This week, at work, while doing some brain dead activity, I started thinking about it....
...and I think I can make a Toob Raider story that actually works.
I've begun working on it now, drawing pages. I'm curious about something, so I'm going to get as many done as I can before the ChicagoCon. I'm going to try one of the portfolio reviews. I mean, what the hell?
The main thing that I'm focusing on is making it sort of like the Bartman comics from Bongo. Bartman was an obvious riff on Batman, but I am unaware of any problems from DC over it (the series ended, but the feature still appears in the regular books every once in a while). It may be inspired by Batman, but it is different enough that it is allowed to exist (DC put the kibosh on Twisted Toyfare Theater goofing on its characters, so it's not like DC is known for their sense of humor).
The plot is simple -- there's a local water park, and every weekend, they draw a name. The winner gets a map of the park with some clues. If the kid solves the clues and finds the treasure, they get a $100 gift card. Todd, Rhapsody's little brother, wants the money, to the point he's stuffing the box with entries ("Ha! 250 entries! And you said I couldn't even count that high!"). Rhapsody fills out one card just to do it. Guess whose name gets drawn? But the day Rhapsody is to take the map and start the quest, she finds Todd has stolen it so he can claim the prize money for himself.
This is why the book is going to be its own separate entry in the Sound Waves canon -- it's not about music or the girls or even anything underwater. In fact, out of the 24 pages, Melody herself only appears in four of them, five tops, and it's just for exposition. The central theme is about the ever-present rivalry between siblings. Since the book is basically Rhapsody and Todd chasing each other around the park for possession of the map, it just doesn't seem right to make it a regular Sound Waves issue.
The key is to make it so that it can't be said to be confusing the audience or taking advantage of the connection to the source material. (This isn't a guarantee, it just lessens your odds of getting a C&D.) The cover of the book will mention "from the pages of Sound Waves". Being a black and white book is a big help. Rhapsody's hair will stay as it is, no ponytail. No backpack. Rhapsody wears a T-shirt instead of a tank top (which I prefer anyway. Lara Croft's outfit has become so sexualized, I frankly worry about putting it as is on Rhapsody). The Super Soaker guns are good, and I even point out they are loaded with octopus ink. And it will be set in Rhapsody's "universe". She won't be going on globe-trotting adventures full of intrigue and magic, it's the kind of adventure kids would have in the real world. This is to make sure that, if I have enough fun that I want to do this again, I can do so.
Whether I come back or not, I don't know. I'm barely writing it, the characters are taking over so well, the pages are practically drawing themselves. I'll let you know when things get more concrete than this, but it will definitely be out before the end of the year.