Why Don't You Just Do It Yourself – How Champion Of Dema Started

Hameed Catel writes for Bleeding Cool:

My name's Hameed, I'm a comic writer from KIRUcomics. I love stories. I love reading them but even more I love creating them. My favourite genre would have to be the fantasy genre. I believe stories are not just entertaining but were the first tool man ever employed for education and inspiration. For these reasons among others I wished to share my stories with the world.

Champion of Dema 1So how did I become a comic writer? Well like I said I always loved creating stories, whether it was for academic purposes, for fun or just in my head as I went through the motions of normal life. (I did this a lot, especially in my college and university days… as the lectures got more boring I came up with ever more crazy stories to entertain myself with… Animes were the culprit, they just kept fuelling my imagination, I loved watching them, I lost myself in them).

However I never actually considered a career in writing (I was busy studying to become an engineer… I wanted to become an inventor, a mad scientist if you will), that is until one day I was typing away on the computer, jotting down the latest crazy adventure I had dreamt up when my uncle spotted me. He asked what I was doing and I told him. He said he could invest in me, pay for my stories to become an animation or a comic. I was ecstatic… Really? I said. Yes, sure Why not? He replied. It shouldn't cost that much. He was in an investment mood back then lol… I was very naïve; I believed it whole heartedly, even told my friends. Then I realised he had just been talking, he had no such plans, it was all wishful thinking… I was slumped, disappointed, angry and ashamed that I had been sucked in so easily.

Champion of Dema 2When I told my friend, he surprised me by asking; why don't you just do it yourself? I thought about it, a thousand excuses and reasons popped into my head, where would I start? How would I start? I know nothing about animation? I can't draw? Et cetera et cetera… But one big reason to do it overshadowed them all… I have stories that I believe are worth telling, moreover I love telling stories. I compared myself to the main characters of the animes I loved so much; what would naruto do? What would luffy do? And the foolhardy side of me came out and said Dammit I'm doing it! After all you never know until you try.

Because of my stubborn headedness I somehow made it through and was able to create my first ever comic JINN. It was to be a long running series, the ultimate manga, my jewel… the largest and most detail of the stories I had held in my head for years. You can read it on my website for free at kirucomics.co.uk.

JINNHowever I felt it was rushed, I was too eager, I did 4 episodes before taking a step back and reviewing it. I decided I could do better, I could improve it; really take my time with it. There's no point in rushing your baby. So I parked it and instead wrote up one of the more spontaneous short stories I had in the trusted vault (my head); CHAMPION OF DEMA. I believe this story demonstrates a true reflection of my writing abilities and I'm particularly fond of the main character, KADE. That lazy, confusing rebel of a man has starred in many a short story of mine so it's only right I bring him to life for everyone else to enjoy.

The concept of kickstarter made me very scared, for someone like me who was used to ploughing through and relying on himself and his determination to succeed, the thought of being powerless and letting other people decide whether my project would be a success or failure was frightening. I don't like to analyze things too much, it tends to make me nauseous. So while I was contemplating doing a kickstarter not only did the fear of rejection and failure plague me constantly but I was also becoming sick of feeling sick. To solve this problem, I did what any self-respecting foolhardy man would do; I plunged in head first without a clue as to what I was doing. I remembered the saying that got me started on this path in the first place. You'll never know till you try.

Champion of Dema 3So now I'm here, inviting you to check out my work and see where I am in my story. Visit the Kickstarter page and read more about my 70 page one-shot graphic novel; Champion of Dema and the strangely enigmatic Kade. I really poured my heart and soul into the project, I'm sure you won't be disappointed. As you can probably tell from the images, my African heritage and culture is also reflected in the graphic novel, as well as the culture of other African countries. I find I write best when I write what I know.

If I am able to reach £1000 during this weekend, I promise to add another foolhardy deed to my list of foolhardiness to commemorate you guys backing my project…. I can… oh I don't know… how about I give you guys an extra digital poster if £1500 is reached during the weekend. Instead of 3 digital posters, there shall now be 4. Yaaaayyy!!

Champion of Dema 4

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Dan WicklineAbout Dan Wickline

Has quietly been working at Bleeding Cool for over three years. He has written comics for Image, Top Cow, Shadowline, Avatar, IDW, Dynamite, Moonstone, Humanoids and Zenescope. He is the author of the Lucius Fogg series of novels and a published photographer.
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