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I was born to Greek parents in a tiny town called Terang in the outskirts of western Victoria, Australia.
|THE DARK NINJA (1986)
This story was drawn when I was 8 years old. We'd left Australia and come to Greece for a couple of years and I was infatuated with the Master of Kung-Fu Marvel Comics reprints and at the time everyone was still into karate and ninja films (my favourite being Ninja III: The Domination).
I eventually did a remake of my Dark Ninja story and printed it in Subart Comics Vol. 2 #3, using the original corny dialogue and spelling mistakes and I've included that remake in the freebie book, that you can read if you click below!
Click here to read more about my mid-'80s adventures and read the WHOLE Dark Ninja story! Wow, what a treat! Does Marvel do that?
Once I returned to Australia, having already read and gotten badly brainwashed by hundreds of '60s-'70s Marvel reprints, I was lucky enough to have my 5th grade teacher at Coburg West Primary School, Mrs. Ennis, give us the task of creating and illustrating a story from scratch.
Everyone's story would be hung underneath the blackboard and the rest could borrow it to read at home, like a proper library book! I set out to create a superhero, and thus Tarantula was born.
The story incorporates Captain America's, Spider-Man's and even Green Lantern's origin (I was lucky enough to find a hardcover edition of the O'Neil-Adams Green Arrow / Green Lantern run in my library)! Oh, and it also incorporates an ultramuscular dude with a curly mullet.
Plus, my character has a lightsaber! Beat that! This story started my obsession with evolving Tarantula and from 1988 to about 1994 i drew at least two long Tarantula comics per year!
Click here to read more about my Coburg West years and read the WHOLE Tarantula story! Wahoo!
|INDIANA JONES AND THE RAIDERS OF THE LOST CITY (1989)
After I created the Tarantula story, the following year I attended the 6th grade, where Mr. Hero taught and we were encouraged to try a bit more in terms of writing our story, being descriptive, using more adjectives etc
So that year (seeing that I'd just seen Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade at the movies) I did an Indiana Jones sequel (the title incorporates almost all the previous movie titles)! Just like Tarantula, the mini-book was available for loan within the class and everyone had done some kick-ass stories! Fun times!
The story has all sorts of weird (and cringe worthy) stuff inside, like an Indian with a T-shirt that writes Lebos on it (a derogative term used for Lebanese in Australia), a tiger that looks like Battle-Cat from He-Man and even a Death Star garbage compactor-type trap!
Click here to read the WHOLE darn thing! George Lucas can kiss my ass, it's two decades old fan art!
For the first time ever my folks bought me a really proper sketchbook, with velvet paper made for inking, so i went to great lengths to make every page on this sketchbook look as cool as possible!
It incorporates all my late-'80s fascinations, like the then new Tim Burton Batman film, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Thundercats, He-Man, The Dark Knight Returns, oh, and stacks of new Tarantula (told you I was obsessed with him) sketches with costume revamps, hidden headquarters and a f*ckin spinning plane that spins so fast that it drills through mountains (why fly around it?)
Click here to check out the WHOLE sketchbook AND read my director's commentary on every page! WOW!
|TARANTULA 2: THE REVENGE (1990)
Tarantula's next big adventure! After having his sidekick, the half-Indian girl wonder Running Eagle, killed by a villain called ...The Roller-Skater (yes, cringe now), the revamped Tarantula returns to kick some serious butt!
Set up to be as ridiculously similar to Captain America's accidental secret identity revelation to his sidekick Bucky, followed by a tribute to the then recent death of Robin (Jason Todd) from the Batman A Death in the Family story line, this comic had it all!
Scenes that looked like they came right out of 1986 gung ho fest The Dark Knight Returns (and they did) to Neal Adams'The Demon Lives Again rip-offs! At the time I thought it was my magnum opus. It probably is.
Click here to read the WHOLE sequel to the legendary Tarantula comic (now, besides myself and my mom, you'll have read it too! Feel special already?)
My mom owned a mini-mart and in it she sold all sorts of things including tiny A6 size note pads.
I used to draw hundreds of little character sketches in them and this specific one dates from early 1991!
I guess I was heavily into the Roy Thomas-Neal Adams late '60s X-Men run (and I remember obsessing over Paul Smith-era X-Men too)...
...and there surely must be at least one Tarantula sketch in there! :-)
Click here to flip through the WHOLE sketchbook! It's like a secret keyhole to the abyss I call my soul!
|TARANTULA 3: A NEW BEGINNING (1991)
Yes, siree! Tarantula's back! And this time he's not wearing all that extra gear, he's doin' it old-school!
The title 'A New Beginning' probably reflects my lifelong Star Wars fascination (A New Hope being the first movie from '77). This story was never completed, that's why it will always remain a huge what if... Like what would've Eyes Wide Shut have been like if Kubrick had lived...?
Click to find out why Tarantula is standing on top of a heap of human bodies. Holocaust, you say? Nay! Tis a fair fight between the Man-Spider and the lowly serpent fiends of the villain called Cobra!
|TARANTULA VERSUS TARANTULA (1992)
I was living in Greece at this point and I decided to draw another revamped origin of ...yes, Tarantula!
I made his costume look a bit more '90s and wrote the story in Greek in an effort to try and pitch it to Kabanas Press, who republished Spider-Man and other Marvel comics in Greek. In this comic, my Tarantula character fights Marvel's villain, also called, Tarantula, in order to resolve who the heck will earn the right to the name (the same thing happened in Power-Man #24 (1974) when Luke Cage fought and won the original Power-Man and gained the right to use the name). I never finished this story, 'cause I knew deep down that Marvel would never let me do that! Damn capitalist pigs! :-) I even cut out ads from Marvel comics and pasted them on random pages to make it look like a bona fide comic! On the back I had glued the back cover from a 1991 issue of X-Men, which featured the promo poster for the movie Hook.
Click here to read the WHOLE Tarantula versus Tarantula comic and check out the nifty sketches after it!