Here's a little dirty secret of mine I want to confess.
I used to draw superhero comics when I was around 13 years old. I dreamed up hundreds and hundreds of mainstream superheroes with names like Dynamite Man, Faultline and Downpour. But for my comics, I made superheroes based on my elementary school friends.
Back in Grade 6, my two closest friends were Carlo Singson and Alfie Wee Sit. Since I was a huge fan of old school superheroics, I drew the three of us up in generic costumes complete with three-quarter face masks (like Captain America), trunks, capes and a huge-ass letter on our chests. Our heroes were cleverly named Super Carlo, Super Alfie and Super Ian. I wanted a powerful, explosive team name, thus was born..... T.N.T - THE NOBLE TITANS!
Yes, I realized much much later that "The" is an article which is very awkward when used in an acronym. But hey, in my young naive mind, I thought this was groundbreaking stuff!
I was prolific in churning out comics; thanks to a lot of resource material - like the adventures of Mighty Mouse, Thunder Agents, and Solar:Man of the Atom - I used for....uhh.....er, "inspiration." (koff koff, RIPOFF!!!, koff)
Shortly, my TNT evolved. To make repeated drawings easier, we shed some of the capes and wore Power Ranger-style helmets with visors. I attempted to adopt alliterative code names, thus our names became COSMIC CARLO, ASTRO ALFIE and... (hold your comments please) ULTRA IAN!!!
Our supporting cast grew. Classmates we liked became fellow guest heroes, while friends we liked to tease became villains. Some fine examples: ROCKHEAD RONAN, TORPEDO TURKEY, LAMBERT THE LOUSY, and DING OF THE DEVILS. (Damn, what was I smoking back then?)
Anyway, this is basically what TNT looked like for most of the run. Note the deliberate absence of any kind of shading. I didn't have the patience or art material to fill in empty spaces. Kilometrico ballpens didn't grow on trees back then.
(Left to right: Cosmic Carlo, Ultra Ian, Astro Alfie)