Saturday, August 24, 2013

The Walters Files: Spaz



Sorry this one's getting posted so late in the evening!  Been outta town all day.

Spaz is my mom's favorite character of mine.  I conceived him long, long ago, probably on a paper restaurant menu.  He's the character I would draw on all the fogged-up car windows, homework assignments and grocery store freezer doors of the places I went.  I actually officially named him and decided what his abilities were shortly before the movie The Mask came out, and I remember the first time I saw the trailer for The Mask on television, I was like "...Shit."  But I think that happens to everybody who has been doing comics for a long time.  There's always one great name you conceived of entirely on your own, or one great character that you think is your most original, and then at some point you encounter that character in some other incarnation in some other comic or something, and you realize your idea wasn't as original as you thought it was.
Truth be told, I may have been inspired by the trading card of the short-lived Marvel character Slapstick; I can't remember if I saw that card before I created Spaz or not.  I never read or saw anything with Slapstick in it beyond that trading card (or, for that matter, anything with The Mask).  I'd already had the character's look down, but I can't say with 100% certainty that I wasn't inspired by that picture of Slapstick with a mallet in his hand.  Mallets aren't  actually Spaz's thing, anyway.  Spaz is really inspired by Bugs Bunny, which is pretty easy to see in that strip I did called the Bugs Bunny Effect, where he talks Chance into walking off a ledge.  I've always upheld that if I had three wishes, one of them would be to have the "Bugs Bunny Effect" on people.  I mean, I wouldn't talk people into walking off ledges, but still.... Well, probably I wouldn't, anyway.
Explaining Spaz in a way that would work in a world full of superheroes took some thinking.  I believe over the years I've concocted a pretty cool origin for him.  Even Walters only has it partially right.  In previous versions of my comic, Spaz and Trash were created by my main villain.  In the Super-U niverse, I guess we'll just have to wait and see who created them this time around (because even I can't say for sure).  Was it E.P.I.C. / Rex Ruthless?  Maybe, but probably not; that's not really his thing.  But Rex sure knew about them enough from the get-go to know he could exploit them, which suggests they still hail from nefarious beginnings.