Baytown Sun newspaper story about BULLIES DESERVE JUSTICE

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

Posted: Sunday, August 7, 2011 12:15 am
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Since then, Jake has published seven comic books and dozens of comic strips and even penned an as-yet-unpublished comic book for rock star Lita Ford and her family.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


~ by jaketinsley on August 7, 2011.

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