Lux Lucis

It was November 2005 when I first drew designs for Skipper Hansen, also known as Skipper the Robot Kid. Unfortunately, these were done while watching an episode of Duck Dodgers called The Menace of Maninsuit. Being a slightly neurotic twelve year old at the time, I pretty much copied the Astro Boy parody character Rikki Roundhouse. In Spring 2008, I prepared to pitch Skipper the Robot Kid to DiC Entertainment, but realized the bright, painful semblance to Rikki would endanger the chance of it getting picked up.

Well, it didn't help that I couldn't draw too well at the time, and I was relying on the story from the ridiculous comic version. I never sent the character model sheets to DiC anyway, which is good, because less than a year later, they were bought up by The Cookie Jar Group (formerly Cinar).

Out of fear that I could get into serious legal trouble (bear with me, I was fifteen), I began working on a new robot series in mid-2008. Like Jetter Mars to Astro Boy, this one would aim to remodel the concept while keeping true to what made it enjoyable. After about three weeks of searching for a name, I decided to call the new robot child Lux Lucis, based on a Latin term relating to light, since Lux could absorb energy. I made him the project of a desparate scientist, and placed him in a grungy factory-laden metropolis where the police were many and incapable. These were originally supposed to be part of Skipper the Robot Kid; they came from my vague memories of the Canadian version of Astro Boy that ran when I was a very young child. In fact, the idea that Skipper be a complete robot based on a child who was killed in a car accident seemed too disturbing, and caused the series to be shelved until April 2006, when I revised it so Skipper was only partially robotic. Lux Lucis was supposed to pick up from the concept I left behind.

Lux's original design

Lux could have been really, really good. I thought for the longest time that it was going to be great, but it took me until June 2009 to realize it was never going to work.

The pilot turned into this...Lux is a robot being built by Dr. Samuel Marin, whom has become disgusted with how disgusting Razoren City is and how inept the police are, despite Chief Ronald Gladshire's attempts to turn both around. Mob leader Lepus O'Hare is bailed out and returned to his gang, where he plans to steal Lux. They go to Marin's apartment and O'Hare shoots him in the forehead, so while the gang takes Lux out, O'Hare unsuccessfully tries to rape Marin's teenage daughter Nicola. Master thief Julian happens to intervene, sending the gang into a horrific truck rollover. Before Julian can take Lux's body, young scientist Mo Vechieza comes by and activates Lux in his own lab. Lux's homing device is triggered at Marin's lab, and Lux darts out to return, but gets into a fight with Julian. At Marin's lab, Vechieza, Gladshire and Nicola all decide to be Lux's guardians.

It was extremely dark.

There were stories of Julian generating a teenaged clone of himself designed just to kill, or winning the love of a robot bomb girl so he could kill her in a heist. Sometimes it would schiznophrenically turn upbeat, in stories like Lux going to school to capture a young pickpocket, or O'Hare's gang stealing a robot baby. Julian had a lot of sexual tension with the curvy bounty hunter Huntress Zuno, and it wasn't certain what O'Hare was into. His tokens of affection included Lux, Nicola, Chief Gladshire, and three different people in his gang.

Cinderelliot #2, page two

One of them was a mechanic named George. His relationship with the Fairy Godfather in Cinderelliot is drawn from Lux, in which he was O'Hare's lover and mechanic. Elliot and his brother Miles, referred to as Cain and Arbrook respectively, were two free-range criminals who allied with O'Hare. Everybody looked the same as they did in Lux, except for O'Hare/Godfather, whom I was hoping to turn out like this:

Hyperspace Bunny #5, page six

Chainsmoking, ladykilling (and mankilling) mob boss Lepus O'Hare...of course, I love his design as it is today, but the above is what I was aiming for in 2008. His character is supposed to be a perfect balance of effeminity and dark deviousness, but sometimes they were out of balance in Lux, and he was either a cold, unlikeable monster or an oversexed fairy. This carried on into Cinderelliot, but only in the first issue. Then, O'Hare seemed to take over Lux. It became a sick running gag of "Hey look, this guy's a faggot!" that blared out especially when Lux innocently questioned O'Hare's gang relations, or when Nicola thought O'Hare wanted her. So, if you're keeping track, Lux was now a dark, edgy, inappropriate and homophobic series. I was fifteen at the time...I assumed I was blazing a trail for myself by making a gay character, but it was The Rawhide Kid levels of repetitive offensive. I'm just glad I decided to start a comic version of Cinderelliot instead of Lux, lest people see how bad it was.

