The Shadow Watchers I'm a firm believer that you're never too old to achieve any of your goals. So if you're seventy, and want to go into space, you take a lot of medication and head for the sky. If you're sixty, and want to become a heavyweight championship boxer, you do a similar thing, but take even more medication. And if you're fifty, and want to create a comic book, you will check out the following interview I did with my mate Robert.

1) What are your own origins, Robert?   I have read and collected comics since I was 8 or so and I am 53 now. Yeah. That's right. I'm that old guy who’s into comic books. Most of my life I have either been drawing and writing my own comics or dreaming of it. Way back in the 90s I self-published a comic called “Omega Force”. It was a single issue, black and white, comic book, and it was fairly successful for an Indie black and white comic, selling over 2500 copies. My second issue was interrupted by a job offer as a color guide artist at Malibu Comics in California.

The Shadow Watchers
I did the coloring thing for a few years and then moved back to Texas and started illustrating children’s books for a company called Lyrick Studios (the Barney people). After three years of drawing purple dinosaurs, in 1999, I decided to move on and sought employment at a startup dot com, designing and illustrating a children’s website. It turned out to be a bad year to make that move. That job though led me to programming and website development. Programming is my 9 to 5 and pays the bills but I have never completely stopped dreaming of creating my own comic again. So, here I am.

2) What inspired you to create, ‘The Shadow Watchers’?   The basic premise of the story I've had in my head for a very long time. What made me finally sit down and put it all to paper; I think it was a necessity. I had bottled up my ideas and my desire to create something for far too long. It sounds a little corny but believe me it was a powerful force.

3) In your own words how would you describe this story?   Science Fiction and Horror with heroes that are more pulp and not so much super. That isn’t to say that they don’t have super powers, it's just that their powers can be as much of a problem as they are a benefit, slightly kludgier and not so dynamic. Because of the time period I have set the story in, the 1950s, ethnicity and gender will play a major role for each of them. In my life one of the things that angers and frustrates me the most is seeing anyone treated unequally. I was a young kid in the 60s so I saw a lot but I did not have to live through it. I can only imagine what that would be like, and in this comic, I do, and I put it to paper. I also imagine how those who are prejudiced against wish they could respond, and in ‘The Shadow Watchers’, sometimes, they do.

The Shadow WatchersBesides the societal issues that our heroes face, there will be the conventional villains, ancient evil, dark forces, and the usual fare. But one difference everyone will find in this comic is a slower reveal. Origins and beginnings don’t resolve in a single issue. I am going to build them up so they are not rushed and I hope to make the villains as complex as the heroes and develop them over time as well.

4) What song would you say best represents this comic and why?   The best I can think of is Moby’s ‘Extreme Ways’ from the Bourne soundtrack that I listened to while plotting the book. That song stuck with me so maybe it affected my mood enough to translate into something, story-wise. Maybe.

Orson Wells
5) If you could get a celebrity – either living or dead – to promote your wares, who would you choose, and why would you want to choose this particular person?   Orson Wells. He had an awesome voice, and I think he could sell anything just by talking about it.

6) What have you learnt about yourself through this endeavour?   While it might be a bit late to learn at my age, I now know that if I stick with something, work a little on it every day, I can do anything, no matter how long it takes.

7) During your time in this field, what is the one thing that has kept you in good stead?   I would have to say my love for comics.

8) If ‘The Shadow Watchers’ had a motto, what would it be?   “From darkness comes light.”

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And on that note, I'd like to thank Robert for telling us about his comic book, The Shadow Watchers, before directing you towards his official website and facebook pages. 


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