Local artists combine skills in sold-out comic book

“You want to help kids improve their reading skills? Just give them comics,” says Wallace Ryan.

Ella Burke

St. John's artist Wallace Ryan has collaborated on a new comic book entitled Nobody is in Control.
Local artist and comic book creator Wallace Ryan says you’re never too young or too old to read comics. Ryan started reading comic books as a young child. Ella Burke/Kicker

Wallace Ryan can remember a time when kids would get bullied for being interested in comic books. Now, comic book culture is a common thing to see among both kids and adults.

“You want to help kids improve their reading skills? Just give them comics,” said Ryan.

Ryan has always had an interest in comic books.

“I learned how to read from comics. By the time I got into kindergarten, I could actually read and write on my own from comics.”

Downtown Comics
Nobody is in Control, the comic book that both Wallace Ryan and Paul Tucker worked on, will be sold locally. When the comic comes off the press, a copy can be purchased at Downtown Comics. Ella Burke/Kicker

Ryan has found a way to form a comic book career here in St. John’s. When he’s not working at Downtown comics, Ryan has been collaborating with Patrick Kindlon and Paul Tucker on the creation of a new comic. The comic is called Nobody is in Control, published by Black Mask Studios.

Nobody is in Control is a comic book that has a theme of the dangers of conspiracy. This comic is likely to appeal to older readers due to the darker subject matter.

Kindlon is an American writer who got in touch with Tucker to work with him on this comic. Each of the illustrations are done by Tucker. Not all of the lettering in the comic is in the form of a printed font but is actually handcrafted lettering by Ryan.

The first release of the comic, which is coming off the printing press any day now, has already been completely sold out. The creators decided to do a second printing of the comic, which will be sold at local comic book shops, such as Downtown Comics.

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All lettering in the comic is handcrafted by artist Wallace Ryan. He was approached by the comics illustrator Paul Tucker to work on the project with him. (Submitted Photo)

Tucker said there are a lot of benefits to creating your own comic book.

“You get to make something out of nothing,” said Tucker. “It’s fairly low budget; you can kind of do it by yourself with a piece of paper and a pencil.”

Tucker has dabbled in filmmaking, which he loves. But he ended up focusing solely on comics.

“You’re not really limited in your scope,” said Tucker. “You’re only really limited by how long you want to sit down and draw.”

Both Ryan and Tucker said that with Nobody is in Control, it’s been nice to be able to combine skills with a local artist and friend.

“It’s great to work with, Paul,” said Ryan. “We’ve hung out for years. We’ve always drawn together. He’s come over to my studio, or the other way around; working on different projects ourselves. So, it’s kind of neat to actually [work on a comic book] together like that. He was one of my first students.”

“Mostly I’ve worked with collaborators who don’t live here,” said Tucker, “With this project that we just finished up, me and Wallace, it’s kind of new for me to have someone to go and see, bring art work to, and go over the pages with. That’s been really fun.”

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