Last week, I met Dean Haspiel for the first time. The Man himself. Meeting Dean was important to me. Not only because I like his work, but also because he’s one of the main creators actively promoting the Brooklyn indie comics scene. And I happen to live in Brooklyn. So it was like being a freshman to Brando’s Godfather.
Truth is, I fell in love with Dean’s last creation, the Red Hook.
If you have never read it, you SHOULD. And you can’t say it’s too expensive because you can have it for free on your smartphone thanks to the Line Webtoon app or on the web.
The Red Hook is a story about Brooklyn. It has superheroes in it. But beyond that, it’s a story about our medium. The comic book medium. Its roots. Its present. Its future. Its founders. Dean tells it himself, it’s a “love letter to the superhero comics”. And it’s damn entertaining too.
Meeting Dean opened my eyes. Here we have a creator who pours every bit of himself in the comics he produces. Sometimes he works for bigger publishers, but he doesn’t cheat. He doesn’t lie. He bares his naked soul to the comic book medium.
Preparing my meeting with Dean (which included an interview) and even more afterwards, I decided to come out to the world as a comic book creator.
Wait a second. Didn’t I do that years ago when I started writing?
Nope. I didn’t. I was just a part-time comic book writer. I was writing on the side.
But it has never been enough for me. And I’ve been giving myself all kinds of excuses to avoid creating more.
That’s going to change. I’m working on a comic strip project that I’ll write AND draw.
I may offer it for free online and collect it when I have enough material. It’ll have more chunks of me than ever. Just like Dean, I’ll undress in front of everyone (well, metaphorically speaking). Hopefully, two people (and my mom) will be interested. But I have to do it. You can only grow as a creator if you produce and accept to be criticized for it.
Well, thank you Dean. I was a comic book writer. You just gave me the little kick I needed to become a creator.
To be continued.
PS: the illustration above is a fan art I did for Dean’s Red Hook. He encouraged me to post it. Here we go… 🙂 Discuss.