I’m not one to dwell on my own history, but from time to time it makes sense to take stock of one’s achievements and failures. Here is a little bit of my back-story (origin story; for all you comic book kids out there.) to help explain the man behind the mask (Ha there it is again!).
I’ve always been a comic book kid. Love, love, LOVED comic books since my dad let me read his old Sergeant Rock, Looney Tunes and Spiderman comics. At the time, my brother was buying everything from Chris Claremont and John Byrne. We had a deep appreciation for anything Art Adams drew, and I always enjoyed the marquee books coming out of D.C. and Marvel.
I remember when I had enough allowance money to buy my own comic books. We were at our local newsstand, I really wanted to buy a series that was starting out. I wanted my own issue#1 of something. I found the first issue of Richard and Wendy Pini’s Elf Quest. Needless to say, I was hooked and from that moment on I was inspired to create stories.
I could write a little, but I was better at drawing, that’s where I excelled and I knew I wanted to create comics. I went to my first comic book convention at 14 with a handful of samples (on lined paper). I was eager to show my work to editors and get my first gig. There was a guy named Ken Lashley in the line-up for portfolio reviews. Ken was also showing his work for the first time. I took a peek, y’know just to see the competition…then I closed up my book and quickly left the line. Ken’s work was incredible. I wasn’t even close to where I needed to be. It was the biggest reality check of my entire career and it made me go back to the drawing table to get better.
As I moved into high school, then to my college years I gradually stopped drawing and creating comic books. I went towards a creative career in advertising and marketing. In the back of my mind was always the dream of creating comic books.
I’ve dabbled here and there with some self-publishing attempts. In 2001 I did a small press book called Lyrics Rage. It was loads of fun and I was able to meet other professional and amateurs alike in the industry. Then in 2008 my friend and I tried to compete in a DC Comics online publishing competition called ZUDA Comics. We made the cut with a Fantasy book called The Harvest War, but it was short lived and never made it past 8 pages.
I suppose those self-publishing attempts were failures, but I never considered them anything more then learning experiences. I’ve learned that I need to sacrifice the hours at the computer to sculpt and structure my story. The same is said for the penciling, inking and coloring. In the end of this journey I hope to have a finished creation that I’m proud to showcase and maybe, just maybe get published. I would become that little kid again if I ever saw my book The BONESETTER on a Newsstand rack like I did all those years ago.