Tuesday, September 2, 2008


Here's another piece I wrote for the Pilot Season blog page:

What a Long, Strange Trip It's Been

There are obviously a number of mysteries surrounding Twilight Guardian. How did she become what she is? What prompted her nocturnal patrols? What tragedy drives her? While those questions are crucial, I'm not at liberty to answer them just yet. What I CAN tell you about, however, is how Twilight Guardian came to exist as a comic, and how it became part of this year's Pilot Season line-up.

Back in 1991, I started my own line of black & white, photocopied mini-comics (digest-sized, to be precise). Among them were titles like Yoyo the Dieting Clown, Made-Up Stuff is Stranger than Fiction, Holey Crullers (remember that one; it'll be pertinent later), and Tales of the Pathetic Club.

The latter comic was a quasi-slice-of-life series that had grown out of my love for comics like American Splendor (and I was overjoyed when Harvey Pekar sent me a nice note telling me how much he dug it). Pathetic Club was the story of Edward Stein, a doctor who studied individuals suffering from a variety of obsessive-compulsive disorders (a subject you might say I know from the inside out). Among his "subjects" was a woman who patroled a 9-block area of her neighborhood every night, a woman who called herself the Twilight Guardian.

Though she only appeared in a couple of pages of Pathetic Club #2, there was something about TG that really haunted me, and after the series had finished its trilogy, I knew she had to return. So the original Twilight Guardian #1, a 12 page mini-comic, was born.

And then...well, nothing. Originally I had planned it as another trilogy, but for whatever reason, that never happened.

Flash forward all the way to 2003. Tragedy had struck at La Hacienda Hickman, and my son and I were about a week away from living under a bridge. Luckily for me, though, Jim McLauchlin had taken over the helm at Top Cow, and immediately contacted me about turning my Holey Crullers mini-comic into a new full-sized series (he'd picked up the book some years earlier while he was editor at Wizard, and had them do a four-page article on my obscure little title). We quickly worked out a deal to turn my Crullers stories into Common Grounds, and boy, I'm glad we did. That, however, is a story for another day.

At the same time, though, the Cow seemed interested in doing something with another of my old minis: Twilight Guardian. So we added it to the mix as a possible future title. And then...well, nothing.

Flash forward again to 2008. Top Cow was looking for comics to be part of Pilot Season 2008, and I received a call from editor Rob Levin, inquiring if I'd like to have Twilight Guardian included in the competition. Faster than you can say "homina homina," I was working on a new version of TG, one that combined the one-shot with TG's Pathetic Club appearance, as well as a bunch of additional material.

So...will Twilight Guardian disappear once again after a single appearance? That will be up to you, folks. If you'd like to see our suburban sentinel finally receive a true lease on life, you can make that happen with your votes.

I sure hope that you do, because she's been waiting almost fifteen years to have her story told.

Troy Hickman, September 2008

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