The character of Damo Cotollus predates Taking Islands by several years. He actually predates all of my comic projects, and he has also appeared in most of them.
Damo's origin was actually in a semi-erotic dream of mine (in which he was the singer in a David Bowie cover band). The dream, combined with my unhealthy intake of shounen-ai manga at the time, resulted in my first semi-serious attempt of a comic. Titeled "Crossing", it was a shounen-ai story set onboard a transatlantic ocean liner. Damo - at the time actually Daniel - was one of the main characters, his love interest being one Mark Lloyd, who's distant offspring will be making an appearance on page 10 of Taking Islands.
The original Daniel Cotollus sketch.
Another early sketch.
Crossing subsequently sort of disappeared into the abyss (although when looking for these sketches, I discovered I had drawn half a dozen pages of it - I only remember ever drawing two), but the character of Daniel lived on. He featured on pretty much all story ideas - comic or otherwise - that I had during the following years. Eventually I started working on a science fiction comic provisionally titeled Spacecraft Alpha which, again, featured Daniel in a major role.
I'm certain I had a sketch of Damo in the Spacecraft Alpha uniform somewhere, but I can't seem to find it. So moving on.
Spacecraft Alpha never actually had a single page drawn, as while I was working on the preliminary sketches and things I had the idea of transferring the whole thing into an earthbound (well, planetbound anyway) set on a "real" ship instead of space ship. The first "episode" of Spacecraft Alpha morphed into the third chapter of Taking Islands (which hopefully you'll be able to read someday ^^), while Daniel Cotollus, first officer of a spaceship, became Damo Cotollus, out-of-work sailor and ubsequent crewmember of the Wellamo.
Initial Damo sketch for Taking Islands.
Subsequently Damo was then redesigned into the character he is today:
Sketches of the redesigned Damo. There is a third sketch, but it's non-worksafe and Photobucket doesn't allow hosting of adult images, so you'll have to do without it.