Have you ever written or drawn something and wondered why you did it the way you did it? It’s interesting to track where ideas come from.

Take the last two pages. First and foremost, Space Corps is a collaboration between Bryan and me. For this scene, we threw ideas back and forth until we knew what it was about.

We felt we needed to explain why this highly advanced space force fights conventionally. The idea of a CRI came from reading The Making of the Atomic Bomb, by Richard Rhodes. In the book, Rhodes explains how Hungarian physicist, Leo Szilard, realized that a chain reaction of splitting atoms, if such a thing could be achieved, would cause an explosion like the world has never seen. He tried to alert the U.S. government, but was ignored. Szilard then went to his friend Albert Einstein to implore him to write a letter to Franklin Roosevelt, urging him to pursue an atom bomb. When Szilard first explained to Einstein that a chain reaction of splitting atoms would cause a massive detonation, Einstein admitted that the possibility hadn’t occurred to him, yet when he heard it, he immediately knew it was possible.

Rhodes book gave us the basis for the CRI. It’s science fiction, but at least we know where we’re veering from the science to the fiction.

When Bryan and I were talking about this, I can’t remember whose idea it was to set the explanation into a briefing or class. That was probably me simply because I know how many classes people in boot camp have to sit through. Nevertheless, it could have been Bryan. It’s sometimes hard to remember who came up with what. As an aside, this experience has given us insight into the whole Stan Lee Jack Kirby debate as to who came up with what. The Marvel Method of writing is so fluid, that it is difficult to trace the genesis of every idea.

That said, the flashback portion in this scene was definitely Bryan’s idea. I loved it when I heard it, and the pacing of it pretty quickly fell into place. I immediately liked the idea of the flashback, because it makes the scene a character moment–we see that Deven is a person who wrestles with his fear–and not just a couple of pages of exposition.

The concept of the Winnowers was also Bryan’s. While I did the designs, and have contributed to his ideas, he is the one who laid the foundation for what the Winnowers are. A lot of the text about the Winnowers was written from notes taken a few years ago when we were first putting Space Corps together.

Once we had the idea down, I paced out the scene and sent it to Bryan for his feedback. I incorporated his notes and here it is for your viewing pleasure.

When people ask where ideas come from, maybe it’s the wrong question. Maybe we should ask, “How does a story come together?” I think that question gets people closer to the insights into craft they might be looking for.

What do you guys think?