Dang, almost forgot… This July 4th weekend represents the 10th anniversary of the very earliest version of Empowered!
10 years ago this weekend, I was working on a couple of sketches I owed some folks, several of which depicted various superheroines as (ahem) “damsels in distress.” I’d gotten more than a little bored with the sketches, to be honest, and started thinking about how much the life of a distress-prone superheroine would probably suck.
The one-page strip above was the result: A generic, unnamed superheroine embarrassed by having to wear a skin-tight “supersuit.” More than a tad goofy, it’s true, but I still found drawing the page a bit more fulfilling than cranking out another “heroine laid low” illustration. Note that the page still had to deliver a modicum of the ol’ “fan service,” hence Emp’s prominently featured behind. (Note also that, much later on, I redrew and expanded this one-pager into a three-page version for the published version of Empowered. Dig those early, scrawled versions of Emp’s teammates in the background…)
Had no idea, back then, that this first throwaway gag would mutate and morph and complicate itself over the years into the longest ongoing project of my comics career. All the sweeping, majestic plans I once had for grander and more ambitious (and more superficially serious) comics projects came to naught, while this random, unlikely little weed of a comic grew into a mighty oak, quite to my surprise. Best-laid plans and all that, right?
Note that the Empowered franchise’s actual published anniversary isn’t until March 2017, though; I’m hoping to do something special to commemorate that anniversary.
So, uh… Happy birthday, Emp!