"The Kingdom of Ten" began as "The Bondane" in 1996, which I came up with because I love Star Wars so much. I thought up the name of the order because I liked the sound of the word ”dane” as in great dane dog. I also thought it could be pronounced Bon-don-ay. I later changed it to The Ellodane when one of my friends commented that The Bondane sounded like some S&M comic about bondage. Even later I just changed it to "The Kingdom of Ten", the cover of which was colored by Sandra Fremgen (http://pandaandme.com/ and http://sandrafremgen.com/). The original two issues of "The Bondane" are presented below this post... and WAY below is the story of why this series never got off the ground. Maybe someday I’ll incorporate this stuff into ‘Tales of Tavland’.
The Bondane are a bit too much like the Jedi, I suppose. Yet their swords were much different than lightsabers, which any old person can just pick up and use (see General Grievous) because lightsabers are just physical tools. The Godswords of the Bondane can be called upon by a Bondane from thin air at any time. The Godswords can also only be held by the Bondane. When they get too far from a Bondane’s hands, they disappear back into the Ether until called on again. So how does Commander Dablio hold one at the end of issue #2? You were supposed to wait until issue #3 or #4 to find out, but since they’ll never see the light of day, I’ll just tell you that Dablio cut off Garrett McFellen’s hands and kept them in a sack on his belt at all times. Gruesome, I know, but I wanted a real bad guy. (Dablio himself was also later got his eyes burned out by seeing and angelic being, but that’s neither here nor there.)
The god in the comic is known as Jerar in this version. I later named it LLRR to play on the four-letter name YHWH. When spoken, the Ellodane would add the vowels and say “Ellrar” or “Ellorar” (I never settled on which one). LLRR is also similar to Lrrr from Futurama, but I didn’t intend that either.
I called the weak aliens in issue #1 ‘Ullians’ I thought based on the name ‘Utrom’ from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turltes, but I later found out that I must have had that name in my subconscious somewhere because that was the name of an alien race in an episode of ‘Star Trek: Next Generation’. If I ever publish these again, maybe I’ll call them Uthiens instead.
It's interesting for me to read the letters pages of these comics, like in issue #2 where I talk about moving soon to go to UC Berkeley. Crazy how time flies.
Below is the short story of how the Shentolos/Kyboken Pirates escaped their homeworld of Dess-Shentol. NOTE: The spelling change from "Keiboken" to "Kyboken".
Here are some extra tidbits that I designed almost 20 years ago:
Here is the reason I never continued this series:
I showed the first issue of this comic book to Joe Field at Flying Colors Comics back in 2005. He told me that it looked good. I had the talent down, but now I had to do the hard part: take it around and sell it. So I took the two comic books around WonderCon in 2005. I met a few people who took a look at the comic. One who gave me an unnecessarily withering critique was Steve Lieber, author of "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Creating a Graphic Novel" and artist of “Road to Perdition 2” and “Whiteout”.
Lieber said that my artwork was “pretty bad” and that I’d “never get anything published.” (That was 4 years before I got two books published, mind you.) He also said that the way I drew the characters was “stiff”, yet he really liked the action poses that I drew them in. To me, those two comments sort of cancelled each other out and made me realize that Lieber had no idea what he was talking about. I had also started teaching Art by that time and I knew that one should NEVER stifle creativity, they should nurture it.
I really like the second issue where things really get going. I know that I began Issue #3, but I don't know where those pages went to in the ensuing 10 years. Issue #3 showed the temple of the Bondane (now renamed the Ellodane) based on the Second Temple in Jerusalem. But good ol’ Steve Lieber pretty much crushed my spirits for a number of years and I completely stopped what I was doing. Maybe someday I’ll incorporate this stuff into ‘Tales of Tavland’.