Monday, October 28, 2013

Belleville High freshman promotes self published comic

DEARBORN — Many of the comic book artists and writers at last weekend’s Detroit FanFare Comic Con self published their work, but even among the self published, one artist stood out.
Gavin Schultz stood out from the crowd, as the youngest creator in the room. Schultz, 14, is a freshman at Belleville High School.
Along with other Belleville students Danny Platt (co-writer) and Olivia Rainey (colorist) Schultz founded a company, Furr Comics Incorporated, and published two comics. First was the black and white book  “The Enforcers,” and later the full color “The Wraith,” which is what he brought to the convention last weekend.
“I’ve been drawing for years,” Schultz said. “It started in second grade when I made this character called ‘Otterman.’ He was part of this team called ‘The Avengees.’ It was a huge rip-off of ‘The Avengers. I’ve slowly progressed from there.”
He said that his next major creation came in fifth grade when he created “Smoke,” a character similar to that seen on the failed NBC TV series “The Cape.”
By the time he hit seventh grade, Shultz had created “The Enforcers,” and earlier this year his creative team published “The Wraith.”
Cover Art for the first issue. 
“I came up with Wraith because I was extremely dissatisfied with ‘The Enforcers,” he said.
The main character in the book is Lt. Andrew Smith, an injured-war veteran that gets another chance after some bionic upgrades give him a new lease on life.
“It’s set in 2005,” he said. “It’s a slightly different reality than ours, basically a suicide bomber attacks (Smith’s) unit and he saves his commander by pushing him out. In the process of that Smith loses his arm and goes into a coma.”
After those events Smith wakes up in a Seattle hospital five years later, without a clue of what is going on in the world around him. His former commander left instructions for Smith to see him upon release from the hospital.
“The commander had inherited a lot of money,” Schultz said. “He gives him a robotic arm, and the superheroics fly from there.”
Before self publishing, Schultz attempted to get the idea off the ground going through a major publisher, but was rejected.
“I sent a submission to Image (comics),” he said. “It didn’t go bad, but they rejected me. The letter told me that I needed to work on my art and that my storytelling was a little off.

“I was like whatever, and we did it ourselves.”
A lot of comics that inspired Schultz were published in the late 1980’s, before he was born.
“The Ninja Turtles” and “The Dark Knight Returns,” are the two books he points to as his main inspiration to get involved in comics.
“As far as ‘The Wraith’ specifically,” he said, “It’s basically just Boba Fett with a robotic arm.”
Schultz said that the first issue is “cool,” but it is a build up for the soon to be released second issue.
The book is currently available at Warriors 3 Comics & Games, 35613 W Michigan Ave. in Wayne, and could soon be available in other area stores.

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