The Making of a Vigilante Comic Creator

Inside the Life of John Escobales
By Holly Zynda
Owl Intermedia
John Escobales, author of Martin Chase: Human Weapon and The Keyholders, can trace the roots of his interest in comics to age five, when he discovered his cousin’s small comic book collection. Batman was the first hero to hook him into the superhero genre. Since that time, John was re-exposed to comics on several occasions, and his interest became inextricably linked to his interest in the martial arts, which was originally inspired by his father, a karate instructor.

After his initial interest in comic books was sparked, he began collecting them from wherever he could, flea markets, newsracks, local markets. His dad would also take him on occasional trip to the comic book shop in a nearby town, where he met Crash, who facilitated his obsession. John’s uncle also fed into his preoccupation with comics, providing him with stacks of the comics he delivered as a truck driver. John took a particular interest in the Black Panther, Master of Kung Fu, Ghost Rider, Star Wars, Conan, and other martial arts–inspired comics.
Both comics and martial arts gave John an outlet to express a big part of his subconscious, the desire to create change for the good by defeating the bad guys.

Several years later, John and a friend discovered a comic book shop had opened in their home town, and it was owned by the one and only Crash. The comic addiction grew, and later, John began working at the shop in exchange for additional reading materials.  While working there, he got to meet Mike Zeck, illustrator of The Secret Wars and John’s favorite book Master of Kung Fu, who drew a picture of Shang Chi for him. During this time, he focused his efforts on writing, since he didn’t take naturally to drawing.

John continued to pursue karate under his father’s instruction, gaining the moniker Dynamo as his skills advanced beyond his age. He also ran into Crash again, who got him a job at Capital City Distribution, a major comic book distributor. While working there, he got early access to each new issue and continued to add titles to the list of comics under his belt.
After a hiatus from comics to pursue the rock and roll lifestyle, martial arts pulled him back into the scene, when he saw an edition of X-Men with the Master of Kung Fu on the cover. After that, he was hooked on comics again, and his involvement in martial arts was renewed by the opening of a Kung Fu school in close proximity to his work.

The birth of his son fueled John’s passion for justice, making the world a better place for his children. He also had a chance encounter with Brian Bendis, a Marvel writer, where he was advised to publish his comics on his own, rather than trying to get in with one of the major comic book companies. He then began developing realistic characters addressing current world issues in phenomenal ways. His passion for writing comic books was set in stone, and he began pursuing it more heartily.

Today, John Escobales still pursues karate, kung fu, Krav Maga, and MMA fighting passionately and employs his interest in and knowledge of martial arts in creating Martin Chase: Human Weapon and The Keyholders, choreographing battle scenes and imbuing the comics with Eastern ideology.

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