Comic author returns to childhood comic store for signing. Dave Pendleton, writer of “No More” comic, recently attended a signing at Starling Ave Cards & Comics.
“No More” is a superhero comic that tells the tale of Jayme Spire, a young man who manifested powers after he witnessed the death of his family as a child. Monique Holland-Bulletin Staff Writer
When Dave Pendleton was a boy, he bought his comics at Starling Ave Cards & Comics. Saturday, he’ll be the writer signing comics for fans. Pendleton, who lives in Martinsville, is the writer of “No More,” a non-mainstream superhero comic published through Highburn Studios. The lifelong area resident said his wife, Samantha Pendleton, is his “absolute support system.” He often bounces ideas off her for the comic, and her suggestions have even caused major changes in the tone of certain scenes. Having always known that he wanted to be a writer, Pendleton said, he has written various books to different levels of completion and has even more comic book ideas that he plans to write in the future. He was even writing as a child – prompting one of his teachers at Henry Elementary School in Franklin County, the late Karen Clifton, to tell his mother, “Yeah, your kid is going to be a writer,” he recalled. Since then, Pendleton has written in various formats, from writing for his high school and college newspaper, to working on five or six book ideas, to entering online writing competitions and even completing an internship at the Martinsville Bulletin. “If you don’t use it, you lose it,” Pendleton said on why be believe it is important to keep up on his writing skills, even if it isn’t for pay. He added that he wants to finish his book ideas in the future, but simply “never had the time to sit down and finish.” Michael Watkins, owner of Highburn Studios, reached out to Pendleton to see if he wanted to write the “No More” story about a year ago, said Pendleton. An arrangement with the original writer on the fledging comic had fallen through, and Watkins needed an emergency replacement. The two had known each other for years, Pendleton said, so Watkins knew he is a writer and loves comics. Watkins said that is it important for writers of comic books to, “help create characters you care about, to tell a dynamic story, and to push the reader to suspend belief just enough that they get pulled into the adventures” and that he felt Pendleton was a huge part of creating those elements in their comic. “No More” Pendleton’s writing brings to life a story originated by Mike “MEZ” Phillips. The main character of the superhero comic is named Jayme Spire. After seeing his family get murdered when he was five years old, he manifests powers that allow him to find the killer and get vengeance. Spire grows up in an orphanage and then spends years in a mental institution because, as a result of his trauma, the only thing he ever says is “no more.” When he is in his twenties, Spires becomes a “vigilante avenging spirit” who targets criminals in his city, said Pendleton. John Anderson joined Watkins and Phillips in creating the art for “No More.” The comic is one of many in an ongoing series, said Pendleton. They are working on two or three new additions now, with a plan to release at a bi-monthly rate. They will receive 2,000 copies of the comic in batches of 75 comic books each, and that will be all that is printed. Today is the first day the comic books will be sold on shelves, but the entire first batch of 75 has already been purchased through pre-orders. A signing event for the comic will be held from 1-3 p.m. Saturday at Starling Avenue Cards and Comics. The comic store, owned by Rick Johnson, is where Pendleton went to buy comics when he was 12 years old. New ideas While working on “No More,” Pendleton was writing based of off the ideas of another creator and wanted to keep true to the original image that they had intended for the comic, he said. In the future, he’d like to have more freedom and create a story from scratch by himself. In 2018, Pendleton was diagnosed with cancer. It was able to be taken care of through surgery, but left him with other issues to deal with mentally. He quickly transitioned from recovery to going back to work in the span of four months and never fully process what happened to him, he said. Pendleton added that when he writes his future comics, he’d like to work into the story his experience with anxiety. He already has an idea for a comic that takes place in the medieval era and focuses on the life of a king who gets his life turned upside down unexpectedly. Through the story of this king, Pendleton said, he wants to write a story that explores the process of “dealing with the after effect when everything is okay, but it’s not.” *This story was originally published by the Martinsville Bulletin March 9th, 2022