Neverminds History

I believe it's always interesting to learn how ideas begin. Every creation has a journey that brings it to life and changes as it grows. And the story behind Neverminds is no different. I was at the Pittsburgh Comicon (which was only the second comic convention I attended selling Sentinels) when I first met artist, Jamie Fay. He had been there showing his portfolio to different companies and getting feedback. And it was only as he was leaving the show that he stopped at my table. He asked about Sentinels and I tried hard to make the sale to him. I had seen that he had his portfolio in his hands so I asked to look at it. I was immediately impressed with his work. His style had a youthful and clean quality to it that really shined. I asked if he had a card and he gave me a link to his website and I gave him one to the Sentinels website. Then he left without buying the book! The bum, lol. When I returned home from the show, I had an email from Jamie saying how mad he was that he didn't buy Sentinels from me at the convention after looking at the website. He immediately ordered Book 1 and 2 through his local comic store and I quickly heard back from him again telling me how much he enjoyed the series. A few weeks later, I received an amazing pinup of some of the Sentinels characters from Jamie. We began chatting online and found we had similar comic interests. I also learned that Jamie had been working on an independent comic a while back that never panned out and was eager to begin working on something new.

Neverminds History 01

I hadn't really thought about doing a second series, but with Luciano and I working on Sentinels Book 3: Echoes during this time, and knowing that there was only one book left, I decided it wasn't a bad idea to consider it. The only problem was that I didn't think I wanted to do another superhero team book. If I was going to do a second title, I wanted to do something different. I studied Jamie's art and it was easy to see that his main strength was drawing female characters. I'd have to be an idiot to have him work on a book that had the main character be male! With that decided I approached Jamie to work on a book together that wasn't superhero and had the main protagonist be female. The only other thing I knew I wanted was the title of the book….Neverminds. With Sentinels, I had already come up with the plot and concept of the book before Luciano joined me, but with Neverminds things were different. I was creating this book along with Jamie and it took us a while to come up with a plot and concept we could agree upon. But once we did, Jamie designed some amazing characters! Our original idea revolved around a young woman named Alanis Munroe, who was a psychiatrist in a mental institution and as she treated each patient she would enter his or her mind and each mind she entered would be portrayed in a different art style. It was an interesting idea, but something about it just didn't feel right to us and we soon found ourselves reworking everything and keeping only Alanis and the book title, Neverminds. Our second take on Neverminds was that it would somehow branch out of Drumfish's Sentinels series as part of the military group that Agent Huggins controlled. They would be a group consisting of psionic characters who all struggled to learn how to control their powers under the watchful eye of the government. We were lucky to have colorist, Nei Rufino, working along with us as our first colorist. We created many new characters and starting moving forward with this concept, but as we did, we found it was too much like many other books out there and it didn't have something that really set it apart from them. So, once again, we scraped the idea and decided to start over. This time, we kept the book title, Alanis Munroe and new characters Sanria, Ben and Cody.

Neverminds History 02Take three! Our third take on Neverminds again centered on Alanis, but this time we decided that she would be of two different worlds. One would be our reality and the other would be a fantasy world full of different gods and goddesses. In our reality, Alanis would be supported by new friends Gavin and Paige, while in the other world, she would have Sanria and new characters Yemeja, Aine and a stone-skinned, flaming-haired, centaur. We began working on this version of Neverminds just as Jamie had the opportunity to relocate from Ohio to New York City for his job. It was also around this time that the first Sentinels Anthology was being worked on and Jamie became the artist on one of the stories for it. This caused a slight delay again in starting on Neverminds.

When we got back to the series, we worked hard to make it unique. We had to replace Nei Ruffino as colorist because she was getting so much work from DC Comics and other companies. Rey Arzeno agreed to color issue 1 and we completed almost the entire first issue. Then we discovered that that we had shared our ideas too much and another book was coming out (and would be out before ours saw print) that had a LOT of similarities to what we were doing. Of course we were upset and disappointed. But "imitation is the sincerest form of flattery" and even though we didn't want to, we knew the best thing to do was start over once again with something completely new. Since we had already done it before, lol, we should be able to start again. And that's just what we did. All of these obstacles and problems lead us to the final version of Neverminds that saw print.

Neverminds History 03

In many ways, things turned out exactly the way they were supposed to. We were able to keep many of the elements from all of the previous versions of the series and it gave more depth to the Neverminds universe. I decided that I was limiting myself by trying to stay away from super powers so much and that we needed to play upon Jamie Fay's biggest strength as an artist, his women! We came up with a sort of Charlie's Angeles type feel for the book and made that the center of the series that we built on. Alanis Munroe continued to be our main character and we came up with a nice twist for keeping her other-world elements in the series. Ben, Sanria, Yemenja, Aine, Cody, Gavin and Paige still existed, but with new backgrounds to them. Paige actually changed from an overweight white girl to an Asian Goth girl to an African American woman. And we created Samanya and Nina as co-workers of Alanis and even used our centaur guy's look for Samanya (minus the hoofs and a different gender!).

It was with new excitement and energy that we really got rolling on Neverminds! And for the first time, we were able to FINALLY complete the first issue! With Neverminds #2 we were joined by colorist, Danielle Alexis St. Pierre and she became our regular colorist shortly after that. Danielle even attended her first convention with us (which was great to see!) at the 2012 Pittsburgh Comicon where we premiered issue #2. When it's right, you know it, and things finally felt right from Neverminds after a long creation period. We you all agree!

-Rich Bernatovech

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