I haven't been on here for a while. I posted about a year ago and was very excited to find Christian Creators who did comics. I talked with some guys about doing a collaboration together but it kind of fell through. I went through some rough times personally at work and home and my creative vision faltered for quite a while. I didn't want to talk to anyone for about 6 months except my wife and kids. I apologize to the guys on here who I let down.
I started drawing at work on my breaks, I would sketch little characters out before I went to work about 3 to 5 pages a night and then flesh them out on my breaks. I started really enjoying it and did this for months. I have about 500 pages of these pencils drawings now. It really honed my skills at drawing characters. I worked on them on weekends then inks, scanned, and colors but it had no purpose rhyme or reason, no goals in sight. My dream since I was 12 was to do my own comic The Shock Squad. I have refined the characters many times over the years, have attempted to write the stories, worked with collaborators who later had to bow out. I've started issue #1 twice and made it through 7 pages the first time and a little over a dozen the second, never finished one though.
I did a little webcomic 2 years ago Johnny B. Goode. I received some positive feedback and critiques here and elsewhere. It was 6 pages not too ambitious but I finished one story and thought I at least could say that and have it out of my system. I am no writer though. I have good ideas, I can plot come up with interesting characters and concepts but I am not very good at writing. I tried reading books on it and getting better but I really have no gift there. My wife and I prayed a little about it. Not very much I'm sad to admit, as much as I had this burning desire to do Christian Superheroes I didn't pray much about it.
And then I did.
My wife and I had a discussion about it. She's a civilian to comics, she doesn't get it. But she knows how much I love them and we discuss these things. Soon after I started praying about it I was posting these random characters on Digital Webbing Forums. It's a secular comic website I've went to for 14 years. I suppose I should have been on here more but I just felt comfortable there. I debate Atheists about evolution and the Bible and talk comics. I apologize to my christian brethren here for not coming here more. This guy Charles started really challenging me about my art, he said how generic and pointless it was and how I had no goal in mind. I told him I was just doing this for fun. I posted the 2 attempts at my comic there and made remarks about how I felt they were awful. He replied with long posts giving constructive criticism and he really lit a fire in me. Then this guy Conner PMd me and said he would like to work on a project with me. Anything I wanted, he was a writer and I read some of his samples and they were good. I told him I would like him to write Shock Squad for me, I would give him 50/50 credit and everything. He agreed only he was an atheist. I told him about the christian nature of the project and he said it wouldn't be a problem. I started sending him Bios of the characters and concepts and it was going along really well. One night I came home from work and typed for 3 hours a long detailed history of the characters and story, everything I could think of from the 30 years of revising this story in my mind. Putting it all down on my word processor revising and clarifying the whole world.
Conner would respond back with notes and ideas of his own and it seemed it was really going well I had a writer, a collaborator and my comic was going to happen. Conner had another project he had to finish and would begin scripting the first issue in January.
At this time I was reigning back the christian aspects of my story I was making some compromises, even though Conner never asked me to. I didn't want to scare him off, offend him and lose his partnership. I didn't think about it much but it gnawed at me. Finally January came and I waited to hear from him and waited and waited...
So I e-mailed him. Hey Chris He Said "I'm sorry but I just can't continue this project with you, I can't get my heart into it". I said it was OK and I understood especially if he felt that way, I didn't want a half hearted attempt at doing this. To be fair my story involves lots of characters, Time Travel, paradoxes, theology, questions about racism, feminism, history and it's a period piece. I sadly bid him farewell.
So I went back to drawing my characters at work and coloring them, posting them on digital webbing and receiving crits from Charles.
Then GOD showed up.
My wife and I started going to a new church. It was a hard decision. We had many ups and downs about it but decided to start looking. The new church we go to is very nice and we met a few friends. I was back to being a hermit again though, I didn't want to get very close to anyone. We were invited to dinner at a couples home Jim and Valerie. Very nice people kids our age and similar interests. I noticed right away Jim had all the same christian and theology books I had. And then I noticed he had a bunch of the same Superhero movies I had almost an identical set. So we started talking comics and he opened his closet and pulled out the long boxes. It was awesome. At one point he mentioned John MacArthur and Jack Kirby in a few sentences of each other. I really felt like he was a brother from another mother.
So I told him about Shock Squad and Conner and my silly dreams all dashed. He said "send me some of that stuff I'd like to have a look at it". I did I had all of it in cohesive form thanks to what I prepared for Conner. I sent him several small e-mails and then he asked for more. I told him I didn't want to overload him, he said he wanted to know everything.
Well He has almost finished the first issue it's a 0 issue. It's an origin setting everything up and it's fantastic. He has run with it. He's created concepts and villians and characters of his own and he's a true collaborator. If you look at my photos on my page here the newer ones are thanks to Jim. The story is going along well and we expect to have 2 issues done by december. I have to pencil ink letter and color the whole thing. We are keeping the page count open so we can make it as long as we want but probably 2 normal sized issues.
My wife and I were just talking the other night about how my prayers were answered about this. I give God all the glory and praise. Some might say that God wouldn't care about my silly little comic that he is beyond such small petty things, I know better.
I hope you will pray for me as I continue this project and that I will do it all for his honor and glory. I want every page to count for him. We are gong to get Kablaam to print them up and I'm gong to shop them around and try to get some financial backers once the 2 issues are done and a third is in development.
Anyway if you've read all this Thank You and God Bless you.
Christopher--consider using Kablam's print on demand also. They did a wonderful job with my first issue, and you only pay the printing cost each time an issue gets bought. (I think it was like $1.65 or something?).
Christopher Lee Jones said:
I haven't been around for a long while. I had a friend write a really great script about a year ago and I fiddled with it and got really busy with life and work and went through a slump and gave up. I went back to studying the human figure which is where I always go. Anyway about a month ago I dug back in and I sorta started all over again and as of today I have about 11 pages of 22 almost completely penciled. My goal is to have it done by August and inked lettered and colored by September. I'm going to post it as a free webcomic on Comic Fury with plans to print a paper edition later. Pray for me to do it well.