The title of this entry may sound trivial to some but it is essential to the creation of this graphic novel. I’ve been drawing off and on since I was a little boy. I started by copying from reference materials; the first character I ever copied was “Cappy Dick” from the Detroit News when I was in Kindergarten. As I grew older I continued to draw my favorite characters by copying actions that I liked from various comics. By 5th grade I knew that I wanted to do my own comic book of my own characters, but I ran into trouble. Drawing my own comic required me to actually draw actions, scenes, and environments from my head…man I was horrible at this! Needless to say I only got a few pages done, and those panels were lifted from other comics and pieced together, I was a panel thief! Even though I was drawing the pictures they weren’t original…I felt like a 5th grade “cheater”.

Well, drawing out of my head was something that I knew I needed to work on and while I did get better at, my skills were nothing to write home about…it was/is still a struggle. I would have these great scenes and camera angles in my head but I could not get them to translate onto paper. This has continued to plague me all of my life but I’m here to tell you that God gives you what you need when you need it!

When we started talking about doing this book I got geeked, got out the old drawing books and bought some new ones too. In the new books I found some new information. It turns out that many of the comic book artists of today use reference material. I am not alone! I had considered using the digital camera to my advantage but I still felt like I was “cheating”. Why, because I never heard of cats like Jack Kirby using reference material for actions, environments, etc. But I realized that while I’m no “Jack Kirby” most other artists aren’t either. Kirby was a genius, I read somewhere that he was able to do 3 pages a day, where as most of today’s artists only do 1 page per day. And let me tell you, 1 page per day is a realistic time frame.

God provided me this new information which got me past my “cheating” barrier and moved me into a new world which embraced the use of reference material. As with anything, I had to make this my own by using the tools that I needed in order to succeed at getting these images out of my head and onto the paper.

Digital technology allows me to pose my wife and kids to capture actions and camera angles from my head that I would not be able to draw accurately with out photo reference. The best thing is that it is all instant and cheap. I can’t imagine using a regular camera and sending out photos to get developed which still may not be right. This would have been expensive and frustrating. But with the digital camera I can review the pics in the camera to see if they are close to what I want and then just print them from the PC in a matter of minutes! The digital camera is a tool I need to be able to do this book and God has provided it for me. So I thank God for the digital camera, HE gave me what I needed when I needed it!