Aquaman On Acid
♦ Tripwire’s contributing writer Scott Braden gives us his latest in his series of features on comic stories or series that never happened. This week it’s the turn of his own strip Kent Menace with artist Mike Malbrough…
Scott Braden & Mike Malbrough’s Kent Menace
At the last year of the last century, on the heels of their New Millennium, writer Scott Braden and artist Mike Malbrough joined forces to unleash a mysterious musclebound mariner upon the four-colour medium with their proposed strip, “Kent Menace.”
First off, who is Kent Menace?
“Kent Menace is a supernatural hero who rose from the watery depths of the ghostly, uncharted Pangean Sea,” explained Braden. “He’s the son of a great and secret pirate and his siren lover, who also just happens to be a princess in the line of the Great Old Ones. He’s basically Aquaman on acid.”
How did the project evolve?
“I came up with the idea for the character and his backstory back in 1999,” said Braden, “and discussed it with my editor J.C Vaughn. J.C. then presented it to Mike, and the rest was history.
How did you and Malbrough come up with the design of the character?
“I envisioned a mild-mannered adventurer,” said Braden. “One of my earliest descriptions described him like so: ‘Word made flesh, Kent Menace adjusted his glasses, leaned his muscular frame on the magic harpoon he held, and began to tell his origin story to a seemingly complete stranger. A stranger who, according to the maritime hero, may or may not have been a major villain from some other four-color yarn.’”
What was it like working with the artist Malbrough — since you co-created the character together?
“Mike is one of the finest sequential storytellers I’ve ever had the privilege of working with. Our first comics work together – the short story ‘Favorite Son’– appeared in the Battlestar Galactica anthology, Galactica: The New Millennium, and Mike brought texture and complexity to the story with his amazing art! He’s since moved on to bigger and better things, but I’m lucky enough to have worked with him.”
How far did you get with the story?
“I wrote up a script for the first eight-page strip, ‘Kent Menace Heeds the Call,’” said Braden, “but that was many computers ago and it’s now lost for the ages.”
What happened to the story? Why didn’t it ever come out?
“Realm Press Presents was going to be our anthology title,” said Vaughn, who served as Realm Press’ editorial director. “We had some big ideas for it and some cool contributors in the works, but for a variety of reasons it never came to pass.”
Have you thought about revisiting the character all these years later?
“Mike and I are talking about putting something out there with a publisher,” added Braden. “We’re currently putting together a teaser comic, but there’s nothing set in stone just yet.”
What projects are you currently working on?
“Besides writing my ‘Lost Tales’ column for Tripwire,” Braden said, “I’m also currently working on other projects including a collection of short stories entitled Favorite Son and Other Works.
“Mike, on the other hand, has been busy as an author in his own right with his Marigold the Cat stories, including Marigold Bakes a Cake and Marigold Finds the Magic Words. Both can be found on Amazon and at finer bookstores everywhere.”
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