Monday, January 26, 2015

The Davey Thunder / Jack Lightning Show

My brother, David Lee Ingersoll, is a comics artist and writer. In the 80s he produced a number of mini comics. After doing a horror anthology series called Cheap Thrills and a series devoted to the adventures of two recent creations, Moe & Detritus, David decided he wanted to revisit characters he and I invented as kids. David asked me to write a script. Davey Thunder and Jack Lightning were the names we chose for a couple brief guest shots as DJs on an older friend’s radio show on the Sonoma State University station KSUN. We created a couple supporting characters, too — an Elf (David would introduce the elf by tapping a toy xylophone) and a Dragon with nasal congestion (yes, I talked wid by doze ah glogged ub).

from the diary (1/10/89 Tuesday):
I wrote a Davey Thunder / Jack Lighting script: The Origin. I folded it up and stuck it in an envelope, walked it down to the mailbox outside the post office. David should have it tomorrow or the next day.

from the diary (1/11/89 Wednesday):
David called up and said he liked the Thunder & Lightning script. He’s working on the third Moe & Detritus mini comic, but figures when he’s done with that he’ll get to work on T & L. He wanted to retitle it: GENESIS. Yuck! I said. I said I thought that sounded too pretentious. Well, he hates the word ORIGIN. (My title was: THE ORIGIN.) I said I hated it too, but that was why I used it cuz it conjures up so much awfulness when you think of comic books. Oooh. The Origin. What’s his origin? Here’s the “Origin Story” — Because you demanded it! I suppose the other reason David thought of Genesis was cuz I followed the Genesis of the Bible. You know, Let there be light, God created man in his own image, etc. Calling the comic “Genesis,” though is belaboring the obvious and making too important the similarities, making too immediate the comparison.

With “The Origin” I produced an origin story for the series that began with the creation of the universe and didn’t explain the main characters at all. They were sort of narrators? I was really happy with the way David realized the script. It was pretty wild seeing stuff I’d pictured in my head appear as pictures on the page. I do remember one point of variance. In the script I called for a “Hun” to appear. In my head I was seeing a German soldier — nicknamed “Huns” by British propagandists during the First World War. David went back to the Mongol Hordes for the look. I decided his interpretation made as much sense as mine (or more, maybe) so I never said anything about it — until now!

An issue of The Davey Thunder / Jack Lightning Show appears in Treasury of Mini Comics edited by Michael Dowers and published in 2013 by Fantagraphics.

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