Zenobia first appeared in Ranger Comics #26, circa 1941.

I think I’ll share a little bit of the creative process that went into the development of this wily tale of cartoonish political maneuvering.  You’ll recall that I had just finished up with my first round of “Golden Age Comic” experiments with a one page teaser featuring Fearless Flint set in a Juke Joint run by a fictionalized Blind Willie McTell.  In my head the Juke Joint was located on the outskirts of Great City, the pulp magazine home of the Moon Man, who had starred in the most successful of my first efforts (I plan on posting it here at some point…don’t worry).  I like the idea of Great City being the setting for my Golden Age Mashup Universe, and I wasn’t sure what to do next so I decided to run a little brainstorming thought experiment.

Using my favorite on-line resources, I would compile a cast of characters and try to come up with a story for them.  My broad parameters were that I wanted to combine elements of American Folk tales, continental fairy tales, and Golden Age era cartoon mobsters to generate an existential crisis in Great City.

This original story idea took shape around wild west showman Kit Carson & his traveling circus, which arrives in Great City in time to confront a growing super natural threat.  He creates a posse comprised of Sacajawea, Annie Oakly & Johnny Appleseed (to name a few) and sets out on an adventure.  They stop at Blind Willies Juke Joint for some magical devices.  Willie serves again as the Blind Seer (a role which he resumes in a few pages from now in EDag#3).  A whole bunch of the characters who appear in the Enchanted Dagger found their place in the story though this early outline, which I called “Weirdo Presents”.  Several of the ‘vignettes’ that Roger and company contend with were formulated at that time.  Just about all of the Gangland characters who we’ve met in the story were on this early character list.  For some reason I called Octopus, “Cousin Octopus”!  I wish I had remembered that when I began writing EDag#1!

There was some good raw material in this first stab but I knew that it needed to percolate.  So I set it aside.  Luckily (or unluckily, one might argue) within a few weeks I happened upon the Enchanted Dagger and quickly came up with a more structured plot for all of my characters and set pieces to live in.

And here we are.  Kit Carson’s circus, in case you were wondering, is currently scheduled to arrive in Issue #5!  I still don’t know exactly whats going to happen when it gets here.