NIGHT OWL: BULLIES DESERVE JUSTICE

•August 11, 2011 • Leave a Comment

Jake Tinsley, 16, comic book writer and publisher.

Here’s a press release from Sherman Powers:

CONTACT:
Sherman Powers
(806) 777-4774
sherman_powers@hotmail.com

Wham Bang Comics’ “Night Owl: Bullies Deserve Justice” warns kids of dangers of bullying

FORT WORTH, TX. – Aug. 2011 – Four years may not be that much time for many grownups in the comic book industry. But for teenage writer Jake Tinsley, it has been literally one-fourth of his life.
Jake was 12 when he first started writing comic book and comic strip scripts for Wham Bang Comics, a company he started with his father.
Now nearly 17, Jake has taken over as the small company’s publisher. And he also is still its main writer.
“This is my life’s work,” Jake said.
He continues working with expert Manga artist Jason Dube on a regular basis to create their fantastic stories. Jake pens the script and Dube, of Sacramento, California, renders the art on their newest collaboration. The challenging Night Owl adventure, “Night Owl: Bullies Deserve Justice,” just hit the online comic stands at http://www.comixpress.com.
There’s a life lesson or two to be learned in reading “Bullies” — which is the way Jake likes to frame his comic book stories these days.
Drew LeBow, 9, of Austin, is easily Jake’s biggest fan and has been for a couple of years. Jake sent Drew an advance copy of “Bullies.”
“It was one of the best comics I have read,” the 9-year-old said. “I liked it a lot. Night Owl chose to do the right thing. He saved a bully. He also made sure the bully didn’t bully any more people.”
Jake’s been careful to weave lessons into his stories since 2009’s “Amber Hagerman Deserves Justice: A Night Owl Story,” his most recent published comic book.
“Amber” was critically and internationally acclaimed for explaining to children (in a non-traumatic way) the importance of the Amber Plan — the nationwide Amber Alert system that tries to locate kidnapped children.
Jake remains dedicated to getting justice for Amber, 9, who was kidnapped and killed in Arlington, Texas in January 1996. He keeps in contact with Amber Hagerman’s mother, Donna Norris.
“Bullies Deserve Justice” came about after Jake was asked to write a comic book that took on this very serious subject.
Like the title suggests, the hero of the story is Jake’s trademark character Night Owl, a 12-year-old earth shaman with magic powers who is haunted by the murder of his grandfather.
In the story, Night Owl must deal with a bully without hurting him or making a problematic situation worse.
Jake has grown up writing indie comic books for Wham Bang Comics – eight comic books and 21 comic strips so far.
They mostly focus on Night Owl, although Jake also wrote an as yet unpublished zombie story for rock star Lita Ford and her Family, “The Gillettes: Family Business.”
In one of many press releases about that comic, Lita Ford spoke highly of Jake’s work.
“Our kids are extreme and Jake is extreme as a writer,” Lita Ford said in an August 2009 release. “They’re all mighty kids and it was fun to get them together.”
Jake’s tenacity, as a creator impressed Sherman Powers, the company’s executive producer, to come on board with Wham Bang Comics, Powers explained.
Powers, a longtime friend of Jake’s family, assists publisher Jake with story development, editing and financial management.
Jason Dube has worked with Jake as the company’s art director these past four years because he has always been impressed with Jake’s passion for comic books.
“I would have to say that BULLIES #1 was by far Jake’s best story,” Dube said. “It was a complete story with a beginning and end and a message in the middle for the youth about being a better person then the bullies who may pick on you. It’s a pleasure to see how Jake’s storytelling evolves as he moves into adulthood.”
The artist isn’t the only one to notice.
In recognition of Jake’s work on the Amber Hagerman cold case (no suspects have yet been found), Texas Governor Rick Perry issued a proclamation naming Jake a “Shining Star of Texas.”
“You continue to impress people all across the Lone Star State with your creativity, talent and determination. We commend you on using your fictional characters to help shine a light on real-life unsolved crimes,” Dede Keith of the governor’s office said in a 2009 letter to Jake.
Jake bases Night Owl largely on himself. Like Night Owl, Jake still has his freckles and sense of humor — only Jake’s now nearly 6 feet tall.
In addition to the premiere of his Bullies comic, Jake as publisher is also debuting the comic book “Genius #1,” written by renowned author Rachel Pollack of Brooklyn with art by Wham Bang Comics veteran Casey Columbus.
Copies of “Night Owl: Bullies Deserve Justice” and future copies of “Genius #1” can be purchased online from http://www.comixpress.com

Baytown Sun newspaper story about BULLIES DESERVE JUSTICE

•August 7, 2011 • Leave a Comment

Jake Tinsley's latest comic book script is read by his father Ben Tinsley.

