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Academy of Art University Alumni Vie for Grand Prize at the 2007 Comic Book Challenge

Kevin Buckley and Marcus “Parcus” Thiele are packing their bags for San Diego to battle for the Grand Prize title at the 2007 Comic Book Challenge. Their comic, The Strange and Many Eyes of Dr. LeFaux, has made it into the top 50, presenting them with the opportunity of a lifetime to have their work published.
Though they have collaborated before, this is the biggest project they have worked on together. At Academy of Art University, Marcus, an MFA Visual Development student, and Kevin, an MFA Illustration student, instantly took interest in each other’s work. In the Academy’s thriving creative and collaborative environment, they found that they worked well together.
“Sometimes Kevin has the lightening and I have the thunder; sometimes I have the lightening and he has the thunder. Either way, there’s a storm a comin’,” said Marcus, summarizing their creative process.

They hope to storm San Diego when Kevin pitches The Strange and Many Eyes of Dr. LeFaux to a panel of judges at the Comic Book Challenge. The contest, co-sponsored by Platinum Studios, is a way for up-and-coming writers and artists to have their work published. Platinum Studios picks 50 entries and gives the artists a stipend to travel to San Diego in late July to pitch their ideas. After consideration, judges will pick 10 finalists, whose fate will be in the hands of online voters.

The potential to make money while doing something artistic and creative has been a lifelong dream for both artists.
Comic Book Challenge
Marcus' design for “The Strange and Many Eyes of Dr. LeFaux
The challenging and supportive instructors at Academy of Art University helped them realize that this dream could be reality. Sherrie Sinclair, Director of Animation 2D, particularly influenced both Kevin and Marcus.
"During Sherrie's class I realized that I might be good enough to make a living at art someday, and it felt like I was doing the work I needed to be doing," Kevin said. "Illustration is both commercial and artistic. Making money doing what you love to do is the American Dream."
The concept of The Strange and Many Eyes of Dr. LeFaux was part of Kevin’s thesis. Inspired by San Francisco’s Chinatown, he developed a story about a dangerous and magical world. The story begins with Dr. LeFaux giving his eyes to a demon in exchange for seeing his deceased wife one last time. Thirty years later, he is called to San Francisco to investigate a series of murders. With the help of his two student assistants and his collection of magical crystal eyes, he fights the forces of evil.

“I see LeFaux as a tragic hero who gets punished for every noble choice he makes, but he never stops doing what is right, no matter how badly it hurts him. That is the kind of thing that interests me in a character,” Kevin commented.

If The Strange and Many Eyes of Dr. LeFaux is published, it will open up prospects Marcus and Kevin cannot even fathom. Even making it this far in the contest has given them the chance to show the world what they can do.

“Kevin and I have been talking about collaborating on these projects for a while,” said Marcus. “Hopefully, this contest will give us the opportunity to do more in the future.”
Comic Book Challenge Kevin's original concept design


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