Backstory and Authorship of NROP Glasses
I have loved art and illustration since a was very young. Before I started school my mother with give me charcoal and from the fireplace and pieces of scrap paper and I drew to my heart's content. Flash forward to university and I had a comic series in student newspapers. Continuing to flash forward, I became an art teacher and tried to encourage students to do follow my abandoned comic book dreams. I was re-working old comic book ideas when I thought of the concept behind the NROP Glasses story. Over the years, I tried to hand the story idea off to promising artists but it never really took off. I was too busy doing The Christmas Present, The Refining Fire and Repentance at that time to do it myself. However in moment of inspiration, I approached Sam Mercier, a student at my school who currently wasn't taking art courses with me. Sam Mercier had already published two books, and had won awards for his art, but this type of collaboration would be a first for both of us, actually more for me than him, but it was a learning experience. I wrote the story the way I normally do: I write the beginning and hope the story will write in the details as we get past the half way point. I don't think we both knew how the NROP Glasses would unfold. But for the first time, I realized how much the artist makes the story, as up to this point I had always been both artist and writer. I was amazed at the picture perfect expressions that Sam could put on the characters, putting the emotion into the story, the way a talented actors can bring to life a script that is on life-support. The other aspect that I knew about Sam before, but still couldn't help being amazed, was the speed at which he can work. In two hours he finished half the comic book, completing both the inking and coloring and made it look easy. As I said, I knew he was fast but having spend hours and hours on a single comic book page myself, Sam's work seemed almost miraculous.