I came across Stealth, a webcomic, many years ago while searching around for Black super hero comics. Its creator is a super creative guy by the name of William Satterwhite. Will can discuss anything from the minutiae of the third day at the battle of Gettysburg to who should start at shortstop for the Atlanta Braves. Basically, he’s a really smart dude. I always learn something talking to this guy. We chatted below for a quick minute.
Who are you? Where do you live?
My name is William Satterwhite and I am a web design consultant and artist living in beautiful Douglasville, Georgia, just west of Atlanta. I’m a military brat born in Frankfurt, (West) Germany and have lived all over but most of my life has been spent in the suburbs of Atlanta.
Growing up, did you want to always be an artist?
Either an artist or Speaker of the House of Representatives, those were my main childhood goals. I guess you could say I had a very diverse set of interests.
Ha, ha. Politics and art. You would’ve been good during the Renaissance. So, what drew you to art over a career as a politician?
I like to think of myself as a Renaissance Man. I pretty much just fell into it during college. I had always done my little comics in middle and high school but finally got around to putting together what was supposed to be a formal submission, this is what actually ended up becoming the beginning of the Stealth webcomic. I never got around to sending off because I was never quite satisfied with everything but eventually I discovered the old Blacks in Comics egroup where I saw two guys (Jimmie Westley and Jamar Logan) were actually publishing their own comics online. I took the submission, fleshed it out some more and taught myself how to put a website together and put my own comic up, I got some positive feedback and so decided to stick with it as much as possible.
So how did you come up with the concept for Stealth? And how has it evolved over the years?
Stealth started off simply as basically my take on the idea of a teen hero/vigilante coming up in the late 90′s and now the 2000′s (time flies when you’re having fun- I was pretty much a kid myself when it started, I’m going into my mid-30′s now). As I mentioned earlier, the original story was done while I was in college back in 1998 or 99 and it was very much influenced by what I was influenced by at the time- stuff like those WB teen shows and old comics, a healthy balance of humor and seriousness where one doesn’t outweigh the other along with the feel of a soap opera at times. As I grew older it took a bit of a darker tone with some of the humor lost, I took myself way too seriously for a while there and looking back I’m not as fond of the mid-2000′s stuff. I would say the comic has come back full circle and the stuff I’m doing now is what I wish I had stuck with all along- a straight superhero comic that isn’t afraid to be just that.
I understand you’re putting together a graphic novel version of Stealth, and have assembled a nice little team. Tell us about that.
Yes, the Stealth OGN is going to be a Year One type definitive treatment of the hero’s origin. Back when the comic first started I pretty much began the story with everything all set up and just a little flashback to give the backstory of how Allen White actually becomes Stealth, now I’ve enlisted the help of the amazing (2012 Glyph comics Award nominated) writer Robert Jeffrey to help bring this story to life, his first draft for the story is simply outstanding and this is definitely going to be a treat to anyone who loves a good story. Jamar Logan is providing art for the first chapter and we have some other great artists lined up as well. We are conducting a Indiegogo fundraising campaign for a the book and a related trading card set right now, anyone interested should definitely check it out at http://www.indiegogo.com/stealth, any and all help is surely appreciated.
You’ve been on the indie comics scene for a long time. What advice would you give a young creator on how to get their stories out there?
Not to steal Nike’s slogan but just do it- stop worrying about this or that and trying to be perfect and just do whatever it takes to get your product out there- no matter what, someone somewhere is going to have a problem with whatever you do so don’t worry about trying to please everyone. And one thing I’d like to say especially to the (non-writing) artists out there, I see a lot of folks out here with loads of talent who just seem to spend all of their time doing pinups (of corporate, mainstream characters of course) and the main thing I’d like to tell them is to stop doing that and find one of the vast multitudes of talented writers who are out there struggling to find artists to bring life to their stories. Reach out, collaborate and bring all of these stories to life.
Awesome advice. Lastly, where can your fans contact you?
For anything Stealth-related, the best place is just through a comment on the website, that way it can be available for all fans to see and comment if they like. There is also the official Stealth Facebook fanpage at http://www.facebook.com/Stealthcomic. I can be reached via email at william at williamsatterwhite dot info, on twitter at @w_satterwhite and my personal Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/williamsatterwhite.
Great. Thanks for your time Will.
Thanks for the opportunity Andre!
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!