A Brief History of the Conception and Development of
The Sequential Adventures of Chelsea and Millie

By Maxwell J. Vex, Esq.

For Shadow 03 panel-crop

Why hellooooo there. This is the part of the site where I shall attempt to provide a synopsis of the circumstances surrounding how this comic came to be. I promise this won’t be anywhere near my bio’s level of wandering out into the Word Woods and being set upon by the Wolves of the Wilderness.
Right then, the sooner I finish writing this the sooner I can get back to my slow self-induced death by lamingtons, so I’ll stop faffing about and get straight down to it.

The Sequential Adventures of Chelsea and Millie is, in a nutshell, about two little sisters who get up to all manner of adventures, most of which involve the supernatural and/or paranormal to varying degrees.
Pretty straightforward, huh? This comic series is certainly way easier to describe succinctly than my last one.

And now, a wee story about how the comic came to be.

The origin of our two little ginger-haired misfit-sisters was kicked off sometime around June of 2009. I had been asked to contribute a two-page comic about “anything you want, dude” to a now long-defunct British quarterly comics-anthology publication, and during the process of trying to come up with ideas for this comic I hit upon the notion of two little kids who discover a monster in the basement drywall of one of the kids’ houses. “A bit like if The X-Files got the Muppet Babies treatment. Y’know, something that totally ridiculous” is how I described the general premise to a friend of mine at the time.

My initial idea for the kids was somewhat different to what they ended up being. They were originally a white girl and a black boy, although their general attitude — one fearlessly gung-ho/optimistic and one cautiously reticent — were there from the start. I made the decision to change the boy into a little sister as I was sketching them for the first time, as I decided that they’d be more interesting as siblings, and so Millie was created as a tribute of sorts to my own younger sister. Thus the foundation of these two kids’ relationship and their interactions with each other came to be based upon the dynamics of my own sibling relationship. Write what you know, and all that. To use but one example, as a kid I could certainly be just as big a pain in the ass to my sister as Chelsea sometimes is to Millie, ohhh yes. Anyway, this is that first initial sketch of Chelsea and Millie. Jeez, they look like mutants. What the hell is up with Chelsea’s hands and feet? And the top of Millie’s head?? Bwaaaa-hahahhaaa! Oh that’s tragic.

C&M-First-Ever-Sketchpoggit peeking out from the other side of the page. If you look closely you can juuuust make it out in the bottom right-hand corner.

So! I drew the comic and emailed it off to the editor/founder of the comic anthology. And that was as far as I intended to go with these kids. It was only meant to be a short and simple one-off thing. But as the months went by the girls kept appearing in my thoughts, and just wouldn’t quit hanging around in my mind; eating sammiches, singing odd made-up nursery rhymes for jump-rope accompaniment, and generally cluttering up the joint with their presence (not to mention all their sammich crumbs, and the bread crusts Chelsea would attempt to surreptitiously get rid of by stashing them behind the part of my mind that’s responsible for math (it’s a part that doesn’t often get used, so she figured I wouldn’t notice. I didn’t, for awhile, until one day when I was doing my taxes and I realised I’d just spent the last two minutes trying to divide $187 by TOAST).

And on and on it went. These kids just kept on showing up in my creative brain-wanderings, with increasing frequency and vibrancy. I started to think up new adventures that they could get into, and their personalities and idiosyncrasies began to naturally formulate themselves to a much more well-rounded degree, which in turn inspired more ideas for things that they could get up to in further comics, as of course it’s far easier to place a character into a set of situations if you know what makes that character tick, and how she/he will react to any given set of circumstances. I realised that I was beginning to become genuinely captivated by Chelsea and Millie, and that I simply had to do something further with them.
At the time I was deep into working on Agents of the Endtimes — the production of which was already taking up vast chunks of my waking state — so there was no way I wanted to commit myself to creating another full-on comic series at the time, as I knew that both would most likely suffer due to my creative energies being spread out too thin to commit 100% to two concurrently written and drawn comic series.

But then I had an idea.


Mmmm, sammich.

Then I had another, even better idea.

I became friends with Tom in 2008, via Aaron Alexovich, and I had fallen in love with Tom’s Alone in a Crowd comic (back then it was in its nascent state, but I could see huge potential in it, especially within the characters Hope and Faith and the burgeoning dynamic of their friendship).

The way that Tom wrote Hope and Faith was very natural — infused with a verisimilitude that I didn’t often see imbued within kids written by adults. Sure, Hope and Faith tended to be more ingrained within irreality than “real” kids tend to be (they exist as a sort of simulacra of biological children from our plane of existence — d’âmes sœurs spawned from Tom’s very soul), but their characterisation-construction and psychological make-up were very deep and solid. In short, I could plainly see that Tom was quite capable of skillfully writing little girls with an impressive measure of care, sincerity, heart and innate truth. He really understands what it is to be a kid; what constitutes the core of an actual kid as opposed to a mere semi-formed and condescendingly-contrived half-assed dramatis persona. He hadn’t forgotten what being a kid is like (those familiar with Alone in a Crowd well know that Tom knows what it’s like to be both an introverted kid and an extroverted one, even).
And, most importantly, he hadn’t allowed his inner child to be starved and smothered and adulterated by the weight of adulthood and its tendency to hamper the fanciful with its caboodle of concerns, which can easily grind down and wear away playfulness and constrain free-wheeling thought with all manner of stifling conformational parameters.
He’s also one of the very few men I’ve ever encountered whose Sophia-anima is as strongly developed as mine, if you want to get all Jungian about that sort of thing.

Needless to say, I was (and still am of course) very impressed by all of this. These qualities inherent within Tom (plus many more besides) make him very adroit at writing strong multi-faceted female characters who possess true heart and soul. And after getting to know Tom’s comic and Tom as a person I soon came to the realisation that he’d be the perfect creative partner for my incipient little comic.

So one day I just up and asked him if he’d be at all interested in getting in on this project of mine and having a go at writing for it with me. He said yes, obviously, and I am ever so glad that he did, because without him I wouldn’t have pursued making Chelsea and Millie into a full-blown comic series. To say that Tom and I are congruent as writers and developers of this comic would be a massive understatement, and I simply couldn’t have made it without him, as his input is fundamentally essential to it all, and although I may have created the comic and its core cast, both the comic and its characters are just as much a product of Tom as they are of me, and all Tom’s many and varied contributions have made Chelsea and Millie far, far better than what I would have come up with on my own. He’s rad. We should all send him gift hampers full of delectable comestibles for Christmas.

And thus began the process of us both really starting to develop this comic. He went off and came up with a couple of scripts for what became the C&M Protocomics, and I was extremely impressed (not to mention extremely stoked) with how effortlessly and completely he managed to intuitively “get” the characters, with very little in the way of me explaining them and their psychological make-up.


Hrmmm. It seems “wonkiness” was one of the main traits of these protocomics.

So, there you go, that’s how this webcomic and its eponymous lil’ adventurers came to be. And now, who knows just where it might end up? For the comic now has another part to its total equation — that of you, the readers. And you’re a very important, nay, a vital part of it all. So Tom and I would like to take the opportunity presented here to extend our sincere thanks and appreciation to you for coming along to check this site out, and we hope you get something worthwhile out of what we’ve been putting together here.
Because without you guys Tom and I may as well just give up on comic-making and indeed life in general and go become chicken sexers or something.

Now then, let’s see where we can take this thing shall we?

Maxwell Vex
3:25 a.m.
Friday April 11th 2014