Every now and again in the course of a conversation, I will inevitably make the comment “back in the ’90s,” referencing a point in time when my best friends and I self-published our own black and white superhero comic book, the Superior Seven.
This irks Tina to no end, because as she says, “it’s not the 90’s anymore.” It has become a laughing point now and sometimes I say it just to see if she is paying attention.
The ’90s were a great time if you were a comic book fan. The decade ushered in Image Comics, as well as Dark Horse, and a handful of others. No longer was it just the big two. Suddenly, you had options.
Self-publishing, small press, independent comics, however you want to label it, was much smaller back then. The gold was there if your tastes were eclectic enough to dig deeper and take a chance on an unknown creator.
As much as I love Marvel comics, I always had a desire to do my own thing. For years, my buds and I would gripe about this or that. We always thought we could do it better. So, we did. It was 1990 and we created the Superior Seven.
It was a much different world back then, my friends and I were young, dumb, and just coming into our own. The passion for what we were doing was there. We were all avid comic readers and had been for as long as any of us could remember. That does not mean we knew what we were doing. If there was a mistake to be made, rest assured we made it. But hey, that’s life. We jumped headfirst into the deep end of the pool and found ourselves in for the swim of our lives.
So, there we were, me and my friends, Chris Henry and Deon Nuckols. We had all been friends throughout high school. Then we met Mike Hoehn, who was the boyfriend of one of our high school friends, Leslie Seifert. Mike had more of a business sense than the rest of us, so he rounded out our group.
High school art class was our domain and that’s where Chris, Deon, and I most assuredly shined. So, one day at the beginning of my junior year, Deon and I were sitting in class discussing how awesome the New Mutants were and Bill Sienkiewicz’s artwork. Suddenly, a voice from the far end of the table chimed in, “The New Mutants are cool, but Thor would kick all of their asses.” Deon and I were stunned. We looked up to see who would utter such blasphemous words. It was the new kid, Chris Henry. A friendship was born on that day, that still exists, and to say a friend does the relationship a huge disservice. Brothers are what we quickly became, and we were inseparable for the next twenty years.
In high school, we started talking about these characters that someday we would put in our comic when we had one. As time passed, the characters continued to talk to me. Chris, being a year ahead of Deon and me, left to go to the Marine Corps after graduation. Deon and I headed to art school a year later. While in art school, I continued to write stories for our characters, and the Star Core Sage was born.
When Chris returned from his stint in the Marines, he and I start talking about the idea of doing our own comic for real. We approach Deon and he is jazzed as well, and thus begins the journey of creating the greatest superhero comic the world has ever known. (There are statues outside of the S7 tower to prove it.)
Until, next time…