To the people
out there who know me, they know one thing. I like to talk. A lot. I like
to meet new people and I like to ask questions. Sometimes I ask questions that
I shouldn't, sometimes I don’t even have to ask. Last year. I was walking into the Bagel
shop in town behind an older woman. She turned around and I think I scared
her. She was expecting to see her nurse, who was standing behind me.
Anyway, I let the nurse in front of me and apologized. She laughed and asked if
she scared ME. I told her I thought she was the one who was scared.
So, we both
order our stuff and wait. She grabbed a seat and I remained standing.
After about 5 minutes she asked me again if she scared me. I laughed and
told her no. She then told me that her husband was home from an operation in
which they took off his legs. The operation was directly linked to
Agent Orange, a chemical used as a weapon in the Viet Nam war. I asked her
how he was and she said since the operation he is much better. He is learning
to walk with 2 prosthetic legs and is pain-free for the first time in years. I
said it was messed up that the government doesn’t take the Agent Orange
thing seriously but she said that they do now. This lady was so positive and
really made an impact on me.
me of my own trial and tribulations. I am slowly but surely going blind due to a botched lasik eye surgery. I had cancer twice in three years. Cancer
showed up once in my right kidney and once in my left. I had surgery in
October 2004 for one and they removed a rib and one in February 2007. No rib
removal on the last one but I wound up with a hernia with pain that I still deal with on a daily basis. I also had a knee
operation in September 2007 to repair and remove some of my meniscus which is
the padding that cushions your knee. I am in pain pretty much every day to some
extent or another.
My family. Dad, Daughter, Mom, Me, Son, Girlfriend(Son in the oven?)
I don't want
sympathy and I won't take it. Don’t feel sorry for me. I am okay. I have other,
more personal complications and repercussions to this deadly disease. I got
divorced. I lost self-respect. I was living a sedentary lifestyle. I worked,
ate, watched TV and gained weight. I have always been heavy. But I had blown up
to 351 pounds at my heaviest. I am now seeing a chiropractor, I am walking
at least twice a week and exercising with my good friend Brian. I am down to 325 pounds, not
much, but it is a start. If my back would stop hurting I would love to get
back into it. I can say with no embarassment that great now. My kids are my life. I met a great girl. I am expecting my third
kid 11 years after my son was born. I am working towards living my life and
being happy. I have family and friends who I love. They support me and
sometimes scold me, but they have my best interests at heart. I almost never
tell them, but without them I would be dead.
really know where I am going with this. All I can say is that life is hard. It
hands you shit all the time. But, the thing is, we need to keep moving forward.
This is whatever that means to you. Life is short but it is also long. Can you conceive
of something longer? You are not invincible and neither am I. You will not get
hit by a bus and a meteor will not fall out of the sky. You are most likely
going to live a long life with many sicknesses and much sadness. Most likely,
you will die many years from now, with more than a few regrets. You don’t have
to!!! Live your life the way you want to. Always follow your dreams when you
are young and healthy. And if you are not healthy, and you can help it, GET UP!
Go walk in the park, play with your kids, get a dog. Today is the best day of
your life. And it can only get better from here.
But only if
you want it to.
* * *
I would be remiss if I didn't tell you that I write, draw and publish comic books. My newest project takes my cancer (And other) experiences and wraps them in a Superhero shell. Please feel free to click the link below and like the Facebook fan page. Also, please keep your eyes open for the Kickstarter campaign(www.kickstarter.com).
So... I will not be in artist alley at NYCC this year. My $500 isn't good enough. My 17 years of making, publishing, writing, drawing, lettering, editing and creating comics must be too unimpressive for the moguls at the NYCC board.
What, me bitter? Maybe... maybe a bit.
I say, oh well. I will live. I don't want to go somewhere that I am not wanted. Even when I not only needed to be "Chosen" but I needed to pay $500 AFTER BEING CHOSEN!
Oh, but what is really great, if I REALLY want to go to NYCC, I can pay more for a vendor or small press booth. So, there IS space, but someone of my limited experience and exposure has to pay much more to get it.
I think my new goal will be to become and amazing success. And then, one day I will be invited to be a guest at NYCC. And then I will and can finally say...
No, thank you.
My girlfriend does say I have a tendency to hold a grudge...
Have a great day and don't let the man get you down.
The RESURGENCE will not be televised. You don't have to look underground to be underground.
The answer isn't as easy to answer as you would think. I've been creating comics in one way or another since before I can remember. I love to create, I love to write, I love to draw. I love the idea of leaving something that I created after I am gone. A legacy.
Sadly, I have little time for it.
