Hello everyone, and you may have seen on my recently released Patreon page the official reveal of a graphic novel series I'm working on titled Captain Console! Below is the logo, promotional image and current synopsis for the first book:
Okay, let’s just get this out of the way: Elijah Bolton was never quite your average kid. Even before he became even less average, he was living life as a wealthy 11-year-old African American boy in Los Angeles. He loves video games, dreaming of becoming a game tester. His father is a computer programmer, and his mother is a globe-trotting journalist, who made him become a kid reporter for the entertainment magazine The Monthly Arcade. Not exactly what he asked for, but it could be worse. But Elijah would get much more than he asked for when his mother, impressed with his journalism, bought him one of the most highly anticipated consoles of the year after a months-long wait. When he put his new game inside, he got exposed to strange electrical surges, which sucked him inside the Videoverse, the world of video games! These surges not only gave Elijah superpowers, but it enabled video game villains to leave their games for the real world! In order to thwart these villains from wreaking havoc on Earth, Elijah now dons the moniker of Captain Console, protecting both the Videoverse and the state of California from all kinds of evil! In the meantime, Elijah writes stories about the very superhero he has become for The Monthly Arcade, while keeping his identity a secret to everyone but those in the video game who forged his heroic alter ego. It couldn’t get any better than this – until he crosses paths with the vengeful developer that gave him his powers to start with!
I came up with the idea for Captain Console as far back as 2008, when I was making cartoons of a character called “Captain Nintendo” for the Flipnote application on my Nintendo DSi, which was part of the Nintendo DS family of gaming systems. “Captain Nintendo” was essentially me as a superhero fighting the antagonists of the video games I played, imagining myself as the character whenever I played the actual games. Meanwhile during this time, I was in what they called “extended day” in fifth grade and was introduced to Poptropica by a female student. (For those of you who don’t know what Poptropica is, you can learn more on the blog). While playing Poptropica, I used a character intended to be a superhero that wore a combination of different costume parts that I enjoyed playing with. But then the superhero themed Super Power Island was released, which changed everything. I was so happy that actual superhero costumes were made available in Poptropica, and with that, I created a new superhero, rejecting the original character completely.
I had a lot of fun with the character and despite the fact that he originated in Poptropica, I wanted to separate the character from the game and truly make him mine. I wasn’t exactly impatient on it though, and in the meantime, I made comics about Poptropica featuring the character. Once when I was making a comic book in a doctor’s office, an old man told my parents that I “had potential”, which, mind you, was years before I was capable of the things I can do now. I then switched to a notebook, where I created more comics about Poptropica featuring the character. I initially intended to make an issue for every Poptropica island that would ever be created, until I could no longer keep up with the pace at which islands were being made. (How the tables have turned.) I created a rouges gallery for the character that featured a mix of existing Poptropica villains and original characters for islands that didn’t have their own villains. Concepts for these characters were eventually used in The Cosmorphs, another work I've revealed that I'll talk about more in another post.
Although I obviously never intended on publishing these comics, my mother insisted that I change the names of the existing Poptropica villains anyway, perhaps to help deter me from actual plagiarism. Sometime later around 2010, I finally separated the character from Poptropica and fully integrated him into the Naimoli Universe. This also meant creating original villains for what was now, more or less, a completely new graphic novel series. This was also around the time I stopped making Captain Nintendo cartoons on Flipnote. The character would take on many different iterations even after that until 2017, when I created The Cross Dimensional Awareness of Izzy Speechbubbles for a college course at the New School. It is in this comic series that I decided to revive the Captain Nintendo concept in a character named Captain Console, who is featured in one of the worlds in the series.
As I explained in a previous post, I originally didn't plan on writing an entire series about a supporting character from The Cross Dimensional Awareness of Izzy Speechbubbles. But I changed my mind after deciding that Captain Console as a concept was far more creative than the character that I had created up to that point. It took a lot of work, but I fully integrated Captain Console into the main Naimoli Universe by replacing the parts of the previous character I did not like with Captain Console’s and rewrote significant parts of the story and characters around Captain Console’s concept. I then rewrote significant parts of the story and characters around the Los Angeles setting, which I chose due to its importance in the U.S. entertainment industry, and for having the richest African Americans in the county in View Park, the neighborhood where Elijah lives. This replaced a fictional city in the previous version that had a name I didn’t really like anyway.
But what about the Captain Console you see in Izzy Speechbubbles? Well, as I also explained in the same post, that Captain Console is NOT the same version of the character you will see in this graphic novel series, instead inhabiting the same universe as The Bermuda Adventures. As for what the Captain Console in Izzy Speechbubbles actually is, I’ve decided to go for the multiverse approach, but I’ve also decided to write him out of Izzy Speechbubbles and replace him with another character, which means replacing his previous appearances in that series. Since I never really had plans to actually publish The Cross Dimensional Awareness of Izzy Speechbubbles, I’d rather keep it separate from most of my other works, hence my use of the term “the main” Naimoli Universe.
But I have a feeling that this dramatic change I’ve taken with Captain Console will ultimately be a great one, as it is more than just a series about video games. It tackles serious themes about the ethics of technology, as well as social justice and even the preservation of democracy, which get more apparent as the series progresses. These themes weren’t present in the previous version of the story, which I’m particularly excited to explore due to feeling that in today’s world, these themes matter more than ever. You can see the logo, promotional image and synopsis on the Captain Console page, which include other content such as character design sheets of some of the characters. You can also view additional character design sheets on Patreon by becoming an Official Patron for $5 a month. These character design sheets will be released on Naimoli Universe for free in September; from then on, you can get early access to the next few character design sheets on Patreon before they are released for free. I will also show the free character design sheets here in the gallery below; since I am not posting as many character design sheets at once like I did for The Bermuda Adventures, I will also include the character descriptions.
Captain Console (Elijah Bolton) – An 11-year-old wealthy African American boy from the View Park−Windsor Hills neighborhood in Los Angeles. He is a video gamer who leads a double life saving L.A. from evil while writing articles of himself as Captain Console for the video game magazine The Monthly Arcade to make it more interesting. He has the powers of flight, super strength, super speed, electrical manipulation, trans-dimensional travel to the Videoverse, and various video game-related powers.
Donnie Sun – A Chinese American boy who moved from San Francisco and Elijah’s best friend. He is better at video games than skateboarding, and he is quite serious yet makes jokes to harmlessly tease others at the same time. He is also a little egotistical.
Gabriel Montero – A Mexican American boy who is one of Elijah’s friends. He is better at skateboarding than video games, and he loves to joke around, becoming the class clown. Overenthusiastic and goofy, he is also prone to getting scared.
Samantha McNeill – An Irish American girl who is Jennifer’s best friend and one of Elijah’s friends. She is an artist and writer who aspires to appear in a Hollywood film, and she motivates Jennifer to do more indoor activities.
Jennifer Makaio – A Native Hawaiian girl who moved from Santa Cruz, Samantha's best friend and one of Elijah’s friends. She is a surfer and swimmer who is part of Sunny Hills Middle School’s swim meet, and she motivates Samantha to do more outdoor activities.
Are you interested in Captain Console? Like The Bermuda Adventures, there is still much to reveal about the series that you may be curious about, but be aware that because I still want to keep something a surprise before publication, there are some questions that I am not willing to answer for the foreseeable future. I will be compiling the answers to any questions in a FAQ section at the bottom of the Captain Console page. Also be aware that even with the public reveal of my work, I am still working on it and thus it is still subject to change. I am open to criticism as long as it is constructive, which allows for healthy changes to my work.
Let me know what you think, and as usual, stay enlightened, educated and entertained, folks.