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Comic book creator Adam Talley returns to Mount Pleasant for Fantasticon


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CMU alumnus and Mount Pleasant native Adam Talley poses at his booth at Fantasticon Oct. 19 at Soaring Eagle Casino and Resort.

Hundreds of writers, artists, collectors and nerdy fans dressed as comic book characters stormed the halls of Soaring Eagle Casino and Resort this weekend to celebrate Fantasticon.

The annual comic convention created for and about comic book creators and fans returned to Mount Pleasant Saturday, Oct. 19 and Sunday, Oct. 20 at Soaring Eagle Casino and Resort. 

There were a number of events at the convention including "Nerd Trivia," the revolution of comics, special effects demonstrations and cosplay contests for children and adults. Fantasticon also featured 22 artists and creators displaying and selling their work on the floor and 34 vendors selling comic books, posters and other items. This group of vendors included Mount Pleasant's own local comic book shop Hall of Heroes.

Adam Talley was one of the 22 artists displaying and selling their work at Fantasticon. Talley displayed six graphic novels of which he was both author and artist. The comic most prominently displayed on his table was not his best-selling, but his favorite comic, "Pleasant Life" – a graphic novel loosely based on his life when he was a student at Central Michigan University. 

“You gotta be able to take inspiration from the things that happen to you and roll with it,” Talley said. “Everybody I meet in some way inspires what I do.” It’s because of this inspiration he finds in everyday life that "Pleasant Life" still has a special place in his heart today. 

Talley began creating comics while still in high school, publishing titles like his first book, "Darkness," with the help of the Comic Amateur Press Alliance. He didn’t begin working on "Pleasant Life" until 2001 while he was enrolled at CMU. Talley sold issues of his comic at the University Center Bookstore and even on the street around campus. 

"Pleasant Life" follows a young man and a cast of characters as they make their way through life. One of the main plot points of the novel is the main character coping with the death of his mother, something Talley himself was going though at the time. 

“It’s like a snapshot in time of that part of my life,” Talley said.

Not only did he live in Mount Pleasant during college, but Talley grew up here. Mount Pleasant left an impression in his work, he said. Even though in the graphic novel has a different name, it’s possible to identify classic Mount Pleasant locations such as the torn-down Cinema 4, The Bird, Wayside and Soaring Eagle Casino.

Now, Talley is working on a sequel: "Pleasant Life 2" is in the works and set to release next year. "Pleasant Life 2" follows his character, Lucas, as he returns home has to learn to rebuild his life when the places and people he knew have changed, or are now gone. 

After leaving Mount Pleasant in 2007, Talley's work grew and evolved with him. He spent his early career creating comics in high school learning and polishing his style. By the time he left Mount Pleasant, his work took the form of many genres including what he calls "slice of life," horror, post-apocalypse, super-hero parody and erotica.

This year is the 25th year Talley has been creating comics. To this day, he still does all of the writing, drawing and publishing on his own. Even though Talley has done work as an artist creating trading cards for Marvel studios, DC comics, Star Wars and more, he chooses to not work with large companies to create comics. He said this way he can never be told what he can and cannot write about, and his artistic vision stays intact. 

Talley has funded and sold much of his content online. He funds and sells many of his books through Kickstarter, a donation-based service, and sells adult-only monthly content over Patreon, a subscription-based service. The best way to receive his content and stay updated is on his website, idiothead.com.

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