How I Got Into Comics
Ever since I was 10 years old, I've wanted to be a writer. I trace this inspiration all the way back to when I was 7 and watched Star Wars for the first time.
I was immediately fascinated with space, science, and all the crazy things that can happen when you unshackle your mind from the mundane. This is perhaps the greatest gift that freedom can give to us as individuals; the unleashing of your imagination to its wildest fancies.
As a child, these make-believe tendencies come naturally, and for me especially, I found an immense satisfaction in creating my own stories.
This is where my writer's journey began.
Fast forward 20 years later. I'm 27, married and with two kids of my own. I hope one day to tell stories that bring that sparkle to the eyes of a new generation.
Finding Omega is the realization of that dream, and it didn't happen overnight. I wrote crappy novels, horrible short stories and even worse poetry that isn't fitting to be scrawled on the walls of a public restroom. But each of these failed attempts showed me how NOT to tell stories.
So, with an incredible amount of support and a few kicks in the ass from my loving wife, I committed to learning the craft of writing. Her unflagging support and dedication to me and my dream has been the wellspring from which I've been able to constantly draw strength and countless hours of time away from the family to sweat, bleed and cry my soul onto each blank page that stands against me.
If that's not dramatic enough, after more than 10 solid years of failing to get published with my novels and short stories, I knuckled down and went to school. I fought my way through the trenches of higher education until I earned my Master's in English and Creative Writing (specializing in Fiction Writing) from Southern New Hampshire University in 2016.
The idea for Finding Omega started off as a whimsy. Lydia got me a journal for my birthday one year, and a fancy pen (the gold-nib kind, I forget the brand) to record my thoughts and gather ideas.
I don't know where this came from, but I started writing a diary from the perspective of a young boy on a spaceship who had been captured by some nefarious gang of theives and murderers. I became so involved in the struggles of this young kid, I eventually decided this would make a great novel series.
It wasn't until a few failed business ventures later that I was talking to a close friend of mine when the idea for a comic book company came into the discussion. I was amazed at the incredible story and characters in The Walking Dead television show on AMC, and I was equally amazed to discover that it was a comic book series before it became the #1 show on television.
So, I did the only logical thing I could think of; I immediately binge-read the entire series. I felt a kinship with the characters and their struggle for survival in a world that suddenly changed around them, and the inescapable nature of that change. Watching the characters, from all walks of life, learn to adapt and grow through this struggle impressed a lingering sense of understanding upon me.
The best stories are about characters, I realized. This is why all of my writing had been so terrible before; I wrote complex plots about characters that were all the same, cardboard cutouts that I spoon-fed lines because they had no life of their own. The reason The Walking Dead works so well and is relatable to so many people is because the characters are REAL, so real that almost everyone can find a character that they identify with on a deep, visceral level.
And so when I set out to write Finding Omega, I did something I've never done before:
I wrote the characters first.
Lydia helped me so much at this stage, it's hard to put it into words. We talked and brainstormed for hours on end until I felt each character was as close to a real person as I could possibly get. The story came organically from thrusting these characters into a shared dilemma that is the basis for the story, and their journeys, their struggles, are the real heart of the comic series.
At present, I've written the scripts for the first 4 issues, and I have a good outline for the first 26. I have a broader outline up to issue 155, and I plan to complete the series around issue 300.
You could say I made the plunge without plugging my nose, but I'm not in over my head on this one. At least not yet.
I've taken the time to research every corner of the comics industry that I can. I attended the Amazing Las Vegas Comic Convention, where I talked with dozens of writers and artists at varying stages of the industry. I sat in on a panel with John Carpenter's wife, Sandy, and learned a whole lot about what it takes to break into the comic scene.
I say all this to say this:
I'm ready. Years of study, writing, failing and struggling. Thousands of hours spent reading, writing, editing and rewriting have led me to what I know is the best fiction I've written to date:
The story of a young father and his son who find themselves separated by a galaxy-wide insurgence of the malevolent Thrash Brigade. The light that led humanity to this new galaxy has long since left. Some question if we left our humanity behind on Earth. Some still hold out hope for salvation. All take up the call to adventure, the search for humanity's guiding light.
Their journey will take them through a gauntlet of loss, where they fight, bleed, and crawl their way toward the ultimate light at the end of the tunnel; the hope of one day finding Omega.
Check back weekly for updates on the comic! I'm currently in the process of coordinating with Austin Brooks , the interior page artist for issue #1. I'll be posting some concept art soon!
Until next time, then.