My name is Blacky Shepherd. I’m a comic book artist with a focus on horror and sci fi comics.
Tell us about your experience with comic books. What is the first comic book you remember reading? What is your favorite single comic book story?
The very first comic I remember holding in my hands was an issue of Black Panther. I couldn’t have been more than 5 so this would have been around 77 or so. The first comic I remember reading was an issue of Fantastic Four that features Annihilus as the villain. That comic, and Annihilus, had a big impact on me. After that I really gravitated towards the big cosmic stuff in the Marvel Universe.
My single favorite comic book story is Micronauts #57, “The World of Never-Summer” written by Bill Mantlo with art by Butch Guice and Kelley Jones. It’s an amazing story, Bill Mantlo firing on all cylinders. It’s an evergreen comic for me, I read it probably twice a year.
What was the first convention you ever attended? What are your most vivid memories about that show?
The first comic convention I ever attended was the Emerald City convention in Seattle in 2008. I had been ‘out’ of comic since the mid 90s, and had been pursuing animation and music. One day on a whim I decided to go to the Emerald City show and within no more than 15 minutes on the convention floor I realized that in order to be happy I had to quit my job in IT and draw comics. I distinctly remember standing in front of a table with a group of webcomics guys who had written a book called ‘How To Make Webcomics” (the group being Dave Kellett, Scott Kurtz, Kris Straub and Brad Guigar and the book being worth it’s weight in gold!) and I realized that I was going to start right then and there by figuring out how to get into comics.
Attending a comic book convention quite literally changed everything about my life.
What comics, books, TV, and movies are you enjoying right now?
I read a fairly limited number of comics now, unfortunately. I’m always looking forward to the next issue of Regression, or (cue the sad violins) Harrow County. I’ve been all over Southern Bastards and of course Saga. I really love a lot of the stuff that IDW is doing with the Hasbro properties. I’ve been introducing myself to some very crazy Japanese horror manga that has been blowing my mind… apparently it’s all stuff that real fans of horror comics have known about for years but I am only just now discovering because don’t judge me.
I recently read Born Standing Up by Steve Martin which I loved. I finished it and immediately started it over again.
As for TV I have lately been obsessed with rewatching the Larry Sanders Show. I’ve also really enjoyed ‘Barry’ with Bill Hader. I was in love with Black Sails when it was on, and now I keep threatening myself with re-reading Treasure Island. And then for background entertainment while I draw for a deadline, I bounce between 30 Rock, The Office (both versions), the IT Crowd, Parks and Rec, and Kroll Show.
As for movies… Make Mine Marvel.
What are you looking to most when it comes to Cave Con’s inaugural event?
My favorite part of any convention is the community. I’m really looking forward to meeting new people, meeting comic creators that I admire, and hanging out in MO for a bit!