Who Do I Think I Am?
It is also my sisters' fault that I'm a grown man who loves Supergirl, but that's another story for another day.
A colleague of mine put an idea out into the internet-o-sphere recently that talent doesn't exist. That the only thing separating an artist with ability and people who say they "can't draw" is that one of them never stopped drawing throughout their life. Those who stopped drawing to follow other pursuits perceive the learned ability of those who can draw as this mythological beast called "talent". I've thought about that a lot ever since I read it. I don't know yet that I agree 100% with it, but I do know that I was that kid who never really stopped drawing. I have the notebooks from high school and college to prove it. Can't solve a quadratic equation to save my life, but you want a pretty decent sketch of Ms. Marvel? I'm your man.
Despite this, I never really thought about working in the realm of comics. Sure, it's a dream...from what I've heard a fairly low-paying one...but it never really seemed like something I wanted to do. Who was I to think I had any chops against writers like Bill Mantlo or Marv Wolfman? How was I supposed to be able to craft a yarn better than Keith Giffen? How dare I try to emulate George Perez or Jack Kirby? It took a long time for me to realize I really just needed to focus on being A. E. Sparrow...whoever that was.
I started Studio Fugazi in the mid-2000s as an outlet for my graphic design skills. Had the degree, a damn nice portfolio, and few clients, but hey...at least I had 'em! Working my day job doing instructional design for a local company, I ran into a fellow designer who'd worked for Fox Animation Studios back when they were in business. He, like me, had a great love of comics, and he said if I wrote it, he'd draw it. From that, Thugs! was born.
After a couple issues of Thugs!, I got the bug to start drawing my own book. I had ideas. I had scripts. What was I waiting for? I'll be the first to tell you the art on that first issue of Dedlock shows...well...let's be nice and say it shows someone passionate about what he's doing, but he's learning. I'll always treasure that book. It was my first attempt at doing my own comic where I covered every base. It's an ugly, beautiful mess...and if you see me at a convention do yourself a favor and pick it up. I'm proud of everything you'll find on my table,, but Dedlock #1 will always hold a special place in my heart.
What does the future hold? I'm re-telling the story of Dedlock as a webcoming on this very website. You'll see pages here before they ever see the inside of a printed book. Travis the Undying #1 will be re-issued in color and renamed simply Undying! Thugs will continue to roll along with a double-sized issue 6! Hopefully this year you'll see a one-shot from me and the talented Mike Gallagher called Section 8. I'll be appearing at several conventions this year, and I'm slowly moving into the world of doing prints of my artwork.
Not bad for a kid who used to rip up his sisters' comics, eh?
All work c. Alan Sparrow/Studio Fugazi EXCEPT Thugs c. 2008-Present Stephen Reid/Al Sparrow. All Rights Reserved.