Saturday, July 4, 2009

The Story of Halogen Part 8: The Comic Book

By the spring of 1988, I had finally received some non-committal interest in "Halogen" from two very small independent comic book publishers. This was during an unprecedented boom in sales of black and white comic books produced by small companies (kids were buying multiple copies as "investments"), a boom that soon thereafter went "bust" spectacularly. (I laugh even writing that, but it was true. And it has an odd resonance today, doesn't it?) Anyway, I mention all of that to explain why I was proud of this "achievement" out of all proportion to the difficulty. In response to that interest, I enthusiastically wrote and began drawing rough pages for the first issue of a proposed "Halogen" comic book. At left is a few frames from one of those "sketch" pages.

Predictably, that vague "interest" never went anywhere. But I was picked up "on the rebound" when my high school principal asked if I'd like to draw an educational comic book for the local blood bank. (You read right: the blood bank.) I said sure. I took meetings with an official there. I wrote a script and began pencilling pages. To try to make my work more professional (I assume), the blood bank put me together with a man who had co-founded the San Diego Comic-Con years before named Shel Dorf. Through Shel I was introduced to a local comic book company. I remember their name (even though they're long gone). But I doubt that any of you would recognize the name of the little company that published, for example, "California Raisins Summer Fun Special No. 1 in 3D." I ultimately went off to college before the blood bank project was completed, unfortunately. To the best of my knowledge, that was never published either.

As part of that whole process, however, Shel also took me to Los Angeles one saturday morning in the summer of 1988 to meet an aging Jack "The King" Kirby, and to get his feedback on my initial "Halogen" pages. And I did.

That, the last chapter of this story, next time.

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