In the past, this website featured the work of Bill Duncan. Bill’s comics at that time, were Monster Hollow, Japanimation, FIST, and Picture Story Theatre.
I had just graduated from the elementary school with high flying grades so I asked my parents to let me shop for my first junior high school outfit on my own. Then out of the blue, dad came up with a dunk tank challenge idea. The rules were that dad takes the suspended seat first and I aim twice and if I missed the target, we would change positions and he aims once.
This cycle was to continue until either of us hit the target. If I dunked dad first then I’d go shopping alone but if he did, I would still do the shopping but under his supervision. Finally, an artist was to make caricatures of the entire funfair, an arrangement that would eventually change the way I perceive comics for the rest of my life.
I was only thirteen but overly full of myself after topping my class. So I took the challenge just to show dad I was no longer a boy but a grown man. This was actually the sole purpose I wanted to shop my stuff by myself in the first place. I took my first throw but unfortunately I missed, with my shot landing just less than two feet off target. I didn’t want to let dad win so I had to adjust accordingly. Needless to say, I missed again. This time by a whisker but it didn’t matter anyway. My only hope at this point was that dad would miss too especially given that he would only aim once but he didn’t.
For a moment I hated dad for being so accurate but I consoled myself by the thought that for the first time, I wouldn’t go shopping with my mom who dictated what I wore ever since I was born. Although this was not all that I wanted, the change was good enough for me. Maybe dad had figured it out earlier which is why he kept mom at bay whichever way our challenge ended.
I disliked the idea of my own caricatures made when I was dripping wet from the dunk tank but I was taken aback when I saw them. The caricatures were the greatest pieces of art I ever saw. Of course some exaggerations of my face when I got out of the tank were awful but my envy for the artistry superseded my hatred for the turn of events. From then on, I developed an immense interest in comics. I wanted to be capable of drawing cartoons and making caricatures of a similar quality.
Suddenly, comics became everything to me.
I remember what dad once told me when I asked him how I could determine my own passion. He said that my passion was that which I would enjoy doing everyday even without pay. For example, an occupation for which I would get psyched up to start work each morning and only return home at the close of business with great reluctance.
By the time he told me this I thought it was a big joke probably because I couldn’t figure out anything that I loved that much at the moment. At long last, dad’s sentiments made sense. I believed I just discovered my passion which I had to pursue.
Writing a comic story line was the first thing I attempted. My intention was to eventually make it a comic book. After toiling and moiling over it inside closed bedroom doors for three consecutive nights, I finally lost hope when I read what I had written so far and found it horrible by my own gauge.
I knew I could horn my skills and work my way up but the fact that my starting point was pathetic blew my hopes away. I then tried drawing cartoons and the outcome was worse. I had to give up due to the glaring truth that I lacked talent, even a shred of it.
I soon realized that comics had become more of an obsession to me rather than a passion. Even after throwing in the towel about becoming a professional comic artist, I still wanted to read more comic books, comic strips and anything comic. It was already flowing in my blood and even today, three decades later, stopping is out of question.
I have since become a great fan of Matt Fraction, Jeff Lemire and Brian Vaughan for their amazing authorship of comic books. To date, I have traveled to over forty states of the U.S. just to quench my thirst for comics. The most recent comic shows I attended were Mac King’s Show in Las Vegas, Collin Quinn’s Show in New York and the Last Comic Standing in New Orleans.