Attention—all heroes! Our universe has just been invaded by one of the most dastardly super villains known to mankind: Coronavirus. This terrible fiend is preying on all human beings—shutting down non-essential businesses, ransacking family get-togethers, and creating a six-foot distance between even the closest of friends. In addition to the incredible doctors, nurses, and first responders who are working tirelessly to defeat this slimy scoundrel…we need your help!
Award-winning comic book artist and celebrated film director Graig Weich is counting on you to do just that. “You can be a superhero and save lives by staying home,” says Graig, in one of his recent posts. The talented virtuoso has taken to social media to not only discuss the dangers of COVID-19, but to educate his followers on how they can help stop the spread of the vicious virus as well.
Sketching since he was just 2 years old, Graig has created a marvelous world of superheroes for all ages to enjoy. Using his platform as a way to inspire, the artist has built a large following of comic book connoisseurs who are more than happy to do their part during these troubling times. Despite the pandemic’s pause on printing and distributing, Graig has gone completely digital, continuing to bring smiles to both the young and young at heart.
BELLA connected directly with Graig about superheroes, creative new content, and his time spent in quarantine. “Listen” in…
How do you define the term “superhero”?
The doctors and nurses risking their lives during the coronavirus pandemic are proof that superheroes exist! My father, Martin J. Weich, was a medical doctor inspired as a child by superhero comic books. That’s why I create new superheroes—to inspire the next generation of future real-life heroes, doctors, nurses, and others who wish to protect those who cannot protect themselves.
What do you feel it is about superheroes that has the power to inspire both kids and adults alike?
We see ourselves in superheroes—the drive to be more than we are supposed to be, to do more than we are supposed to be able to do, to achieve unreachable goals we’re not supposed to achieve. Superheroes remind us that we can do what others say we can’t.
It’s been proven that superheroes inspire our human spirit’s desire to say to ourselves yes, we can! I’m living proof of it, too. All the bullies who told me I can’t—who said I am stupid to dream—to imagine, they were all wrong because I not only had the belief in my ideas and creations, but pushed myself to learn and study. In fact, I was faced with the most important moment in my life when I was 17… I left high school as the only artist and was praised, but when I went to the School of Visual Arts [for college], everyone was a better artist than I was. I got depressed. I was 1 of 10,000 students who were all better. I went home and felt like giving up. [I thought], What’s the point, they are all so far ahead of me, but then I remembered the obstacles that superheroes faced. They didn’t give up, and thus neither would I.
I then spent every night after school redrawing every single page out of every master artist’s book I could get my hands on. Thousands of pages I drew, learning everything possible to improve…then something magical happened a year and a half later. I became the first and one of the youngest artists to be hired to draw the pinup art for one of the #1 top selling independent comic books of all time: Todd McFarlane’s “Spawn #30” by Image Comics (publisher of “The Walking Dead”).
Todd and I shot a video recently on my YouTube channel. Superheroes taught me to keep going and to help those in need. That’s why I donate my art every year to different charities to help children and animals in need. Most recently, [it was to] NoKidHungry.org. My art helped feed over 2,500 kids! My fictional superheroes actually helped people in real life, thus making them real in a way.
Can you tell me a little more about the new content you’ve been creating during the coronavirus pandemic?
I began posting videos from my art studio on my social media showing my superheroes in the background. I was trying to update and share as much info as possible because I noticed that there were sectors of teens/young adults totally ignoring governmental warnings and authoritative figures by not wearing masks or practicing social distancing.
Many people I personally knew were not taking it seriously. I realized I could try to reach them because they are more likely to listen to someone they feel is a friend. ‘If the comic book superhero creator guy wears a mask, maybe we should too!’
How have you been staying motivated while in quarantine?
It’s been hard with so much death in the air here in New York and around the world, but I kept reminding myself of my responsibility to keep creating content to inspire and motivate kids and the kids within us all.
Before the pandemic, I found out that I had made my investors a 4x profit in the equity valuation of my company after making some major milestones, such as winning the HBO UAS Award, getting signed by Marvel and DC Comics’ distributors, getting a license deal to turn my creations into action figures (which recently sold out worldwide), and getting signed by an Emmy award-winning TV and film producer to turn my comic books into movies. Those are the things that keep me going through these difficult times.
Are there any new and exciting projects in the works that you can share with us?
Yes! I cast celebrities as characters I draw in my comic books, so it’s like an illustrated movie with real stars. Some names include Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa (star of “The Man in the High Castle” and the original and new “Mortal Kombat”), Ice-T’s wife model Coco, and Adrianne Curry (winner of “America’s Next Top Model”). They are featured in my comic book “GEKIDO” (co-created by writer Brandon Wilson), which can be seen at BeyondComics.TV. Their action figures can be seen on my web site as well. They have seamless synthetic skin and 28 points of articulation. I’m working on nine different superhero movie scripts, including “Ravedactyl,” “Code Name: Justice,” and “Tricity,” just to name a few.
Creating a new comic book universe of new heroes is a dream come true and a lot of work. All new stories, new superpowers, new designs, new everything! I’m also offering fans a chance to be immortalized and drawn as a character in my new comic book. They can see how to enter by going to BeyondComics.TV.
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