“I got into a rut, I wasn’t drawing enough and a friend told me I was over-thinking things,” Downing said in an interview with Wired. “I just needed to do something I was really into that wouldn’t require too much thinking. I started thinking about designing superheroes and the more I thought about it, the more I wanted to do it. I threw the gauntlet down and decided to draw a super every day.”
The only rules that Downing has about his project is that the creation of the character can’t take longer than an hour. He also gets started with each drawing by choosing a name. “A lot of my super designs are driven by this list of names. If you have a list of names it’s easier to schedule.” Each of the characters comes from one of three camps – “Sounds cool,”, “Puns/Word play,” and “Totally out of left field.”
So what does Downing plan on doing with all these heroes? While there aren’t any official plans, Downing has hinted at the possibility of a One-Shot comic featuring the best of all the characters or maybe even a comprehensive guide book to all of the heroes.
“Doing something like this is completely worth it. Looking back, it’s a time capsule of where you were at that time,” says Downing. “There are ideas where when I’m done I think it was terrible, but a few months later I think its great.”
We’ve picked some of our favorites that Downing has created below, but you can see all of his 280+ characters by clicking here.