This episode of TWT takes us all the way from durable plastics to the creation of an original children’s comic book- color you impressed? This segment begins as Tamara visits Eastman to learn about how more durable plastics can also benefit the environment since they’d last longer without needing to be thrown away and replaced. While Tamara is on her travel mission, George works with a team of artists to create a comic book- The Inventsons! He also discusses the possibility of putting The Park of the Future in Saudi Arabia, which has started a mission to become the most technologically advanced country in the Middle East. Though we only got a taste of the comic book creation process in this episode, we were able to speak to the comic book writer, L.E. Halkias, to get additional information about the writing process for The Inventsons:
TWT: Where did you get inspiration for The Inventsons?
LH: Well, as you saw in the TWT episode, the inspiration itself originated with George. He came to us with the original idea of the characters, themes, and some overall plot information and I worked with the comic’s executive producer Joe to help create the first issue. The idea was vague when I began working on it, so I just needed to give it some backbone, give the characters more distinct voices, map out the scene-work, and write the script.
TWT: You mentioned giving the characters distinct voices, what was that process like?
LH: Well, Balzer already felt pretty distinct from the get-go so I didn’t have to do too much character work there. But when I looked at the original blueprints for the characters the first thing I noticed was that, on paper, Jesse and Walt sounded too similar. I feel like, stereotypically, you see the family model where the older brother is tougher and the younger one is more sensitive, so I wanted to flip the script on that stereotype. From there, I did some sample scene work until I felt like I got each of their voices down- then I turned to Sue. I had to make sure she was the type of character I’d be able to identify with and be proud of as a young girl- equal parts feminine, smart, and strong. At that point, G and Mike were easy, given the intense personalities of the first three kids we needed some peacemakers in the family. Once I had everyone’s voices and characteristics down, I made sure to specify an area of academic interest for each family member to further encourage readers to appreciate well-rounded innovative knowledge.
TWT: What was the hardest part of writing the comic? And the most rewarding?
LH: The hardest part was probably initially sorting through all of the ideas- George has tons of them so you’ll be seeing a lot more of The Inventsons. We have several issues planned and one currently going through the illustration process. But once I sorted through everything and figured out the best way of telling their story…. Well, I can’t say it was easy, but the story took its course pretty naturally.
The most rewarding part was definitely seeing the final product. Joe’s team did such a good job of taking what was in my head and putting it to the page and I thought the illustration style was so perfect for the material. It honestly looked even better than I imagined it was and it was so rewarding to see my name on the cover.
Want to learn more about The Inventsons? Buy the first issue here!