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 the whole story,” Zverloff explains.
While Zverloff’s first project, Along The Burning River, 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.”
As a former English teacher, Zverloff always had a love for creative writing, in addition to comic books. He also had a minor in creative writing.
“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 Todd had no experience writing comic books prior to Along The Burning River, the internet and social media helped him learn those skills and create connections that helped bring his ideas to life.
By watching YouTube videos and connecting with other comic book writers, artists and enthusiasts, Todd learned how to write his own.
“What I learned is it’s not as hard as I thought,” he says.
On Facebook, Todd was also able to connect with the illustrator of Confidence, Reinaldo Lay, an architect from Chile.
“I gave him my script and he turned it into magic,” Todd says.
Todd remarks that while the stigma surrounding comic books is decreasing, it is still there.
“Reading is reading,” Todd 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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