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Comics in ColumbusAlive and Kicking!

Posted On Monday, February 11, 2013

I like to think I work hard…but honestly, I have too much fun to consider what I do WORK, but still, it's an amazing thing when people recognize you for what you're doing.  I had the distinct pleasure of being included in the recent issue of the Columbus Alive (Feb. 7th issue), where they highlighted the growing comic book scene, here in my hometown  of Columbus, OH!

Where once it may have only been the Buckeyes, Bluejackets or Crew that spotlighted the Discovery City, we've developed quite the comic book talent pool, with more styles and stories than a Wednesday release schedule!  While I definitely think you should read the article -- (if only to get a bit more press on V:IP), I wanted to take a sec to highlight some of the OTHER creators that weren't featured.

Home to some Pros -- Columbus has quite a few of its residents with some mainstream comics cred under their belts!

Darryl Banks (Artist) - One of my comic book idols, I met Darryl when I was only 16 and he's been a HUGE inspiration for me on so many levels ever since!  It's because of him that MY Green Lantern of choice is Kyle Rayner (he's a co-creator of him ) and I dare you to read his run on the book and NOT swoon!

Chris Sprouse (Artist) - Seriously, one of the kindest guys you could ever meet, Chris is this gentle giant (great skill, but INTENSE generosity) whose bibliography page must be getting a bit ridiculous, particularly in the category of notable collaborators (Alan Moore, Grant Morrison?!)  But, it will always be his run on Legionnaires that I hold nearest and dearest to my heart!

Sean McKeever (Writer) - Ironically, I have a habit of seeing Sean out of town at a show more so than here in town, but he's always been a cool guy to chat it up with!  Not originally from the C.O., he's a great transplant with a stellar run on books from both Marvel and DC (but my fave would have to be his Gravity limited series with Mike Norton).

Keron Grant (Artist) - I'm gonna throw Keron in here because for a while, during his stint on Iron Man, he called Columbus his home, after graduating from the Columbus College of Art & Design!  He's since gone on to provide BEAUTIFUL cover work DC comics and even provided some promotional material for the movie Chronicle.

Daniel Leister (Artist) - Dan's been a long-time friend of mine since we met at sorely missed Discount Paperback comic shop on campus.  I've been able to see him go from the "Draw Wolverine Contest" runner-up to the penciler on the Image Comics hit, Hack/Slash.  From what I've heard, he's nearly finished putting together the pitch for his first creator-owned piece and I can tell you that really, what you've seen is ONLY just the beginning!

Uko Smith (Artist) - Already an amazing talent in his own right, Uko is the comic book arts teacher at CCAD where he's instructing the future creators on the dynamics of the profession!  With his own background in erotica art, the RPG industry and comics, Uko brings a wealth of unique talent and understanding with EVERY pencil stroke!

Sean Forney (Artist) - Sean is pretty close to being the hardest man working in comics!  With coloring work with Marvel, Voltron pin-up work, some Star Wars work through Lucas Film, it's hard to imagine that he has time for much anything else, yet he's at almost EVERY SHOW I go to a few others I haven't…I tell ya, there may be more than one of him!

Say Yes for the Small Press!  I can tell you right now that I don't know EVERYONE in the small-press world, but those I do have shown some TREMENDOUS talent and aspiration!

Mike Watson (Artist) - I've known Mike for so long, it's almost sickening!  This Cleveland native and CCAD grad, let me cut my teeth writing the initial arc for Hotshot, the flagship title from his Freestyle Komics imprint.  He took a little time off, but I know he's getting back into the swing of things real heavy this year, so be on the look out for all things FSK!

Ren McKinzie (Artist) - Ren is a one-in-a-million type guy -- certainly in my closest circle of friends and one of the few black dudes I know to pull off a mohawk (and yes that includes, Mr. T!).  While he's got a GROWING list of publications, my PERSONAL FAVORITE (for obvious reasons) is our work together on The Samaritan series.  Ren has really come alive with that one and I can't wait to see what else he has cooking -- cuz I'm gonna eat it up!

Phonzie Davis (Creator) - If you had to describe Phonzie's work it'd sound something like a free-word association excerise.  But that's what makes him so good -- he's so many things at once (wild, kinetic, funky, jazzy, rock, old-school, etc) but all on purpose!  His Left-Handed Sophie series is damn-near Indie gold and his personal adoption of style and character is nothing short of inspiring!

Bryan Moss (Creator) - When talent and style comes together, you can't help but take note.  Bryan has brought a GREAT aesthetic to his comic book work, almost taming a fine artist's sensibilities to the confines of a paneled page!  Check out his online gallery and see if you don't agree!

Mason Easley (Artist) - A self-publisher and amazing pin-up artist, I've seen Mason do his one-man show many times, snagging passersby with his original art style and mix of personal creations and fan-favorite illustrations!  He kills it on ALL levels and does it with humility and grace!

If there's anyone I missed, I GREATLY apologize and BEG YOU to write in your own blurb in the comments.  And I mean that especially if we've never met before and I'm unaware of your work -- I'd definitely like to read it!

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