Byron Wilkins

Old Fart Cartoonist

Born in southern Illinois on a farm, I moved to the suburbs of Chicago in 1969 where I took my first drawing lessons at the local park district. I soon was visiting art supply stores to buy quill pens, India ink and Bristol board to draw comics “like Charles Schulz.” Then in the mid-1970s I created comics for both my high school and college newspapers (unfortunately none of these works exists today). I studied Mass Communication in college, following my desire to work in Broadcast Radio or Television.  I ended up working in the late 1970s at ABC News in Peoria for a brief period then moved on to working for the “new” emerging cable networks.

In the early 1980s I transitioned to doing Corporate Video Production and ran an award winning production company until 2000.  I then became an independent video consultant for a large broadcast firm that sadly when out of business in 2004. It was at that time that I started tinkering with the idea of making a career change back to my initial love, which was drawing cartoons.  In 2007, I made the leap and started training myself to become a comic strip artist.  I immediately purchased a WACOM tablet and Manga Studio EX3.  I have upgraded those tools, but I still use a WACOM tablet and Manga Studio to produce all my art work today.  I use to color in Photoshop, but with the significant improvements made in Manga Studio EX5, I now do everything in Manga Studio.  I work primarily producing  custom commissions and illustrations as well as attend several comic conventions annually to expand my freelance illustration business.  Find samples of my work at my illustration website TR-1 Studios.  I also co-founded the Webcomic Alliance, a group of webcomic artists whose goal is to help out beginning webcomic creators.

1977 the Comic is based very loosely on my experiences back in the wild – or what seemed like wild to us – days of the 1970s.  Sex, Drugs and Rock and Roll was still the call of the wild, but disco had invaded with a thunder and punk was just getting started. Bud and his band of friends will tell the story of these times with tongue firmly in cheek. Plus, I’ll stray from the usual gang and just drop in some random silly thoughts as they strike me. I hope you enjoy reading them as much as I do creating them.

Drop me a line or leave a comment; I love to hear from fans/critics.
Contact me at byron@1977thecomic.com and I’ll say “howdy”!

Your comic friend,
W. Byron Wilkins