The ability to do multiple things is a something that is oftentimes overlooked in modern society. This is particularly so for professional athletes. An unspoken rule for many athletes is that they should give their undivided attention to their chosen craft in order to master it fully. Even those whose playing days are numbered are expected to give their every waking moment to the mastery of said craft. But former Miami Hurricanes' and Pro cornerback Phillip Buchanon always had a love for comic books and when he decided to hang it up after an 11-year NFL career in 2012, comic books were the way to go.
Since then, his Canon Comics has published three popular titles via Comixology and in this week’s TSL Comic Book Convo we feature a Q&A with a brother who understands the power of a medium that only recently has gained mainstream acceptance as a viable means of communicating ideas through art. But many of us have known that all along.
And Phillip Buchanon is one of "us".
The Shadow League: When did you decide to become involved in producing comic books?
Phillip Buchanon: I've been a comic book fan since I was kid. My favorite characters where Spider-Man, Iron Man, Captain American, Batman and Superman. Although I've been a comic book fan since childhood, it was not until I became an adult and actually created and began working on The Supernals Experiment that I truly began to understand the intricate process of producing and launching a comic book.
The Shadow League: What were some of your favorite titles as a kid and why?
PB: I got into the characters by playing the arcade games at the mall or a corner store with friends. My favorite two characters where Iron Man and Spider-Man. Since the age of 10, I would always read any comics that had Iron Man or Spider-Man. Iron Man was a favorite of mine because I wanted to be like Iron Man- a guy with a lot of money who had a good heart towards doing the right things. Spider-Man was a favorite of mine because I could relate to his character, lifestyle and back story. I loved watching Spider-Man cartoons in the morning before heading off to school.
The Shadow League: The stereotypical athlete does not read comic books. Did you ever catch any flack for your love of the genre?
PB: You're right, the stereotypical athlete does not read comics, but I never viewed myself as the stereotypical athlete because I looked at life and things differently than a typical athlete. I never caught any flack because most of my NFL teammates didn't know I loved comics. During that stage of my life, I was rather low-key, quiet and to myself.
The Shadow League: Tell me about your Supernals title, how it came about and what are some of its underlying societal themes?
PB: The Supernals title came from a lot of brainstorming and from input from Vincent Moore. The Supernal's Experiment theme originated from my childhood. Some of the underlying societal themes are relevant and near and dear to me. I have known and seen first-hand the courage of special needs children and their family members. Because of this, I am supporting and contributing to the 2015 Special Olympics in Los Angeles. The special needs or disadvantaged youth in Supernals overcome adversity and are inspirational. The Supernal's Experiment is a full graphic novel that can be purchased online at Comixology.
The Shadow League: What are some of the other titles you’re working on?
PB: New Money: All dollars... No Sense which is loosely based on my experiences of my teammates experiences during their early years as a young, multi-million dollar professional athlete. Aquatic Bourne which was just published on February 11 on Comixology, which climaxes in a clash between an underwater world of aquatic beings and human beings. This year, I am also publishing one of my horror novels as a comic book which is based in Miami. Each of my comic books has an associated novel to give readers more of the back story. The name of my company is Canon Comics.
Buchanon’s major works are the aforementioned Supernals, Aquatic Bourne and New Money. Buchanon has also published the sports comedy novel The Equipment Guys on his Canon Publishing imprint. For more on Buchanon’s ever-growing catalog of works you can log on to http://www.octocanon.com/.
As always, don’t forget to tune in next week for more on culturally-relevant comic book news and features.
Until next time, up, up and away!