There is nothing in the world quite like creating an independent comic/ graphic novel. No, we are not performing surgery or proving Einstein’s Theory of Relativity. However, we are expressing our solutions to problems the best way we know how – be the simple or complex, insignificant or overwhelming. We create these stories in hopes of entertaining people, and that we can provide an alternative way of viewing some particular situation or way of thinking. Storytelling provides people a means to express freely whatever point they deem worthy. The more skilled we are the better and more profoundly, we can convey our message.
Japanese animation, manga, and video games have influenced my style of art and storytelling since childhood. Everything began (for me) with Akira, by Katsuhiro Otomo. The depth of storytelling, the realism of the characters, and the seriousness of the tone of the story left me with nothing short of awe.
Animated dreams in sight, I enrolled at the Art Institute of Atlanta in 2006. During my time there, I wrote a screenplay for a 30-minute pilot episode of an animation I named Sympathy for the Devil. I saw the untold origin story of the greatest evil recognized by a major religion – a titanic war – an intriguing source material for a Japanese-style animation. It was also a means to express my personal opinions on ideologies I both agreed and disagreed, with. It fit all of my criteria for a proper “anime-style” story.
After my falling out at that school, I decided a graphic novel series to be more feasible than an animation. Therefore, with the story in hand, I embarked on a quest to find an artist to portray my story visually. I posted an ad on the DeviantArt forums, after going through a few replies I came across a Chilean artist named Van Alencer, and very quickly, it was clear that he was “the one”.
He agreed, and here we are today preparing for our first full release of the now titled Heaven’s Lost Rebellion. We have worked together for nearly three years now, and not one bit of it was “easy.” However, our hard work, dedication, and tolerance for each other have paid off in ways immeasurable.
Always remember that ignorance can be a blessing in disguise. By that, I mean, by not knowing certain jobs you meet amazing people during your work. Throughout the process, you learn and grow in ways you never expected – both professionally and personally. This type of work – as all work should be – is just as much a learning experience as an artistic expression.
So, from one regular guy to another (guy or girl), my humble advice is quite simply common sense: Find your motivation, research your field, work your ass off, refuse to quit, embrace obstacles, and have the time of your life doing what you do. #artistslivesmatter