A sophomore enrolled in ASU’s College of Visual and Performing Arts, Ronald Martin, has created his own superhero and written and illustrated a full-color comic book that features his good-guy character named “All-Star,” who takes on villains and bad guys and keeps the world safe.
Now, after drawing multiple panels of artwork and having written an exciting story, Martin’s Herculean hurdle is to have the comic book published. He has established a “Kick-Start” funding page to raise the $6,000 needed to publish a first-print run of at least 300 limited-edition copies.
“Ever since I was a kid, I was fascinated with superheroes beginning with Spider Man,” Martin said from an art studio in the Tullibody Fine Arts Hall. “I have now completed my own full length comic book or as the professional art-set calls it, a ‘graphic novel.’”
Martin’s chief advocate, Professor Nathaniel Allen, says the Montgomery native’s work is world-class.
“Ron’s work is incredibly impressive. It takes many more hours to produce a finished comic book product than most traditional paintings because a comic book requires both creating its written story, as well as hand drawing the many art panels that illustrate it,” Allen said. “So, Ron is doing 10 times the work as many traditional artists with his multiple figures and backgrounds that are all hand-drawn in color. This kind of medium is technically called ‘sequential art’ because the artwork has to tell a story in sequence.”
Ron’s superhero character is named John Birmingham with his special superhero name being “All-Star.” He is an African American whose power was not obtained from a radioactive spider bite or even from some mineral hurtling through space from a faraway galaxy.
“All-Star’s super power was bestowed to him by God and his goal and mission is to provide justice for all humankind,” Martin explained.
The soft-spoken artist said that ASU has really helped him come closer to making his dream come true.
“My Art Department professors at Alabama State have helped me structure my project in a coherent way, and they have given me more insight and discipline so as to make my dream of publishing my comic closer to becoming a reality,” Martin said. “My personal heroes here in Tullibody Hall are professors Allen, Taylor, Knight and Dean. With them behind me and ASU’s help, I will one day see my book published and perhaps even become one of America’s top comic book artists.”