Seeing as the whole story only went on sale a few weeks ago, as the back up strip in The Interactives, it might seem odd to be doing a retrospective on this story. But bear with me, it’s been a rollercoaster ride from concept to print.
The title Seniors was originally conceived as a very different story indeed, a dark humour tale set in a world where all the superheroes have lost their powers. To deal with the still present super villain threat the government brings all the retired heroes out of mothballs. Cue lots of pensioners getting back into spandex and dragging up old rivalries and love triangles. Seeing the premise to Jonathan Ross‘ The Golden Age recently did give me a wry smile. Anyway I wrote the first 5 or 6 pages but couldn’t quite get it to work so I scrapped the idea but hung on to the title.
When I decided to revisit it I went in a totally different direction, inspired by the work of my long term collaborator Azim Akberali (the Tanzanian answer to Alex Ross). I decided to write something more personal and slightly more understated, something which was a love letter to superhero comics. One hero and one villain end up in the same retirement home and this sends them on a trip down memory lane (I didn’t know about Gail Simone‘s Welcome to Tranquility until after it was complete by the way). With Azim on board we decided we’d go for a greyscale style (knowing we’d probably put it out in Eleventh Hour, which was in its infancy at Orang Utan Comics) and work in the Marvel style to give him more freedom when painting.
We were about halfway through the story when Markosia picked up Eleventh Hour putting out a new Volume 1. The first instalment of the 10 page story appeared there in 2008 and when it was decided there wouldn’t be any future Eleventh Hour volumes Seniors was in limbo again So we agreed with Markosia that we would rework Seniors as a full length story for a digital and possibly convention release, I set to work on a longer plot with more focus on the flashback scenes. Essentially creating an entire superhero universe continuity in one issue. I have all but two of the rough pencils for the longer version (rough doesn’t do them justice at all as Azim’s layout pages are good enough to be published in their own right) sitting on my laptop. But sadly the power rationing in Tanzania has made it impossible for Azim to complete the whole book.
So we picked ourselves up, dusted ourselves off and got the original 10 page story together again and put it to Markosia that it should appear in the back of The Interactives. And I’m really glad we did, I’m pleased that the story is finally getting to be read. It’s the short story I’m most proud of and I’d say Azim’s best work to date.
Captain Courage v Doomhawk