A southwestern Ontario artist has sketched his way onto the cover of one of the largest comic book franchises in the world — Batman.
Jason Fabok, 27, of Harrow, Ont., southeast of Windsor, said he has dreamed of drawing superheroes since he was six, and now he's is doing what he only fantasized about — illustrating Batman for DC Comics.
'It's amazing to me that it is actually coming true and that my dreams have come true so quickly.' —Jason Fabok, Canadian illustrator of Batman comic books
"It was a huge break for me," said Fabok. "I knew getting an opportunity to do art on this and the book is going to be seen by so many people. I was blown away."
His drawings are also plastered inside the annual Batman edition comic book.
As early as age six, Fabok has had a dream to draw.
He often found himself doodling in class, which helped him focus on achieving his straight-A status all the way through college.
"I've always had a passion for art and for drawing, especially illustrating with pencil and a paper. It's been a lifelong thing," said Fabok, who graduated from the three-year tradigital animation program at St. Clair College in Windsor.
Comics in the computer age
But Fabok is using more than just a wooden pencil and sketch pad to fuel his career.
He's sketching with a 61-cm Cintiq monitor, which allows him to digitally draw superheroes right to a tablet.
Fabok is using this technology on his next superhero saga: DC's Detective Comics.
Starting in October with issue No. 13, he will be the lead artist on the original 1938 comics in which Batman made appearances.
"It's amazing to me that it is actually coming true and that my dreams have come true so quickly," he said. "I'm going to have to start thinking what I'm going to do after this. I have to start new dreams I guess."
Fabok doesn't feel like a celebrity, but said it's surreal to waltz into a comic book shop and see his own name on the cover.
"It's just weird," he said. "It's a very different feeling to see that your name is up on something that people are reading all over the world,"
One of the book's main writers is Scott Snyder, an inspiration to Fabok.
"Everything he touches just turns to gold," said Fabok.
But Batman didn't just land in his lap.
One part of his journey to success, he said, is knowing someone to get your foot in the door.
He also attended several comic conventions, sent numerous portfolios to various companies and did the little jobs to gain experience.
Comic books a 'hard business to get into'
Fabok said it's unheard of to get an opportunity like this after just a few years in the business.
But it's not impossible, he said, and encourages any young artist to pursue his or her dreams because they do come true.
"This industry is a terribly hard business to get into," said Fabok.
Growing up, Fabok was always fascinated by cartoons, and as a teenager, comic books became a basic necessity.
Home-grown Windsor comic book artist David Finch, who has worked for DC Comics and Marvel, was a mentor to Fabok and played a pivotal role in his rising career, he said.
Finch also recently brought Batman to Toronto by putting the city's backdrop on the cover of DC Comics' Batman: The Dark Knight, issue No. 11.