Back in 2011, when I was just starting to work on Badnix, I wrote out this huge list of story ideas I was hoping to get around to in the comic. Out of morbid curiosity, I decided to flip through that same list again last week! Most of the ideas are hilariously outdated now, as you’d expect. For example, I had loads of stories planned for Gillian the Blowfish, who’s now filling the same comic strip character landfill as figures like Lyman and Uncle Max.
I did find an idea on that list that surprised me, though: “TWINPACS: FIRE WAKKA WITH ME – Pacman x Twin Peaks – Ghost World Serial Killer”.
So, Puck is a character I’ve had in mind for Badnix literally since day one. Doing Pac Man as a supernatural thriller, from the perspective of the ghosts, has just always seemed completely perfect and ridiculous and fun. It helps that the original arcade cabinet art for Pac Man (pictured below) always struck me as weirdly creepy.
The thing is, I could never quite turn it into an actual story. Sure, on the surface, it seemed perfect for Badnix – classic video game thing from the enemy’s perspective! – but I just could not find a meaningful way to stuff my characters into it. For a long time, it was actually slated to be a story about Chief McCloud, of all people, just because I couldn’t think of a reason for anyone else to be tracking down a serial ghost-killer.
When I was planning out the World 3 arc, I decided to lash the Puck idea together with two other story ideas I’d been hanging on to for a while: the backstory of Rog’s family, and the shady secrets of Arika’s species. To make some more room, I wound up cutting the planned Twinpeaks angle down to a single gag, sparing you all a bunch of obscure jokes about owls and Red Rooms.
So did this mash up of stories actually work? Well, I dunno. We got some pretty solid comics out of it, and it gave me a chance to add some complexity to Rog’s character. But I also worry I piled on a little too much complexity too quickly – particularly around the ending, which I may have rushed a bit because I didn’t want a vaguely Halloween-themed story running through December. I would be curious to hear what you guys thought about the final product, though!
In any case, the story of Puck has finally been laid to rest. Next week I’ll be posting some assorted filler, and then we’ll move on to the next story – a return, I think, to the zany, technicolor platforming adventures this comic does best. Stay tuned!