Posted: Sunday, August 7, 2011 12:15 am
By JANE HOWARD LEE
A Texas comic book writer’s latest book is about to be published and, while that might not seem like big-time entertainment news, the fact that the writer is just 16 years old makes it quite an accomplishment.
Jake Tinsley splits his time between living in Baytown with his father and with his mom, Patti Tinsley, in Keller. He started writing comic book and comic strip scripts for the company he helped form, Wham Bang Comics, four years ago when he was just 12.
Since then, Jake has published seven comic books and dozens of comic strips and even penned an as-yet-unpublished comic book for rock star Lita Ford and her family.
Jake’s work has earned him accolades from the governor of Texas, appearances on NBC’s Today Show and other programs and guest spots on expert panels at comic conventions, as well as a fan base among comic book enthusiasts.
Heady stuff for a teen-aged boy, but Jake takes it all in stride. For him, it is all just part of his love for the genre.
“I guess my love for comics started when I grabbed some of my dad’s comic books when I was real young, before I could even read them,” Jake explained. “I loved the pictures and I just made up my own stories to go with them. Then as I learned to read I could finally fill in the blanks.”
He soon had his favorites among the comic book heroes. Many of them were from the Justice Society of America of the 1940s – Hawkman, the original Green Lantern, the original Flash, Johnny Thunder and Wildcat.
Reading them, though, he still wanted to make up his own stories to go along with the pictures.
“I learned real quick that my dad would yell at me if I wrote in his comic books so I decided to try writing my own,” he explained.
Jake drew his own art back then and managed just one page at first, then several pages, but usually stopped before completing a story because they just weren’t up to his own standards. Finally though, at about eight 8 or 9, he completed his first comic book.
He called his first main character “Fish Boy.”
“He was just a stick figure,” said Jake. “It was all about how Fish Boy was weak and picked on and then found his ‘Goggles of Power’ and that’s what made him strong.”
As his stories got better, Jake dreamed of taking his comic books to a higher level.
“After a whole lot of wishing for it, my dad said he would help me,” Jake explained.
Jake’s dad is Baytown Sun reporter Ben Tinsley and Jake is actually the third generation of the Tinsley family to get the writing bug. His grandfather, the late Jack Tinsley, was the executive editor of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Fort Worth-Star Telegram. His grandmother, Annie Miller, is also a journalist.
Jake’s father helped him search for an artist to create the visuals to go along with Jake’s words. Two years later, when Jake was 12, they stumbled over the right guy.
Jake met Jason Dube of Sacramento, California over the telephone, got to know his work by viewing videos and the match was made.
“He’s a really nice guy and seemed really excited to work with me,” Jake said.
Their first collaboration was on “Two-Fisted Adventures,” a compilation of stories from people Jake knew. The first story in the book was, of course, Jake’s own, one about the character “Night Owl,” who continues to appear in Jake’s subsequent comic books.
Jake and his dad started Wham Bang Comics then. Now, several years later, Jake has taken over as the small company’s publisher. He is also still the main writer. Dube renders the art to go along with Jake’s stories.
Jake’s latest book, another in the Night Owl series, is called “Bullies Deserve Justice.”
There’s a life lesson or two to be learned in reading “Bullies,” which is the way Jake likes to frame his comic book stories these days.
He’s been adding lessons like that since his 2009 “Amber Hagerman Deserves Justice – A Night Owl Story.”
Jake was only 1 when Amber Hagerman died in 1996. But he was inspired to write the comic book after hearing input from his reporter dad, who covered aspects of the kidnapping and murder for various Dallas-Fort Worth area newspapers.
“Amber Hagerman Deserves Justice” was critically and internationally acclaimed for explaining to children, in a non-traumatic way, the importance of the Amber Alert system. The system rapidly spreads word about kidnapped children not only to police and media, but also to motorists via highway signs.
Jake’s “Bullies” book is in the final stages of proofing. It should soon be in print soon, thus expanding Jake’s published body of work.
Meanwhile, Wham Bang Comics is expanding as well. Sherman Powers, an entrepeneur, investment professional and a longtime friend of Jake’s family, has come on board as executive producer to assist Jake with story development, editing and financial management.
Jason Dube, now titled Wham Bang’s art director, says he is still impressed with Jake’s passion for comic books.
“I would have to say that “Bullies” is by far Jake’s best story,” Dube said. “It has a message in the middle of the story about being a better person than the bullies who pick on you. It’s a pleasure to see how Jake’s storytelling evolves as he moves into adulthood.”
The artist isn’t the only one to notice.
In recognition of Jake’s work on the Amber Hagerman cold case (no suspects have yet been found), Texas Governor Rick Perry issued a proclamation naming Jake a “Shining Star of Texas.”
“You continue to impress people all across the Lone Star State with your creativity, talent and determination. We commend you on using your fictional characters to help shine a light on real-life unsolved crimes,” said Dede Keith of the governor’s office in a letter to Jake.
Jake Tinsley’s comic books are available on-line at http://www.comixpress.com.

