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Why I Draw Comics

     I have been a superhero, fighting crime, alien races, and super villains since I was 14. At least, I always wished I was. For years and years I had read comics, and I loved the idea of becoming someone else, since my life wasn't exactly an action movie.
Throughout high school, I published my own comic book, called Splash Comics, which was made up of four separate ongoing stories. I made the lowest grades in school that I could without having to retake the classes, so that I could spend more time with my first true love: drawing. I always took my sketchbook everywhere, drawing all the time, studying nature, and other people. Comic books became one of my only friends. I guess you could say I was almost a Peter Parker type, aside from the fact that I played drums in a punk band. I had always dreamed of becoming a professional comic book artist by the time I was 23, and at the time that I write this, I am almost 27. I have accomplished part of my goal, at least: I have become a comic book artist. Not exactly professionally, since the amount of money I spend on my creations outweigh the amount I make off of them. But, writing and drawing comics has become one of the most rewarding things I have ever done, regardless of how much money I make.

      I met my wife Jennie when I was in a band, playing drums in bars and small nightclubs in the area where I live. We became good friends for many years, and eventually fell in love and started dating. She has been very supportive of the fact that I am spend a lot of time doing things that are related to my comic book. I have a 2-year old daughter named Mya, who has taught me more about life than I can even put into words. She is a bundle of joy, a little devil who can transform into an angel as soon as she knows she is guilty of something, and little machine of destruction when the situation calls for it.

      I became interested in comic books when I was in the 3rd grade, when my uncle gave me a stack of 15 or 20 comics, and I immediately fell in love. I sampled a lot of the mainstream comics such as Batman, X-Men and such, but the one that really caught my interest was Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, which at the time, was quite the underground comic. My cousins and I used to like to read them and want to learn ninja moves, so we went out and got us some kung-fu books and practiced on each other. We also made swords out of tree limbs and sparred. At the beginning of the 4th grade, my school shut down, and I had to change schools. I pretty much got separated from my all of my friends, so I always took comic books to school to read and keep me company. In the 7th grade, I created my first real character-Superdog! (And his faithful sidekick, Superpup.) My cousins also added on to the ongoing saga of Superdog and created Superbeagle, Superdog's cousin.

      I had always loved animals, and I wanted to be a veterinarian for the longest time until something happened that I think changed my mind. I had all kinds of hamsters, and one day one of them got sick. My mom took off work and I stayed out of school so that I could take it in to the vet. Little did I know, the vet got his license out of a mail order catalog. He decided he wasn't getting enough nutrition, and he was going to have to inject him with the proper nutrients and vitamins. When he went to give my hamster a shot, he stuck the needle all the way through it, and clean out the other side! My mom and I were horrified when he squeezed on the needle that was impaling my hamster, and the liquid sprayed out onto the table. Needless to say, the hamster died within a few hours. Well, a couple of months later, I had another hamster that got sick. I had passed the other incident off as a fluke, and my mamaw and I took this hamster in to the same doctor. I apparently didn't learn from my mistakes back then. This one had the same problem getting the proper nutrients, and he decided he had to give this hamster some vitamin drops. As he went to open the poor, sick thing's mouth, it bit him. His reaction-to jerk his hand back as hard as he could, slinging my hamster into a wall, as it flopped onto the table. 15 minutes later, I was hamsterless...again. The point is, I gave up being a veterinarian to be a comic book artist. And, maybe with a little hard work and a lot of luck, my chosen line of work won't cause people quite as much pain and sadness of my prior dream job. If it does, let me know and I'll sign up for vet school right away...=)

J.T. Blevins



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