Monday, February 19, 2018

Young comic artist spreads God’s word


TWO PASSIONS: Kyle Williams. —Photos: Jermaine Cruickshank

Mark Fraser


FIGHTING EVIL: Cover for the Secret Alliance comic book, Volume 1.

Mark Fraser

Aspiring comic book writer Kyle Williams has found his own way to spread God’s word.

Marrying his two passions, his love for God and comic books, Williams has written an action comic book inspired by events from the Bible; taken from the Book of Revelations. His novel titled, Secret Alliance - Volume 1 - Retribution has been followed up with Secret Alliance - Volume 2 - Conspiracy and Secret Alliance - Volume 3 - Devastation currently in production.

Secret Alliance is his first book. While some people may be more familiar with the colourful pages of other popular comic books such as the Incredible Hulk and Spider-Man, Williams has decided to go into a different direction and seek out the world of Japanese animation and venture into Japanese Manga.

If you’ve never heard of Japanese Manga, it is basically Japanese comics with a unique story line and style. According to Manga became very popular in the 20th century when laws prohibiting the publication of those kinds of items were lifted.

It has since become a huge part of Japanese culture. In English-speaking countries, the word Manga is often pronounced “Man-Gah” however the correct pronunciation is Maw-Nnnn-Gah. It is actually three syllables with the middle “N” spoken very quickly.

In Japan, people of all ages read Manga and the genre includes a broad range of subjects. The art in Manga has a very definite look to it and is often referred to as “Manga Style”.

“It is kind of silly how I started into comics... But when I was younger I used to play with action figures. I was exposed to Japanese Manga through Japanese animation like Tekken the movie and Street Fighter,” Williams said.

“I realised I started creating stories for the action figures and as time passed; one day I decided to record the stories in my head in the form of Japanese Manga,” he said.

“I have been doing comic books since 2008. I have always been fascinated with Japanese Magna and the way they expressed their art really appealed to me. I would have to say a lot of my comic book style comes from that,” Williams said.

“Secret Alliance - Volume 1 - Retribution is a fictional book about a group of youngsters coming together to fight evil. The year is 1990 and Maxi and Ken are brothers; they live in New York City. Their father works secretly for a corporation owned by Mario De La Vega. However, De La Vega corporations are just covers. On the outside they appear to be regular car dealerships but in actuality they sell nuclear weapons to the highest bidder.

De La Vega also has connections to many of the intelligence agencies around the world. He begins to stir up tension between different countries and chaos ensues. He steps in appearing like the “saviour” but his true motive is to kill, steal and destroy,” he said.

At 23, Williams is a devout Christian and sees this as an opportunity to share his God-given talent with the world.

He said, “The main goal of my work is to captivate my audience while at the same time send a biblical message or portrait of how life is becoming as we see the fulfilment of Bible prophecy coming to pass.”

“I always wanted to do a religious comic book. However I wanted to attract the audience with things they are familiar with such as action, drama and a little bit of suspense but still send a strong message to the public, particularly the youths, not to take things for granted,” he said.

For the young comic writer countless hours of work and sleepless nights have been his daily bread but Williams says he loves what he does which helps him to stay focused and committed.

“In the world today there is so much conspiracy going on; you can’t tell who is bad or good. What I want to push is this — to show people that, in the last days, people will be lovers of themselves and this is clearly depicted in Secret Alliance Volume 1. To make them aware that the last days the old people talk about is probably a lot closer than we think,” he said.

For Williams he says having that spiritual component in his life has been very instrumental in shaping him into the man he is today.

He said, “Though it may seem unusual to some people as a young person I enjoy listening to sermons and reading the Bible.”

However, Williams noted that trying to get young people to understand the importance of having a spiritual life and believing in a higher power greater themselves is challenging.

He believes that Japanese Manga, an emerging trend, particularly with young people, might be the right medium to touch a wide audience.

He said, “Most of the regular comics are in colour while Japanese Magna is in black and white and uses a different form of expression. The eyes with Japanese comics are different; the focus tends to be more on the eyes and shading than colour is used for expression.”

Williams attended South East Port of Spain Secondary School, where he did art and is now currently doing a course in graphic