Scribbling with ease, a very focused Damian Wilcox carefully jots his strokes on a page. Soon his pencilling takes form, but it's not what you'd expect from such a serious face. Pencil down, Wilcox reveals his completed work-- a hand in full rock-on pose. Dude.
Creator/writer/artist of the local comic dorkboy, Wilcox's work is pretty farcical. Beefcake heroes in epic battles? Not here. dorkboy is a Mystery Men-like character trying to fight crime without tripping over himself.
"I can't call him a superhero," says Wilcox. "He's basically mocking all superheroes but at the same time, I wanted it to be more than your typical superhero parody."
And he is. Almost three years old, dorkboy avoids comic clichés. Not too many puns, but more than enough imaginative wit.
So far dorkboy has battled villains like Four-fingered Boy and cereal box aliens. In issue 5.1, due out June 3 at the Entertainment Art Expo at the Rozsa Centre, dorkboy takes on coffee culture. Coffee fiends beware.
"He's got a little half-cape; he's just a guy with an overactive imagination," says Wilcox. "He's just an average goofy guy who manages to pull things off."
Getting the goof published originally happened by luck. A couple of years ago, Wilcox talked a friend into letting him draw a comic for a school magazine.
"I basically begged him to let me draw something," laughs Wilcox. "I drew this really quickly drawn comic on the back [of the magazine], called it dorkboy and had this guy flying on a toothbrush.
"It was just 10 minutes of trying to think of a quick nonsense story."
Later, a friend suggested Wilcox send comic books instead of cards for Christmas and voila, dorkboy 1.1. materialized. Friends and family loved it, so Wilcox decided to fork out some cash and publish dorkboy.
Five issues later, Wilcox's comic is in 15 stores around Calgary.
"It's a lot of legwork, but I want to keep doing it," he says of getting dorkboy out on the street. "I don't make dorkboy just for people who just read comics. I want it to be entertainment for anyone on any level. I don't fit into the serious category at all."
Eventually, Wilcox would like to publish a standard-sized comic book, but until sales go up, it's back to the piggy bank.
"If I can keep getting people interested in the comic then I can build up to making the printing quality better, the size better. Right now it's standing in front of Staples at the photocopy machine."