During my last days in North Carolina, I began to conceive another idea. The rubric I’ve given this idea is “Sheldon the Mighty”.
Years ago, while in college, I wrote an unpublished novel about a rock band similar to Buckaroo Banzai and the Hong Kong Cavaliers. They were entirely made up of anthropomorphic animals and one of them was a keyboardist from Toronto, Canada. His name was Sheldon Gillis. The novel was never published but I did like the character and did at least one short story with him. During my time in North Carolina, I started watching an anime series called Kenichi the Mightiest Disciple. The series involved a bullied high school student learning martial arts to stop and drop the bullies always attacking him. I liked the concept and began to combine that with fighting video games and side-scrolling beat-em-ups to come up with the concept of Sheldon the Mighty.
The backstory is about our hero, Sheldon Gillis. Sheldon is an anthropomorphic raccoon of 14 years who has recently started high school. He lives with his mother in the fictional town of Flatlands in the US state of North Dakota. Sheldon has been bullied all of his life. Why? We don’t know.
Maybe it was because he was born out of wedlock (Sheldon’s mother got pregnant with him while she was still in high school). Some say others were jealous of his academic skills. Some say he wasn’t part of the in-crowd. It’s deliberately left unclear as to why Sheldon is being bullied. The important thing is that he just is.
Things change one day when Sheldon’s uncle returns to North Dakota after spending the last fifteen years in Japan. Upon learning of Sheldon’s constant problems, this cool uncle starts to teach Sheldon the Japanese martial art of aikijutsu.
Sounds a bit predictable? Well, things get interesting after Sheldon initially stops the bullies. His problems don’t end; they’re just beginning. All these trained fighters who had otherwise ignored Sheldon before suddenly take notice of his skills…and want to see how good he is in a fight.
This is planned as a mini-series. I have notes for twelve stories as well as a few completed scripts. In the coming weeks, I plan to share some art and pages from this series. Most of these stories concentrate on Sheldon fighting a particular opponent and using his guile to win. Each individual story name in the series shares a title with a song of the 1980s. For example, the two part pilot story is titled “Take On Me” after the song of the same name by A-Ha.
I’ll have some more information and maybe some artwork next time.