Dark Lord Cares for Wayward Child

I’ve written a lot of fanfic during the past two years, and I just finished up a huge project that got some really good feedback along the way.

I’m starting to think about “the next step” after fandom, and I think I’d like to get more into comics. I just approached two artists to ask about commissioning some short fan comics, which will hopefully help me get a bit of practice in a semi-safe space. I’m very nervous about this, but I also feel like, if I have good ideas and the resources to bring them to fruition, I should go for it.

I’m also starting to think about original projects. I’ve been playing with an idea for a novel that i’m currently referring to by the title “Dark Lord Cares for Wayward Child,” and it goes something like this…

There is Dark Lord who looks like a huge buff meathead but is actually a powerful wizard. Maybe he’s an orc? Or some other sort of monster? Anyway, he lives in a tower in the wastelands of a high fantasy kingdom. There are nothing but ruins (dungeons and such) in this area, but the understanding within the kingdom is that he has taken territory that does not belong to him and is threatening the border. He does have secret nefarious plans (involving elder gods or something of that nature), but really he doesn’t care about the kingdom at all and simply sees himself as keeping the peace by providing a sanctuary of sorts for other monsters.

One day a hero comes to slay him, but it turns out that this “hero” is just a ten-year-old girl. She’s somehow managed to get her hands on a magical sword that could technically defeat him, but how it came into her possession is something of a mystery. In any case, it turns out that this girl doesn’t have anywhere else to go, so the Dark Lord decides to keep her with him in sort of a Dread Pirate Roberts “I’ll most likely kill you in the morning” situation. It goes without saying that the girl is headstrong and a complete savage.

Meanwhile, the Dark Lord is corresponding (via magic? idk) with the reigning adult princess of the kingdom. The princess doesn’t particularly see him as a threat, but she also doesn’t want her kingdom to have to go to war with him. She’s been trying to put it off as long as possible, and in the meantime she blames everything that goes wrong on the Dark Lord. They are awful and catty and cruel to one another, and it’s very clear to their respective minions that they’re totally in love.

The four intersecting storylines are therefore the Dark Lord’s progress toward his secret nefarious plot, the identity of the child hero and the provenance of her sword, the growing tensions between the castle and the tower, and the love story between the Dark Lord and the princess. What pulls everything together, however, are the shenanigans of the child hero and over-the-top angry responses of the Dark Lord.

This still needs some polishing, as well as named characters and a better title, but I’ve been amusing myself by imagining the plot as a series of four-panel gag manga. Perhaps I could write both the novel and a comic strip simultaneously…?