A day spent watching the Seattle Sounders in action, hanging out with writer Matt Gaschk and listening to coach Sigi Schmid provided additional inspiration for Friday Harbor artist Aaron DErrico. (Photo: Gaschk and DEricco)
He's been working tirelessly on his goal to turn challenges into triumphs through the creation of a Seattle soccer superhero, "Ammon Walker".
A Talenthouse art invite from Marvel Comics legend Stan Lee - co-creator of Spider-Man™, The Incredible Hulk™, X-Men™, The Fantastic Four™, Iron Man,™ and hundreds more - led to the DErrico's creation of his soccer superhero character. Despite living with cerebral palsy, DErrico wanted to play for the Seattle Sounders FC, like his USMNT Captain Dad, David DErrico.
"It was a dream come true to see the Sounders in action, DErrico said. "They’re great people and a great team too."
By hosting a global art invite search with Talenthouse.com, DErrico found an artist to help him illustrate Ammon's story.
Artist Addison Rankin is a former Spring Street School student. After growing up in Seattle and Lopez Island, he currently resides in Oregon.
Rankin and DEricco didn't realize they both were mentored by veteran comic book writer and artist Paul Chadwick. The San Juan Island artist is the creator of "Concrete, for Dark Horse Comics.
DEricco with Pat O'Day
On June 7, 2014, "The Power of Imagination", a Q013 Fox Sports segment"> about DErrico's project won a Northwest Regional Emmy Award for Sports Feature/Segment. Created bu Aaron Levine, Walker Anderson, the production featured legendary DJ Pat O'Day of Friday Harbor and Aaron DErrico. O'Day has offered to narrate the comics.
By the way, Levin also won his third emmy, for Sports Anchor.
The Northwest Chapter of The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences serves television and media professionals in Alaska, Idaho, Oregon, Montana and Washington.
Despite being unable to work as a result of a crash on Spring Street between his motorized wheelchair and a truck, DErrico has continued focusing on his goal goal to maked digital narrated motion comics of Ammon and his other superheroes. A personal part of that goal - inspiring people to read - comes from DErrico's own experience of overcoming a learning disability.
An online fundraising campaign is underway to raise the funds needed to make the project a reality.
As part of those efforts, DErrico is entering a competition sponsored by TV talk host/ comedian and actor Ellen Degeneris.
DErrico must send in the following info:
1. What he's planning: Making narrated digital motion comics.
2. What inspired him: Support from Pat O’Day who offered to do voice work and narration for the motion comics, and also Stan Lee, who told me that he expects “great things” from me, as well has my Mom who taught me to read, draw and encouraged me to write my own story.
3. The cost: The cost of printed comics is around $11,000 per comic, so I’m estimating that a single narrated digital motion comic with animation and music could be anywhere from $15,000-to-$25,000 or more for a single motion comic. DErricco hopes to to make a seven-issue story arc about Ammon).
4. Why the project is important: Inspiring people to read, especially after he overcame a learning disability.
DErrico with Seattle Sounder players Micheal Azira, Fabio Pereira, Kenny Cooper and Chad Barrett with Seattle Sounders FC.
"Thanks to all who've contributed to that, and to Pat O’Day for joining me in this segment. I appreciate your support through the years," DErrico says. "Thank you to The Seattle Sounders FC soccer Team and their head coach, Sigi Schmid, as well as Matt Gaschk, and also Jackie Montgomery of Sounders FC Rave TV for sharing that goal too.
Seattle Sounder head coach, Sigi Schmid
"Most importantly thank you to my family, and many other loved ones, friends, and supporters from Friday Harbor and beyond, since I began creating my superheroes in high school. (Your encouragement is why I do what I do, with the focus to uplift and inspire others like the way I’m inspired by you. "
DErrico is a graduate of Friday Harbor High School.