Todd Zverloff’s love for comic books started with a gift from his uncle when he was a child. At the time, Zverloff didn’t realize it would spark an interest that would lead to him publishing his own comic books in the future.
His love for comics began with Batman and Robin and turned into Zverloff working with other Ohio writers to create “Along The Burning River,” an anthology of stories about Ohio, and then venturing out on his own to write “Confidence.”
“You follow this character named Allen along as he goes through various different groups of people and you see that he’s conning each one of them in a different way to get something. I don’t want to say it’s a surprise or twist ending, but you do finally get uncovered… …what’s being hinted at in the whole story,” Zverloff explains.
While “Along The Burning River,” Zverloff’s first project, was created to celebrate the pride and resilience of Rust Belt residents, “Confidence”is meant to be a story that readers can simply pick up and enjoy.
“It’s inspired by movies like ‘Ocean’s Eleven’ or Guy Ritchie movies like ‘Snatch,’ or ‘Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels.’ Not that I love those movies, but I love the way those movies flow. Everything is so snappy and quick and that’s what I was going for.”
Zverloff always loved fiction, getting a minor in creative writing and becoming an English teacher for a while before getting serious as a creator.
“I sort of dabbled in it for my entire adult life, but never really did enough with it beyond hobbies and free time and such,” he says. “But in the last couple years, I’ve gotten more active, trying to get published, and I’ve been a lifelong comic book fan. So those two parts of my life were married in the idea of creating comic books,” he says.
Although Zverloff had no experience writing comic books, he turned to the internet and social media to learn those skills and create connections to bring “Along The Burning River” to life.
“What I learned is it’s not as hard as I thought,” he says.
On Facebook, Zverloff was also able to connect with Reinaldo Lay, an architect from Chile, who would become the illustrator of “Confidence.”
“I gave him my script, and he turned it into magic,” Zverloff says.
Zverloff says that while the stigma surrounding comic books is decreasing, it is still there.
“Reading is reading,” Zverloff says. “It helps expand your mind and imagination, and comics, I think, expand your imagination even more so to a degree because you get the pictures there to tell the story with it, and you get this appreciation of not just printed art, but visual art as well. It’s like looking at a painting and reading a book at the same time.”
Allyson Smith is The Devil Strip’s client solutions assistant, a content creator, and writer of the monthly Tarotscopes column.
Photos of Todd’s Comic Confidence are from Zverloff. Used with permission.
Photo of Zverloff sitting is by Lumos Photography. Used with permission.
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