Designs from Darcy Dare paper miniatures, 2002, ink.
Wow, this month marks the tenth anniversary of the Darcy Dare SPARKS paper miniatures set!
In middle or late 2001, I approached S. John Ross to express my interest in developing a set of paper miniatures for his SPARKS line of specialized fonts. For a couple of years I’d been drawing this heroine, "Darcy Dare," and I imagined she could be the central figure in a collection of modern pulp action characters. Ever the gracious fellow, S. John said he was down with the concept and so the fun began!
I tried to think of various characters that’d be at home in the adventure comics and cartoons I loved as a kid (and continue to love). I knew we needed ninjas, a jungle princess, various costumed goons and, of course, a robot gorilla. By the time we were done we had twenty-six characters, plus Darcy Dare in four alternate costumes, as well as several “flats,” various props appropriate to the genre.
Pictured above is “classic” Darcy Dare, along with rear views of three alternate costumes: Urban Commando Darcy, Arctic Action Darcy, and SCUBA Scout Darcy!
Sure, with a decade's perspective I see things I’d change; I think the designs could be more flavorful and each suffers the effects of my “wedge finger” period. Further, Darcy’s not quite the same character she was ten years ago.
Still, I’ll always have a special affection for these drawings and for the clever names, crazy concepts, and snappy descriptions that S. John developed for the collection.
I’m flattered that folks continue to stumble upon the product and make the purchase!