Gilbert, Chief Gladshire, Lux, Nicola Marin, Mo Vechieza, Mo's younger sister, Bunny 3.0

Other characters were unbearable or rip-offs...Nicola Marin was very well a clone of Asuka Langley (Neon Genesis Evangelion), and Chief Gladshire was basically a whiny Chief Otsuka (Tetsujin 28). Gladshire had a chainsmoking assistant (did I mention the heavy tobacco use in Lux?) named Gilbert who was so useless I could weep. Through the trainwreck that was Lux, I developed the characters Cain & Arbrook Baker, Lupus O'Hare, Ezra Guavarez, George Hawkins, "Huntress" Zuno Estallido, Dr. Gabriel Hatcher, Ray Hatcher, and more that I can't remember now. I was able to hone my skills in character design. So, to all the aspiring artists, work through whatever you can. Try to make gold out of garbage. Even if it doesn't work, you'll have changed for the better. Just don't show it to others until you're sure it's safe.

There was a video I made for a Japanese meme some time before O'Hare's takeover, but it was forced into a cringe-worthy animu style and a pathetic pass at animation. Later on, I redesigned Lux in an attempt to give him a fresh start, but realized everything else about his series seemed to cling to him, and I let him go. Lux is either the best joke I've ever pulled on myself, or the worst thing I've ever created. For that I chose to lampoon it, even if no one knew what the hell it was.

Lux Everywhere Else

CINDERELLIOT-- In that TV scene, you see O'Hare's final design and Lux's newer design, formatted like a 1960's anime. It seems just more like a shout-out to Osamu Tezuka than anything else, and introduces the Fairy Godfather's niece Selena. Hey, did you know he was a smoker right up until I started working on the first issue? If you look at the original character designs, that's what he's doing. At one point I just decided A) it made him gross, and B) he's a supernatural creature that doesn't really need to smoke.

SKIPPER THE ROBOT KID-- There's a fifteen-page crossover story where Skipper, Android Bunny2000 and RRE go to Razoren City, but Lux manages to infect its sister series with stupid. Huntress Zuno and a male assistant revive Colossus Beta the huge killer robot, Zuno almost forces herself on an unconscious Xavier, the police are playing hockey in their office, Lux has an emotional breakdown that emits light and kills Colossus, and at the end everyone just goes "A-HYUCK HYUCK EVERYTHING'S OKAY!" Skipper also spends part of the episode feeling bad that he's not as strong as Lux.

HYPERSPACE BUNNY-- Lux is an anime in this universe, once a cute action series from 1984 - the Lux that should have been - and a wild modern-day remake styled like RE: Cutie Honey - a shiny version of the Lux that exists. In the chapter "Bunny and the Otakus", a guy holds a convention panel where he calls out the remake series for being unbalanced and for ruining his favourite character. That's Lepus O'Hare, but in order to avoid clashing with the newer Lupus O'Hare (one of Hae Juun Lim/Cosmica's fathers), he is named Jack Caravan in Hyperspace Bunny.

As well, in the first mention of Lux in issue five, the episode Amelia and Cassandra are watching is the eleventh, called "Crossfire". That was a real episode, intended to be all the characters mixing together after Julian attempts a power outage and bank robbery and it stands unfinished at nine pages. It contains such golden family material as crass references to Zuno and Julian making love, the term "boy bait", and someone joking about O'Hare having a small penis. Lovely...

OH MY GOD WHAT IS THIS-- Written over the course of six months, there is a 49-page novel-style document detailing the developing romance between O'Hare and George. It was supposed to be about O'Hare and Guavarez, but that changed after noticing Guavarez (at the time) had no personality. Most of it is painfully trashy or cliched, but at least O'Hare isn't so horribly flamboyant. I developed the Baker brothers through this document, and there's an adorable scene where Arbrook apologizes for punching Cain in the face, and Cain has some sort of gun fetish ("Cain begun pulling out weaponry, five guns in total, and a coil of machine gun bullets. Cain stood up and looked at the machines, paused, then scooped them up and ran off to his gunroom. He had acquired new 'babies'."), but apparently they're not blood related in this version. Okay, that's weird...

I can't see myself doing anything new with Lux...I'm having fun fleshing out the two "anime" for the Hyperspace Bunny cameo, but I wouldn't recommend waiting for more. New Design Lux, you're cool, and I wish I raised you better.