Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Birthday to Remember

Yesterday I turned 22, and it was a momentous occasion but not at all in the way I had hoped. Being stung by a bee for the first time in the neck wasn't much fun, and having to spend an all-nighter working in a dark window-less animation department was even less so. But all of that I could handle, what I couldn't handle was learning that one of my all-time heroes and inspirations Dwayne McDuffie had passed away.

Dwayne McDuffie was co-creator of Milestone comics, creator of characters like Static and Icon, and overall a very gifted writer who worked in comics and animation. As a little kid I read comics every now and then but I wasn't at all big into them, more into cartoons, but then I was given a ton of Milestone comics and something sparked inside me. It was really the first time I personally had ever seen comic titles featuring black heroes as main characters leading the story. They weren't tokens, they weren't sidekicks, they weren't back-up but actual title characters.

People may think my character the Bolt is taken from Black Lightening but it really was inspired by Static. I'm one of those fans that hates it when people call him Static-Shock because thats the name of the show, and there was a character that existed long before that. I had a ton of comics, I had first issues, I loved watching the cartoon, and it definitely influenced the creation of my character when I was around 10 or 11.

This was extremely depressing and even had me tearing up. I have always really wanted to meet this man and tell him thank you and just shake his hand, and I knew it was in the realm of possibility because I'm closer into the world of comics and animation now. Unfortunately I won't ever get that chance. So it was the lowest point of my birthday to find out this trailblazer passed away, but now every birthday I have will remind me of how great this guy was to the industry and how he helped inspire me do what I'm doing today. I hope one day in the future I can be half as cool as Dwayne was and inspire somebody else like he did me.

I hope you all will take a look at this: [link]
its a tribute thats going to happen for his creation and one of my all-time favorite comic book characters Static. I know I'm super swamped with tons of work but I'm still taking part in this. Thank you McDuffie, I'm sorry I never got to meet you in person, but I won't ever forget you man. R.I.P.