“What interests me? What interests you, my friend.”
Today’s story is contributed by Jim Zub.
My Dad wasn’t into comic books when I was young. But he knew my brother and I were crazy about them.
It felt like every waking moment was a cavalcade of reading, collecting and nonstop chatter about our favorite characters. He’d bring us along when he went downtown once or twice a month. My brother and I would immediately go to the comic book shop.
I don’t actually ever recall Dad going into the store with us. He’d run his errands and then wait for us outside. He didn’t “get” the comic book thing, didn’t have any interest, and I think staying away from the store kept us from asking him for extra money.
Dad never bought comics for my brother and me. We used the money we earned. And, Dad had zero knowledge of the ins and outs of four-color fandom beyond the occasional episode of Batman or the Incredible Hulk on TV.
Cut to late 2010. My profession? I create comic books. I’d just launched Skull☠Kickers at Image Comics.
I’d been working at UDON Studios for seven years. I’d always try to get my Dad a copy of books that were published with my artwork in it. Of course, I assumed he’d want copies of Skull☠Kickers too, but when I asked him about it, he told me he didn’t need it.
I thought he wasn’t interested because it was comics. The truth was far more heartwarming.
My Dad, the guy I can’t even recall stepping foot inside a comic shop, had gone to one of the stores in town and set up a pull file just for Skull☠Kickers. Every month, a day or two after the new issue came out, he’d head up there and buy a copy.
Apparently this went on for four months until the store owner finally struck up a conversation with him…
“Excuse me, sir. I notice you come in here every month like clockwork to buy that comic. Then you leave right away. Clearly you’re a fan and that’s great. We’ve got all kinds of other fantasy stuff, games and books. Can I show you some other things you might be interested in?”
From what my mom told me, Dad was a bit thrown off, but then he told him:
“Oh, no thanks, I… my son…”
Dad smiled and pointed at my name on the cover.
“My son made this comic.”
Needless to say, that kicked off a conversation and they’ve been friends ever since. Now both Mom and Dad go to that same store to buy every new Skull☠Kickers issue. The shop owner keeps them up to date with other comics I have coming out.
I honestly don’t know if Dad reads Skull☠Kickers. Or if he does, whether he understands what it’s about. But he knows I created it.
It’s important to me. So it’s important to him.
Which inspires me each day.
Jim Zub is a writer, artist and art instructor based in Toronto, Canada. Over the past ten years he’s worked for a diverse array of publishing, movie and video game clients including Disney, Warner Bros., Capcom, Hasbro, Bandai-Namco and Mattel.
He juggles his time between being a freelance comic writer, Project Manager for UDON Entertainment and Program Coordinator for Seneca College’s award-winning Animation Program.
His current projects include Makeshift Miracle, a modern day fable, Skull☠Kickers, a sword & sorcery action-comedy, and Pathfinder, a comic series based on the bestselling tabletop RPG. Check out Jim’s website at jimzub.com.