Back when I began The Legacy of Dominic Deegan, Snout’s adventures were much more physical in nature. There was a lot of physical humor and slapstick mishaps. There was action and silliness as he avoided amorphous blobs of eyes and teeth and took on the world’s angriest tree. Originally, the entire series of The Legacy was going to be like that, as Snout traveled the world looking for clues about Dominic’s journey to Asinotaph. But that all changed over these past four years, and while the natural development of characters is one reason for the change, there was another very significant one.
The onset of the Covid-19 pandemic drastically changed The Legacy because it drastically changed me.
It didn’t take long for my mood and my spirits to absolutely plummet as everything was canceled and I was isolated from my friends and extended family. On top of quarantining, I was responsible for not only entertaining my five year old son but also helping with his remote education. I was exhausted, I was lonely, and I was all but cut off from any new experiences that would inspire new material in comics. I was not in the mood to create lighthearted slapstick adventures.
I did, however, find great comfort in making the dreamscapes and otherworldly panoramas that have become so commonplace in the later pages of The Legacy. Experimenting with digital brushes to make landscapes that were far out of my comfort zone provided not only an opportunity for artistic growth, but I found the process relaxing, even when I tried things that didn’t work. What Snout was going to learn about through research he came to learn through firsthand experience. While that may have made for slower paced, less straightforward storytelling it also made me happy in a way that I was sorely needing.
So I leaned into the dream aspect of The Legacy and in doing so changed the direction of Snout’s adventures. If I hadn’t, I don’t know if I would’ve had the motivation to keep making comics during the pandemic.
Whoever said that suffering artists make great art was full of shit.