A first-year convention in Tulsa is drawing creators from the Oklahoma City area, including writer-artist Tyler Kelting, who created the comic book series “My Friend Death.”
Kelting, 25, is from Edmond. The second print issue of “My Friend Death” was released this week. The online comic continues at www.myfrienddeath.com.
“I started off drawing the character Death,” Kelting said.
“It started with sketches, but he morphed into such a cool character, visually, that I felt like I couldn’t let him go to waste. So I began writing scenarios and characters that he would interact with, and the comic just spawned from these events.”
The supernatural character of Death is charged with starting the apocalypse.
But Death falls asleep at his desk, and 1,000 years later, the world is in bad shape.
Monsters and zombies roam the Earth as mankind hides in small settlements. Death realizes he’s caused this situation and puts it on himself to set it right.
“It’s funny, gruesome, and everything in between,” Kelting said. “It’s a book that features violence and horror themes without ever being too dark, and it never takes itself seriously. It’s just an all-around fun ride.”
Brian “Buck” Berlin, of New World Comics in Oklahoma City, who hosted the second issue release party, said there are lots of fans for comics in the horror-comedy vein.
“He shows a lot of promise,” Berlin said.
Kelting’s comics interests have always run slightly to the supernatural.
“Originally it was my dad who got me interested in comics,” he said.
“He would always be sure to pick up the newest Spider-Man comic for me each month, and as I got older he passed his comic collection down to me. He had loads of ‘The Master of Kung Fu’ issues, but my favorite were always the ‘Tales From the Crypt’ and ‘Chamber of Chills.’”
Following the Oklahoma City debut of “My Friend Death” No. 2, Kelting is appearing at the Tulsa Comic Expo, running Friday through Sunday at Renaissance Tulsa Hotel & Convention Center.
“I expect to have tons of fun at the expo,” Kelting said.
“I’ll have copies of Issue 1 and 2 available as well as various prints of my artwork.”
The multi-genre festival features guests including Billy Dee Williams of “Star Wars” and Kevin Sorbo of “Hercules.” Organizer Chris Rowe partnered with Ken Daniels of Fandomfest to program the first-year event, according to a Tulsa World story.
“We wanted a multi-genre festival for Tulsa. We just wanted to do something that everyone could enjoy, with all fans being served,” Rowe told the Tulsa World.
Kelting said the reaction from those who have sampled “My Friend Death” in print and online has so far been largely positive.
“People seem to be really enjoying the comic, and I’ve been able to reach people with this book that have probably never read a comic in their life.”
IF YOU GO
Tulsa Comic Expo
•What: Mixed-genre convention with comics, science-fiction,
•When: Friday through Sunday.
•Where: Renaissance Tulsa Hotel & Convention Center, 6808 S 107th E Ave.
•Tickets: 3-day tickets are $50 at the door.