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Tandra Page 998, August 24, 2008

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I never intended Queen Kenia to be a paragon of virtue. Maybe I had an image of her as a more appealing standard garden variety girl of distress in my head when I first drew her back in 1973, but that would not long last. I have told the story often that the first Tandra plates were lifted pretty much as I saw them from the dream I had as a teenager. For those of you who came in late, here’s the recap.

I was sitting in this big and comfortable chair in my grandmother’s living room with a blonde positioned on my legs and turned toward me. She was beautiful, of course, but I do not remember her as being a girl I actually knew in the real world at the time. In many dreams, the girl is Mary or Susie or Jane or another girl you know from the wide awake world and the dream is you wishing the girl in question would suddenly go all romantic on you. Not in this dream.

We were also wearing clothes, so get your mind out of the gutter.

Things were, however, getting interesting when this guy all dressed up in mediaeval warrior gear appeared out of nowhere. He explained the girl needed to go with him. Actually, I do not remember a verbal explanation as such. Dreams are not always scripted with all the necessary details. Both the girl and I just knew she needed to go with the warrior guy.

Next thing I knew, she had followed the warrior into another room and I was going in after her. When I arrived in the room to which she had disappeared, she was not there. The room was dark, though not totally without light. It was something like a twilight dark. There was bright daylight peeking through cracks in the wall. This wall, as I remember, was pretty shoddy with old boards nailed up rather haphazard. Granny’s house was never like that. I tried the old door in the wall and, though the door had your standard door knob, when I tugged to open the door peeled off the wall more or less like old cardboard leaving a blank wall beneath.

In the dream, that did not seen terribly unusual. I decided, if the door would not open in the expected manner, I would make my own opening in the wall proper and set about tearing away the old boards through which the light was filtering. The boards came away with little difficulty and I was soon climbing through the rough opening into a brightly lit world of forests and lush green grass.

Then the dream was over!

Never found the girl!

As is evident from the first Tandra plates, I tinkered with the dream a bit, had the girl get herself into a situation with overly ambitious admirers to allow the hero a spectacular entrance, but the essential idea remains unchanged.

And Kenia had not much more dimension than the nameless dream blonde. By the time Galon came to locate his princess on Tandra, I had taken to the idea this was not going to be a “Happy Ever After” story. I thought it would be interesting to have the princess tell the hero to go take a hike. I don’t remember that had ever before been done. In any case, I had not seen it. Such cavalier action by Kenia sets certain preconditions to her character. I chose her motivation for coming to Earth and meeting and going to bed with Galon that she required a son of which her King was unable to provide. Given that she would hazard a potentially dangerous journey to another world for such a reason indicates other conditions of her situation, her personal life and her determination to keep her throne.

There was the time I thought she would cast Galon off and think no more about it. His usefulness was at end for her.

Then it came to me it would be of interest if Kenia, beyond her capacity to refuse, had actually come to love the Earthian in the brief time she had passed on his world. That would make her face to face rejection of him as he stood before her on Tandra more interesting. When I came to rearrange panels for the confrontation sequence, I had her shed a tear as she turned to walk away from him, thus letting the reader know what her rejection of the Earthian’s love had cost her.

That too had implications for her character and left the remaining possibility of a renewed relationship in times to come.

I’ll continue with this evaluation of Queen Kenia in the Update to Tandra Page 999.

Next week; Tandra Page 999 titled “Living Weapons.”

See ya then.

May the sun always shine on your parade.