Local graphic novelist draws on city lore

Local graphic novelist draws on city lore

NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - A local artist finds new markets for comic drawings, inspired by the uniqueness of the city. He created a graphic novel called God’s Hand, born of New Orleans history, culture, and mystique, and he is finding fans from all over the world willing to invest.

It all begins with an idea.

From that spark, emerges a story, in this case, firmly entrenched in the mystique of the old city.

And it’s Anthony Figaro’s skill that brings life to the story.

Weaned on traditional comic books, Figaro knew by the age of 10, how he wanted to make his mark.

“You start to realize you’re good at this and you continue to do it,” said Figaro, in his Kenner studio.

But there were roadblocks. The comic industry is tough to break into. Dominated by DC and Marvel there were only so many illustrating jobs available. But new technology, allows more creativity, and opportunity for the artist to create.

Figaro lives his dream by crowdsourcing projects. That allows fans who believe in his drawing and storytelling to pay upfront for stories they may want to hear and see. ADD ON:340 backers provided him $19,000 to launch the graphic novel based on Figaro’s reputation and concept, sight unseen.

“The way this has fallen out has given creators like myself the opportunity to do that and it’s busting wide open,” he said.

‘God’s Hand’ is an 80 page expanded comic book called a graphic novel. It portrays Jean Lafitte as a former pirate who becomes an immortal superhero, after drinking a potion taken from the last ship he brought down.

“He’s got a team and they’re hunting monsters and he gets a call that he needs to come back to New Orleans. He’s been in exile,” said Figaro.

It’s pure escape written in longer form which Figaro hopes will be picked up by a streaming service, which is happening more and more. All driven by Figaro’s artistic style and unique story telling.

“There are these ponds of ideas that no one is fishing in,” he said.

But more and more people are. The graphic novel industry has grown to $1.2 billion in revenue that is getting bigger every year.

Aside from being a rich source for material, Figaro has found that drawing inspiration for the uniqueness of New Orleans can actually broaden the appeal of his work.

Though it’s fun and fantasy, Figaro has big dreams.

“My goal is to get to the point to where I run a creative house, a creative studio,” he said.

And he plans to continue using the magic of New Orleans.

“These crypts hold stories, they hold secrets,” said Figaro.

To help weave stories involving locally based superheroes.

Comic book characters like Superman and Spiderman have been big business for the movie industry for decades. Lately however, studios like Paramount , Netflix, and FX have been signing deals with graphic novel artists who are providing content, for audiences looking for new material. That’s a market Anthony Figaro is eager to tap into.

For more information on Figaro’s work, go to kiddestructo.com

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