Which Category best describes you?
Area(s) of Interest or Expertise:
I am scholar, have a BA (Hons) in History, an MA in Baroque Studies from the International Institute for Baroque Studies at the University of Malta, and a Diploma from International Correspondence Schools. I have loved comics all my life, and drawn several of them. I have been trying to write a book with scenes from the Bible, after visiting Jerusalem. Still working on this, and working on a story about four young novices, new entrants into the Knights Hospitaller of St John of Malta (the original Order formed in 1087 and established by Pope Paschal II's Bull, Pio Postulatio Voluntatis in 1113) which I am also illustrating. This story is inspired by the French Knight Mederico de Blondel des Croisettes (1628-1695) who was Resident Engineer for the Knights of Malta in Hospitaller Malta during 1659-1695). Blondel was a younger brother of the famous polymath Nicolas-Francois Blondel, whom we believe, paved the way for him to join the Order of St John. I undertook research into his life and military and civil architecture in Hospitaller Malta and produced the dissertation "The Military and Civil Architecture of Baroque Malta and the Chevalier de Malte Mederico de Blondel des Croisettes" (1999) I am very fond of the Knights because I was raised in Valletta, within its City walls and attended Mass in churches built by the Order: fine arts and other legacies of the Knights were all around us, and we took pride in its history, not least the Great Siege. Other than this, however, nowadays I have Muslim friends and stand up for equal rights. Church history both fascinates and horrifies me, as I am currently writing an article about Galileo Galilei for the Catholic Society of Arts (United Kingdom).
My Testimony: (We encourage members to share briefly about how their faith in Christ has impacted their lives.)
I joined the Christian movement for inner healing and peace in 2008, and it has really impacted on my life! I pray for healing everyday and since 2011 have been running a website Link To El Shaddai, and during this pandemic have joined with Catholic Blackburn to pray. It has been this movement for inner healing which returned me to producing Christian art (I used to read the Bible as a child, always attending Mass and drawing and painting the occasional scene from the Bible). It wasn't until I was 53 years old (with an MA in Baroque Studies under my belt, and British citizenship) that I got the chance of going to the Holy Land, just before Christmas 2013. Two years later, I gave myself a "crash course" in drawing comics following Daniel Cooney's Figure Drawing for Comics and Graphic Novels. I did this in rather a big hurry during Lent 2015, and produced the Passion, Death and Resurrection of Jesus in a few months, finalizing much of it by the summer of that year.
I was amazed at the way the cartoons followed each other, and after showing them to our animatrix, Sr Isabel, who said they brought out my faith, I showed them to the El Shaddai founder, Monsignor Michael Buckley, who said: "These are powerful images - put them in a book!" I did that, and tried to get the book published. I have had only rejections and wonder where next to go. To make things more interesting however, I joined the Society of Catholic Artists, of whom I am an active member, and one of whom told me about the Christian Comics Art Society. In a nutshell, I can say, I've gone through El Shaddai, which helped me immensely, still express my faith through that, joining two huge Christian art Societies, and hope to share drawings of Saints (in the Bible), Madonna and Angels, with architects also joining the party!
I am considering presenting my work as an E-book...
Dream Job: (If you could have your dream job in the comics industry, what would it be?)
I am not sure that, at my age, 61 years, anyone is going to give me a dream job. I am trying to write a story about Knights, running websites on Facebook which I want to transfer to websites I will build for myself. But if I could have my dream job, it would be creating the characters I studied, like Mederico Blondel, others that I am creating, based on his life and times, and illustrating my research. I am a writer as much as an artist, so I would want to be doing both. I am never short of ideas for long... My dream job would be for my work to be recognized, to have more time to work on the characters I am currently drawing, and to share more stories, both as printed tales and as comics. And I would like to give lectures on Mederico Blondel, whose name is being mentioned rather more often than it used to be - I wonder if that is down to the thesis I left behind.
Favorite Comic Creators:
Stan Lee and Chris Claremont. I believe a lot of comic art is inspired by Michelangelo and Caravaggio. The Renaissance and Baroque have left a huge legacy which inspires artists, film makers and others today. Lately, I draw saints, such as Saint Julian, a poster of whom I left at St Julians Parish in Malta, and I am planning to draw a Baroque architect, one of Malta's best architects, whose work can be seen in Mdina. I think Saints and Architects is a big part of my current work.