I recently sat down with the creator/writer/artist Derrick A. Rivers who has made the long trip from art school, to Hollywood, to publishing his Power Comix Universe. We had a short discussion about his passions.
Who are you, where do you live and where are you from?
My name is Derrick A. Rivers. I live in Virginia and was born and raised in Philadelphia, PA.
What was the first comic that you remember reading and buying?
Geez, I think it was a Marvel Comic book. I was probably was 5 or 6 years old when I first was introduced to comics.
What inspired you to want to create your own books?
Well, I’ve been drawing comic books since I was a kid and always wanted to one day make one professionally. Either through Marvel or DC. But what made me finally do my own was when I wrote a sci-fi screenplay that I tried to shop around Hollywood and it never got picked up, so I decided to make it into a comic book.
Do you have formal training or are you self-taught as an artist?
I went to the Philadelphia High School of Creative and Performing Arts and Tyler School of Art which is part of Temple University. These schools helped me improve my raw style.
Oh cool. I had a cousin who worked at Temple back in the day. So you wrote a screenplay and shopped it around Hollywood. Tell us a little bit about that experience as an indie creator?
It was challenging. I tried to talk to different agencies in Hollywood, but no bite. It was sad. So the script sat on my shelf and collected dust. Until one day, I had an assignment in one of my college classes and it gave me the chance to draw what I imagined the characters to look like. I enjoyed doing it so much that I decided to make it a comic book. The comic book is called Walker of the Universe.
I was wondering when you began to create a universe. What is Walker of the Universe?
It’s the story about a kid who is living the normal life of a 16 year old, until he is taken from Earth and told that he is the only one who can save the Universe which is about to self-destruct.
Is this an ongoing story set in its own universe or is it connected to the Saga of the Power Heroes?
Walker is set in its own universe. Saga of the Power Heroes is my superhero universe.
Oh I see. Do you publish both separately?
No. They are both self-published under the Power Comix banner.
So give me some background on The Preventers within the Saga universe. Who are they? Where are they from? What is their motivation?
The Preventers, who appeared in Issue #1 of Saga are a group of superheroes who come together to take down a common enemy. Think of them as the Avengers or Justice league of the Power universe. Also, keep in mind, that Saga of the Power Heroes is an anthology book. Each issue is a separate story about superheroes I made up growing up as a kid.
Which is very similar to my book, Force Galaxia (yes this is a shameless plug), an anthology about characters I created as a kid. What are some of the other stories in the series?
Well, the 2nd issue focuses on some of my street-leveled superheroes. The 3rd issue focuses on two teenage heroes in love. The 4th issue focuses on heroes that work for the US government. And the 5th and last issue has all the heroes from Issues #1-#4 come together to take on a big threat.
I understand that BuyIndieComics did a review of your first book and you weren’t quite happy. I didn’t review your book nor have I seen it, however I’d like to give you some space to respond if you’d like.
Yeah. I was a little unhappy with the fact that the interview seemed to just tell about the first issue, as if the entire series was about them. I had mentioned to the interviewer that it was an anthology book. But because all he had to go by was the first issue, he thought that it was all about the Preventers. But that’s all water under the bridge now. I have no hard feelings.
Great. Just wanted to let you tell your side of the story. Where can the fans find your work or contact you for commissions?
For right now, just any comic book conventions that I hit. You can find Issue #1 on Indycomic.com. And I’m working on a trade paperback that I want to get sold through Indycomic.com as well. Other than that, people can email me and order my comics.
What is your email or order info?
My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org
Well thanks for the interview. I will keep an eye out for your stuff.
Thanks for the interview!
Andre Owens has been hiding in Los Angeles for over 15 years, a former Director of Photography, he now writes and publishes the cosmic comic, Force Galaxia. He is currently writing and plans to produce a webseries, The Psychedelic Detective. In his free time he enjoys long form television, sushi and a celebration of all things 420. His name’s not Supergreen!