THE ORIGINS OF STEVEN W. WARLOCK

AND HIS FRIENDS



In my early years I wanted to be a cartoonist. I would draw many favorite characters I saw on TV at the age of six or seven and read comics from Harvey, Charlton and Archie.

One day while watching Bewitched and I Dream Of Jeannie back to back at My Cousin Edna's apartment in The Bronx, New York (God rest her soul) I came up with an idea for a character who originally was going to be a Magician's son named Steven The Magic Kid. I suppose I called him that because of the many Harvey books that featured titles such as Wendy The Good Little Witch and Richie Rich The Poor Little Rich Boy. Since he knew magic from his father and he was a kid. I named him thus. Naturally I modeled him after myself. ;)

The premise was that he lived in the same Harvey Universe that Casper and Wendy did. He was for all intents and purposes a nice guy who was ostracized from society like Casper simply for being who he was.

My alter ego originally wore a number on his shirt to show how old he was and had black pants and shoes. It was easy to draw his legs and feet in the same color because I didn't know how to draw proper shoes at the time. The numbered shirt was inspired by a minor Peanuts character who was only known as Five because he told Charlie Brown his father became morose and hysterical over the preponderance of numbers in people's lives so he changed all of his family's names to numbers. It was his way of giving in.

His physical features were influenced by Harvey Comics artist Warren Kremer who did most of the cover art for The Richie Rich and Casper Books in The 60's into The Early 90's as well as the interiors. The rim of his glasses is a straight line going around his head and style of hair was always slanted like an inverted buzzcut. Like Mickey Mouse's ears they always stayed in place every time he turns to the left, right, front, back and sideways. That pretty much gave me the idea to make him a rebel like Hot Stuff The Little Devil and Spooky.

Over the years I kept changing the wardrobe "The Magic Kid" owned to give him more personality. He wore summer shorts and shoes like Richie Rich as well as Turtleneck sweatshirts and sweaters. Now he wears blue long pants with a combination of turtleneck sweaters mostly in red. Sometimes he wears a bow tie.

Much later the influence of Bewitched crept in more prominently and he became a warlock with traits from Samatha's Mother Endora and her Uncle Arthur. Fleshing Steven out more as a dynamic character he lost the numbered shirts to reflect that he was more than just a kid. He was much older than he looked. He was thousands of years old and knew far more than anyone else let on.

My Adopted Sister Marybeth (Bless her soul) suggested that he was born as a supernatural being from the start when the first Cave Dwellers existed on Earth. Unlike the Cro Magnum specics he exelled in intellegience beyond his years. From there I created an origin story about his life which is loosely based on my young life in The 70's.


STEVEN W WARLOCK'S ORIGINS


His Mother who was mortal married The First Witch Doctor who was an ancestor of Doctor Bombay and a year later he was born. However the family unit was short lived because he was pretty much the third wheel in her life being smitten by her husband far more than nurturing her flesh and blood. One morning he woke up and they left him behind. It was a shock to his psyche and he resented his Mom's departure for years. From that day he swore he would never get too close to anyone again. Though on occasion he lets his soft heart loose when a moment of Injustice happens to the victim.

With that trauma he went off on his own existing through the centuries having adventures and creating History which is not documented in any History Books by Mortals.

During The Salem Witch Trials he was always one step ahead of The Witch Hunters. Defending the humans who were falsely persecuted for being too smart for their own good. He found them fascinating as well as frustrating for their contradictionary nature.

Steven also knew that most human beings could not fathom the dual nature of spells as there were sometimes consequences to making wishes that were out of his league to conjure up. Even he knows magic doesn't always solve everything except for those who would use it for their own selfish hubris.

He discovered alternate universes while traveling through the vaccum of the space time continuum and found many versions of his supernatural and human allies. As a multiple entity he exists in all worlds as well.

Steven can be very generous when he wants to be like Uncle Scrooge. It doesn't take much to please him but anyone crossing him over a slight he WILL and CAN make certain the antagonist doesn't do anything to make the situation happen again. He'll zap them to unpleasant places such as Mount Everest for an hour until they either give up or see a solution to fix the problem. He will not compromise his way of life for anyone.


                         FRANKIESTEIN DRAGUL ORIGINS

Frankiestein was created in 1976 more or less and is based on my best friend Franky Seward Collera. Much of his traits comes from my pal with a slight difference. The name as you can guess is a combination of his own nickname and The Groovy Goolies version of Frankenstein the monster. He is something of a narcccist by his own admission but also very obtuse. He was intially suppose to be of alien lineage since his pointed ears were like Mr Spock from Star Trek. This was changed to him being a vampire like Dracula. He wears a red cape and much of the blue garb worn by The Count himself.

He features are clearly much like my friend. Scruffy tousled hair with a insipid looking goofy face.

Frankiestein Dragul Origin:

In The 19th Century Steven ran into a vampire human named Frankiestein Dragul who like him was an outcast from Society (More specifically The Vampire Guild) for being born to a mortal as well.

