Friday, 6 March 2015

I’ve Never Published A Comic Book. Here’s How I Got Started.

The closest I’ve come to publishing my own comic book was in my early 20’s. I made a comic mock-up from pages I drew using a photocopier, glue, and a stapler.

My comic followed a team of mutants I dubbed the “X-iles”. (Yes, I was a big X-Men fan. Still am, really.) The story fit in with a big crossover event that ran through the X-books back in 1986 called “The Mutant Massacre”, a story arc I’d remembered reading as a wee lad.

My favorite issues in the event were X-Factor #10 and X-Men #211. Both had these big head shots of the main characters on the cover as some sort of Marvel 25th anniversary gimmick. I still own the comics to this day:

The story resonated with me because the action seemed so visceral and real. For the first time in my young life I saw comic book characters face real, lasting consequences, which cranked up the story's tension to 11. Main characters got seriously injured, and numerous characters were killed off. I’d never seen anything like it before in a comic and it stuck with me.

So years later I decided to add my little facet to the “Massacre” storyline by having the X-iles, a group of untested, teenaged mutants, stumble into the Morlock tunnels just as the massacre began. I wanted my characters to face the Marauders (the story’s villains), and I had fun writing my own story about something I’d loved for so many years.

Here’s a sampling of some random pages from "X-iles". Some are inked, but most are just pencil.

page 01
page 03

page 05

page 08

page 13

page 14

page 21

page 22

So there you have it. My first foray into self-publishing was truly published for myself – no one has really seen these pages before. They’ve been sitting in a dusty box for years, and I unearthed them today in order to include them in this blog article. I look at the artwork with a bit of a cringe, but also with a smile, because it reminds me of a time when I drew with passion something I found enjoyable.

So I guess my current work on “Heroes Rising” is really about my search to reclaim that unequaled joy of creating something I think is cool. I have an opportunity now, at this point in my life, to focus on this personal project, so I’m tying to make the most of it.

If you, gentle reader, are thinking about starting your own project, my advice to you is: do everything in your power to adjust your life in order to make it happen, career-climbing and money-making be damned! Commit to an idea, and commit to a deadline. This blog has been extremely helpful in organizing my thoughts and goals to get my project rolling, so I’d highly recommend pursuing your own blog.

We all have to start somewhere. I started at Kinko’s, feverishly photocopying my penciled pages and stapling them together to create my very own comic book. It was long hard work, and all I got from it was a roughly-cut, hobbled together funny book that I ended up showing to no one – but I loved every minute.

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