I didn't get a chance to mention earlier that I am a HUGE HUGE player of Pen and Paper role playing games. I first played Dungeons in Dragons in 1979 and I was hooked. I loved the challenges and the imaginative aspect of the game. I was also fascinated with the possibility that though played in the ethereal world of the mind, that I could bring my characters into the real world , albeit 2 dimensionally, through drawing.
In 8th grade I got into a unique educational summer program called Horizons Upward Bound. It was there that I finally became serious about comic books. My roommate was a comic fanatic and he introduced me to Marvel Superhero Secret Wars. From then on I was hooked. I loved the fact that most of Marvel's key where in this series. It was with Secret Wars that rediscovered Wolverine. (A character I previously encountered in an X-men themed episode of Spiderman and his Amazing Friends.)
It was also through my further exploration of Wolverine that I discovered The Uncanny X-Men, and it's penciller and Co-plotter JOHN BYRNE. I never seriously thought about comics, or drawing, as a career choice until I read John's take on this superhero team. Byrne's art had gravitas, his backgrounds and characters felt alive and the stories made me feel for mutants as a whole. This book had DRAMA, and I mean GREAT Drama. It is a crying shame that most of that drama was dismissed in Marvels later attempts to capitalize on it. From this point I devoured anything Byrne did,
I thought that Wolverine was far more visceral than anything that I was familiar with from my early cursory comic readings. He fit the 80's action motif of big dudes, ninjas and impossible action heroes to a tee and I love every minute of it. It was also at this point where my new found comic book fanaticism lead me to a product that was the perfect marriage of comics and pen and paper rpg's, TSR's MARVEL SUPER HEROES RPG.
I really loved the fact that I could create and play my own characters against those from the Marvel Universe. This gave me a huge amount of freedom. It was in this paradigm that I created my very first superhero character, the enigmatic cosmic sentinel and( rip off of Starhawk from Guardians of the Galaxies) Force Phantom.
I also began to realize that Marvel and DC didn't an shouldn't have a monopoly on cool characters. Later, the catalyst for what would become the most pivotal event in my artist career took root. The discovery of PALLADIUM BOOKS HEROES UNLIMITED RPG. It was in this game that I created THE YOBI a character specifically created to counter Wolverine, to whom over exposure had begun to diminish my favor toward.
In Part 3, we are going to jump head first into two of the most influential mediums of all as it relates to Juda Fist and my process. ANIME and HIP HOP!!!!