Friday, July 8, 2011

Introduction Part 1: Flashback ~!

In 1987 I went to live and work in a small Japanese town called AYA in Miyazaki Prefecture, way down South on the island of Kyushu in Japan. My job was to teach English to adults and children. I worked in the Community Center as several dozen people came to me every week. I enjoyed teaching but was looking for some way to spice up the activities.
Then in 1989 I decided to write and draw a series of comic books in English and Japanese. This was right when the movie BATMAN starring Michael Keaton and Jack Nicholson was taking the world by storm. I wanted to use Batman's popularity in my English classes. I also had access to the old Adam West TV series on videotapes which I showed to my classes. I introduced them to the wacky world of Batman, Robin, and Batgirl and everyone was happy. They enjoyed the stories and I enjoyed writing and drawing them. I had always considered myself a bit on the artistic side. And compared to some of the crap that you can find in Japan, I figured my cartoony style would be sufficient! I also enjoyed the translation process, and my Japanese language abilities increased.
The only problem I had was that I was finding it difficult to "dumb down" existing Batman stories for my audience, where English was NOT their native language. This was WAY before Batman: The Animated Adventures came along and would have pointed me in a very different direction.
I don't know what made me think of it, but somehow I thought, What if I used the Justice League instead of the Batman Family? In their simplest stories they came together, broke up into teams, fought the bad guys, and saved the world. No kids would find that TOO difficult to understand. Plus I had the entire series of THE SUPER FRIENDS comic-books, which were a simpler, easier to follow "kiddie" version of the Justice League already. I decided to adapt some of my favorite stories from both THE SUPER FRIENDS and JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA for "my" Justice League.
The next problem was...who would be IN "my" Justice League?!

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