I had created the Last Paladin in the summer of 2002. My inability to find a reliable artist and work on other projects had forced me to put it in a drawer and there it stayed for the better part of a year.
In that time Ed had seen reaction to Digital Webbing Presents wax and wane. He was always thinking of ways to keep readers coming back for more and one of those ways was a re-occurring character. I had already tried doing just that with my 'Slight of Hand' concept (and no I did not mis-spell slight... but that's a story for another time and blog) but I couldn't keep a regular artist on the scripts and after the third one reviews were running more cold than hot. Ed's mind was turning back towards the super hero concept; something that was still missing in most issues of Digital Webbing Presents. Even though we were mainly an indie book for new creators, people still wanted super heroes no matter how many readers and fans would tell you otherwise.
Ed convinced me to ditch some of my other ideas and focus on creating a super hero, one that could come back over and over if it caught on. It was around that time that Mahmud (better known as Blackjack on the Digital Webbing) posted a quick sketch of Red Sonja and some barbarians. Everything clicked.
I pulled out that old Last Paladin script and read it over. Good god it was awful. If I still have it saved on disk somewhere I might put it up here to show you readers how bad it really was. Then again maybe not... it was that bad.
Knowing Ed wanted longer stories I took that eight page disaster and stretched it out to twelve. Expanding a script can be just as difficult as compressing because you still need to pace the story and make sure people want to turn the page. Simply adding things doesn't always accomplish that. Everything for a reason and everything has to make sense. I probably took a week to add those pages before I was happy with them.
Improved script in hand I went to Mahmud and asked him if he might be interested in working on with me on something like this. I showed him the script and got the yes I had waited about eighteen months for.
Things were starting to look good for the Last Paladin.To Be Concluded...