Where do your ideas come from? This is a question people seem to want to know a lot. I really don’t know. If I did I’d have a lot more good ideas.
This particular idea began around the time my son, Austin was born. Becoming a bit of a sap following his birth I really wanted to create something for him. So I created a teddy bear who I ever so imaginatively named Ted. This was going to be an adventure book about a little boy and his teddy bear protector from the dark parts of the world. And honestly Stuff of Legend is really at its heart still about that. Of course, because I’m a bit sick and twisted this tale got a bit too dark for really young kids to hear. But as I kept thinking on it I began to see a world where the Teddy Bear becomes a rampaging Grizzly fighting other now real toys in a war to save his best friend.
From there I came up with the idea of The Dark, a nasty place ruled by the Boogeyman. Not really reinventing the wheel but it gave my hero, Ted, a villain. As I usually do I began to talk the story out with my frequent writing/artist collaborator Brian Smith. He, like he usually does, saved me from the unfortunate name of Ted for my main character and came up with the title of the book itself. And since he is a master of creating cool concepts and characters he started to create a group around our teddy bear, now named Max, who would accompany him into The Dark in their effort to save the Boogeyman. And from there were off, building whole scenarios and worlds for our band of heroes to overcome in their effort to save their one true friend, the boy.
So now, Brian and I were partners in crime on this one. And we started to build a mythology around our bear. But at this point it was still set in modern times when we took our first pass at pitching it… that would change following our first attempt at pitching Stuff to a publisher.