DRAWN & QUARTERED
COURTESY DANIEL HOGAN
Vicki Bernelli is protected by her "Tinn Man," thwarting the assassins hired by her corrupt employer.
Shore duty aids in ‘Tinn Man’ creation
Now deployed, the comic book author must juggle training and writing
"When I leave the island, I won't be back for at least six months, if at all." Daniel Hogan's situation is typical of those serving in the military here. As a Navy man from Southern California, his recent deployment has not only affected his family's life while stationed at Pearl Harbor, but his independent comic book, "Tinn Man," as well.
Hogan's two years of shore duty here, he says, "has given me the peace of mind I needed to let my creative side take over and finish the story." It's been during this time that he's been able to write, draw and publish his sci-fi adventure story, with the help of Georgia-based publisher Atlantis Studios.
"Tinn Man" is based on his self-proclaimed fascination with robot stories, particularly the classic tales from legendary writer Isaac Asimov. He also admits "a strong influence by anime and manga."
The story revolves around artificial-intelligence programmer Victoria Bernelli, who's on the run from her former employer -- the corrupt William Warren -- and under the protection of her robot. The formidable Tinn Man is not only her bodyguard, but also holds the secrets about the sinister project. On top of that, the robot is also programmed to be her companion and friend.
"The initial story covers three issues," said Hogan via e-mail. "It's a stand-alone story, and it's also a set-up for future issues. Once I'm deployed, it will be harder to stick to a schedule, but depending on sales, I hope to still do the occasional one-shot story or trade paperback. I already have a great idea for a follow-up one-issue story."
COURTESY DANIEL HOGAN
The first issue's cover.
Hogan is currently in the midst of a six-month training mission in Connecticut, his birth state. After that he hopes to be based out of Pearl Harbor again.
"My plan is to have the story and art finished for all three issues before I'm back at sea. The people at Atlantis Studios have been very helpful and are taking care of the promotion and publication matters for me."
Already possessing a solid, black-and-white illustrative style, Hogan tries to flesh out his characters with succinct story line and dialogue.
"I try to avoid having characters based only on myself, who go around talking like me and expressing my opinions. But I suppose there's a little bit of me in my characters. The main character, Vicki, has traits from each of my sisters. I guess having three sisters helps with writing female characters. But eventually there comes a point where the characters become real individuals to me, and I know how they'll act in any situation."
Hogan also has an online sci-fi comic series at Utopolice.com, something that he said started out as both a hobby, like doing "Tinn Man," and a personal project. "This was another story I just had to tell, and I promised myself I wouldn't give up on it even if it became an inconvenience.
"I won't stop updating it until I've finished the story, even if it's updated at a snail's pace due to my busy life. It's a work in progress. I've had to learn HTML and Web site design, as well as useful skills for 'Tinn Man,' such as inking and writing dialogue."
As for what the future might bring, either on land or on sea, it's whatever can help support his wife and two children. Anyway, he says "you'd be surprised at the diverse group of people you meet in the Navy, with all sorts of talents and interests."
(Note: "Tinn Man" will be available online by the end of June and in Honolulu at Jelly's in Aiea and Other Realms, Ward Warehouse.)