The Super-Secret Origins of Lemme Addams

Don’t get me wrong, I love superheroes but as a cartoonist I could never take them seriously enough to produce a series. However I did have some ideas. Scattered throughout my sketchbooks, some dating back to 1988, you can see an occasional concept for a super-dude, usually 2-3 pages, complete with character design and origin story.  But I’d never do anything with them. In the comics I presented to the world I wanted to tell epics! For me, the best super-comics were small, complete in one issue, occasionally a 2-parter, but never 52 (tee-hee). But the books I produced tended to focus on grand concepts. Stories of fallen kingdoms, political intrigue, peppered in esoteric philosophies and wrapped in myth..that’s what I’m all about, baby!

Cut to 6 months ago and my substantial workload (or OVER-workload). I am an animation voice actor for Funimation. I am a colorist for Dark Horse Comics’s ElfQuest. The icing on this busy cake is a massive convention tour schedule.  I had stopped working on my grand epic over at weshadows.com. I just didn’t have the time to devote to the writing. I actually confessed to the readers I was writing it as I went along and the story was suffering. So I stopped. Better to put it on hold than to produce it halfheartedly.

But I started getting that itch to draw again. I flipped through my sketchbooks and thought about those superheroes, “Wouldn’t it be cool to put them all in the same book? My own quirky little Justice League!”

I even had an idea of a central character…someone to lead them. I knew who she was. I knew her powers. But I didn’t know what she looked like or even her name.

On a seemingly unrelated note, my wife is a burlesque performer. She and her friend Tippsy Cupps founded the Whiskey Tongue Burlesque troupe here in Denton, TX. Burlesque is all over the house. When you wake in my pad with sleep dust in your eyes better check to make sure it isn’t glitter. Also Tippsy comes over just about every Friday night and through bawdy laughter (and a vat of wine) the conversation always comes back to burlesque.

The idea of a burlesque type costume for my new hero crossed my mind (as if my imagination had a choice). I looked at some of my wife’s old photoshoot pics online as a basis and designed a more rugged, adventure-friendly version of the costume. Then I thought, “Hmm..I like the hairstyle too.” And, strangely enough, I even like my wife’s personality. But I still needed a name for this new hero. Well, the perfect name was staring me right in the facebook…my wife’s burlesque persona’s name..Lemme Addams. The name screamed of bold, unwavering courage and adventure.

I yelled across the hall from my studio to my wife’s, “Can I use your burlesque name for a superhero book?” She yelled back, “Of course!”

Bam. Done.

But I still had the same problem. I had no time to write this. I was going to need help on this one. Several very talented writer friends came to mind (in the fields I work in you meet a lot of talented people) but one rang out more than the rest. My old buddy Billy. The guy I started drawing comics with back in 1988. He would get the sense of fun I wanted with this. I sent Billy the basic idea as well as 2 pages I had already drawn. The first thing he asked was, “Are these first 2 pages set in stone?” I told him, “No. Just run with it.” And did he ever. He produced the first 8 paged story in a day. Then he had another. And another. Before long we had a series of cool short stories that also fit into an epic story arch of a graphic novel. Boy, did I ask the right guy.

“Best of both worlds…honey, I know what’s worth”- Van Halen.

 

See ya next Monday!

 

Sonny

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