Under the Influence: The Tale of Jasper Gold

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When I started writing my first drafts for The Tale of Jasper Gold, the idea for the story was very different than what we have now. My first attempt on Jasper Gold was a sci-fi fantasy mixing wild west with space travel and sci-fi horrors. It was about a lone man (Jasper) living in the late 1800s, who gets abducted by space creatures, who are harvesting life forms of various planets, and using them for experimentation. Jasper is then attempting to make his way back home by hopping (no pun intended) from one planet to another.

Throughout his travels, he would be involved in various situations and misadventures until he finally arrived back to earth, only to find his family long dead. I scrapped this idea very early on because I wanted the setting to be stable yet diverse enough to have readers feel like they’re reading something familiar, but new. So I went with a pure western setting. But truth be told, what influenced my comic was actually not a westerner at all. At least not in the traditional sense of westerners we all think of when we picture the genre. For folks who have read my comic, they might have noticed a similarity between Jasper Gold and the Quentin Tarantino films Kill Bill; A tale of a lone hero seeking revenge on those who wronged him/her.

At the time of writing Jasper, I was also introduced to a comic by the name of Black Sad by Spanish authors Juan Diaz Canales (writer) and Juanjo Guarnido (artist). I instantly fell in love with the noir theme, the stories, the characters, and beautiful artwork. I also fell in love with the idea of doing a story that involved manimals, i.e. anthropomorphic furry characters. Being an avid fan of old traditional animated films by Disney and Bluth studios, I thought to myself, “Hey! I can do something like this! This would be fun!” So the two ideas clicked.

Let’s have a revenge story set in the wild west, with anthropomorphic animals native to North America! And boom. The Tale of Jasper Gold was born.