I'm pretty sure it started in 1957 - at least that's the oldest comic I still have that I made myself,
and it featured a character called ELASTICWORM. You see, at the tender age of 7 I didn't have the skills to draw people with
all those complicated arms, legs and fingers. So, to solve that problem, I simply elimated all those apendages and arrived
at a society of worms (easy to draw) and proclaimed ELASTICWORM as their hero! I'm not sure what inspired the "elastic" powers.
This was years before Mr. Fantastic, so it might have been Plastic Man or the Silly Putty I always got for Christmas. But
it seemed like a cool power, so ELASTICWORM was born! Between the ages of 7 and 12 I produced hundreds of simply 4 page comics,
composed of a single sheet of paper folded over once, to create a little 4-pg digest with a front cover and 3 story pages
in each issue. I still have many of those old homemade comics, and even more amazingly, I still write and illustrate an occasional
ELASTICWORM story even though I'm now 58 years old! In fact, I'm currently in the process of running a 6-part story
in my current publication TIM CORRIGAN'S COMICS & STORIES, which features ELASTICWORM and my most popular character MIGHTYGUY
teamed up for the first time (see the TCC&S page).
No one has ever seen these childhood comics and no one ever will. First, because they weren't any
good (though they have some value to me) and 2nd, because I routinely featured characters to which I had no right whatsoever,
like Batman and Superman. Hey, I was a little kid and it was a training ground!
I continued to produce these 4-page homegrown comics well into my teen years, including 120 issues
of a comic called RED ROCK MAN, which would, much later, evolve into Rockman and Lady Laser - which leads nicely into the
2nd chapter of my personal saga as a comics creator.
In the late 60's and early 70's I was writing fan letters to Marvel and DC pretty often. In those
days all the comics had letters pages and the publishers were kind enough to print the full addresses of anyone who had a
letter published. Thus was organized fandom born, and I was quick to climb on board.