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Artist/Author James Long, 2006

     Ever since the day his big brother brought home a stack of faded comic books from the local flea market, James Long as been infatuated with superheroes. Even at a young age he found himself drawn to fan favorites like the Uncanny X-men, West Coast Avengers, Amazing Spiderman, and The Incredible Hulk. And, as a boy growing up in central Idaho, he had little else to do but sit around all day and draw the characters he'd grown to love.

     Through high school, James took every art class he could and was eventually awarded a scholarship to Boise State University. There, he studied the arts for two years but then grew impatient with school and left before finishing his degree. His educational hiatus lasted more than ten years and during that time he rarely touched a comic or a sketchbook.

     James' true return to drawing came about only after he finished writing his first novel in 2006. His creative rebirth was greatly fueled by a series of life-changing events that created a restless spark in his subconscious. Now he lives with his wife, Kristen, in downtown Winnipeg where he finds plenty of inspiration for the colorful characters in his web-comic: The Forsaken.

     "I feel a comic should have very strong characters, but an equally powerful plot. With so many popular comics out there, it's no problem at all remembering and recognizing the costume, the personality, and the powers, but how many people can remember why protragonist A fought antagonist B six years ago? With larger-than-life heroes, I think that's a common pitfall in the comic lose connection with the environments and the storyline because they are simply eclipsed by a caped monstrosity."