys.

ryan cody said...

That page looks awesome man.

Anonymous said...

You keep digging in that closet and you're going to find that old Caliber one shot Johnny "something".
Larry Shuput

matthew dow smith said...

Larry --

Funny you should mention that. I did come across a couple of JOHNNY CHAOS pages. I was debating whether to post them or not.

Ryan --

Thanks, man. Really glad you like. I may post a panel or two from the other MAGIC AGE page once I get a chance to scan it.

Ray --

We're working on it. Ron and I are actively discussing the possibility of re-teaming for a couple projects. If anything comes of it, you'll be the first to know, trust me...

--MDS

.ray. said...

I would purchase anything you and Ron do.Loved you guys together on The Path.

matthew dow smith said...

Thanks, Ray. We had a lot of fun doing THE PATH, but whatever Ron and I re-team on, I hope there aren't horses. Horses are even harder to draw than cars. And I have a hard time drawing cars.

--MDS

.ray. said...

I dont know Matt Ron loves horses.Maybe you can use his horses for refrence.

Ron Marz said...

Ray obviously has good taste.

And you can come over and draw our horses anytime, Matt. You can clean up after 'em, too, a job I will gladly share.

.ray. said...

There you go Matt.Maybe if you help Ron with the cleaning,wear a Mets hat and say the Phillies suck he wont make you draw horses.Then if you do a book together you can draw an Atlanta Braves jersey on someone for me and get back at Ron for making you clean up after his horses.