Saturday, January 31, 2009

Comicbook Rockstar - autobiography of Kurt J. Christenson

Kurt Christenson
Writer, Comicbook Rockstar

Born on September 21, 1976, year of the Fire Dragon, a Virgo on the cusp of being a Libra, to teenage parents on Long Island. My dad sold his Mustang, my mom took night classes to graduate early, and a few years later my sister was born.

A dog named Max, a trusted companion and good friend awoke, startled from a dream and gripped my skull between his teeth. Two years later I choke to death on a hotdog, saved by my father as he runs to the hospital with me in his arms.

We live in an apartment below the rockabilly couple that live upstairs. There's a 38' Ford with running board and flames in various stages of restoration, and an El Camino in the driveway, and a tarantula and snake upstairs in tanks. My sister and I have bunkbeds and I can't stand the Yoda nightlight so I hide it in my desk at school.

We're the poorer white families in the middle class black neighborhood. But we get by. My dad builds racecars on the side before computers consume him. My mom works at Service Merchandise then a bank as she overstuffs our stockings. We drive to Disney in the station wagon and visit Grandma Florida.

We camp out at Montauk as my dad offroads, later driving his trike through the streets during Hurricane Gloria.

My parents move us to a small suburban mafia town near where they grew up. My aunt's house that she can't take care of because her husband OD'd. She lives downstairs looking for God, she dies in Florida by her own hand, though I wouldn't know that for years.

I become a teenager and grow my hair long. I hang out with loser badkids setting stuff on fire and sneaking out, getting beat up by cops and chased by lunatics. I find some comic book/roleplaying dorks and find a safe haven.

From Peanuts to Brenda Starr to Mad Magazine to Detective Comics to Wolverine to The Flash to Flaming Carrot to Mage to Shade the Changing Man, Doom Patrol and Invisibles, I love comics. I bought them while unemployed, I've stolen them, and now I sleep atop them.

Along the way I saw A Better Tomorrow directed by John Woo, then The Killer and Hard Boiled. Soon enough Rumble in the Bronx, Drunken Master 2, and Police Story with Jackie Chan, Fist of Legend, Once Upon A Time in China, and Kung Fu Cult Master with Jet Li. Movies like Gen-X Cops, Storm Riders, Iron Monkey, Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, Hero, and Dragon Tiger Gate became my life.

I did well in High School despite goofing off and sleeping all the time, Community College was easy enough too taking all the writing courses, and discovering I could write but had nothing to say.

So I gave up the ghost. Stopped writing, got menial jobs, and eventually went to a Graphic Design school that took my money and gave me a Mac and a job re-creating forms for hospitals and banks.

Bored to tears I began writing comics. I did some one-shots for hire making $50 a pop, then began work on Legend of Liquid Fury with Chris Chua. For years I did the 9 to 5, came home to kung fu, cartoons, and comics, and co-created what would become a 200 page graphic novel.

We pimped a 48 page preview around the comicbook conventions, talking to every pro and creator around. Eventually we met and teamed up with some badass mofos to form TenTonStudios. Together we hit cons and got gigs.

I got disllusioned with comics, discouraged by the business, the apathetic audience, and needed a change. I began a novel, moved to New York City, and went back to College at the New School. I partied, drank, traveled, got tattooed, loved, lost, and puked all over the city.

Freelance Photo Editor for a Paparazzi Photo Agency. New School College Student. Comicbook Rockstar.

Currently projects:

The Tower of Brahma
experimental novel

Legend of Liquid Fury
kung fu/fantasy comic

short film series

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