I work a full time job doing IT. I love what I do. It is challenging and I am always learning new things. I work with great people and we have a great culture of mutual respect. But, it isn't my dream. It isn't what I planned for myself when I was young. The 10 year old me wanted to draw for a living. He wanted to create and share and be a comic book artist. But, alas, kids have to eat. Rent needs to be paid and my passion for creating has to take a second seat. Since, no joke, I still to this day haven't made any real money doing comics.
In my "real" life, I have a great family. I have 2 kids, a girlfriend named Jasmin, a new bundle on the way. People would call them responsibilities.
Scream - By Joe Martino and Rusty Gilligan
I call them life. They are also my legacy. They are the reason I wake up every day.
Now, I am not a comic book professional, nor do I claim to be. I am just a guy who loves creating comics so much that I decided to make some of my own. I wrote that 17 years ago for the letters page of my first Shadowflame self-published comic. I've met a lot of great people through the years. I've also met a lot of assholes. Fortunately, they all know who they are so I don't need to list them here. I have been told I suck so bad that I should quit. And in the same week, been told by a fan that I was one of their favorite writers.
Life is about bringing new things to the world, even if they are a bit derivative. Life is about helping others to do things for themselves. That is why Twitter and Facebook and Google+ are so good for people like me. We can share our knowledge, learn new things, help people grow and promote their work and in return you hope they will do the same. At no time would I EVER tell someone that they were so bad that they should quit. Never quit! Never give up what you love because someone else can't appreciate what you do.
A change is coming. The clique is eroding and you can't even see it. Remember, the buggy whip maker had no idea his career was over when Ford started mass producing Model T's. The guy you blow off now may just well be the ass you need to kiss later. Be nice. Be respectful.
Watch the heads that you step on when you rise up, they will be attached to the asses that you need to kiss on the way down.
Today, try and help one of your fellow creators. Share or retweet their work, buy his digital comic, help fund or share her Kickstarter campaign, help out a struggling Indy band. But, do it because you want to do good for your fellow creators. Not because they did it for you. We are all in this together, even if we are doing it alone.
Thanks for reading this rant. I know I went off the reservation a bit but it all ties together if you really read what I am saying.
Stay strong and always follow your dreams, even if people can't understand them.
If you have the time and the want to support some good people, check out the following links. And yes... some of them point to stuff I've worked on some of them are people I've met that do great work.
Inspiring. A boy having cancer at such a young age disgusts me. To be 5 years old and having to go through all of those treatments is just heart breaking. I am glad that his mom came up with a positive way to cope with his treatments. I think that not telling him that he had cancer was smart. I was diagnosed with kidney cancer at at 33 and and again at 36, it really messed me up. I realize that was a little young to understand the scope of what cancer means. But does a child of 5 or even 7 years old have to know?
In my opinion, no.
This isn't about me, but a part of me wishes that my doctor told me I had some other kidney issue that required surgery. I would have coped much better. Cancer is a death sentence to so many people that just the word sent me into a freefall of terror that I still experience every 12 months when I go for my scans to see if there is a reoccurance. Cancer was a big motivator(Along with family and friends) for me finishing my comics and getting them out. The first Ripperman actually came out on October 20th 2004, the day of my first cancer surgery and the first issue of Shadowflame came out February 2007, the month of my second cancer surgery. Maybe I should have just let Shadowflame or Ripperman get the cancer and I could have stayed clean. But even that way of thinking bothers me and shows the negative stigma of cancer. I have been "clean" of cancer since 2007. Like I was dirty before.
Now, after a few years and a few scars, I am working on a new story. This scares me more than you could know. Each time I put a book out, It was tied into cancer. This time, I am bringing the cancer to the book! Titan is a character that I created back in 2004 when I was recovering from my first cancer surgery. Don't worry. There is still plenty of Superhero action, Giant Mechas, Mythologocal creatures and vile villains to whet even the most fanatical comic reader's appetite.
I have to say that I was and am really proud of this little guy and the struggle that he went through. I am not a praying man but I sent my hopes to this boy that he made a full recovery and he didn't have to deal with this type of thing again for the rest of his hopefully long life. Unfortunelty, he didn't win the fight. He wasn't able to defeat this enemy and the world is a little less bright without his light in it.
I am sure if there is a heaven, that Domenic is up there and he is fighting with the Dominator against the evil villany of the Megazoid!
Check out my new creation The Mighty Titan that takes my cancer(and other) experiences and wraps them in a superhero shell.
So, now I have a blog. I will be telling you stuff you want to hear about and stuff you don't. Please enjoy it and don't be so frigging uptight! :-)
Some of you know me, most of you don't. I write comics, work in IT, have tattoos, kids, a girlfriend. I am a geek, a punk, a metalhead and artist. I am labled and mislabled. Through all of it, I am me.
I will be posting art and writing and funky stuff. Read it, don't read it. I am good either way.