When I was a wee tot, I had a THOR comic at my grandmas house. I always enjoyed the super hero segments of saturday cartoons or Batman on Scooby Doo, But what really got me started was a copy of SECRET WARS #4 I picked up at a fire dept. tag sale. It had tons of superheros and villians in it,
some I knew many I did not, But I studied them.
I could not draw people but I learned thier weapons and started drawing those.
In 8th grade when we had to pick a career I chose studied up on being a comic artist. I studied marvel comics how to draw and learned my perspective, and story telling.
A BRIEF INTERLUDE...
Aside from comics there was another flashy, tights filled drama that was a part of my soul - Pro Wrestling. Around my being 16 years old, Kenny Casanova gave me a job in a comic book shop. In the time following Myself, Ken, Todd and my long time friend Curtis would travel to watch wrestling shows and read our comics.
After a short time we found a pro wrestling school in Elmira, NY. Now I could draw my whole life..But you can only break into wrestling while your young and your body permits it..
For 14 years comics sat on the back burner and I wrestling took me all over the country, made me many great friends and even a fair amout of fame.
Putting me on national TV with the WWE/WWF
in magazenes and my face was seen all over ECW and ROH.
But the time came for me to get back to the drawing board...
STARTING FROM SCRATCH...
I had my drafting table that I owned since I was 12 and I kept my sense of storytelling, drawing expressions and passion...but since I was last at it PHOTOSHOP came out, the internet exists and image comics became deep stories over flashy heros.
I had to work double time to find myself, develop my style, learn these new technologies and network myself.
I had a lot of work ahead of me. To slow me down even more I always had 2-3 jobs.
I dont love the starving artist scene. I have respect for the sacrifices people make to got into a desired career, but I dont like when people bum around and feel like the world owes them something when they are not making a living at what they love. It's not easy to make money doing what you love. Odds are other people love it too and thats what makes it a desired field. One way or another we all have to take our passion seriously AND pay our dues. These sacrifices and dues are our way of showing we are serious and commited to our form. Be it drawing, acting, wrestling or being a head chef.
My sacrifice is long days and no down time from studying, drawing, working hourly jobs and family obligations, so I can hone my craft PLUS have nice things like pizza and ice cream instead of ramen and other luxuries such as a house with a proper art studio and say like...health insurance.
Through the wonders of computers I am able to relax a little bit about mistakes I make with the pen on the paper because I can repair a blotch or crooked line. This has helped my defeat some of my inner enemies but more important... in the digital age comics can be printed in small runs for a reasonable price.
I don't publish my own comics to make a bunch of money.... That would be awesome... But its a long ways off (If at all).
I self publish because if I sit here all day and draw what I like to draw, and stick to what I am good at..I will never get any better.
Self publishing forces me to draw stories, to draw situations and subjects I would never draw otherwise. It gives me the chance to overcome problems and forces me to learn technical aspects of page sizes, files and photoshop. Plus it makes me work under a deadline. Very Important in taking a hobby and making it a career.
Just as important, it makes my work exist, and gets it out into the world. Am I proud of every page and every panel? nope. But an artists bane is that EVERY new project is your best project yet, and every project before that is crap. But if that stops you, you will never make it.
One big shock to me is how many people say they want to become comic artists but really have no drive or are afraid to put thier work out there.. I often offered to include peoples stories or pinups in my books to help them get attention and give them a shot at seeing their work in print. So many out there have talked about how it is their dream..but then there is no follow through. It bums me out, but it does show that the field is not as tough and competetive as it seems. There is alot of talent on the field but so few are willing to catch the ball, none the less actually run with it.
Many companies, magazines and media outlets I have written to for various reasons have also failed to write back. Not even an automated "thanks but no thanks ". This type of stuff does get me down but....
I don't care if it takes me another 20 years to make it as a full time pro comic artist. I'll be drawing, publishing, working my day job, raising my daughter and networking my art every day untill then.
Because whether I spend that time trying to make it big, or I spend that time on my butt, the time will pass anyway. Best not to waste it.
Many long nights it took to build and tweak my own websites. Hours of online tutorials on drawing, inking, coloring and digital. Reading stacks of books on car rides and lunch breaks, Lots of hard earned money on printing my comics and art prints that just did not come out right..
All investments in improving and thats what I am doing every single day as a person and as an artist.
Through doing convnetions I have gotten fan feedback on what works and what does not.
Through my local comic shop I have made some great new friends that share my drive and passion.
Through the support of my family and long time friends
I am able to keep working at what I love to do and still have lots of laughs and fun.
I hope it all pays off sooner than later, and making comics can become my full time job, then that time i now spend at the day job can become the time I return to my friends and family.
I'm PETER SEFCIK
Maker Of Comic Books.
Here is a little look into my backgound plus how and why, I do what I do.
IN THE RING.
MY CURRENT ART SPACE
THE BABIES FIRST COMIC!
THE FIRST BOOK I PUBLISHED WAS MORE LIKE A STORY BOOK SINCE I DID NOT KNOW HOW TO MAKE WORD BUBBLES ON THE COMPUTER YET. IT WAS GRAYSCALED BY HAND WITH COLOR PENCILS AND THE COVER WAS A REAL PAINTING PHTOGRAPHED FOR PRINT. IT WAS A HOT MESS. EVERY BOOK AFTER THAT HAS BEEN SCANNED IN AND DIGITALLY COLORED FOR A NICE CLEAN LOOK.
BASED ON A CHARACTER I WRESTLED WITH AND WRITTEN BY LONG TIME FRIEND KENNY CASANOVA, THE FIRST ISSUE OF SHOCKWAVE AHD A PHOTO COVER TO SHOW OFF THE FACT HE WAS A REAL LIFE WRESTLER. LATER I RE DREW THE WHOLE BOOK AND GAVE IT A TRADITIONAL COMIC COVER. FANS PREFER IT TO LOOK AND FEEL LIKE A COMIC. LESSON LEARNED.
I RE-MADE THE FIRST SHOCKWAVE BOOK AS WELL AS A COUPLE
OF MY SIGNATURE PIECES TO MEASURE MY PROGRESS OVER TIME..