Truer words were never spoken
Here we are on Thursday and FOTD DC TV week is going strong. Let’s continue by looking at a show that was sadly cancelled only after one season, but will get a small reprive with a one episode crossover with Arrow, Constantine. More precisely, we’re going to look into the background of the character design.
Did you know that John Constantine’s design was based on Sting?
No, not that Sting....
Here is what the Wiki Whose Editors Stand To Close To Me has to say....
In these early appearances, Constantine was depicted as a sorcerer of questionable morality, whose appearance was based on that of the musician Sting (specifically, as Sting appeared in the films Brimstone and Treacle and Quadrophenia). Alan Moore created the character after artists Stephen R. Bissette and John Totleben, who were fans of the Police, expressed a desire to draw a character who looked like Sting. They had already drawn at least one such character in Sting’s likeness, as a briefly glimpsed background figure wearing a black-and-red-striped T-shirt, in Swamp Thing No. 25 (1984). In his earliest Swamp Thing appearances, the character is drawn with a marked resemblance to Sting, and in Swamp Thing No. 51, Constantine appears on a boat with the name “The Honourable Gordon Sumner” on the bow.
John Constantine’s official debut was not until Swamp Thing No. 37 when he was drawn by Rick Veitch. Moore describes the creation of Constantine as being drawn from a number of “really good ideas... about serial killers, theWinchester House, and... want[ing] to draw Sting in a story.” Calling these disparate strands a “big intellectual puzzle”, Constantine was the result of “fit[ting] it all together.” Initially created “purely to get Sting into the story”, by the time of the 1985 San Diego ComicCon, Moore stated that “[i]t’s turning into something more than that now.” Veitch’s contribution was to give Constantine an earring, something he considered risque for 1985.
For comparison here is the trailer for Brimstone and Treacle and a picture of Sting on the DVD cover
I found a story from 2012 on, of all things, an Oklahoma news site NewsOK. It was a story about Sting’s 61st Birthday.
The story has a quote from Alan Moore which came from a Wizard interview which was posted on a Hellrazer fan site Insaneramblings.com
“Basically, when I take over something as a writer, I always try to work as closely as I can with the artists on the book, so I immediately did my best to strike up a friendship with Steve Bissette and John Totleben. I asked them what they would like to do in Swamp Thing. They both sent me reams of material. Things that they had always wanted to do in Swamp Thing, but never thought they would get away with. I incorporated this into my scheme of things, and tried to pin it all together.
“One of those early notes was they both wanted to do a character that looked like Sting. I think DC is terrified that Sting will sue them, although Sting has seen the character and commented in Rolling Stone that he thought it was great. He was very flattered to have a comic character who looked like him, but DC gets nervous about these things. They started to eradicate all traces of references in the introduction of the early Swamp Thing books to John Constantine’s resemblance to Sting . But I can state categorically that the character only existed because Steve and John wanted to do a character that looked like Sting.”
Hellblazer fan site Qusoor.com was the source for a quote from Musician magazine.
A Hellblazer fan site couldn’t find a Rolling Stone interview with a mention of Hellblazer, but did come up with a quote from Musician magazine article by Bill Flanagan that might fit the bill.
Wherever Gordon Sumner ends, there’s no question that the public image of Sting has taken on a life of its own. . . . Last night Sting was talking about the DC superhero comics of the early ’60s when he was reminded that these days DC has a supernatural hero, Hellblazer, modeled after Sting. As a kid Sting read about Superman and Batman. Now he’s in the comics hanging out with them.
“That’s not me,” Sting says. “That’s the public domain creation. Anything can happen to that, bad or good. It doesn’t affect the core of me. Having created a kind of mask or image, you should then put it aside and get on with your life. The mistake [celebrities] make is they, confuse that thing that’s been created by them and by the media for reality. Then they sit inside that thing and they wonder why everything’s f****d up. That character is someone else. It’s not me. And thank God. Nice things happen to it, bad things happen to it – fine. Just leave me out of it!”
Techtimes.com did an interesting look at the characters evolution over the years as well.
It’s a shame the show didn’t do better. I hope for the sake of it’s fans that the crossover on Arrow might show enough interest for some network, or maybe even Netflix or Hulu, to take a stab at a second season. We will have to wait and see. For now, I wish you all a wonderful day, and I will see you on the next Fact Of The Day.
Fact Of The Day is the daily column where RobGronkowski’sPartyBusDriver shares some random tidbit of science fiction, fantasy or horror knowledge. If there is a show or movie you would like to see done, leave a note in the comments below. You can see the full archive of past columns here.