|Detroit Lions Defensive End Israel Idonije |
talks to fans about his new self-published
comic book Saturday at the fourth annual
Detroit FanFare Comic
Con at the Adoba Hotel in Dearborn.
Idonije brought the comic to the region for the first time Saturday when he held a signing during the fourth annual Detroit FanFare Comic Con. In addition to the signing he held an hour-long panel where he talked about everything from comic books to football. Lions Defensive Linemen Ndamukong Suh also showed up to support his teammate, but didn’t participate in the signing or question and answer session.
“I think the market has been missed a little bit,” Idonije said about the comic. “The ability these athletes have in their sport on the court, on the field ... what’s the true origin of that? That’s what ‘The Protectors’ tells.”
Idonije, 32, said that he came up with the idea for the book during training camp in 2007 while he was a member of the Chicago Bears. The story combines sports action and superhero action to tell the tale of football's Isaac Chike, baseball's Miguel Montiero, basketball's Douglass Larter, soccer's Danielle Peters and hockey's Gerard Rioux. The group, all stars in their respective sports, come together to form “The Protectors,” a group of genetically gifted individuals with abilities beyond a normal humans.
“The gift that they were given,” he said, “Is to save humanity from this evil force that controls everything, government, media and religion.”
“It’s going to make sure we have rights distribution,” he said. “So that whoever wants to get the book can get it. The new age fans can get it digitally, the throwbacks can have actual hard copies that they can read and distribute.”
According to Idonije, a deal to print the first run of the book could come in the next few days.
“We’ll finalize out deal with the publisher and go from there,” he said.
Fun is exactly what Idonije is having while working on the books. He said he’s been reading comics since he was 12- or 13-years old, and reached out to two of his favorite people in the industry to help with the book.
Helping to make the books happen is the creative team of writer Ron Marz and artist Bart Sears.
“I joke that I’m the rookie in this game,” he said. “They tell me what to do.”
Marz has an extensive list of past successes in the industry including lengthy runs on “Green Lantern,” “Silver Surfer” and “Witchblade.”
“Before I wrote comics, my first 'real' job was a sportswriter, so I'm familiar with both of these worlds," Marz said in a release. “Sports in comics usually don't look or read very well, which is a weird thing to say about an industry that makes people flying or running at super-speed look realistic. But it's a challenge we gladly accept. The audience will embrace these characters, and believe the sports action just as much as the superhero action.
Sears also has extensive background in the industry. His artwork has been featured in runs on titles such as “Justice League Europe,” “Legends of the Dark Knight,” “X-O Manowar,” “Turok,” and “Violator,” to name a few.
Idonije said that the company has already lined up two more potential properties to work on.
“We’re going to take our time on that,” he said. “One step at a time is something my mentor told me. I’m the type of person to say ‘bring your story, and bring your story,’ but then we’re sitting there and the boat is going under.”
He said that his advisors told him to tell his story first, and then expand.
“The big thing is just to have fun,” he said. “I wake up, my knees don’t hurt, my back doesn’t hurt, I’m not sore.”