Just Another Portal Fantasy Part Five: Jett Drake
I originally created Jett Drake’s antecedent character for a very self conscious reason. I was not sure I could build a successful series centered around a gay man as sole protagonist. At best, my work would be pigeonholed in the LGBTQ section of the bookstore. While I am a gay man, I want to be seen as a sf writer who happens to be gay. I am fortunate that Jett has gradually developed into a character who is as essential to the story as Tyler.
Jett Drake is Tyler Spang’s opposite. And they are (or become) the best of friends, despite their differences.
Early on, Jett Drake was, for lack of a better term, the muggle to Tyler Spang’s (now Webster Cypress) cambion wizard. The first book of the series would have depicted their first meeting in which Tyler defended Jett’s sister from an incubus and Jett saved Tyler from a mugging. These events cemented a strong bond between the two as they adventured forth to achieve their dreams.
But this is Jett Drake from a past project, even if much of that project will be revisited in the present portal fantasy. So, who is the new Jett?
He is nineteen. He is a college student. He is looking for a place off campus after the summer break. He is a poet. He plans to be a teacher. He plays sports. He is a romantic in the most modern sense of that word. He is an activist with a strong drive to right wrongs, even if he doesn’t really understand the issues he’s fighting for/ against.
He is, in short, my conception of a traditional hero.
This quality he shares with the original Jett Drake. However, their backgrounds have drifted.
The original Jett Drake was born and raised in the slums of the city that would become the city-state of Delphin. The present Jett Drake (even when he was a superhero) originated from a small town in Texas. I intend for Jett to reflect the positive values that are inherent in such a condition. (Even if it has taken me far too long to recognize that there might be positives to growing up in small towns.)
In my planning for this project (and the precursors of the current project), I have often neglected Jett’s story for that of Tyler. I finally have an approach and plan for him that I think will work very well once I get down to actually outlining this project
What that story is, is best told in another format.
Next time, Tyler Spang.