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Friday, September 30, 2022 

Veteran writer in Albany creates anti-hero

Spotlight News from Delmar, NY gave a report about Charles Santino, a writer/editor who's been around for over 3 decades and once had Conan comics to his credits, who's conceived a science fiction anti-hero for a UK publisher:
“By the time I was thirteen I figured out that I was never going to pitch for the Yankees!” quipped local comic book writer, editor and art director, Charles Santino, “but maybe I could write comic books.”

Over the past 35 years, Santino has succeeded in doing that. He started his career with Marvel and ‘Conan the Barbarian’. Now, for Markosia, the largest independent publisher in the UK, he is currently writing and creating a series based on the character of Rammur.

His upcoming book, “Rammur: The Corvus Trilogy, Part II” is nearly finished. “I hope to get that out by the end of this year.”

“With ‘Rammur’, I started from the notion of developing a character who is a master thief in a future police state. I had to create the character and his world from the ground up,” he said.

“One way that I thought to make Rammur and his future world distinctive is with technology. Rammur is the first anti-hero powered by clean energy-hydrogen,” he added. “In the future depicted in ‘Rammur’, hydrogen and fusion energy power everything, cleanly, efficiently and cheaply. But the world is still a police state.”
It doesn't sound like a politicized liberal story, and hopefully isn't, so since there have been stories before starring thieves who could end up doing good deeds, that's why it could work in that context. And it's said that:
This layered worldbuilding is part of Santino’s process. Character development and careful planning are the driving forces of his upcoming additions to the Rammur universe.
That's something you don't usually hear the Big Two say they're going to build their stories on, unless maybe it's for political purposes. And the MSM don't make the argument in favor of character development either. No wonder they've become such disasters. That told, here's some history given of how Santino began his career, but it also gives an idea what his exact influences are too:
This interest was born early on. Santino’s father gave him a copy of the DC Comic “Mystery in Space” when he was nine years old. He ended up being interested in DC characters, with Batman quickly emerging as a favorite.

“The real turning point came the year when I bought a Marvel comic that reprinted early Fantastic Four and Spider-Man stories,” he said. Within a couple of years, he was buying out almost everything in Marvel’s line. His interest only grew when he dug deeper into historical comics.

“I was reading Warren’s black-and-white horror magazines, underground comics, and back to DC for Deadman, Batman, Swamp Thing,” he added. “Eventually, I discovered the comics of the so-called Golden Age, published in the late 1930s to the mid-1950s.”

One comic book made a particular impression on him. “The comic book that impressed me so much that I knew I had to pursue writing comic books was the last issue of Marvel’s ‘Conan the Barbarian’ that Barry Smith drew, ‘The Song of Red Sonja’,” he reflected.

If someone had told him when he was younger that he would eventually work for Marvel himself, he would have “dismissed” the idea as an impossibility. However, by the 1980s, things changed for Santino.

“In the mid-1980s, Marvel editor Larry Hama bought an adventure story I wrote and published in ‘Savage Tales.’ I went on to write seven issues of ‘Conan the Barbarian’ for Marvel, and a parody of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles for their humor comic, ‘What The–?!’”
It's great he got to work for Marvel. But a shame it sounds like he's yet another guy who was influenced by the darkness more than the light, based on his gravitation to Batman, along with the Warren output. Even if his contribution to Marvel's humor series is a plus in itself.
He described some of the joys as “thinking up a story and getting it fleshed out, and staying excited by the story no matter how many times I read it. Being satisfied with the final product—the artwork, the coloring, the lettering, and the printed comic itself. Having people say they enjoyed something that I wrote.”
Again, this is what you don't see the mainstream publishers asked if they take as a serious platform on which to build on. Why are only independent creators asked this?

I discovered Santino was also interviewed at First Comics News about 5 years ago, for a GN he'd developed titled "Danny and Harry Private Detectives", and the following came up, which is pretty surprising:
1st: Why should someone pick up “Ayn Rand’s Anthem: The Graphic Novel”?

Charles: It’s a great story with wonderful art by Joe Staton. I think it’s a dystopian classic that is right up there with Brave New World and 1984. We shot the art right from Joe’s pencils, which made the book a rare opportunity to see what his pencils look like.
Now this is interesting, recalling how much of the modern left rejects Rand's writings, and would surely reject Santino along with a talented veteran artist like Staton just for that too. Maybe this is why Santino is somebody whose writings are worth the ticket price.

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  • From Jerusalem, Israel
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