Apparently after leaving their Warlock son behind, Steven's mother was infatuated by a a vampire and gave birth to a half breed by him. Because he didn't drink blood like the other vampires he was looked upon unfavorably by The Guild and was forced to leave The tribe to protect his Mother and Father's reputation.

Frankiestein wanted to learn magic from him so he took him on as a student with mixed results as he managed to bungle every incantation taught to him. It would be years later that he would learn that his pupil was his half brother. As charming as it was Steven grudgingly accepted the responsibility to take care of him till the day their Mother returned - if she ever choose to come back at all. Like Steven he also had alternate versions of himself as well.

His cloak is also an interdimension portal.

He also has a talent for being a tinker inventing unusual things in his spare time. Frankie made a time machine and when he tested it himself his mind was fractured in an electrical accident that sent him briefly into a tiny wormhole that caused him to see things from the future. This incident resulted in him having fits of unconscious black outs and saying snatches of things he overheard through tv and radio transmissions.

He has two pets his Vampire Bat Birdy and his Ghost Dog Dr Ghostpepper. They are rivals for Frankiestein's affections.


ZIPP AND ZAPP: SPACE FREELANCERS

 

One of my favorite TV series in The 70's was a sitcom known as SOAP that was essentially a satire on Daytime Soap Operas which have been around since The 60's. Susan Harris created the show along Thomas And Paul Junger Witt at a time when Television was going through a lot of changes socially and politically. Much of its humor was rather baudy and controversial and derived from the tumulous times when everyone and their fifth cousins wanted greater independence outside of the confines that had been set up by The TV Networks that mainly had a lot of Cookie Cutter programming.

Most soap operas before that pretty much dealt with the typical daily secret lives of people going through one crisis after another. Back then most of these shows were pretty basic in terms of what audiences perceived as something that only happened in rural areas where there was no running water. It took a show like SOAP to break down the barriers of what life was really like just about everywhere - or at least an exaggerated one.

I credit my Brother Frankie for turning me on to the show and the way I looked at life from there on after. I identified with Burt Campbell for always perserving even when the odds were always against him and his family as much as The Very Wealthy Eccentric Tates. I held a fondness for Jessica Tate for her naive but well meaning thoughtfulness in trying to find the best in others even when it sometimes backfired on her.

It was the story arc of Burt Campbell being captured by Aliens from Outer Space that gave me the inspiration of Zipp and Zapp who in The Steven W Warlock And Friends universe had been the ones who captured Burt for that "joyride" all those years ago. They were also friends of Mork From Ork as well.

My take of The TV Series which in my mind was animated they had to be cuter than their live action counterparts were. Giving them the Hanna Barbera treatment made it possible for me to flesh them out more. They wore jumpsuits that were given to them on Ork when they went on a supply run to the planet. Their skin was a lighter shade of green and to differeniate them I gave them very few hairs on their mostly bald heads. Zipp has three while Zapp has four.

 

ZIPP AND ZAPP ORIGINS

 

Zipp and Zapp were once part of a scientific team exploring the universe looking for experiments to toy around with for their own amusement. They had assumed what they were doing was for a noble cause for their planet. They captured an Earth merchant 4,000 years ago but didn't have the heart to do anything bad to him. He became their tour guide to his world and in exchange he taught them his language and they did the same. They invented a new dance form that was called Disco long before the Earthlings adapted it for their own.

One particular visit to The "Sleepy" Town of Dunn's River CT in 1978 yielded a very unique earthling who was in the middle of a crisis and they wanted to keep him around too. It was decided that Zipp would be the one to go down to Earth to experience life on The Wild Side. He took on the guise of the man was held prisoner so he wouldn't make anyone suspicous of his true intent. He enjoyed it so much that he almost didn't want to return back. It took their second captor to convince him to give him back his life for his own good.

The Exploration Unit was decommisioned shortly after this event and Zipp and Zapp took the job of being Space Couriers for other worlds and galaxies including Earth. They grow tired of this task and decided to plant their roots on Earth to atone for the misdeeds done in the name of Science.
 

They made their home in a sleepy little community called Inspiration Valley secluded in the mountains of Colorado. They etched out a good life for themselves by dabbling in everything the town had to offer. Zipp And Zapp started a business taking Freelance work wherever they find it on Earth and in Outer Space.

 

ZIPP 

Zipp is a very pragmatic alien who graduated from Mars U in less than 800 years.  He majored in Science, Philosophy and Electronics in one whole day then went to ace other courses including poetry and writing and the arts. Between him and his partner he was the smartest of both of them. 

His one weakness though is for the ladies in any galaxy or universe. Intelligent as he is he shows no self control when it comes to them.

 

ZAPP

Zipp is a modest alien who finds beauty in everything and everyone. He was quick to acclimate himself to the new enviornment as it reminded him of the planet he came from with his pal Zapp.  Zapp also did as well.

 

If he has one weakness it would be for food. He especially loves Pizza. The Exterrrestial thinks it's far better than the slop he and his buddy had back on their old home planet.