Getting to Know: Afrim Gjonbalaj
Legacy Comix is all about promoting our creators, so from time to time, we’ll take them away from work to answer some questions so you can connect with them a little more.
Next up, The Legend of The Night Owl, Afrim Gjonbalaj!
Legacy Comix: What was the first comic you remember reading?
Afrim Gjonbalaj: I honestly can’t remember the first comic I read but I do remember that my cousin was a huge collector and I remember seeing a ton of DC comics for the first time at his apartment, Green Lantern, Wonder Woman, etc. I remember thinking “what are these?” because I somehow knew about Marvel comics characters but that could have been from watching The Spider-man and his Amazing friends cartoon. I was a big Saturday morning cartoons kid growing up. The first comic I remember paying for and reading was a newsstand of Batman: Shadow of the Bat #1 from a corner store about a block from my apartment in Flatbush, Brooklyn.
Legacy Comix: Who is your guilty pleasure super hero? A character you love that people might not expect?
Gjonbalaj: Dr. Manhattan. I love the idea of characters being tortured with omnipotence and or heartbreak because eventually everything just seems absurd and predictable for the character until they reconnect with their humanity and make a choice. Choice vs Predetermined Fate. The guilty pleasure would be Wally West when he sits on the Mobius chair and becomes Dr. Manhattan. I geeked out over that so hard.
Legacy Comix: Why are comics special to you?
Gjonbalaj: It connects me to a simpler time; it connects me to my imagination.
Legacy Comix: If you could collaborate with any creator, who would it be? Why?
Gjonbalaj: Brian Stelfreeze who did the cover art for Batman: Shadow of the Bat #1. I remember seeing that book and the image of Batman being jumped by Arkham Asylum orderlies really stuck out to me. I still love it to this day.
I’d also really like to work with BUZZ. He’s a Rockstar artist and turns out we grew up on the same block in Flatbush, Brooklyn. I was just a kid when he was already doing badass art. That would be fun. The Brooklyn Connection.
Bill Sienkiewicz because of the connection to The Resident Evil. He did the cover art for a little known Marvel comics/electronics boutique exclusive that came out in 1996 to promote the game and that same cover art was used for the game too. I spent COUNTLESS hours playing that game and that art is deeply connected to it.
Robert Kirkman. I’m a huge Walking Dead fan. I kept up with for years. I started with the second trade in 2006 and never stopped. Now I’m hooked to everything the Walking Dead. “P.S. Clemintine Lives.”
Legacy Comix: What are your goals for 2022 with Legacy?
Gjonbalaj: I want to push the envelope with The Legend of the Night Owl. I don’t want to play it safe with any of the characters and I want there to be huge stakes within the world of the story. I feel like 2022 will be a break out year for Legacy Comix. The comics community are going to recognize some new players are at the table.
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