Bon vivant, raconteur and all around rabble rouser, J.A. Heath is a sci-fi author and artist.
Creator of the comic book “Suzi Quazar”, he fights a never ending battle between sleep and creative energy. So far, sleep is losing…
My love for sci-fi goes back to my childhood. I grew up on a steady stream of B movie science fiction and adventure.
The local TV station would have a movie that ran after school and before the news came on. The best was in summer time, when they would feature a theme week of all Godzilla, or Planet of the Apes, or Alien Invasions. Comics and magazines were a steady staple of my literary diet. Kamandi, Fantastic Four, Famous Monsters, Creepy, Eerie and Vampirella were my favorites .
I had read all of Robert Howard’s Conan novels by the time I was in sixth grade, and that led me down the path to a ton of pulp classics. I knew then that when I grew up, I wanted to write stories that featured larger than life heroes, in fantastic landscapes.
Like a lot of teenagers, I had dreams of being a comic book artist and having my own series. I was never interested in drawing other peoples characters, or telling their stories. I always dreamed of my own heroes and heroines, and the amazing adventures they had, Yep, it was a pretty simple plan back in the late 70’s, one that couldn’t fail.
Right around 1980, I saw a copy of a magazine at the local drugstore that would become a huge influence in my artistic growth: Heavy Metal.
I think this mag, more than anything, is what I want to emulate. This was a book that really broke the mold on how I viewed sequential art. Up until that time, my biggest exposure had been to Marvel and DC, and now I was seeing the greats like Corben, Moebius and Manara. It really expanded my horizons and that was the path I was going to pursue.
That is, until life happened. Now I find myself looking back and wondering where time went. Man, that can be depressing. But instead of lamenting the fact I never started writing or drawing, I knuckled down and got to work. Thanks for reading this. I am still on a journey in my art, and there is no telling where it lead me. And you know what? I don’t really care where we go, just so long as we can be creative along the way.