Everyone who works in comics does so out of a deep and abiding love for the medium that is, more often than not, born of their own fandom in childhood. (This is how they get you, comics: as early and as impressionable as possible.) This is, as it turns out, more true for artist, and now writer, Christian Ward, who shared his comic book origin story with fans during the recent Thought Bubble convention earlier this year.
“I used to read comics, as my dad used to work in a factory and we never saw him [because of his schedule],” Ward told fans during the Illustrator to Writer to Batman panel at the UK convention, in which he shared a stage with Jock. “But the thing he’d always do [was], he’d go to the newsagent and pick up a comic. He’d always leave a comic. I wouldn’t see him for four days at a time, but there’d always be a comic. I grew up with this association that comics equals love.”
As touching as that story is — and if you don’t think it’s touching, then perhaps you might want to think about your life choices — it wasn’t the simple equation of comics equalling love that made Ward take up comics as a career, however; for that, we have to look at Grant Morrison and Dave McKean’s Arkham Asylum: A Serious House on Serious Earth graphic novel.
“I read it when I was 13, and it blew my tiny little mind,” Ward explained. “It changed my mind about what a comic could be. At the forefront was an emotional response, which I didn’t realize at the time, but I felt it. Going forward, I knew that I wanted to give everyone that kind of emotional response.”
You can read more about Thought Bubble with this retrospective travelogue from this year’s show.