Thursday, June 21, 2012


"He is the Champion, my friend.  And he'll go on fighting to the end..."

With the 2012 Olympics just a little more than a month away, what could be more fitting than a hero who was an Olympian?  Ladies and gentlemen, it's the one-and-only World Champion!

Travis Roykirk is a character I've had for many years who has existed in different forms, but he has always been a gymnast with an Olympic Gold Medalist background.  Men's Gymnastics is one of the few sports that I will actually take time to sit and watch on TV, and I look forward to seeing it in every Summer Olympics.  I think of male gymnasts as not just superb athletes but beautiful artists, and I like their sport not for its competitiveness but its grace and beauty and its expression of personal, physical excellence.  (Of course that doesn't stop me rooting for the Americans; I am a little competitive.)  

In his last iteration before this one, the openly gay and proud World Champion was an Australian clad in a gymnast's outfit in the colors of the Olympic flag (blue, yellow, black, green, red, white).  As I thought about him I realized that my heroic cast was lacking one primal archetype:  the all-American, flag-wearing hero in red, white, and blue.  This was my motivation for changing his origin to make him an American and for re-doing his costume to its present design.  Travis, prior to becoming the World Champion, appears in The Adventures of Lucky Vega as a gymnastics champion and a hardbody Martial Arts competitor specializing in Tae Kwon Do and the Bo staff.  Hardbody training transforms bone, causing it to lay down more tribeculae (calcium structures) after being traumatized.  In this manner bones grow denser, harder, more durable.  Ancient martial artists rendered their bones denser by striking sand, stone, and iron.  I picked all this up from an episode of a program called Fight Science on National Geographic Channel featuring an Australian fighter named Bren Foster who is one of the most spectacularly beautiful specimens of manhood you will ever see.  He went on to star as Quinn in the daytime soap Days of Our Lives!  

Watching Bren and learning about hardbody training, I naturally began to spin the whole idea into concepts for my work; I had been looking for details to use in the origin of the World Champion and this was a natural.  It sets up things that happen to Travis after his Olympic Gold Medal wins, when he becomes the chosen protege and surrogate son of a man named Jack Samson who is the world's leading exercise and fitness mogul (and the father of a brave young gay lad who died standing up to bashers).  It is because of his closeness with Samson that Travis becomes the recipient of the Samson-Vega Patch, a super-body-enhancing skin patch created as part of a project to prepare humans for life in space.  Wearing the Patch takes Travis from physically superb to nearly superhuman and is a critical step in his odyssey to become one of the leaders of the world's emerging super-heroes.

Wearing the red, white, and blue with pride, Travis Roykirk is truly the Champion of the World!

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