I was cleaning out my filing cabinet recently, and was reminded of two things -- that extra photocopies used to seem like something worth hanging onto, for some reason, and that Alexandra was the first Goth House character to appear.
One day in 1989 I started drawing a comic about her. I don't know why. I didn't even read comics much at the time -- it was the fact that I found myself drawing one, for some reason, that got me more interested in reading them. It was something in the air, I think. Somebody showed me my first issue of Sandman not long after.
Anyway, I don't think her name was Alex yet, and the comic didn't have a name at all. I continued to poke at it a bit over the next couple of years, and the general plot ended up as this: alienated high school girl with no friends, who doesn't get along with her family either, hangs out in the cemetery and meets a cool goth guy (who looks more or less like if David Bowie had long black hair and a slightly longer face) she thinks might be a vampire. She wakes up in the cemetery and thinks he bit her and that she is now, maybe, some kind of partial vampire or something. This gives a shape and a purpose to her alienation. She spends her spare time looking for other vampires, hoping they can help by telling her how to change back, or by changing her all the way. She isn't sure which one she prefers. Her search yields no actual vampires, but she does make friends along the way -- especially with a goth boy (proto-Percival, unnamed at that time) who she at first thinks is the original vampire dude.
I sort of vaguely had this idea that the series would conclude with her finding the original guy again, but I wasn't sure how it was going to turn out. I didn't know if he was actually a vampire, and he bit her, and everything was true, or if he wasn't a vampire at all, or if she was going to come away from this second encounter still not sure what the heck was going on.
At some point the friends solidified into Percival, with his stutter, and his best friend, a still-unnamed lesbian goth pixie. And then I never ended up drawing more than the first chapter of that original story, and just took the characters I had been working on and put them in the Goth House we know and love. (Or know and loathe. Whatever.)
Anyway, sometimes I think it is kind of odd that, although Goth House started life as Alexandra's story, she is really the most neglected of the central Goth House characters. I have never given her a major life drama, I have never given her a romance. Until Alex in Punditland (2007, a loooong way into me drawing the series) I had never given her a point-of-view story. When I was writing the backstory pieces for Percival and Terra (Percival and the Brain, Terra goes to Hell) I originally intended to do one for Alex but I didn't.
I don't know if there's any particular reason for this.
Last weekend I went through the papers in my filing cabinet and got rid of stuff. For some reason I had a lot of photocopies of things where I also had the original artwork. I found my original sketches of Alex and her story -- they were really tiny, little baby storyboards, people about an inch high. I also found relics of three or four different attempts to tell the Rock & Roll Suicide story. (Which we are getting to! Soon! Ish! And by "soon" I mean soon in Goth House time, which means, actually, not very soon at all.)
Anyway, my actual script for the original Alex and the vampires story isn't very good -- it's the kind of pretentious melodramatic twaddle you'd expect from a depressed 21-year-old who hates her job and is sort of slowly in the process of breaking up with her boyfriend. That's why just a couple of years later, when I was drawing the first actual published Goth House, it was more about the jokes.