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Elliott Serrano Presents:









 

For everyone’s who has ever experienced it, there simply is nothing like ‘the first time’…

The anticipation of it all; the excitement; the wondering if it will live up to all the expectations that you’ve managed to create in your own mind over the years. And when it finally happens, when all you’ve been waiting, hoping, dreaming – nay YEARNING – for finally happens…

I remember my first time. My heart was thumping; my pulse quickening; my mouth was dry and I felt just a wee bit dizzy at the outset. In an almost delirious fashion, my hands fumbled as I tried to work my way towards that one goal that had consumed me my entire adolescent life.

Good god. This was actually going to happen!

I reached out and my entire world stopped and without knowing, I held my breath. And then it happened. And since then, there’s simply been nothing like it.

You all know what I’m talking about, right?

Of course, I’m talking about the first time I opened a comic book and saw my name on the credit page.

(What else could it have been?)

(What?)

(You thought…that?)

(Oh, get yer minds outta the gutter folks!)

(Besides…I’m still waiting for that little miracle to happen.)

(Anywhoo…)

The first time I saw my name in a comic book was when I was serving as an intern at Devil’s Due Publishing. If I remember correctly, the book was GI Joe VS Transformers (Series 2) #0. It was essentially a collection of character sketches and interviews with the creative team. Then DDP Editor Mark Powers asked me to take all the production materials he had collected and make them into a preview book that would serve as the series’ ‘zero issue.’

After spending much of my internship rolling posters into packing tubes and trying to get the filing system of then Associate Editor Marshall Dillon’s in order – I have no idea what his files look like now at BOOM! Studios, but my guess is that Marshall still can’t put s**t in alphabetical order – I finally got to do some actual production work on a comic book. The whole process took me less than a week and by the end I had earned myself a production credit on the book. I believe I still have copies of the issue lying around somewhere in my office.

But, where getting a production credit in a preview issue was the proverbial ‘getting to second base’ in the comics industry, I wouldn’t truly ‘score’ until many years later when fate would have me make the acquaintance with comic-scribe Brandon Jerwa who would ask me to partner with him on Xena/Army of Darkness for Dynamite Entertainment.

With myself being a rookie in the comics-writing field, Brandon helped me through the process with the patience and understanding of an experienced pro. When my confidence would wane and go limp, Brandon knew just the right things to say to fluff it back up again. Our collaboration was a frenetic back-and-forth, with each of us tossing ideas at each other at a frantic pace, trying to outdo the other and build to a satisfying climax. And when we finally managed to drive the story home, he was the first to cry out and congratulate my efforts.

(Although it’s funny how he doesn’t call me anymore…)

I consider it a matter of pride and good fortune to have my name associated with not only Brandon Jerwa, but also the characters of Army of Darkness and Xena: Warrior Princess. To make my maiden voyage in comic writing with so many familiar friends was truly a blessing.

And now I await another first of sorts, this one being my first solo credit on a comic book. After somehow impressing the folks at Dynamite with my tag-teaming with Brandon, Editor Joe Rybandt asked if I would like to go it alone on the Army of Darkness series and write a fill-in issue. After thinking about it a relative nano-second, I said yes and embarked on a journey of self-discovery that contained such revelations about me that I was left shuddering.

Yeah, it’s different doing this sort of thing on your own. It’s demanding; it’s taxing; it makes you doubt yourself and wonder if you’ve got the stuff to do what needs to be done. I can be exhausting and frustrating as sometimes you find that the inspiration and desire just leave you in the middle of the act. Your mind starts wandering, quite oddly, to the thought of purple pills. Hm…wonder why?

And if you think that all the bad habits you’ve accumulated over the years just disappear when a paycheck is attached to an assignment, guess what, they don’t. If anything, they get worse. All the doubts, all the insecurities, all the shortcomings of the past come up to haunt you and try to dissuade you from your goal. God, sometimes I wonder how all those other pros can even perform for so long. I mean the pressure? Just how does Brubaker do it? The guy has the stamina of a stallion!

But in the end, the satisfaction of getting that story done, seeing a talented artist take your words and turn them into pictures, watching the creative synergy that comes from having a colorist and letterer polish off the narrative, well, there’s nothing like it.

Just like seeing your name on that credit page for the first time.

Anyone got a cigarette?

Elliott Serrano is a columnist/blogger/graphic artist who can finally add ‘comic book writer’ to his resume. His more G-rated ramblings can be found at his Geek To Me Blog and some more adult-oriented conversations can be seen on his You Tube Channel.

And yes, he is still waiting for Brandon Jerwa to call him back. 

E.R. Serrano

Visit CWR at Unsungheroes! 

 

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