Superheroes have soared into historic popularity in the past few years. Caped crusaders are demolishing the box office on a regular basis, break records left and right. Primetime television seems to feature a new hero team with each new season. Video games let us take control of our favorite defenders of the universe (or in most cases New York) to give us a glimpse of their true power.
It’s high time Charlotte had its own superhero bursting forth from the pages of a comic book.
And, boy! Do we have a comic book for you! Move over Superman, Iron Man and Shazam. We’ve have discovered our new favorite superhero … Frogboy!
Written and created by Charlotte native John Burgin, Frogboy is the culmination of a lifelong love of comics, art and, of course, superheroes.
“Drawing has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. I used to lay on the floor as a kid and draw for hours. I would look at picture books and comics and try to draw what I saw,” said John. This love of comics and art eventually led John to study fine art and illustration at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.
And, lo … a Queen City Superhero Springs Forth!
“I think what excites me most about comic book illustration and storytelling is the idea that I can create my own universe, cities, towns landscapes. Making a painting is great and I love art and I love seeing new art popping up in Charlotte, but if I can create an environment and characters that people identify with then it’s possible to help them escape reality for a short while,” said John.
About 6 years ago, John decided to take his passions to the next level and began to write and draw comics of his own creation. By creating his own comics and characters, John hoped to develop a world that people could identify with and get lost in.
The inspiration behind the helmet-wearing, skateboard-riding, staff-wielding Frogboy is John’s very own son.
John wanted to give his oldest son — an avid comic book fan as well — the chance to be a superhero himself in the paneled pages.
“When he was younger we would read books at night and he was a fan of Batman and Spider-Man, but I decided to create a character that could be him as an alter ego,” says John. “At the time I was involved with ministry work with an organization in Charlotte and a friend told me about a place in South Africa he visited called the FROG center which stood for ‘Fully Rely On God,'” recalled John. Something about FROG stayed in John’s head and the name Frogboy rose to the surface.
Behold! Taco Tuesday Takes Over the Globe!
After years of playing with the character, John recently released his very first official Frogboy book titled “Taco Tuesday.” To date, John has sent prints of the book to fans all across the globe, from New York and San Francisco to Ireland and Australia. Frogboy may be a Queen City Creation, but he’s on his way to becoming an international star.
“Taco Tuesday has been a real rush! I am excited that it has done as well as it has. It’s the first full Frogboy story and I wasn’t sure how it would be received,” said John. “People seem to enjoy the art, humor and the fact that it is an all-ages book that’s still a bit edgy. People say the art style reminds them of the art in Mad Magazine.”
Not only has John been sending his book far and wide, he’s also hopped on the local comic book convention circuit to help share Frogboy’s adventures. In June, John had a booth at HeroesCon, Charlotte’s largest comic book convention that has been filling our city with heroes every summer since 1982. HeroesCon is known as a “comics-first” convention, meaning that it really focuses on the artists and their work in print, rather than movies and video games. It’s known in the comics community as a place for indie artists and creators like John to get their name out, collaborate with other artists, meet industry contacts and and gain new fans of their characters.
Comics Across The Crown
With HeroesCon leading the pack, the comic book scene is continuing to grow stronger and stronger in Charlotte as new conventions, writers and artists make their way to the Queen City. There are more ways to become connected to the comic community than ever before. One of John’s favorites is a group called Sketch Charlotte.
“We meet at the Common Market Oakwold location every Thursday to hang out, sketch and chat about things comic and pop culture. There are pros, aspiring artists and just people who like drawing and writing who attend. Anyone can come, it’s great fun.”
John and Frogboy will be making appearances at different shows and book signings throughout the rest of the year as he works on his second issue. The new book will debut this winter. Stay up to date with Frogboy and keep tabs on John’s appearance schedule by following his instagram page @frogboyofficial.
Get your Own copy of Taco Tuesday … in Mint Condition
Don’t you wish you had Action Comics #1, the first appearance of Superman, or Amazing Fantasy #15, the first time Spider-Man swung onto the scene? Don’t regret skipping out on Frogboy issue #1 fifty years from now when he’s officially shredded the competition and he is the hottest superhero of all time! You can purchase your copy of Taco Tuesday here.
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