Linking stories together

edited February 2015 in The Toolbox
So I have three projects that happen to be in development at the same time. I'm tempted to put them in the same universe, but only in subtle ways. Have you ever thought about putting in Easter Eggs that put two or more of your creator owned projects in the same universe? I know Millar has done this, as has Stephen King and David Gerrold in the prose world.


  • Yeah, I have slipped Bloody Waters references in some of my unrelated short stories. 

    When I right fantasy fiction there are certain magical elements that I have reused in stories that take place in separate universes.

    I don't mind easter eggs but it did piss me off a bit when Stephen King suddenly started to combine characters from different stories  (Randall Flagg is really Walter!) without any basis in character. Instead of making the world seem richer it made it seem smaller. The only writing sin worse than breaking character is breaking boring.  
  • I think that having a universe where all of your characters reside is an interesting idea but I'm not as big a fan of it when people try to shoehorn characters from extremely different genres of writing into one universe.

    But I think it depends on how you are linking the stories as well. For example, one character may be part of another character's history or is even a fictional character in another character's universe.
  • I did a pair of stories where Lady Spectra (modern-day superhero) and Glorianna (post-apocalypse barbarian) switched places in time...they didn't actually meet, but each one had an adventure in the other's home turf.

    There's another Lady Spectra story where she's fighting a time-traveling villain, and the bad guy's henchmen include the caveman from my first published short story, and an astronaut from one of my early mini-comics.

    All my superhero-type characters (Spectra, Reaper, Phantos, Capella) are in the same world, and most of them have teamed up at one time or another.
  • I'm thinking of connecting Bomb Queen to The Empty.


    Just kidding.

    BUT actually, I really was thinking of tying a definite link from my early Image stuff to The Empty.  In fact, it made me REALLY think how close my stories have been developing.  It scares me a bit.  I don't want to be a one-trick pony, but the obvious connection to earlier work jumps out like a white on rice.

    And what @JasonFranks says makes me worry if it's the right thing to do... but as I implied, it fits like a velvet glove, as if my subconscious was already working on it.

    So yeah, Steve...  I've tied things together before, and it looks like I'll be doing it again.
  • Jimmie, My complaint about Stephen King doing it was that it didn't fit and it felt forced. 

    I'm not opposed to the idea at all. If it works, go for it.  
  • I always write my speculative fiction stuff in such a way that the 'rules' of one project don't contradict another. 

    I wrote the first issue of a proposed mini-series called Barefoot a few years ago, which was drawn by Gabriel Andrade (who was promptly poached by Avatar and now draws Crossed+100 with some hack named Alan Moore. grumble grumble). In it, the lead character visits a rare book dealer named Nate Reed. Nate became the lead in Red Angel Dragnet. That Nate would graduate to his own series was always the plan; I'd just hoped people would get to see/read Barefoot first, is all.

    Nate also appears, obliquely, in the thing I'm currently working on, Atlantis Wasn't Built for Tourists

  • Deep State and Flood take place in the same universe although, for various media rights reasons, this isn't overtly stated. None of my other stuff is connected, and isn't going to be. I'm not against it if works organically, but linking Strode and Spread wouldn't, for instance.

    I do have two projects that I want to (Push and Black Sunshine) that are set in the same universe some decades apart. They're separate stories, not connected except that it's same future. Warbaby, actually, could probably be that same universe, as could Herculean in waaaaay distant future.
  • The closest thing to this that I've done has been to pull Hitchcock's stunt of including a cameo of myself in each story I draw (except the ones where I'm a major character).  So I'm the priest at the end of "Fetus Christ", a background bar patron in "Everybody's Doin' It", and a kid in the lunch room in the You Are Not Alone story I drew. I'm going to be one of the characters harassed by a bad cop in the story I'm doing for Artists against Police Brutality.

    My religious satire stories couldn't all be set in the same universe, because they contradict each other about the nature of God. (Not that the books of The Bible don't have the same problem, of course.)
  • Three of my sci-fi stories feature a planet called Teplinsky-91, all as a mentioned destination.
  • I always liked the Tezuka Star System, where you do different stories with the same character designs in different roles/as different characters. Marv and I talked about doing something like that for a Doug "sequel" a while back.
  • I've thought that if I ever did another fantasty story I would likely put it in the same world as The Temple of a Thousand Tears.
Sign In or Register to comment.