Monday, June 21, 2010


Since my good friend Sean Rubin has already seen fit to indulge his readers with not one, but TWO excellent posts about our upcoming story in Mouse Guard: Legends of the Guard #2, I figured it was about time I put one together as well.

As Sean's mentioned on his blog, the project came about after I introduced him to Mouse Guard creator David Petersen at New York Comic Con. I'd had the pleasure of meeting David at the previous year's NYCC and knew that if Sean met any single creator during that whole convention, it would have to be him. I was worried at first that introducing Sean (with his background in the "mice with swords"-focused Redwall series) to the creator of Mouse Guard might result in some kind of explosion that would take out twelve city blocks, but it turned out to be quite an excellent meeting. I got to hear two artists I admire talk shop for a few minutes; and, as somebody who counts himself lucky if he draws a rectangle with four straight lines, it was quite enlightening.

Fast-forward a couple months and I got a phone call from Sean: "Yeah, I might have gotten us a job." That job was Legends of the Guard #2. Sean was awesome enough to request I be added as the story's writer, and David was awesome enough to grant it thanks to a short Mouse Guard-related video clip I'd done before we met the first time at my first NYCC - a vignette inspired by Lost Odyssey's "Thousand Years of Dreams" sequences. That's right, Potential probably wouldn't exist if it weren't for a Japanese role-playing game.

So, now that Sean and I had the job, we needed a story to tell. That was actually the easiest part of the whole project - the problem wasn't finding a story to tell, it was finding the right story to tell. Because time was of the essence, I wrote three short treatments, and we picked the one we liked the most. There were actually four treatments at the start, to be honest. I'll talk about the scrapped one first, and save the three others for another post.

This "lost" story was about the worst Guards to ever make it into Lockhaven. It was a comedy of sorts, and a reworked version did make it into one of the three treatments, but the original version was quite a bit different, revolving around the classic "Zero to Hero" cliche` that's been used in most films rated PG and below. The gist was that these two Guards, best friends who can't really do anything right, wind up saving a group of Guardsmice trapped in a weasel-infested village. The problem with it was simple: comedy takes too long to write, and it takes too long to draw. Our page limit was set, and there was no way that we could make it fit.

So, that's how Potential got started: Lost Odyssey + NYCC + (Redwall * Mouse Guard). Next time, I'll go into each of three treatments we came up with for the story, and how Potential ended up as the story we picked. Also, I just returned from E3 out in Los Angeles, so I imagine I'll be writing something related to that fairly soon as well. Expect visual aids!

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