The Origin of The League of Mad Scientists

It’s been several years since I first created LOMS, so I’m no longer entirely certain how I came up with the idea. I think it started with my observation that there were no female mad scientists. That thought fermented in my mind, and soon I had formed the basic idea for the League, and the characters. Mad scientists trying to take over the world - it’d make a great prime time TV show!

Yes, it’s true - I suffer from delusions of grandeur. Then again, I may have never continued with this idea had it not been for my misplaced dreams of glory. I finished the first script for The League of Mad Scientists toward the end of my first year in college, in 1999. In this script, Dr. Jentho formed the League because her plan for world domination involved the members of the League switching minds with all of the world’s leaders. Drs. Wetzel and Shin were in it, too (their reasons for coming to Castle Jentho remained the same), but Jentho’s assistant was named Jacques Piquelle. This wasn’t just Basil with a different name; it was actually a different character. Basil appeared in the second draft I did as the assistant to another mad scientist. I ended up really liking Basil. Piquelle, I found, was boring. So, he was shunted off into oblivion, and Basil became the assistant we all know and love.

Speaking of names, people often ask me about Jentho’s name. Well, Emma Jentho is actually the misspelled name of my great grandmother. I needed names for my mad scientists, and decided to turn to my family for them. It wasn’t until some time later that I found out it was actually supposed to be spelled Jenthaux. Who knew? Wetzel, by the way, was my mother’s maiden name.

I rewrote the first episode a few times, still under the misconception that I might actually be able to sell this as a real TV pilot. As time wore on, however, I began to doubt whether it would really work out. In fact, The League of Mad Scientists might have died completely, except that my university decided to launch an internet radio station. They needed half-hour radio programs, and I felt that I could easily adapt LOMS to this format. In fact, I did write out a radio version of the script, and got as far as getting my friends together to read the various parts. This is where things fell apart. Scheduling difficulties, a copious amount of goofing off on the part of my friends, and the fact that I was leaving the country doomed the project from the start.

From 2000-2001, I was studying in Paris, but my thoughts were still on my mad scientists. On impulse, I drew a comic strip of them, and sent it home to my brother. He immediately criticized my drawing, which could only mean one thing - the punch line wasn’t half bad. Once I got back, I drew a couple more comics, and a friend introduced me to this phenomenon known as the online comic. That, I decided, would be what I would do. I graduated college in 2003, and began working on bringing my comic to the internet. And here I am.