Recyle List 2
Okay, this answer is going to be long. It's a bit of a journey, but you can ultimately blame DC Comics for that. I was nine when they released their first "Dial 'H' For Hero"issue in Adventure Comics #479, and they made this cool offer: create a character that Chris King or Vicki Grant could turn into, and if they use it, you get an "I Dialed 'H' For Hero" T-shirt! Oh, man! I wanted one of those T-shirts so bad! So I started creating characters.
At first, they were knockoffs. Instead of Superboy, I made "Superlad" with the spitcurl turned the opposite direction. Instead of Kid Flash, I stole his New Teen Titans nickname, and made "Flasher" with his costume colors reversed. Instead of Wonder Girl in the red costume with yellow stars, I made Wonder Boy in a blue costume with yellow stars... I didn't really understand the differences between men and women at that point, so his costume was the same as Donna's which in retrospect didn't look right on him. I even started making knockoffs of the characters that were being used in "Dial 'H' For Hero." The one that comes immediately to mind is The Emerald Tiger. I made a Ruby Tiger, Yellow Tiger, and probably a few others. Eventually, I started making my own characters, and that never stopped. My current list of characters is probably ten to fifteen thousand long. Some are derivative, some are original, and they span most genres.
Still, while I was creating all those I was still reading comics, and imagining the stories I'd like to see- more with DC than with Marvel, but there were a few there too. What fan doesn't do that? That led to the Nineties. I was a little late to the Internet, but it was a Savage Dragon messageboard and fan-fic that brought me here. I devoured the stuff. If you were part of a fan-fic site back then, I probably read your stuff. When I realized anyone could post their stories online, I started putting together my fan-fic ideas. I had a really massive generational DC fan-fic I wanted to write, and I put a lot of hours into the notes on that.
Somewhere in all those hours, Image Comics happened, and I decided that it would be better to put my time and energy into original characters that I could own. So I adapted most of my fan-fic ideas for original characters that would retell the same stories I had in mind. That eventually morphed into more original ideas. There were still some ideas I wanted to explore though that were only suited to copyrighted characters. Things like Bruce Wayne becoming a Crow. Sure, I could make derivative equivalents that I own, but no, I really want to play that idea out.
I shared some of my fan-fic ideas with others online. Some of those ideas stolen, passed around, and a few wound up in actual DC comics. The most notable is a vampire biting Superman. My idea was for a vampire to bite him, but then burn up from the inside out, because of all of the solar energy in Superman's cells. After I shared that face-to-face with someone I knew had worked with DC, it showed up in a Superman title. I was livid at first. For that huge generational DC fan-fic I had in mind, one of the big I-know-this-will-be-cool-to-readers moments was that scene. Now that it had shown up in a DC Comic, my fan-fic was ruined as far as I was concerned.
For over a decade, I quit sharing my ideas, jealously guarding them against further infringement. I certainly didn't share my original characters! By the time I got to CV though, I started changing my mind.