Today’s Creator Spotlight is on John Crowther. I met John on my first Kickstarter project, he was a backer with a question and has been picking my brain ever since. Our friendship has grown since then as we now pick each other’s brain, and it’s been amazing to see him develop Rochelle: the Teen Cockroach. I’ve seen first hand the hard work John has been putting in, and like all of us that deserves to be recognized here on Indie Comic Source.
What drove you to enter the world of comic books as a creator?
I grew up as a huge fan of comic books in the 80’s. My after-school hours often consisted of a short walk to the local Rexall with a $5 bill and a mission to grab as many comic books as I could afford (they were much less expensive then). I always dreamed of being a creator, but life doesn’t always allow you to immediately pursue you dreams . But as I crested the proverbial 40-year old hill, I realized that, if you ever want your dreams to become a reality, you have to take action and pursue them.
The creator spotlight is a chance for a lot of people to meet you for the first time, can you tell us what is it that you ?
For those of you that don’t know me, I am a writer. The true artist in my family is my daughter.
Can you give us some more details on what you are currently working on?
I am currently working on my own creation, the new series, “Rochelle: The Teen Cockroach”, which tells the unique stories of a teenage girl from a single-family household, who was born with many characteristics and abilities of a cockroach . The stories will revolve around the struggles of everyday teen life, acceptance by one’s peers, and current events, all represented by tales and characters representative of these struggles and events.
Two other projects currently in the works are a mini-series which tells the life story of WWE superstar, Nikolai Volkoff, aon which I am working with Mr. Volkoff and Dell Barras, and “Unemployed Duck,” an exciting series created by artist, Don Edwards.
How long have you been working on “Rochelle: The Teen Cockroach?”
I began creating the scripts for “Rochelle: The Teen Cockroach” in June 2014, although the concept had been thought of in the late-90’s.
How did you put together the team that works on Rochelle?
Great question. Growing up, I was a big fan of the Blue Beetle. One of my favorite artists on the Blue Beetle series was Dell Barras. When I decided to make Rochelle a reality, I tracked down Dell’s address and mailed him an unsolicited letter detailing the series concept. To my surprise, and obvious delight, I received a note back from Dell about a month later with his contact information. After a few emails were exchanged and a telephone conversation, I successfully brought Dell, who had been working on such animated series as The Transformers, GI Joe, and Amazing Spider Man, back to the world of comic books to be the inker, penciler, and letterer of Rochelle. Through Dell, I was then introduced to Mark Heike, the Editor in Chief of AC Comics, who agreed to debut Rochelle as a flip story with the long running series, Femforce.
Where can people find more of your work?
You will be able to find the first historic issue of Rochelle in many major comic shops throughout the United States in late-February 2015, as a flip book with issue #170 of Femforce by AC Comics. You can also purchase this issue online by visiting the AC Comics website at http://www.accomics.com. You can follow all of the current Rochelle updates by visiting our official Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/RochelleComic2014.
Is there anything that you would like to work on, that you have not worked on yet?
At the present time, my focus is the Rochelle series, with the Nikolai Volkoff and “Unemployed Duck” series taking up any addition time.
Do you have a day job? If so, how do you manage to get all of your work done between that, comics, and your personal life?
I do have a day job. I like to tell folks that I am a small town Southern lawyer by day and a comic book creator by night. It’s definitely a balancing act between, my legal career, family and comics, always remembering that family is first, followed by career and comics, although my dream would be to move comics to the career slot.
If someone wants to meet you at a con, are there any that you attend regularly?
Being a Florida resident, I will be attending several of the cons in the Central Florida area, including Tampa Bay Comic Con from July 31 – August 2, 2015. There is a planned appearance at Vermont Comic Con in September. I also will be making appearance at many comic shops in the Central Florida area, the most recent being at Acme Superstore in Longwood, Florida on March 4, 2015. If you follow Rochelle on Facebook, we will be posting all of our upcoming appearances.
As we wrap this up, do you have any words of wisdom to share with your fellow creators out there?
I would just like to encourage all creators , whether you ate new to the industry or a veteran of comics, to always follow your dreams and never give up. This is an industry of peaks and valleys. One day you’re riding high with optimism and then next you feel like giving it all up. Never give up. Be the hero you’re writing about. A year ago, I never would have imagined that I would be able to walk into my local comic shop and see my story in a shelf, but here I am. With confidence and belief in yourself, you can do it too.
JayDee Rosario is a writer with Unstoppable Comics, and has run multiple successful comic book campaigns on Kickstarter.