Because I can’t say it enough, Ichabod Brooks & the City of Beasts debuts tomorrow. As a pre-release treat, I’m going behind the scenes to show how this character came about. Would you believe he first appeared on this blog in April of 2013? Well he did and here’s the post.
Originally Ichabod Jones, he started as a name that I couldn’t get out of my head. I decided to peek down the rabbit hole after a few weeks of wondering why I liked that name. Not much happened for several months, but one day a story evolved around Ichabod. He was a loner in a world where people lived above a toxic cloud. He was one of the few who could ‘dive’ into the old world and not be poisoned by the pollution. So he would take assignments to recover items for people. This was going to be a book where Ichabod got involved in rebels, survivors on the surface, and the truth behind the fate of the world. It never made it beyond a brief explanation in one of my many notebooks. So our apathetic hero remained in slumber until I wrote the poem in April and forgot him again.
Bring us to earlier this year and I found myself in the darker parts of Legends of Windemere. Heroic spirits were being battered, Stephen was having sadistic fun, hearts were being stomped, and I really needed something more simple and upbeat to write. I saw my son playing and got the idea of a short story where the hero was a father. At first, he was going to travel with the kid like ‘Lone Wolf & Cub‘. I’d never read that, but I knew of the basic concept. Then everything changed by having the hero become a family man that is simply trying to earn a living. At this point I wanted to make the man before I settled on the adventure and life details.
I remembered Ichabod Jones and changed him into the middle-aged father/husband with a reputation for taking on dangerous jobs. The personality came about as writing, but I started with the idea that he was dedicated to his family. He talks and thinks about them quite often. Even a part of his contract involves allowing him to claim a souvenir for his son. This was the new hero of Windemere, who wasn’t going to have epic struggles like Luke Callindor. He was only out to make a living and sometimes his assignments went a little out of whack.
Now for anybody who remembers a few months ago, Ichabod Jones was revealed to already exist in a comic book. Entirely different character and world, but why take the risk? So I took suggestions and votes where ‘Brooks’ took the gold medal. I’ve gotten used to calling him Ichabod Brooks and I like what he’s become. How many adventures will he have? I don’t know. It really depends on the reception, but he might become a summer release and, if he gets enough traction, I’ll try to make the next one a compilation of short stories. So fingers are crossed that Ichabod is greeted with positivity and can be a recurring hero for me to work with.