"Ryo's Story" is a huge life landmark for me - my very first published piece of work, my very first professional credit. It was co-written with top-ranking UK children's author, John Gatehouse, and appeared in the pages of the UK's "Wickid" magazine, issue #43, on September 28th, 2003. Artwork is by the Artful Doodlers, colours by Alan Craddok, and letters by Peri Godbold.
Pictures are sized for 800x600 resolution. If you're at a larger one, odds are ya ain't gonna be able to read the text, so change!
Want to learn more about how this story came to be? Then face front, True Believer, as we go...
Hopefully, you'll remember back in April 2003, when the Digimon Encyclopedia was lucky enough to be featured in the pages of the UK's monthly "Digimon Magazine." Following the correspondance we shared regarding that, UK Digimon scribe John Gatehouse and I became pretty darn pally, and he extended the offer to me to collaborate with him on one of the five-page Digimon stories regularly featured in another UK magazine, "Wickid," the official companion magazine of Fox Kids. Well, obviously, I wasn't going to say no!
My job was to plot the story, and immedately, I decided I wanted to do a story that involved Ryo and his past - all the stuff that wasn't covered in the series, that featured in the Japanese video game series. Such knowledge is not widespread in the west, outside of the online fandom, so I wanted to try and get it "out there," to let more people know about it.
READ MY ORIGINAL PLOT TREATMENT HERE! (MS Word file, 31 KB)
After I sent the plot to John, I decided that it would be better to begin it right in the middle of the battle. It makes the battle feel less rushed, and also started with action to immediately grab our young audience. John also came to this decision, independantly. Great minds...! Other things warranted changing, as John reckoned I'd written over the heads of the target audience a bit. Also, MetalTyrannomon had to be replaced with Megadramon, as MetalT was already planned for use in another story. John then wrote his script around my plot.
READ JOHN'S FIRST SCRIPT DRAFT HERE! (MS Word file, 33 KB)
I read this script over, and made alterations and suggestions, as well as supplying a mass of pictorial reference for the various attacks and characters John wasn't familiar with and had described wrong, and off he went to re-write. While this was going on, I also needed to busy myself with doing some sequential art samples for my portfolio. So, I elected to use my original draft of this story (with the altered, battle beginning) to draw.
CLICK EACH THUMBNAIL TO SEE MY RENDITION OF THE ORIGINAL "RYO'S STORY!"
Then, the script for the story was finished, and went off to the artists, along with all the pictures I'd supplied.
READ JOHN'S FINAL SCRIPT DRAFT HERE! (MS Word file, 34 KB)
And so, the months went past... and then, on August 28th, issue #43 of "Wickid" hit the stands, and "Ryo's Story!" reached the public! I have to confess to quivering when I saw it in print. And would you believe, the guys at my comic shop had me sign a copy for them to put on their wall?