This is from late ’98 or early ’99. Not 100% sure, but sometime during my 11th grade year.
This started as more of an exercise in trying to draw an alleyway background, and then I thought, hey, what if there was like a drug dealer guy in there? So I drew him, and briefly considered finding a way to add him to the comics universe I’d been building in my head with characters like Quagmire, Frostbyte, The Serpent, Vagabond, Masklaw, and others.
I was listening to a lot of Metallica in high school, so I gave this guy the name “Bad Seed,” from of a track from their then-newest record, ReLoad. You can listen to it in this embedded video, for as long as the song remains on YouTube:
Of course, then I realized where the actual inspiration for this entire drawing had come from: A Trading Card in the X-Men Series II set, for Mr. Tolliver.
It would be hard for Marvel to claim ownership over a grinning guy in a fedora and trench coat, but, really, I should probably just come up with a brand new design. After all, it’s not like Tolliver is the only grinning comics character who frequently wears a trench coat and fancy hat.