Chapter 1: The City
In November of 2015, I returned to New York City. Having spent years in the mid-west, I had lost touch with my roots. I no longer hung out in basement martial arts schools, shopping at bodegas felt like a distant memory, and it had been years since I visited my favorite comic book stores. The subway seemed like claustrophobic tunnels hollowed out by enormous steel worms. I would soon begin work at a community clinic but how could I do my best work if I was no longer in touch with the city that I loved so much? I decided to get reacquainted with my beloved New York by visiting the different comic book stores that adorn the NYC landscape, starting with an old favorite.
I put away my business suit and donned my NYC armor, blue jeans, a black t-shirt, sneakers, and a hooded coat. Shades and my favorite superhero cap finished off the look. I rode the 6-train to 51st street and hopped on the M-train. A short trip over water brought me to the Borough of Brooklyn. I descended the long and narrow Flushing station stairs to avoid the treacherous elevator that had trapped many a hipster. I hit the streets with the same burst of energy I felt when my plane from the mid-west landed in LaGuardia. I suffered a devastating blow when I realized that my old comic book shop was now a Botanica.
Cellphone in hand, I rode back to Manhattan as I searched for another store and a bar where I could drown my dejection in non-alcoholic ginger beer. I ended up in a cute bar, seated next to my future artist. We made an instant connection and the two years that followed have been a series of astonishing artistic awakenings.
We eventually found a comic book shop that we both liked, but more importantly, we launched a comic book company that allows us to create worlds. We are now ready to share the fruits of our creation.
We have chosen New York as the setting for our personal and comic book stories because it is a city that is close to our hearts. We now share it with you. Thank you for accompanying us on our new journey.
Juan Suarez, Psy.D. Founder/CEO, Conviction Comics Inc.