An animated Doc

Doc Payne faces off with his brother, the evil Wilton Payne Smythe, in a sketch by Constant Payne production designer Tae Soo Kim.

Doc Payne faces off with his brother, the evil Wilton Payne Smythe, in a sketch by Constant Payne production designer Tae Soo Kim.

He’s an inventor. He’s in peak physical condition and an excellent fighter. He carries cool gadgets that he uses in his battle against evil. He’s known as “Doc.” … And he’s got a teenage daughter.

Well, it could have been Doc Savage, except for that daughter thing. Instead, it’s “Doc” Payne, a main character in the as-of-yet-unproduced animated series Constant Payne, created by Micah Wright.

It’s “very pulpy, very (Doc) Savage in its execution,” Wright says. “Definitely an homage, not a ripoff. … Every pulp fan I’ve met has been very excited by the show.”

Wright has posted two video clips on his Web site. One is a 6-megabyte version of the animated program’s opening credits. Then there is the 10-minute, 20MB pilot. If you have a high-speed Internet connection, it’s well worth the download.

Click to view a production sketch of Doc and his evil brother.
The pilot introduces the three main characters — Alex “Doc” Payne; his daughter, Amanda Payne; and his nefarious brother, Wilton Payne Smythe — then spins out an short, action-packed story with a touch of humor.

The only problem with the pilot is: Once you watch it, you’ll want to see the rest of the series. Wright originally created Constant Payne for the Nickelodeon cable channel, but a disagreement over contracts and the network’s staff writers efforts to organize through the Writer’s Guild of America put a stop to the series’ development. (You can learn more about the disagreement at Wright’s Web site.) In January, rights to Constant Payne reverted to Wright and he has been shopping the concept to other networks.

Meanwhile, Wright will be writing a new Stormwatch: Team Achilles for Wildstorm Comics that debuts in July.