NIGHT OWL: BULLIES DESERVE JUSTICE

•August 2, 2011 • Leave a Comment

Just got in the proof for my newest comic book, Night Owl: Bullies Deserve Justice!

This is the first comic book I’ve worked on since 2009. This one-shot focuses on heroes, villains, and … bullies.

It features the talents of myself, amazing artist Jason Dube, guest artist (and comic book legend) Fred Hembeck, and the story editing of Wham Bang Comics executive producer Sherman Powers!

Available soon from http://www.comixpress.com!

Book signing at Lone Star Comics

•July 17, 2009 • Leave a Comment

I am looking forward to my first-ever book signing at Lone Star Comics in Arlington on Wednesday, August 5!

I will be signing copies of Amber Hagerman Deserves Justice: A Night Owl Story. My dad and I will be there from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and then from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. that day. Stop by and see me if you get a chance!

Fort Worth, Texas Magazine article

•July 11, 2009 • Leave a Comment

I recently did an interview and photo shoot with Fort Worth, Texas Magazine for a feature story that is set to appear in their back-to-school issue. Look for it the last week of July!

Also, more to come about an upcoming book signing I will be doing in the Dallas/Fort Worth area.

Diamond picked up Amber Hagerman Deserves Justice!

•July 8, 2009 • 2 Comments

AmberComicExciting news! My latest comic book, Amber Hagerman Deserves Justice, has been picked up by Diamond. Comic book stores all over the world will be able to order it next month!! Zowie!!

So here’s what I need from you:

1. Go to your local comic book store.

2. Tell them you are a Wham Bang Comics fan and want to buy Amber Hagerman Deserves Justice as soon as they can get it!

Who is Poppa Finley?

•June 23, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Like me, 12-year-old Zack Finley found a lot of joy in his relationship with his grandfather before he inherited the mantle of Night Owl.

Don’t get me wrong. Zack Finley’s Poppa wasn’t a creampuff. He provided sternness for Zack when it was needed. But there was definitely a lot of disciplinary leeway too.

Grandfathers are cool like that. I had that kind of relationship with my grandfather, who I also called Poppa. My dad had the same kind of bond with his PePa.

But grandfathers aren’t meant to live forever. And when they pass away, the grandsons they leave behind feel like their worlds have been destroyed.

When Zack Finley’s Poppa was brutally murdered at the hands of a villain, he inherited strong shaman powers. But Zack’s world had come apart with the loss of his best friend. Zack would much rather have had his Poppa back alive again than any amount of power.

What you may not know is that I based Poppa Finley on MY grandfather Jack Tinsley, who died in 2004. There were complications from surgery after my Poppa suffered a ruptured aortic aneurysm. 

Like Zack Finley and his grandfather, my Poppa was my mentor and my closest friend. Poppa was my best friend. He made a huge impression on everyone he met.

My 6-year-old cousin Zach, who was only 1 when Poppa passed away, still remembers him with love and devotion.

 So, big surprise. Jack B. Tinsley and Mack Finley are basically the same person.

(Except that MY Poppa was a Texas journalist and NIGHT OWL’s Poppa was a superhero shaman.)

Like my grandfather’s memory does for me,  the memory of Poppa Finley will drive Night Owl to remember his responsibilities, use his powers wisely, help innocents and protect his family at all costs.
And there’s a lot of story still waiting to be told about Poppa Finley. His full name was Mack Finley. He was Earth Shaman, the most powerful shaman on the planet. He belonged to a superhero group but retired from both it and from active superhero duty in the 1960s to help people (covertly) through his civilian guise as a journalist. 

There is lots of cool stuff to be written about Poppa Finley. Excellent stories still waiting to be told.

And everytime I write about Zach Finley’s grandfather, I remember MY Poppa, Jack B. Tinsley, a little more strongly.