Thursday, December 18, 2008

Chauncey DeVega's World of Ghetto Nerds: Andre Campbell, Comic Book Artist, is Our Personal Ghetto Nerd Hero of the Week, Month, and Year

I am not prone to sappy, overly demonstrative, hyper-emotional, displays of sentimentality. But, this story makes a ghetto nerd tear up. From the Washington Post, their story "Comic Book Hero," highlights Andre Campbell, a lover of comic books, entrepreneur, co-founder of Heritage Comics, and his journey to Pittsburgh's Comicon convention. This brother is living a dream. He also happens to be sight impaired. He also draws his own comics.

From the Washington Post:

Comic Book Hero

Andre Campbell's vision is severely limited, but that hasn't stopped him from pursuing his dream of making it as a comic book artist. Will he ever see success? Andre Campbell is legally blind, but has a vision of making it as a comic book artist.

By David Rowell Sunday, December 14, 2008;

Andre Campbell, who has been legally blind since birth, let his cane glide in front of him, as Tyran Eades stepped diligently by his side with the patience of an attentive brother. They were headed toward their designated table at the 15th annual Pittsburgh Comicon. All around them at the convention were eye-popping banners and saturated displays of superheroes both ubiquitous and obscure, all designed to celebrate the unbridled joy of comic books and to encourage generous spending during the next three days by the 7,000 or so attendees. Campbell -- who says you can approximate his vision by closing one eye and squinting through the other -- could make out very little. But he had a grand vision for himself, an inner faith that his own characters would some day take their place alongside Spider-Man, Batman and Wolverine at conventions like this one.

Having toiled for nearly 20 years, Campbell, 44, had produced -- with Eades's assistance -- one comic book and one graphic novel, both self-published, starring Campbell's Alpha Agents ("Earth's Mightiest Heroes"). Unlike the professional comic book artists, who had been invited to attend and who had made their names by working on some of the most beloved superhero titles of our time, Eades, 33, and Campbell had paid $150 out of their scarce resources to rent a table. But now they were focused on the significance of this day. For the first time, they had traveled to an out-of-state convention to promote their company, Heritage Comics HSQ (Heart, Soul, Quality). When they found their way to the corner of the convention center set up for small-press artists such as themselves, they settled in for eight hours of talking up characters that no one had yet heard of.

Campbell and Eades had published their first Alpha Agents comic in 2007, after Campbell had written and labored over it on and off for 10 years. The new graphic novel included the first Alpha Agents story, plus two new installments. They'd had 50 copies printed for $250, and were hoping to sell them for $10 each. They'd decided to forgo having their bios listed in the convention's extensive program, which would have cost another $150. They were too low on funds for that, Campbell said. The hotel room they were sharing would set them back $300, and then there was gas money for the trip from Baltimore.

the story continues here.


We ghetto nerds salute you Mr. Campbell. Why? Because one, how many of us have the courage to chase a dream? Two, how many of us have had to surpass the obstacles you have faced in pursuing your dream? You are an inspiration Mr. Campbell. Your friends and family are also an inspiration because they have not coddled you, had pity on you, or thought that you could not achieve success because of your "disability." Hell, you may lack sight Brother Campbell, but you don't lack creativity or vision--and you certainly don't lack drive or heart.

We wish you the best of luck. By proclamation, I decree that all ghetto nerds should demand that their local comic book spot stocks the Heritage line.

My ghetto nerd friends and family, let's follow Andre Campbell's example. Today, tomorrow, next week, or sometime in the future let's all pick one dream and chase it...even if it seems out of reach.

I am going to make my ghetto nerd dream come true, are you?


Vee (Scratch) said...

Chauncey DeVega! Great find. That article was really something else and very inspirational.

What I find crazy is that a bunch of brothers with common interest got together and it eventually dwindled down to 2 hardcore members. Sounds familiar because life definitely gets in the way and stop people from perservering and/or slowly kills motivation and drive.
And this guy is facing a degenerative disease that impairs his ability to see, yet he still draws. I mad that it took a long minute to finish his book, but I can say anything because I don't even have a small strip!!! And I have "personal projects" on the back burner for a long minute. Including myself, I know many artists that have all the tools at their disposals, including SIGHT, but still are not able to achieve what this guy did.

Once again Chauncey, THankS!!
With that said check out the recent work. What do you think about the new-new Brown Hornet, "Murder Brown!"

chaunceydevega said...

I here you. What is holding us back? Excuse making? And why does he find a way to make it? Heart?